Lobbyists Already Complaining They Aren’t Getting Enough from Bill C-11

Quebecor is upset that $200 million is a “paltry” sum and suggests that Bill C-11 was supposed to pay for all of its expenses.

While consumers are getting left out of the CRTC decision, one of the focuses of the recent decision was money. Specifically, how much free money are lobbyists getting out of the deal.

The attitude of “what am I getting?” from lobbyists have been really one of the core elements of the Online Streaming Act (formerly Bill C-11) from the very beginning. It’s that attitude of “I am important because I say so and someone else should pay for all of my expenses because of that”. Obviously, they wrap that greed in silver tongued language to try and hide that naked greed. Things like, “We are an institution”, “We are Canadian culture”, “Online streamers need to pay their fair share”, or “regulate Big Tech” take the place of the true attitude of “I want my free lunch and I want it now.”

Ultimately, it boils down to the cultural elite in this country wanting a free ride by shovelling their expenses to a third party. They don’t want to go through the trouble of creating content that people want to consume. They just want to enjoy free no stings attached revenue streams forever. The world is there to serve their interests and if it doesn’t, that is a failure on the world and not them.

Some people might look at this and say that I’m exaggerating. Some people might be convinced that what the lobbyists want is a small chunk of change to make up for a minor shortfall in their budget rather than expecting the platforms to pay for a huge chunk of their business expenses. I can tell you right now that this isn’t an exaggeration. So, here is Quebecor, in their own words, saying how disappointed they are with the money and are expecting much more to pay for their expenses:

For those who can’t read the image, here is what it says:

Online Streaming Act

“Whereas the contributions of foreign online companies were originally supposed to help support Canada’s broadcasting system, today’s CRTC decision is a missed opportunity to inject new money into our ecosystem.

In the end, the foreign online companies will be required only to contribute a tiny fraction of their revenues to the Canada Media Fund and will be able to continue producing Canadian content as they do now, and nothing more.  Given that Quebecor alone spent over $415 million on Canadian content in 2023, the new contributions, estimated at $200 million for all foreign online companies, are paltry.  What’s more, at a time when we have been repeatedly calling for urgent action to ensure the survival of our broadcasting companies, which play a vital role in news coverage, it is inconceivable that the CRTC would exclude broadcasters such as TVA from the support for local news.

Once again, our businesses are losing out because of the threats from foreign giants.”

Pierre Karl Peladeau, President and Chief Executive Officer,
– Quebecor

OK, now let’s explain to Quebecor how things work in the real world. When you need money, and most people do, people do things called “getting a job”. Money, as a general rule, is earned. You aren’t exactly handed free money for life under every circumstance because that’s not how the real world operates. So, if you are running a business, you have to do things like “investing” your money. The idea is that you spend money to produce a product or service that you can later sell or make money off of it. I know, this is a completely mind blowing concept to Quebecor, that’s what a lot of businesses do.

In this circumstance, you are getting some free money out of the deal anyway – very undeserved money, but money nevertheless. Congratulations on scamming the government and platforms out of that money with the ridiculous lies of a culture going extinct. Count your blessings and move on.

Seriously, though, the level of greedy entitlement expressed by this company is staggering. These lobbyists got away with murder on this debate and they have the audacity to complain that what they got isn’t enough. This is why people don’t like the lobbyists in the debate. They demand a free ride in this world and anything that falls short is “inconceivable”. One can only imagine how much angrier they are going to be when a bunch of the streaming platforms decide to not play ball and pull up stakes from the Canadian market and cause the dollar figure to drop as a result.

If you want yet another reason why these companies don’t deserve that free money in the first place, well, thank Quebecor for handing you that reason on a silver platter.

(Via @MGeist)

Drew Wilson on Mastodon, Twitter and Facebook.

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