News Media Canada Welcomes Passage of Online News Act

Calls on Ottawa to address other issues affecting the news business

TORONTO--()--News Media Canada welcomes the passage of Bill C-18, the Online News Act, which allows for news businesses – large and small – to come together to negotiate fair market arrangements for news content with dominant search and social media companies.

“This is an important first step to level the playing field and address the significant market power imbalance between publishers and platforms, and to restore fairness and ensure the sustainability of the Canadian news media ecosystem,” said Jamie Irving, chair of News Media Canada. “We thank Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for honouring his commitment to pass legislation, based on the Australian News Media Bargaining Code.”

“Real journalism, created by real journalists, continues to be demanded by Canadians and is vital to our democracy, but it costs real money,” said Paul Deegan, president and chief executive officer of News Media Canada. “Original fact-based, fact-checked journalism from authoritative news brands matters, and publishers look forward to participating in the bargaining process in good faith.”

“We extend our thanks to Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage, for setting the table for commercial negotiation, backed up by the teeth of final offer arbitration,” added Mr. Deegan. “We also owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Rod Sims, former chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, who showed the world that smart, forward-looking balanced policy can get publishers and platforms to the negotiating table to ensure that a fiercely independent, commercially viable press can thrive alongside a vibrant open web.”

“With the passage of C-18, we are asking parliamentarians to begin tackling other issues affecting the economics of the news publishing industry,” added Mr. Deegan. “We need to modernize the Competition Act and provide the Competition Bureau with the funding and tools it needs to act upon abuses and anti‑competitive business practices related to online search, search advertising and display advertising services in Canada; support trusted news sources through federal government advertising; and eliminate commercial advertising associated with CBC/Radio-Canada’s news and public affairs properties.”

Counsel Public Affairs Inc. acted as advisors to News Media Canada.

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News Media Canada is the voice of the print and digital media industry in Canada, representing hundreds of trusted titles in every province and territory.


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