Tech players push back against Online News Act

Last Friday, representatives from Google testified before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to answer questions from MPs about its decision to block some Canadians from accessing news.

Sabrina Geremia, the head of Google Canada and by Jason Kee, public policy manager for Google, were questioned by MPs.

The executives were asked to provide internal documents related to Google’s decision to block news links — such as internal emails, texts and other messages — but that has not yet happened.

The meeting became contentious when committee members compelled Google’s witness to swear an oath that they were telling the truth.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen an example of the witnesses having to be sworn in (in) the middle of the meeting because the committee didn’t believe they were being truthful,” Liberal MP Anthony Housefather said.

Facebook-parent Meta Platforms Inc also said last weekend that it would end availability of news content for Canadians on its platforms if the country’s Online News Act passes in its current form.