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Seattle, Washington / USA - December 10 2019: Google logo on the offices of the search engine companyShutterstock/VDB Photos

Send an urgent message to Canadian legislators urging them to stop more online censorship laws

OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — Google is set to pay Canadian legacy media outlets $100 million to publish their content online as part of Justin Trudeau’s Online News Act.

On November 29, Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge announced that the federal government struck a deal with Big Tech company Google to publish Canadians news under the recently passed Online News Act, also known as Bill C-18.

“Following weeks of productive discussions, I am happy to announce that we have found a path forward with Google for the implementation of the Online News Act,” St-Onge wrote in a statement.

“As part of this framework, Google will contribute $100 million in financial support annually, indexed to inflation, for a wide range of news businesses across the country, including independent news businesses and those from Indigenous and official-language minority communities,” she added.

“Google will have the option to work with a single collective to distribute its contribution to all interested eligible news businesses based on the number of full-time equivalent journalists engaged by those businesses,” St-Onge continued.

Canada’s Senate passed the Online News Act in June, and it quickly became law. The new law, when fully implemented, will force social media companies to pay Canadian legacy media for news content shared on their platforms.

Under the proposed regulations, Google and Meta (the latter being the parent company of Facebook and Instagram) would pay a maximum of $230 million. Google, which also owns YouTube, would be expected to pay $172 million of the total amount. The amount has since been set at $100 million.

Google’s agreement with the Liberal government under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau comes after months of the Big Tech company arguing that the Online News Act is fundamentally flawed.

The company further promised to remove links to Canadian news outlets rather than pay the fees outlined in the new legislation.

“We continue to have serious concerns that the core issues ultimately may not be solvable through regulation and that legislative changes may be necessary,” Google said in October. “We have been and will remain engaged and transparent with the government about our concerns and will await the publication of final regulations.”

However, on November 29, Google announced that they were in agreement with the Canadian government, writing, “Following extensive discussions, we are pleased that the Government of Canada has committed to addressing our core issues with Bill C-18, which included the need for a streamlined path to an exemption at a clear commitment threshold.”

The law, which was originally supposed to take years to implement, is now set to take effect on December 19, 2023, after a consultation period of only 30 days, from September 2 to October 2.

While the law has yet to take effect, Canadians are already blocked from viewing or sharing news on Facebook and Instagram, as Meta announced that it would rather remove news for Canadians than pay the fees outlined in the new law.

The law itself has been a point of major criticism for Trudeau and his Liberal government. In fact, a July 10 survey found that most Canadians are concerned they could lose access to news on social media as a result of the policy.

In September, free speech advocate and entrepreneur Elon Musk criticized Trudeau for his ongoing censorship campaign, writing, “Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada,” calling it “shameful.”

Similarly, Trudeau’s other online censorship law, Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, is set to grant new powers to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which will not stop at “web giants” but will go after “news sites” and other “online” video sites as well, according Canadian law professor Dr. Michael Geist.

Just recently, the CRTC announced that even some podcasts will fall under the regulatory scope of Bill C-11, something that has drawn wide criticism from online commentators and Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre.

Send an urgent message to Canadian legislators urging them to stop more online censorship laws