It’s done, Bill C-11, Canada’s new Online Streaming Act, has passed the House of Commons and Senate, received royal assent, and been made into law.
Welcome to the end times.
Or maybe not.
A few people have asked me to write about C-11, because they weren’t sure what it would mean. I don’t blame them. But on one hand I was a bit busy with stuff, and on the other hand, reading the bill it became clear that it’s designed not to be very specific about a lot of the things people actually care about. Instead, a lot of the details are just kind of left up to the CRTC, or to the government’s instructions to the commission. The law just establishes a legal framework for regulating online media, and corrects or updates various elements of the Broadcasting Act.
On May 12, the CRTC took the next step in this process, launching a formal consultation process for new regulations on broadcasting. It’s a long process, with a hearing in November, and they expect to actually have new rules put in place in 2024.
Here, I’ll explain a bit of what’s actually happening (and what’s not happening) with this new law and how it’s being implemented. In short: you’re probably not going to notice that much of a difference.