Tag: Canada

Google and Canada reach deal to avert news ban over Online News Act

Reuters A Google signReuters

Google has reached a deal with Canada to avert a news blockade over a law that forces tech giants to pay for news content.

Google had vowed to remove links to news in Canada in response to the Online News Act, due to take effect on 19 December.

Social media giant Meta is already blocking news on its platforms as a result of the law.

The deal comes after months of talks between the search giant and Canada.

The law – which is aimed at Google and Meta, owner of Facebook and Instagram – requires tech firms to negotiate payment agreements with news outlets.

The agreement announced on Wednesday requires Google pay C$100m (£58m, $74m) annually, indexed to inflation, to news outlets.

An announcement by Canadian Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge on Wednesday said the funding would be used “for a wide range of news businesses across the country, including independent news businesses and those from Indigenous and official-language minority communities”.

The statement said that Google would pay a “single collective” which would distribute the funds to eligible news agencies “based on the number of full-time equivalent journalists engaged by those businesses”.

“A sustainable news ecosystem is good for everyone,” Ms St-Onge said, adding that newsrooms closing and laying off workers means that “the health of the Canadian news industry has never been more at risk”.

Google released a statement saying it is “pleased that the Government of Canada has committed to addressing our core issues” with the bill.

“While we work with the government through the exemption process based on the regulations that will be published shortly, we will continue sending valuable traffic to Canadian publishers,” the company’s statement continued.

Canada’s Online News Act was met with outrage from the tech companies when it was passed this summer, while

India Government Official Involved in US, Canada Assassination Plots: DOJ

  • An Indian government official was involved in an attempted assassination on US soil, the Justice Department says.
  • The official also appeared to be involved in the earlier killing of a Sikh separatist in Canada, according to the indictment.
  • Any involvement from India in the assassination scheme threatens US-India relations.

A member of the Indian government directed a foiled plot to assassinate a US citizen on American soil, according to a newly unsealed federal indictment.

The indictment, brought by federal prosecutors in Manhattan Wednesday, identifies the Indian official only as “CC-1” and describes them as a “Senior Field Employee” within India’s government with responsibilities in “Intelligence.”

The allegations are included in an updated criminal indictment against Nikhil Gupta, an Indian national who, according to a previous indictment first filed in June, hired a hitman for the assassination plot.

The victim in the plot was meant to be Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, according to the Washington Post. Pannum, a lawyer and citizen in the US and Canada, is a leader of a Sikh separatist movement that calls for an independent Sikh state in Punjab.

In May, the Indian government employee recruited Gupta to orchestrate the plot to kill Pannum, according to the Justice Department indictment. The two met in person in New Delhi at the time, prosecutors say.

Gupta, in turn, contacted another person to broker a deal with a hitman to carry out the plot in New York City, according to prosecutors. The two found another person who agreed to accept $100,000 to kill Pannum, the indictment says.

The Indian government employee also said he had another “target” in California, according to the indictment.

“We will

Canada says Google will pay $74 million annually to Canadian news industry under new online law

TORONTO (AP) — Canada’s government said Wednesday it reached a deal with Google for the company to contribute $100 million Canadian dollars annually to the country’s news industry to comply with a new Canadian law requiring tech companies to pay publishers for their content.

The agreement removes a threat by Google to block the ability to search for Canadian news on Google in Canada. Facebook and Instagram parent company Meta already has been blocking Canadian news since earlier this year.

“Google has agreed to properly support journalists, including local journalism,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. “Unfortunately Meta continues to completely abdicate any responsibility towards democratic institutions.”

Pascale St-Onge, the minister of Canadian heritage, said that Google will contribute $100 million Canadian ($74 million) — indexed to inflation — in financial support annually for a wide range of news businesses across the country.

“It’s good for the news sector. If there is a better deal struck elsewhere in the world, Canada reserves the right to reopen the regulation,” St-Onge said at a news conference.

“This shows that this legislation works. That it is equitable. And now it’s on Facebook to explain why they are leaving their platform to disinformation and misinformation instead of sustaining our news system,” she said.

Canada in late June passed the Online News Act to require tech giants to pay publishers for linking to or otherwise repurposing their content online. Meta responded to the law by blocking news content in Canada on its platforms. Google’s owner Alphabet previously had said it planned to do the same when the law takes effect in December.

Meta has said the Online News Act “is based on the incorrect premise that Meta benefits unfairly from news content shared on our platforms, when the reverse is true.”

Meta’s change means that

Legal cannabis in Canada: Five years in, what’s the industry worth?

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s business and investing news quiz. Join us each week to test your knowledge of the stories making the headlines. Our business reporters come up with the questions, and you can show us what you know.

This week in business and investing: Five years after the Trudeau government legalized recreational cannabis, the early promise of Canada’s legal recreational market has largely gone up in smoke. The industry’s biggest companies – Canopy Growth, Aurora Cannabis and Tilray – are downsizing and grappling with a longer march to profitability than many once imagined. Other companies have folded, declared bankruptcy or been sold off. Deloitte once forecast a Canadian legal cannabis industry worth more than $22-billion – but what is the state of it now?

Meanwhile, two airlines made waves this week: One walked back its controversial bid to tweak its loyalty program, and another is experimenting with a new approach to boarding (for some, lucky passengers). Plus, more ads, more robots and more job cuts topped the business headlines.

Do you remember these stories? Take our quiz below to test your recall for the week ending Oct. 19.

1Legal weed celebrated its fifth birthday this week. According to Statistics Canada, how much is Canada’s legal cannabis sector valued at?

a. $10.8-billion

b. $6.4-billion

c. $22.6-billion

d. $42.0-billion

a. $10.8-billion. Canada legalized recreational cannabis on Oct. 17, 2018. Yet the early promise of the industry – Deloitte predicted it could be worth $22.6-billion – has gone up in smoke. In its place is a sobering reality: Legalization has fallen well short of expectations.

2Coming soon to a Netflix near you: more ads. The streaming giant recently announced the following:

a. Product placement customized to individual viewers

b. Additional ads for mobile viewers

Canada news industry body backs Google’s concerns about online news law

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Google LLC is seen at the Google Store Chelsea in New York City

The logo of Google LLC is seen at the Google Store Chelsea in New York City, U.S., January 20, 2023. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

OTTAWA, Oct 12 (Reuters) – A Canadian news industry body on Thursday lent support to some of Google’s concerns about a new law that aims to make large internet companies share advertising revenue with news publishers in the country.

Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google has made a “good faith articulation of legitimate concerns” that the Canadian government should address while finalizing rules to implement the law, said News Media Canada (NMC), which represents Canada’s top newspapers, including the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star.

“We are in agreement with many of the issues they have raised,” NMC Chief Executive Officer Paul Deegan said in a statement first reported by the Globe.

The Online News Act, part of a global trend to make internet giants pay for news, passed the Canadian parliament in June and the government is finalizing rules that are expected to be released by a Dec. 19 deadline.

Canada tried addressing tech companies’ concerns about the law in draft rules released in September, but Google and Meta Platforms META.O were not convinced.

Google has raised concerns about the law establishing links to news stories as the basis of payment and said the proposed regulations did not address problems like imposing potentially uncapped liability on the company and limits on how it can support the news industry.

“We are aligned that there should be a firm ceiling, rather than a floor on financial liability,” Deegan said in the statement.

NMC also agrees with Google that eligible news publishers must have an online presence and that non-monetary measures such as training and product can be part of the remuneration, Deegan said.

“We will continue to

Canada Online News Act regulations

The federal government has released draft regulations for its Online News Act and revealed a new exemption that would allow Meta and Google to pay a certain amount to a group of news outlets.

For Google, the figure is $172 million a year. For Facebook’s parent company, it’s $62 million.

Instead of reaching deals with all major news outlets, the tech giants now have the option to reach a deal with a collective group that would include independent and minority language outlets. The minimum threshold could also include non-monetary contributions to Canadian journalism.

The act, also known as Bill C-18, received Royal Assent in June of this year. It’s aimed at getting large tech corporations like Google and Meta to pay Canadian news outlets to share their content online.

In a Friday news release, the feds say the proposed regulations will be published Saturday in the Canada Gazette, which is the official newspaper of the Government of Canada. The government says the regulations, along with the accompanying Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement, will remain published for a 30-day public consultation period.

“The government welcomes the participation of businesses, academics, civil society and all Canadians,” the government said.

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The feds say the proposed regulations will provide clarity on which platforms will have to abide by the act and outline processes for getting an exemption from it.

“To obtain an exemption, platforms must enter into agreements supporting the diverse production of Canadian news in communities across Canada. The total value of agreements must meet a certain threshold in order to qualify for an exemption,” the government said.

After the consultation period, the final regulations will also be published in the government newspaper. After that, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will be bound by the regulations.

Regulatory process ‘not equipped

CEBA loans: Canada extending repayment deadline

Canada is giving small businesses in Canada more time to pay back emergency loans offered during the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday.

The Liberals have decided, after consistent calls from businesses, to give them another year to pay back their Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loans, despite previously taking the position that repayment deadlines were “final and cannot be changed.”

“We know that some need a bit more runway,” Trudeau said.

Groups across Canada representing hundreds of thousands of small businesses have been pleading with the federal government to grant them an extension, ideally a two-year grace period and the ability to maintain access to the forgivable portion of their loans.

But, what was announced Thursday falls short of advocates’ expectations. 

The federal government created CEBA early in the pandemic as one of a suite of financial aid measures aimed at keeping businesses afloat in the face of forced closures and health restrictions.

Offering initially up to $40,000 to small businesses and non-profits that have experienced a loss of revenue due to COVID-19, an expansion was then granted, seeing businesses able to apply to receive up to $60,000 interest-free loans.

Open for applications between April 2020 and June 2021, the loans were approved for 898,271 businesses, totalling $49.2 billion in federal assistance.

In January 2022, in the wake of the Omicron variant surge and new restrictions, the Liberals announced they would be extending the repayment deadline by a year to the end of 2023. This meant that eligible businesses “in good standing” would have until Dec. 31, 2023 to repay and be eligible for debt forgiveness of one-third—up to $20,000—of their loan.

According to background provided by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s department,

Google and Meta block news in Canada

The Canadian government’s latest attempt to help out failing news outlets is having the opposite effect. Rather than comply with new regulations, Google, Facebook, and other major tech companies are cutting off Canadians’ access to locally produced online news.

“We’ve already seen Facebook and Instagram limit our posts, and Facebook was a pretty serious driver of traffic to us,” said Ezra Levant, the founder of Rebel News in Toronto. The independent conservative media company posts its video content on online platforms.

The crackdown on digital news follows the passage of the Online News Act in June by Canada’s governing Liberal Party. The law requires tech companies such as Google and Meta to pay certain Canadian news businesses for content that circulates on their platforms.

“It levels the playing field by putting the power of big tech in check and ensuring that even our smallest news business can benefit through this regime and receive fair compensation for their work,” Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said in a statement.

Over the next year, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission will outline the specifics of how the law will roll out.

Shortly after the Online News Act passed, Big Tech companies retaliated. Meta and Google announced not only would they not comply but they would also block Canadian news from their platforms.

Google said it would remove news links exclusively for Canadian publishers and readers from their search engines, Google News, and Google Discover. On Aug. 1, Meta announced that over the next few weeks it would remove Canadian news from Facebook and Instagram. Canadians will no longer have the ability to share or access news articles and various content posted by publishers and broadcasters, including those from international sources. As private entities, Meta and Google have no constitutional obligation to provide

Canada tries to address news law concerns, Facebook not convinced

A 3D printed Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta is seen in front of displayed Google logo in this illustration

A 3D printed Facebook’s new rebrand logo Meta is seen in front of displayed Google logo in this illustration taken on November 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File photo Acquire Licensing Rights

OTTAWA, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Canada unveiled draft rules on Friday for a law to compel internet giants to pay news outlets, saying it was addressing the tech companies’ concerns, but Facebook said it would stick to plans to block news in the country.

Canada said the draft rules, designed to implement the recently-passed Online News Act, would address worries at Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google and Facebook-parent Meta (META.O) that they could face an uncapped liability.

“The regulatory process is not equipped to address the fundamentally flawed premise of the Online News Act … today’s proposed regulations will not impact our business decision to end news availability in Canada,” Rachel Curran, Meta Canada’s head of public policy, said in a statement.

Canada’s Online News Act, part of a global trend to make internet giants pay for news, became law in June and is expected to come into effect in December after rules are finalized.

The legislation came after complaints from Canada’s media industry, which wants tighter regulation of tech companies to prevent them from elbowing news businesses out of the online advertising market.

Both Google and Facebook have said the law is unworkable for their businesses, and Meta ended news sharing on its platforms in Canada last month.

A spokesperson for Google said the company was reviewing the proposed regulations “to assess whether they resolve the serious structural issues” with the law.

According to the draft regulations, companies would need to voluntarily negotiate deals with news publishers and pay a portion of their global revenues, based on a set calculation.

The draft proposals are expected to raise C$172 million ($126.6 million)

Google to remove news from search in Canada over new law | Internet News

Google has announced plans to remove Canadian news articles from its search engine and other products in Canada when a law requiring major online platforms to pay news publishers takes effect in the country.

In a statement on Thursday, Google said Canada’s Bill C-18 – the so-called Online News Act, which was passed last week – “remains unworkable”.

“We have now informed the Government that when the law takes effect, we unfortunately will have to remove links to Canadian news from our Search, News and Discover products in Canada,” the company said.

“We’re disappointed it has come to this. We don’t take this decision or its impacts lightly and believe it’s important to be transparent with Canadian publishers and our users as early as possible.”

The move could have a devastating effect on Canadian news outlets, many of which are already struggling financially and have faced several rounds of job cuts in recent years.


Meta Platforms Inc also said last week that it would end news access for Canadian users on its platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, over the new legislation.

“Today, we are confirming that news availability will be ended on Facebook and Instagram for all users in Canada prior to the Online News Act taking effect,” Meta said in a statement after the law was adopted on June 22.

The Canadian government has defended Bill C-18, which is expected to come into effect in six months, as part of its effort to ensure “fair revenue sharing between digital platforms and news outlets”.

The act outlines rules to force online platforms to negotiate commercial deals