Bell’s announcement this week that it is laying off thousands of workers – including nearly 500 Bell Media employees – has sparked political outrage with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau characterizing it as a “garbage decision.” The job losses are obviously brutal for those directly affected and it would be silly to claim that a single policy response was responsible. Yet to suggest that the government’s media policy, particularly Bills C-11 and C-18, played no role is to ignore the reality of a failed approach for which there have been blinking warning signs for years. Indeed, Trudeau’s anger (which felt a bit like a reprise of his Meta comments over the summer) may partly reflect frustration that his policy choices have not only not worked, but have made matters worse.
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The House of Cards Crumbles: Why the Bell Media Layoffs and Government’s Failed Media Policy are Connected
My look back at 2023 concludes with a review of my most popular Substacks of the year. Given the overlap between blog posts and Substacks, there is unsurprisingly overlap between the most popular posts with the piece on Bill S-210 occupying the top spot on both charts. However, there are differences, with posts on the CBC and my appearance before the CRTC that focused on competition and consumer choice making their way into the Substack top ten.
The final Law Bytes podcast of 2023 released last week took a look back at the year in digital policy. With the podcast on a holiday break, this post looks back at the ten most popular episodes of the year. Reviews and previews remain popular as did Bill C-11, Bill C-18, and discussion of the state of telecom competition in Canada.
Last week’s Law Bytes podcast features a look at the year in review along with some guesses at what lies ahead. Before wrapping up for the year, the next three posts will highlight the most popular posts, podcast episodes, and Substacks of the past year. Today’s post starts with the top posts, which starts with a recent look at Bill S-210 and potential age verification and site blocking on the Internet. With the exception of an examination of Bill C-27’s AI regulations, the remaining posts all involve online news and Bill C-18.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 189: The Year in Canadian Digital Law and Policy and What Lies Ahead in 2024
Canadian digital law and policy in 2023 was marked by so many legislative battles that you needed a scorecard to keep track: Bill C-11 on online streaming, Bill C-18 on online news, and Bill C-27 on privacy and AI were the headliners, but there were notable developments on content regulation, competition, and a digital services tax. For this final Law Bytes podcast of 2023, I go solo without a guest to talk about the most significant developments in Canadian digital policy from the past year and to think a bit about what may lie ahead in 2024.