- OTTAWA — After suggesting that under Bill C-10, the Canadian Radio-television and telecommunications Commission (CRTC) could impose discoverability regulations on individuals who have a large-enough following online, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault now says that’s not the case.
In a new statement sent to CTV News late Sunday night, the minister says he used “unclear” language when he referred to people and online channels being subject to federal regulations as part of the government’s updates to the Broadcasting Act.
In the interview on CTV’s Question Period that aired on March 9, the minister said more than once that while the CRTC isn’t going to be regulating everyday user’s content, the regulator could have powers related to the discoverability of online content for people whose channels have “millions of viewers,” are “generating a lot of money on social media,” and are “acting like broadcasters.”
MPs on the House of Commons heritage committee agreed today to pause a detailed review of the federal government’s broadcasting bill while the Department of Justice looks into whether recent amendments violate the free speech rights of social media users.
Conservative, Liberal, Bloc and NDP MPs all voted in favour of asking for a revised “charter statement” on Bill C-10. Such statements are issued by the justice minister to examine the potential impact new legislation may have on Canadians’ rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The motion also requests that both Justice Minister David Lametti and Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault, along with a panel of experts, appear before the committee to discuss the implications of recent amendments to the bill and take questions from committee members.