OTTAWA — Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault is promising to table legislation to reform Canada’s broadcasting and telecom rules within a matter of months, but is offering few details on what the proposed changes will be.
On Wednesday, an expert panel delivered a report recommending sweeping new powers and responsibilities be given to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, including oversight of foreign streaming services like Netlifx, Amazon and Apple.
The panel also recommended Ottawa immediately require these streaming companies to start collecting and remitting GST/HST.
Guilbeault says he agrees that companies operating in Canada should pay taxes and suggested a measure to tax online streaming services could be coming in the upcoming federal budget.
He also suggests he agrees with the call for a registration regime that would require online streaming giants that benefit from operating in Canada to invest in Canadian programming.
Guilbeault said companies like Netflix are already spending money to create content in Canada, but the government wants to see this happen in a more organized way and to ensure Canadian cultural content is created and available to audiences here and around the world.