Throne Speech promises tech giants will pay tax

Today’s Throne Speech, which introduces the federal government’s directions and goals for the upcoming Parliamentary session, contained an encouraging sign for Canadian news publishers.

Under the theme of building a stronger and more resilient Canada, the government signalled that it will address the ongoing issue of corporate tax avoidance by digital giants, such as Facebook and Google.

“Web giants are taking Canadians’ money while imposing their own priorities. Things must change, and will change,” the speech read.

“The Government will act to ensure their revenue is shared more fairly with our creators and media, and will also require them to contribute to the creation, production, and distribution of our stories, on screen, in lyrics, in music, and in writing.”

News Media Canada has long reminded the government about the anticompetitive behaviours of the Facebook-Google duopoly and its negative impact on news publishers.

“This is a strong step in the right direction,” said John Hinds, president and CEO of News Media Canada.

“We are glad that the evidence we’ve been sharing with the federal government is being taken to heart.”

Over the course of the summer, Steven Guilbeault, the minister of Canadian Heritage, signalled that some kind of regulation towards tech giants would be forthcoming.

This move comes on the heels Australia, France, and several other democratic governments around the world sounding the alarm about the unchecked power of platforms.

To read a full copy of today’s Throne Speech, please click here.