Featured Image

(LifeSiteNews) — Most Canadians are worried about being unable to access news content due to the Trudeau government’s internet censorship bill.  

According to a July 10 survey by the Angus Reid Institute, 63 percent of Canadians voiced concern over losing access to news on Facebook and Google after both companies promised to block Canadian content rather than pay publishing fees under the recently passed Online News Act.   

“An escalating tug of war between the Liberal government and Big Tech – with Canadian news content in the middle – is heating up an already hot summer in Canada,” the report warned. 

Canada’s Senate passed the Online News Act, or Bill C-18, in June and it quickly became law. The House of Commons had passed Bill C-18 in December 2022. 

The law mandates that online tech companies be forced to pay publishers for news content shared on their sites. 

While 61 percent of Canadians believe tech companies should pay to publish Canadian news, the remaining 39 percent hold that forcing companies to pay is impractical and the Trudeau government should back down on their demands. 

Similarly, only 26 percent hold that the government should continue to force companies to pay for Canadian content.  

Additionally, the progress of Bill C-18 has been closely followed by a majority – 54 percent – of Canadians, who have been discussing the bill and responses from Google and Facebook with friends and family. An additional 30 percent followed news on the bill only through headlines, while 16 percent were unaware of the newly passed law. 

Earlier this week, the Trudeau government seemed to have caved to Google by amending the internet censorship act to not force companies to pay for Canadian news content, but instead offer “non-monetary offerings.” 

The introduction of that amendment appears to contradict Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s remarks last week when he condemned Google’s censorship as an “attack” on Canadians.  

Similarly, the government announced that it will pull its advertisements from Facebook and Instagram after parent company Meta said it will block Canadians’ access to news on its sites due to Bill C-18. 

While the act was initially feared to allow the government to censor what Canadians view online, it may backfire if large tech companies refuse to pay to publish content. 

Bill C-18 gives the CRTC the power to determine which news content can be viewed. 

According to the bill, to be considered “eligible” for sharing, a news outlet must be “a qualified Canadian journalism organization” and produce “news content of public interest that is primarily focused on matters of general interest and reports of current events.” 

It is up to the government to decide which news outlets are to be considered “eligible.”