Toronto, June 23, 2023 – The Canadian Media Guild (CMG) welcomes the Online News Act, the new legislation designed to support the production of trusted news and information in Canada. Bill C-18, which has received Royal Assent, seeks to correct gross imbalance in the current media industry, where tech giants such as Meta (Facebook) and Google draw great profits from the invaluable newsgathering and reporting work Canada’s journalists and media workers produce, without paying a dime.
“The Online news Act is a significant step forward in helping ensure the public can continue to have access to quality news and information. It recognizes the vital role reliable news plays in a democratic society,” said CMG President, Annick Forest. “Passing this legislation is a recognition that quality journalism cannot be taken for granted and requires a fair economic foundation.”
Forest also said the new Act “sends a strong signal that the important work journalists do to uncover truth, hold power accountable, and inform citizens about vital issues is critical and a fundamental pillar of democracy – and it needs to be fairly compensated.”
CMG and many concerned Canadians have long advocated for solutions to the devastating impact of tech giants using access to journalistic work, taking approximately 80% of ad revenue as a result, while eroding news production capacity and jobs.
This has caused reduced coverage in communities across the country, newsroom closures and countless job losses, diminished journalistic resources overall, and hindered the ability to deliver high-quality news to all Canadians.
Forest applauded Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez’s leadership and resolve in shepherding this bill, despite many obstacles. “It is particularly important that news producers, no matter their size or platform or whether they are private or public like CBC/Radio-Canada, have been included.”
CMG is looking forward to contributing media workers’ views in the next steps, and given the pressing needs in the news sector, and challenges such as growing disinformation and disinformation, it is hoped that all parties will come to the table with good will and determination to help build, together, a fairer and stronger news media ecosystem in Canada.
The Canadian Media Guild (CWA Canada Local 30213) is a democratic media union with 5000 members across the country. We believe that a quality media system that serves all Canadians is built on healthy organizations that treat workers fairly.