Google contacts each MP over fast-tracking of online news bill through Commons

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Google is taking the extraordinary step of writing to every MP and senator expressing fears that the online news bill is being rushed through Parliament without proper debate.

In its letter, Google warns that the bill needs more scrutiny because of its far-reaching implications, including for the way the search engine ranks content and elevates information from trusted sources such as the government.

Bill C-18, as it is known in Parliament, is designed to support the Canadian news industry and would make online platforms such as Google and Meta compensate media organizations for reusing their journalism.

Conservative House leader John Brassard accused the government of stifling scrutiny by MPs by fast-tracking the bill through the Commons into committee with only a few hours of debate.

The government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In its letter, Google says it agrees with the bill's aim to support journalism, including financially and through regulations, but says there are flaws in the proposed legislation that could force Google to support foreign state-owned news outlets.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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