Despite positive signals sent by Justin Trudeau yesterday, Google joins forces with Meta and announces that it will censor all links to Canadian and Quebec media from its search results, a blow for the federal government and professional journalism .
• Read also: Meta will terminate all its agreements with Canadian media
Google users will no longer see this news on Search, News, and Discover, as well as the Google News Showcase in Canada “when the law takes effect,” Kent Walker, president of Global Affairs at Google, said in a blog post. blog posted on Thursday.
Listen to Marie Montpetit’s LCN segment via QUB-radio:
“The government has given us no reason to believe that the regulatory process will be able to solve the structural problems of the legislation,” continues Mr. Walker, saying he is “disappointed to come to this”.
Just yesterday, Justin Trudeau said at a press conference “that with Google, we continue to have good conversations”.
Listen to the interview of the host of the podcast “Mon Carnet”, by Bruno Guglielminetti:
Google and Meta (owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) are at war with Ottawa over the Online News Act, which will force them to share a share of revenue obtained from journalistic content.
After months of explicit threats and “tests”, the powerful multinationals went on the attack after the law was finally passed in the Senate last week.
Along with Google, the agreements that had been concluded by Meta with The Canadian Press, The dutyInformation Co-ops, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail will all end in the near future, the QMI Agency has learned.
- Listen to the Gagnon-Montpetit meeting with Karine Gagnon, assistant director of information at the Quebec newspaper, at the microphone of Marie Montpetit via QUB-radio:
Malcolm Kirk, president of The Canadian Press, wrote a memo to employees Thursday saying the current cohort of Meta scholars would be the last.
“We must carefully analyze the other financial and operational implications of the abrupt end of this program. We will keep you posted,” he said.
A Meta spokesperson said the company would not comment at this time.
The president of the Professional Federation of Journalists of Quebec (FPJQ), Michaël Nguyen, asks the government not to “bend” before this new “snub to democracy” by “quasi-monopolies”.
Joined by TVA Nouvelles, a representative of Google Canada says that Bill C-18 is not viable for the American conglomerate.
“Bill C-18 has been passed and remains unenforceable. The government has given us no reason to believe that the regulatory process will be able to solve the structural problems of the legislation. As a result, we have informed the government that we have made the extremely difficult decision to suspend the linking of Canadian news links in our Search, News and Discover products in Canada.
Called to react, the Minister of Canadian Heritage was sorry to see Google, but also Meta, to act in this way.
“All options are on the table. Personally, I remain optimistic about the continuation of discussions with Google, but you have, we cannot have multinationals, because they are big, because they are strong, because they have big lawyers, come to our house and tell us what to do and come and intimidate Quebecers and Canadians, and come and say: ‘OK, you other MPs, you were elected by the people, but it doesn’t matter, we are the ones’ call’ the ‘shots'”, denounced the minister Pablo Rodriguez in an interview with TVA Nouvelles.
The Bloc Québécois and the NDP have asked Ottawa to retaliate by stopping the purchase of advertisements on these platforms. The federal government purchased $11.4 million in ads from Meta and $8.7 million from Google in 2021-2022. In Quebec, the Parti Québécois demands that Quebec do the same.
A law-breaker from the start, Canadian internet law expert Michael Geist says minister Pablo Rodriguez made a “own goal” with a law “that has successfully taken millions out of the industry. information and leave everyone in a much worse position than if they had done nothing at all”.
“These companies obviously want to maintain their almost completely dominant position online and while that may be beneficial to their shareholders, it is certainly not in the public interest.”
– Michaël Nguyen, president of the Professional Federation of Journalists of Quebec (FPJQ)
Frankly, who do they think they are, these people? These intimidation tactics are shameful. Whether they like it or not, it’s time these billionaires pay their fair share.”
– Alexandre Boulerice, deputy leader of the NDP
“We are in the middle of a game of arm wrestling where Meta and Google have decided to play the big arms […]. We invite the government not to bend the backbone in front of these multinationals and signify all our support in this direction.
– Martin Champoux, spokesperson for the Bloc Québécois on Heritage
- With the collaboration of Patrick Bellerose