Ottawa has failed to bring Google onside with its proposed Bill C-18 regulations, setting the stage for the tech giant to block users from accessing Canadian news.
With the Online News Act expected to come into full force on December 19, the proposed regulations published by the Heritage Department last month have not assuaged concerns as the standoff over the law persists.
Though the federal government tried compelling tech companies to pay Canadian publishers for using their content, support for the policy fell through.
Despite setting a $230 million cap on what Google and Facebook would provide government-approved publishers, Google would be on the hook for $172 million.
However, a spokesperson with the company told The Globe and Mail the proposals have not amendmended the ‘fundamental flaws’ of Bill C-18.
“Unfortunately, the proposed regulations fail to sufficiently address the critical structural problems with C-18 that regrettably were not dealt with during the legislative process,” reads the statement.
“We continue to have serious concerns that the core issues ultimately may not be solvable through regulation and that legislative changes may be necessary,” it added.
Despite the persistent standoff, Google said they continue to engage the federal government about their concerns with the Online News Act.
“[We] will await the publication of final regulations,” they said, having met recently with Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge to discuss legislation in private.
With this round of public consultations on the regulations now closed, the Heritage Department has informed Parliament they would consider constructive ideas for improvements.
“Canadians expect tech giants to pay their fair share for news,” said Ariane Joazard-Belizaire, a spokesperson for Heritage Canada. “We look forward to reviewing the submissions.”