MPs Were Lobbied on Average Once Every Four Days Prior to Bill C-18 Being Tabled

Lobbying records suggest that corporate lobbyists, met once every 4 days with MPs to push Bill C-18.

When we analyzed Bill C-18, one thing was very apparent: this is a bill written by lobbyists representing large corporations. This at the expense of smaller players. So, for us, it is no secret that this is the product of lobbying.

Now, we are learning that lobbying records pretty much what we’ve suspected all along: that there was a heavy lobbying campaign by corporate lobbyist organization, News Media Canada, prior to Bill C-18 being tabled. In fact, on the lead up to Bill C-18 being tabled, MPs were lobbied, on average, once every four days:

So what convinced the government to introduce a bill that adopts such an extreme approach? A look at the registered lobbyist meetings just since the election last September provides a hint. There have been 52 registered meetings with Ministers, MPs, and senior officials or roughly one meeting every four days since election day nearly 8 months ago. This represents an astonishing level of access and may help explain why the concerns of independent media and the broader public are missing from the bill.

The post contains a sample of the lobbying records which shows numerous MPs of all political stripes getting lobbied hard. A link also points users in the right direction to determine for themselves how much lobbying went on behind the scenes.

The implication in all of this is that it could lead some to think that this is where all the news media bailout money went. Between COVID relief funds as well as permanent journalism relief programs, the media has received millions in bailouts (some permanent). So, after receiving all this bailout money, they now suddenly are able to afford such a heavy lobbyist presence within the halls of government. It makes one wonder just how much all that government funding actually went to funding the journalism operations in the first place.

Regardless, the Internet in Canada is now faced with a plethora of bad bills that threaten to upend copyright law and build systems that conspire to eliminate the competition online.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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