Liberals Are Trying to Price Independent Media Out of the Market

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on February 12, 2021

The Federal Liberal Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has been pressing on Big Tech platforms like Google News in order to supposedly get compensation for news websites that they are hosting. 

Google has attempted to preempt Liberal legislation on the matter by releasing their new service News Showcase which is a platform where Google will be partnering with news companies for compensated hosting of their content, but to this Guilbeault said, “If Google wants to enter into business agreements with newspapers, it’s totally legitimate for them to do that and vice versa,” but that those sorts of voluntary agreements are “not what we’re trying to do.” 

In spite of Google moving to create platforms to host news content where the content creators can partner with them for compensation for hosting their work, it is not enough for Guilbeault and some in the media.

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Guilbeault explained that “those same media entities are calling on me to act and table the legislation. They too believe we should have a robust system that is not contingent on what Google may or may not want to do,” which seems fair enough if one assumes he is talking about a diverse range of “media entities”. 

The inherent issue with what Guilbeault and the Liberals are doing is that the supposed group of “media entities” calling on them to act may not have the best interests of the whole industry in mind, especially for independent media.

Two of the main backers of potential legislation is the media advocacy group Friends of Canadian Broadcasting (FCB), and News Media Canada (NMC), who are both on their face seemingly representative of the entire media industry.


With the smallest ounce of research would reveal them to be both large corporate media advocacy groups with little to no connections to truly independent media organizations.

FCB openly supports measures to crack down on so-called “hate speech” online and even criticized the Liberals proposed amendment to amend the Broadcasting Act as not going far enough, and should make platforms like Facebook legally liable for the content of individual users. FCB also advocates for further taxpayer subsidization of the CBC to make it more “independent” due to not needing any advertiser revenue to operate.

The issues with NMC are less apparent right away, but by simply looking at the media companies that the members of the board are from it becomes obvious how that NMC is a Big Media group. Even those on the board seemingly from small local news outlets, like, are merely working for subsidiaries of larger media conglomerates.

This strikes at the potential ulterior motivations of the Guilbeault and the Liberals, along with these media advocacy groups, for demanding compensation from news aggregation platforms.


If Google News is forced to begin paying every media source that they host on their platform then they may have to be more selective of who will be hosted, which is going to affect smaller independent media companies first. 

Effectively the Liberals and media “advocacy” groups could very well be boxing out smaller more niche publications in favour of mainstream publications like the CBC, or National Post that most users of Google News and Apple News would expect to be available. The Rebel, True North, Spencer Fernando, The National Telegraph, and Canadaland likely would not make the cut if money became an issue for Google, even though smaller independent media organizations would be perfectly happy to be hosted for no compensation just for the exposure alone. 

It isn’t confirmed whether or not potential legislation from the Liberal government would have a significant negative effect on independent media, but their ongoing hostility towards it, as well as the mainstream media’s motive to suppress competition, leaves a firm doubt that they will treat the independent press fairly. 

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

3 responses to “Liberals Are Trying to Price Independent Media Out of the Market”

  1. RDG says:

    Can’t stand competition, eh?

  2. John says:

    FCB has always been FCBC (Friends of the CBC).

  3. Jon Steel says:

    If it doesn’t benefit the Liberal end game, it isn’t considered. One must search out news balance from the smaller publications these days, to not be warped by the bought and paid for Liberal bent promotion as seen in the larger government funded media outlets. Further, the CBC news network has outlived it’s validity. Unless the Liberals wholly buy it out as their own propaganda machine (which it has become).