Liberal Plan for CRTC Regulation of Social Media Uploads and Apps Blasted by Conservatives

Late last week it was revealed the federal government plans to have the CRTC regulate social media video uploads, plus streaming video apps as well, through its controversial Bill C-10 amendment to the Broadcasting Act.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government voted on Friday afternoon to backtrack on its promise to exclusive social media from regulation, while also revealed it would have the CRTC regulate streaming apps like Bell Media’s Crave and others.

On Monday, Alain Rayes, Conservative Shadow Minister for Canadian Heritage, condemned the Liberal Party plan, saying it gives too much power to the CRTC.

“Conservatives continue to oppose Liberal Bill C-10 and are voting against its main clauses in committee. While we support creating a level playing field between large foreign streaming services and Canadian broadcasters, C-10 is a bad piece of legislation giving too much power to the CRTC to regulate the internet and provides no clear guidelines for how that power will be used,” said Rayes in a statement.

“Last Friday the Liberals went further than ever before by voting against the section of their own Bill that would have at least partially exempted individual users who upload videos to social media sites like YouTube and Facebook. They even promised to introduce a new amendment to regulate apps. This is another unacceptable attempt to target the freedoms of individual internet users by what University of Ottawa Law Professor Michael Geist has described as, ‘the most anti-internet government in Canadian History,’” added Rayes.

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault responded to the claims, saying, “Very disappointed to see Alain Rayes and the CPC being so disconnected. Yet again, they let down the cultural sector and refuse to stand up to web giants.”

Many shot back at the Minister, including Dr. Michael Geist, questioning, “How is removing your own legislative safeguards and regulating user generated content for millions of Canadians “standing up to web giants”?” in response.

The Conservative party says its committee members “offered a compromise amendment that would at least have protected individual users and smaller players in the market by exempting streaming services and social media users with less than 50 million dollars a year in Canadian advertising and/or subscription revenue from CRTC regulation under C-10,” but this idea was rejected by the Liberals.

OpenMedia’s Laura Tribe replied to Minister Guilbeault by saying, “You lied about what was in this bill, and rammed in the most extreme changes at the very last minute. This isn’t about web giants anymore. You’ve decided you’re the arbiter of what can and can’t be on the Internet. Full stop. You did this. No one else.”

Rayes concluded, “Conservatives will continue to stand up for the freedoms of Canadians who post their content online and oppose C-10 at every stage of the legislative process.”