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(LifeSiteNews) Google is remaining firm in its intention to block Canadians from accessing news content due to the Trudeau government’s Bill C-18 Online News Act  

In an October 2 email statement, Google announced that the Online News Act, also known as Bill C-18, remains fundamentally flawed and that the tech company intends to block content for Canadians rather than pay $172 million under the new law, according to The Globe and Mail.  

“Unfortunately, the proposed regulations fail to sufficiently address the critical structural problems with C-18 that regrettably were not dealt with during the legislative process,” the statement said.  

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.     

“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 continued. “We have been and will remain engaged and transparent with the government about our concerns and will await the publication of final regulations.”  

Google further stated that fundamentally changing the law may be the only way to address the company’s concerns, which would mean bringing the bill back to Parliament.  

Google’s statement comes in response to a September 29 announcement from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) that laid out “its regulatory plan to modernize Canada’s broadcasting framework and ensure online streaming services make meaningful contributions to Canadian and Indigenous content.”  

The law, which was originally supposed to take years to implement, is now set to take effect 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 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 Prime Minister Justin 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.   

Earlier this week, 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 CRTC which will not stop at “Web Giants” but will lead to the government going 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 pundits and Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre.