Google Inc. says it is withdrawing links to Canadian news on its platform after failing to receive the assurances it wanted from the federal government over the Online News Act.
The tech giant announced on Thursday that it will be removing Canadians’ ability to search for news when the law takes effect because it believes the act is “unworkable.”
Facebook, which has already announced it will block the ability of Canadians to read and share news on its platform in response to the legislation, has written to news outlets it already has deals with, including The Globe and Mail, telling them that it is cancelling the agreements as of July 31.
Google’s move Thursday followed attempts by Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez to keep the company on board, sending the tech giant an official letter on Wednesday to clarify how Google would be affected by the new law.
But the letter, which came after Google asked the government to provide clarity in writing to address its concerns, provided insufficient assurances, the company said.
The Online News Act, which got royal assent this month, is designed to support the Canadian news industry, which has seen its advertising migrate to the Big Tech platforms. It would make Facebook’s parent, Meta, and Google negotiate deals to compensate news outlets for posting or linking to their work.
This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Ian Bailey. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you're reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.
AFN national chief ousted in vote - The Assembly of First Nations has voted overwhelmingly to dismiss National Chief RoseAnne Archibald, a stunning rebuke to a leader whose term has been beset by acrimony since she was elected two years ago. Story here.
Canada urged to replace aging submarines - Canada is being advised to quickly replace its aging submarines with ones that can operate more effectively in the ice-bound Arctic, a region where the country’s top soldier has previously warned Ottawa only has a “tenuous hold” on its outer reaches. Story here.
Suspect in University of Waterloo stabbing motivated by hate: Police - Investigators believe the man accused of stabbing three people in a gender studies class at the University of Waterloo this week was motivated by hate. Story here.
Newspaper chain merger may not address structural challenges - The potential merger of the country’s two largest newspaper chains will lighten a crippling debt load for one of the partners, Postmedia Network Canada Corp., but industry experts say the union would do little to address the media companies’ structural challenges. Story here.
Ottawa’s Accenture outsourcing agreement sole-source contract - Ottawa’s $208-million outsourcing agreement with consulting firm Accenture Inc. to deliver the pandemic-support program for businesses was a sole-source contract, the government has confirmed. Story here.
New Brunswick erred on sexual-orientation policy: LeBlanc - Federal Infrastructure Minister Dominic LeBlanc, a New Brunswick MP, says it was a mistake for the provincial government to change its policy on sexual orientation in schools. Story here.
Canada has extended cyberdefence to Ukraine, Latvia - The Canadian government has quietly designated Ukraine and Latvia’s networks as “systems of importance,” extending the services of its cyberintelligence agency to cover the two eastern European countries. Story here from CBC.
Western provinces post surpluses - The Alberta government says it ended the 2022-23 budget year with a petro-powered $11.6-billion surplus, up from its third-quarter estimate of $10.4-billion. Story here. Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan government has announced a surplus of more than $1.5-billion for the 2022-23 fiscal year. Story here.
THIS AND THAT
Today in the Commons - The House of Commons is now on a break until Sept. 18. The Senate resumes sitting on Sept. 19.
Deputy Prime Minister’s Day - Chrystia Freeland, in Quebec City, held private meetings, and toured an advanced technology manufacturing facility. She was accompanied by Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, also MP for Quebec City. Ms. Freeland was scheduled to take media questions.
Ministers on the Road - Defence Minister Anita Anand, on a visit to the United Kingdom, visited a military training camp to meet with Canadian and Ukrainian troops training Ukrainian recruits, delivered remarks on Canada’s defence priorities to the Royal United Services Institute, and held a media availability with Ben Wallace, the British Secretary of State for Defence. Treasury Board President Mona Fortier, in Ottawa, and accompanied by Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce, announced the creation of new child-care spaces. Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu, also Minister for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario, in Thunder Bay, Ont., made an infrastructure announcement. Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay, in Stratford, PEI, announced support for the Trilogy Wellness Centre, which provides access to health care and other services for veterans and their families. International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan, also Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, made an infrastructure announcement in Williams Lake, B.C. Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, in the town of Kipling, Sask., announced funding to Bekevar Wind Ltd. for a wind energy project.
Dancho expecting first child - Raquel Dancho, the Conservative MP for the Winnipeg-area riding of Kildonan-St. Paul and opposition public-safety critic, says here that she is expecting her first child this November.
Ontario by-elections - By-elections have been called in two provincial ridings for July 27. Voters will go to the polls in the Ottawa-area riding of Kanata-Carleton, where Merrilee Fullerton, the former social services minister, announced her resignation as a Progressive Conservative member of the legislature effective at the end of March. There’s also a by-election in Scarborough-Guildwood, where Liberal Mitzie Hunter quit to run as mayor of Toronto.
PRIME MINISTER'S DAY
Private meetings in Ottawa.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, in Halifax, held a news conference, and later held a meet-and-greet event in Truro, N.S.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was travelling on Thursday.
No schedules available for other party leaders.
Thursday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast features Globe and Mail personal finance columnist Rob Carrick on his recent survey on parents charging their adult kids for rent and trends when it comes to multi-generational homes. More than half of parents surveyed by the Globe and Mail say their adult kids pay rent while they live at home. The Decibel is here.
Provincial governments - Despite low performance ratings, both the B.C. NDP and the Ontario Progressive Conservatives are leading in voter support, according to newly released research from the Angus Reid Institute. Details here.
The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on a recipe to overhaul Canada’s competition law: “That groceries are expensive these days or that the grocery market is controlled by a few large companies isn’t breaking news. So it verges on stating the obvious when the Competition Bureau on Tuesday declared that more competition is necessary in the sector. The bureau’s industry study makes useful recommendations – such as the need for stronger independent grocers and drawing international companies to Canada – but there is more to be learned about the state of competition in what the bureau hasn’t been able to do, such as compel disclosures when it examines the grocery business.”
Robin Guy and David van Hemmen (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on strikes at West Coast ports are a grave economic threat – government needs to act: “Before the pandemic, we lived in a relatively comfortable world of globalization and efficient transportation networks, with stocked shelves and stable prices. But it has become painfully clear now that each supply chain disruption, whether caused by the pandemic, devastating wildfires or floods, comes with many costs, including higher prices for products we use every day or a shortage of products on store shelves. The most recent threat is found in the form of impending labour disruptions across Canada’s West Coast ports, including two of the three largest ports in Canada, the Port of Vancouver and the Port of Prince Rupert.”
Lisa Kerr (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how the outrage of Paul Bernardo’s transfer neglects the reality of prison conditions: “The backlash to Mr. Bernardo’s transfer rests on a presumption that his punishment has been somehow alleviated or reduced. In the public imagination, we equate harsher punishment with a higher security level. But that is not necessarily so. What matters more than the label is how an individual prisoner experiences incarceration.”
Matt Malone (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how Canada’s access to information system is not ready for AI: “The Canadian access to information (ATI) system has a laudable purpose. By creating rights of access to records belonging to, or under the control of, federal institutions, it seeks to enhance democracy and foster debate about the conduct of those institutions. However, the reality, as a new study from Parliament makes all too clear, is quite different. Information Commissioner Caroline Maynard, whose office investigates complaints of individuals and organizations about access to information, affirmed in March she has “no confidence that bolstering Canadians’ right of access to information will figure prominently in the government’s financial priorities.” Artificial intelligence (AI) only promises to make the system a lot worse.”