Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked this week about concerns with the implementation of Bill C-18, to which he responded that other countries are quietly backing Canada in its battle against tech companies. I posted a reality check tweet noting that Meta is not returning to news in Canada, the law’s regulation stipulating a 4% fee on revenues is not found anywhere else, and that Bill C-18 has emerged as a model for what not to do. With the House of Commons back in session, it is worth providing a more fulsome reality check on where things stand with the Online News Act. While the government is still talking tough, the law has been an utter disaster, leading to millions in lost revenues with cancelled deals, reduced traffic for Canadian media sites, declining investment in media in Canada, and few options to salvage this mess.
For those that took the summer off, Bill C-18 received royal assent in late June. Over the past three months: