Federal Election Guide: What the Party Leaders are Saying
Will you commit to increasing CBC funding to $50 per person per year in your government’s first budget?
“We’ll increase funding for CBC and Radio-Canada to help reverse the damage of decades of funding cuts under both Liberal and Conservative governments. Public broadcasting has a remarkable legacy of connecting all points of our country – and it needs to have an even stronger future now more than ever to help make sure that Canadians have access to accurate, relevant information no matter where they live.” (Source: Official Platform)
On Closing the Loophole
Does your party commit to closing the internet advertising tax loophole that subsidizes foreign platforms like Facebook and Google in your first budget?
“A Green government will close the loophole that exempts social media platforms from collecting taxes on advertising and ensure all government advertising is placed in Canadian publications. Prohibit Canadian businesses from deducting the cost of advertising on foreign-owned sites such as Google and Facebook which now account for 80 per cent of all spending on advertising in Canada. We will apply a corporate tax on transnational e-commerce companies doing business in Canada by requiring the foreign vendor to register, collect and remit taxes where the product or service is consumed. The e-commerce sector — giants like Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Uber — command a significant share of the Canadian market but pay virtually no tax.” (Source: Official Platform)
“We think it’s completely unfair that there is a loophole that allows essentially a massive advantage to be given to advertising with the web giants. That to me makes no sense and it disadvantages Canadian media. That is wrong. We would end that immediately. If anything, we should encourage supporting local Canadian media and content as opposed to international. But we’ll take the first step by stopping the tax loophole, which is so unfair.” (Source: Jagmeet Singh, FRIENDS telephone town hall September 22, 2019)
On Canadian Stories
Will you commit to requiring internet broadcasters to contribute 30% of their revenues to the financing of Canadian content, just as Canadian broadcasters do? Will you require internet broadcasters like Netflix to charge HST?
“What I’m talking about is ensuring, the same way all Canadian companies pay a certain percentage of their revenues to the Canadian government, just as has always been the case, that foreign multibillion dollar corporations who are collecting hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of ad revenues, or subscription fees out of Canada pay their fair share just like any other Canadian company would do. So it’s about creating a level playing field on the corporate side of things.” (Source: Andrew Scheer press conference, Sept 30, 2019)
“A Green government will ensure that Netflix and other foreign internet broadcasters are subject to Canadian Content (CanCon) regulations, similar to those imposed on Canadian broadcasters.” (Source: Official Platform)
“We will move forward, in our first year, with legislation that will take appropriate measures to ensure that all content providers – including internet giants – offer meaningful levels of Canadian content in their catalogues, contribute to the creation of Canadian content in both official languages, and promote this content and make it easily accessible on their platforms. We will make sure that multinational tech giants pay corporate tax on the revenue they generate in Canada. We will also work to achieve the standard set by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to ensure that international digital corporations whose products are consumed in Canada collect and remit the same level of sales taxation as Canadian digital corporations. (Source: Official Platform)
“We will step up to make sure that Netflix, Facebook, Google, and other digital media companies play by the same rules as Canadian broadcasters. That means paying taxes, supporting Canadian content in both official languages, and taking responsibility for what appears on their platforms, just like other media outlets.” (Source: Official Platform)
On Hate Speech and Canadian Values
If it’s illegal for a Canadian broadcaster or newspaper to disseminate hate and propaganda, why is it OK for Facebook and YouTube to do the same thing? Will you commit to holding these publishers legally responsible for disseminating illegal content, just as Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Japan and others have done?
“I think we need to define [social media platforms] as publishers so they have to meet the same standards of responsibility for what gets posted on them as they would have to do if they were the Ottawa Citizen.” (Source: Elizabeth May, FRIENDS telephone town hall October 28, 2019)
“We will target online hate speech, exploitation and harassment, and do more to protect victims of hate speech. … We believe that when social media platforms are used to spread these harmful views, the platforms themselves must also be held accountable. To help stop the proliferation of violent extremism online, we will move forward with new regulations for social media platforms, starting with a requirement that all platforms remove illegal content, including hate speech, within 24 hours or face significant financial penalties.” (Source: Official Platform)
“Recognizing the threat posed by outside interference in Canadian elections, we believe that more needs to be done to stop the spread of disinformation and ‘fake news’ online. Social media platforms must be held to their responsibility to flag and remove fraudulent accounts, and to respond promptly to harassment, threats, and hate speech. No one but the people of Canada should decide – or influence – the outcome of Canadian elections.” (Source: Official Platform)