The week will be decisive for Pablo Rodriguez, who is struggling like hell in holy water to get his Bill C-11 passed before the summer.

If it were not adopted, it will not die on the order paper of the House like its ancestor C-10, hacked up quickly by Steven Guilbault, a Minister of Heritage still green. The day after the election, Guilbault returned to more familiar lands. Thanks to the scheme hatched by Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh, the next election should not take place before October 20, 2025. This gives Minister Rodriguez all the time he needs to carry out the projects entrusted to him. the Prime Minister’s mandate letter.

Passing Bill C-11 should have been a breeze. Everything that moves in the audiovisual world, among Anglophones and Francophones alike, is in favor of the bill whose short title is the Online Streaming Act.

If this rare unanimity does not make the project less advanced on tiptoe, it is because the conservatives continue to look for lice in it. Just like Michael Geist, the knight with the sad face of the University of Ottawa, and Peter Menzies, his Sancho Panza. Both keep repeating that the CRTC is a concentration camp that will chain the internet and deprive it of its freedom forever. The CRTC does not have, they claim, sufficient means and, above all, it does not have the necessary expertise.


On this question, Ian Scott, current president of the CRTC, is formal. During its 56 years of existence, the organization has proven itself in the regulation of airwaves and telecommunications. It defined Canadian content and established percentages that television and radio companies must respect.

The organization has also ensured that there is fair competition in telephony and cable television and that customers pay the right price, etc., etc. In anticipation of the additional work that the Online Streaming Act will bring to it, the CRTC obtained additional government funding of $8.5 million and hired about 100 people.

A few rare organizations want the law to be more specific with regard to YouTube, TikTok and other participatory platforms. We want to ensure that individual users are not subject to the constraints that the law will impose on “streamers” (now called “live players”, according to the guidelines of the French Language Enrichment Commission) . These “live players” will be expected to contribute to the creation of Canadian content in addition to promoting it on their platforms.


If there is such unanimity for the adoption of the law, it is because it should put an end to the poverty of our audiovisual and musical industries for a long time. The most optimistic forecasts estimate that the drain on live gamer revenue will bring in up to $1 billion a year, more than twice what cable companies and the federal government pay into the Canada Fund. media and Telefilm. But be careful, it is better not to incur expenses too quickly. Once the law is passed in the House of Commons, it will take at least two full years, if not more, before the CRTC can pick up the handsome dollars from the streamers. We must therefore find a way to survive until 2025!