Why Copyright Reform Won’t Solve the Troubles Faced By the Newspaper Industry. Source: Michael Geist.
 Internet price hikes could be coming as Ottawa reviews cultural policy, critics warn. Source: CBC News.
 New digital taxes may be the future of Cancon. Source: The Globe and Mail.
 Busking in the streaming age. Source: Montreal Gazette.
, Stop the federal government before it taxes everything on the Internet. Source: The Financial Post.
 Canadians’ spending on wireless, Internet outstrips inflation. Source: The Toronto Star.
 Rethinking Universal Service for the 21st Century and an All-IP World. Source: The Canadian Media Concentration Research Project.
, A New Internet Tax in Canada Would Keep Indigenous People Offline. Source: Motherboard.
 Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Mandate Letter. Source. The Office of the Prime Minister.
 Connecting Canadians: The Future of TV is the Internet. Source: OpenMedia.
 From the BDU-Model of TV to Radical Unbundling: Common Carriage & Culture Policy for the Internet Age. Source: The Canadian Media Concentration Research Project.
 Beyond a Netflix Tax: Why Melanie Joly’s Comments Point to Regulation of Internet Services. Source: Michael Geist.
 All of OpenMedia’s submissions to the CRTC on basic Internet service levels. Source: OpenMedia.
We are not opposed to taxation or cultural policy.
We are opposed to ineffective ideas that undermine policies Canadians were promised.
We support Canadian content and finding sustainable ways to fund its creation – but these proposed Internet fees are the wrong way to do it. Forcing the open Internet to subsidize struggling industries is not the way forward.
These new Internet Taxes will raise prices, harm innovation, and keep more people offline – especially in indigenous communities and prevent them from creating new content.10
Meet the Proposed Internet Fees:
The Internet Tax: A new fee that would be imposed onto the monthly bills of Canada’s Internet subscribers to promote Canadian culture in the 21st century. This would force Internet prices to go up and keep even more Canadians offline.11
The Netflix Tax: Imposing a new tax for online content companies would be inappropriate given the advantages vertically-integrated telecom giants – companies that both own communications infrastructure, as well as content empires, like TV stations and magazines – have over providers such as Netflix. Such a tax would favour Big Telecom and stifle new delivery platforms – exactly the opposite of what Canadians are calling for.12
Both are being pushed on the government right now, and will drive Canadians’ bills for Internet access and services into the stratosphere.
Inside sources tell us that Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly could slip these controversial taxes into the next federal budget, which comes in a matter of weeks.
There's no time to lose — these punitive taxes could be taken forward any day now.
So What Should We Do Instead?
There are better ways to promote quality content in the 21st century.13 There are a range of solutions available to decision-makers that wouldn’t raise the cost of access for Canadians:
Close the loopholes to ensure all online services are paying their sale tax (GST/HST) in Canada and direct part of this money back to funding and promotion of Canadian content.14
Direct part of the proceeds of wireless spectrum auction proceeds to fund Canadian content and improved connectivity (e.g., as “digital endowment fund” that fuels a larger national broadband strategy).
Utilize funding already on the books from the general tax base. Taxing ISPs would amount to Minister Joly taxing one thriving sector in order to bail out another, setting a dangerous precedent.
Bridge the digital divide and ensure all Canadians can be content creators. Canadians pay some of highest prices in the industrialized word for Internet access. One of the best ways to support Canadian content production is to ensure all Canadians have access to more affordable, high-speed Internet connections, so we can all be content creators.15
There are so many ways to support Canadian culture and many are worthy of support. But these Internet fees are just plain backwards – it makes online content production more expensive and rewards broadcaster executives who are increasingly out of touch with how people interact with media.
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