C-11's plan to regulate digital streaming platforms like Netflix represents an opportunity to correct an injustice between these foreign companies and Canadian broadcasters.
This is at least what the President and Chief Executive Officer of Quebecor, Pierre Karl Péladeau, pleaded during an intervention before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on Tuesday evening, during a study of the bill in Ottawa.
According to him, Bill C-11 would correct an “increasingly dramatic historic inequity between foreign online broadcasting platforms and Canadian companies”.
Currently, Canadian companies, subject to the regulations of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), must meet several requirements, for example in terms of content, which digital platforms do not.
“The unbridled competition from online streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Disney, which are free from all constraints, and the crushing regulation of the CRTC, I repeat, threatens the sustainability of our local businesses and, therefore, our cultural sovereignty. and our ability to rigorously inform Canadians,” Mr. Péladeau deeply lamented before the committee.
“A very simple solution exists. Instead of asking the CRTC for sprawling new regulations riddled with mind-boggling requirements, the legislator should instead go to the essentials by favoring a light regulatory regime where foreign online broadcasting platforms contribute financially to our media ecosystem,” he said. -he continued thereafter, pleading in parallel in favor of a relaxation of the rules imposed by the CRTC.
In the eyes of the CEO of Quebecor, there is an urgent need to act. "71% of Quebec adults subscribe to a paid online broadcasting service, while 66% subscribe to a cable service," he said, citing data from a study by the University. Laval.
“Netflix has invested in Canada”
Also present during the hearings, the director of public policy for Netflix in Canada, Stéphane Cardin, came to recall that the online broadcasting giant is already investing in Canadian content.
“In fact, since 2017, we have invested $3.5 billion in Canada for films and series launched on Netflix,” argued Mr. Cardin, specifying that this amount mixes filming and acquisitions.
“We are concerned about the rigid approach that would simply transpose regulation from broadcasting groups to online streaming services. It wouldn't be fair or equitable. […] Netflix would not be able to meet its requirements in certain categories, such as news or sports programming, ”said Mr. Cardin.