17 Comments

We really are a government run by incompetent, self-absorbed, unthinking nobodies. It shows since their pancake flipping and jersey wearing are so much more important content to them than actually running a country.

Expand full comment

The naivete of the federal government along with the crass money grab (and abrogation of independent values) of Canada's media class is an amazing sight to behold. History will be written about this, and it won't flatter the federal Liberals and their crucial chattering class coalition members well.

Imagine, someone being forced to pay for the honour of allowing media links to be posted on their own 100% private website (that link to ad heavy and paywalled media sites). Absolutely ridiculous. A great scam if you can get it I suppose.

The Canadian media, including all arts and letters, needs to be cut off of all government patronage. It's obviously rotting them from the inside out, with the values of free expression and quality out the window. Those that can survive with a subscription or donation model deserve to survive. The public have said so. Those that can't, don't deserve to survive. Even us notoriously cheap and entitled Canadians will pay for content they want, if they can't get away with free anymore.

Expand full comment

All the Liberals had to do was to allow Google and Meta to negotiate independent deals like it was done in Australia (and not very different from what was already in place with a few newspapers). With that, the Liberals could have claimed an easy and significant political win.

Instead, Google now has the Liberal Government exactly where it wants them. Now that the government has acknowledged that their legislation does not provide the necessary clarity, Google can keep pushing the Government to lower their demands in the regulations until it is actually inconsequential to all parties.

And they could still walk away from that. What a mess!

Expand full comment
Jul 11, 2023·edited Jul 12, 2023

Trudeau and his lackeys precipitated this crisis to begin with, despite clear warnings that internet rebellion was the likeliest response to their ill-conceived legislation. As always, our PM claims to have taken us down this confrontational path "on behalf of Canadians;" but I'm a Canadian, and Trudeau no more represents my views than Canada's mainstream media does.

So what?--you may be moved to ask: why should either Trudeau or MSM editors care what I think? The evidence strongly suggests they don't, but it's a perplexing neglect. I've always voted left (which is where MSM's sympathies mostly lie), and I've been reading The Globe and Mail and Toronto Star since 1959. I'm a retired reference librarian with the requisite graduate degree in Information Science, a lifelong interest in journalism and publishing history, a decades-long record of serious engagement with information diffusion issues, and a deep concern for the state and ultimate fate of the information commons.

I've also had experience working as a journalist, and as a researcher for CBC. If I've written off Canada's legacy media and its pretensions (and I have: in my professional judgment neither The Globe, Star, nor CBC any longer qualify as credible information sources), I'm not sure who they think should care about their financial difficulties, or where they're expecting the impulse to save them to come from. If these institutions actually provided what they pretend to--balanced, non-ideological reporting--that would be different and I would feel I had a stake in their future. Since they do not, they have forfeited my interest.

Now that the arrogance and incompetence of the Trudeau government has (again!) been revealed for all to see, you would hope to find at least a few federal Liberals engaging in some overdue reality-checking. Alas, in part through its own myopic sense of its best long-term interests, Canada's MSM will (again!) provide them with little incentive for doing that [*]. Whatever silo this generation of journalists and political leaders inhabits, it seems resolutely sealed against any possibility of remedial input. The extent to which these institutional players are so clearly out of touch with internet realities (including their own relative significance in them) is astonishing in 2023.

------------------

[*] Sentiments like these would never be published in this era's version of the Toronto Star. No one can criticize The Narrative: for the Star itself to 'platform' such criticism would be both 'hateful' and 'hurtful.' Whatever demographic the Star is trying to reach, it obviously doesn't include me; and while the Star is of course entitled to its marketing policies, allow me to remind you: I've always voted left and am a news junkie. I can also easily afford subscriptions--and do subscribe--to sources that provide reliable information.

Expand full comment

This is an important subject and I am happy to have read it. A tough and factual analysis is welcome. But I could have done without the sprinkling of derogatory adjectives (…” Trudeau breathlessly…” etc. Reminds of Sun content. And this is not why I subscribe here. .

Expand full comment

I mean, this was entirely predictble. The problem is that social media ad platforms 'disrupted' the news business -- it took away the ad revenue that sustained those businesses at the same time that access to free online news ate away at the subscription model.

This bill was never the solution and was modelled after Australian legislation that seems to be tilted towards the incumbant news industry there, owned by Rupurt Murdoch and family. Probably not the model to follow!

There are lots and lots of other, better proposals, including a tax credit on news subscriptions to make it more attractive for all of us to subscribe to news sources of our choice -- and help the digital subscription model succeed.

The goal here -- ensure the public good from news reporting has a sustainable business model -- is laudable. This legislation doesn't do that. The biggest risk now is that the gov't will water down the existing (non-workable) legislation, not meet any of it's goals, and simply claim a "victory" without actually solving the problem!

Expand full comment

Jr knows all about WWII. That was when daddy was hiding in the Quebec forests so he could evade serving his country in a time of need. Typical narsisisstic Trudeau.

Expand full comment

Add another to the list of sudden government about-faces (Firearms legislation, Chinese interference, COVID restrictions....) after they noticed public opinion wasn't on their side.

Expand full comment
founding

What did we expect from this government, this is just one more bad idea that costs our country money and jobs it can ill afford to lose. Long past time for them to be gone

Expand full comment

It would appear that the world is not run by (choose your villain) the WEF, the UN, the Bilderberg Group, or other conspiracist fantasies. It is run by the advertising industry.

Expand full comment

Timing is everything. I had just read the latest missive from The Beaverton before reading the remarks in Peter’s column quoting Trudeau and Rodrigues. Seamless. I honestly had to look up to make sure that I had indeed switched the medium. Made me smile.

Expand full comment
founding

What is worse than not trying... trying and flinching. ./facepalm

Expand full comment