Chaos Was Always The Point Of Bill C-18

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on July 19, 2023

Most media outlets are covering Bill C-18 from the angle that it has failed or backfired on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government after Google and Meta stopped showing Canadians news on their platforms in the country. 

From my perspective, although I would never accuse Trudeau or Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez of being geniuses, the Liberals clearly knew what C-18 was going to do. Trudeau and everyone else in his government knew Big Tech companies were not going to pay for Canadian news to be posted on their platforms, but they wanted to pick a fight with Google and Meta for the express purpose of shutting down online news in Canada. 

It is as silly as radio manufacturers having to pay radio stations because their radios happen to pick up their frequencies. 

In the Liberals’ case, their policy is even more absurd because Bill C-11 allows them to try and manipulate social media and video platform (like Youtube) algorithms in order to have certified “Canadian” content recommended to users in Canada. So if Big Tech did decide to pay up to C-18, the Liberals could then control who gets that money by manipulating what news and video content is shown. 

The Big Tech companies have smartly decided to just pull out of offering Canadian news on their platforms to avoid the costs of paying Canadian journalists and news organizations for hosting their content. 

Justin Trudeau would have been happy for Big Tech to pay up to the legacy media, but Big Tech shutting down news suits him just fine too. 

Not only can Justin Trudeau and the Liberals now get into a dumb fight with Big Tech companies to distract from all their ongoing scandals and poor performance on the economy, but this calms down the news cycle for Trudeau. 

These days the vast majority of people get their news from Facebook and Google’s home page, and now far fewer people are being able to read Canadian News, which is a benefit to Trudeau’s problem-plagued government. There is an unfair assumption many people make that just because they don’t hear much about their government officials they must be doing a good job, which is why less publicity helps Trudeau to potentially gird up his image.

This will create a lot of chaos around covering the news in Canada, but that seems to be the point. Chaos in trying to get news out to the public benefits the party in power, and the Liberals seem to know this seeing as they aren’t backing down from C-18 despite the stated intention of the bill already flopping hard.

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.

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