Canada passes bill to force local content on streaming platforms

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A smartphone with the Netflix logo is placed on a keyboard in this illustration taken on April 19, 2022.REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s lower house of parliament passed legislation on Tuesday to put online streaming platforms under the country’s broadcast regulator and force Netflix (NASDAQ: ), YouTube and Spotify (NYSE: ) and other companies offer more local content.

The bill, introduced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government, passed the lower house by 208 votes to 117, with the support of the opposition NDP and Bloc Quebec.

The government said the legislation would ensure online streaming services promote Canadian music and stories and support local employment. Critics said the bill was rushed to a vote and concerns raised about the bill, such as its potential impact on independent content creators, were not addressed.

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, who introduced the bill in February, said the changes are for commercial programming broadcast online and do not apply to Canadian individuals.

Bill C-11 will become law once passed by the Senate or the House of Lords and with the assent of the royal family.

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