Dear Canadians who enjoy news,
You might not be aware of this, but the way you get your news in Canada is going to change, and it’s changing fast, right before your eyes.
The Federal Government has passed Bill C-18, the Online News Act. This bill will make it increasingly difficult for you to find out what’s going on in your community. You will no longer be able to find your favourite news outlets on Facebook, Instagram and Google. If there’s something big happening in your community, you will not be able to “Google it” or check Facebook for trustworthy news sources.
The government claims the bill “introduces a new bargaining framework intended to support news businesses to secure fair compensation when their news content is made available by dominant digital news intermediaries and generates economic gain.” Simply put, the bill will require companies like Google and Meta to pay Canadian news outlets for distributing articles and other news content on their platforms.
The way the bill is written will make it impossible for local online news outlets to be financially feasible. We were hoping that the Federal Government would work with Google and Meta to come up with a plan that everyone involved could work with. That didn’t happen, and today we find ourselves dealing with the full removal of all news from Facebook, Instagram and Google. That’s why Google and Meta are fighting back.
We want to be very clear: we do not want or need any government intervention. Our businesses are flourishing in the social media environment the way things are right now. We hope that the government and these companies can work together to come up with a solution so we can be left alone to operate our business as we see fit.
Here’s what we do for you that you won’t see anymore: Traffic, road closures, fire bans, severe weather alerts, threats to public safety, active police incidents, small business advertising, local sports and community organizations, community barbecues and events, fundraisers and local feel-good stories that we enjoy writing and you enjoy reading, etc.
If there’s a particular news outlet that you enjoy, please subscribe to their mailing list to ensure you don’t miss out on local news. You can contact your local MP and ask them to work with Google and Meta to find a solution. You can also contact the minister responsible for the bill, Pablo Rodriguez, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are already feeling the impact of Bill C-18 with some popular online news outlets having their content removed from view in Canada. We were told this was not going to happen until at least the end of the year, but it’s already happening.
Please join our team and do your part so that Canadians can continue to enjoy local news. If you are unable to see any local news content, please report it to Google and Meta.
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