Canada proposes bill to regulate streaming

The proposed bill will lump streamers like Netflix and Disney+ into the Broadcast Act, requiring them to contribute to the creation and distribution of Canadian stories.
November 4, 2020

The government of Canada is introducing amendments to its Broadcasting Act that would require both streamers and broadcasters operating in the country to contribute to the creation, production and distribution of local stories in official (French and English) and Indigenous languages.

With the proposed bill, online broadcasters would fall under the Broadcasting Act. As such, streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ would be subject to the Act and oversight from the local regulatory body. The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) establishes rules for all broadcasting services, including minimum local content requirements or financing commitments.

In particular, the bill would give the CRTC the ability to require streaming services to contribute to the creation of Canadian content. The government of Canada projects that, should the CRTC require online broadcasters to contribute financially at the same rate as linear players, it would result in upwards US$630 million (CAD$830 million) of spend in local music, film and television by 2023. To date, streaming services have not been subject to the same regulatory system as linear broadcasters.

The bill would also update broadcasting and regulatory policies to reflect Canadian society (which includes provisions for gender equality, LGBTQ+ and racialized communities, persons with disabilities and Indigenous peoples). It also proposes a modernization of the CRTC’s enforcement powers.

With files from

Image courtesy of Unsplash

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Alexandra Whyte is Kidscreen's News & Social Media Editor. Contact her at



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