The City Council vote to endorse the Federal Liberal Party's Bill C-18 and make supporting federal internet regulations a municipal priority. Credit: Screencap

TPR is tracking Council split votes this term for pattern analysis.

Council voted on Wednesday to endorse the federal Liberal government’s key internet regulation law, Bill C-18, and to end City advertising on Facebook and Instagram as a show of solidarity with legacy media corporations.

This vote was unique because councillors had to consider the political consequences of voting against a motion some journalists were lobbying for them to pass.

The motion was introduced by Ward 8 Councillor John-Paul Danko.

Those who voted in Favour:

Mayor Horwath, Hwang (Ward 4), Francis (Ward 5), Pauls (Ward 7), Danko (Ward 8), Tadeson (Ward 11), Cassar (Ward 12), and Spadafora (Ward 14).

Those who voted Opposed:

Maureen Wilson (Ward 1), Kroetsch (Ward 2), Nann (Ward 3), Clark (Ward 9), Alex Wilson (Ward 13), and McMeekin (Ward 15).

Nann changed her vote from the week prior when she voted in favour at the Council General Issues Committee on Wednesday, October 4.

Jackson and Beattie were absent from the meeting. Beattie voted in favour at committee.

Bill C-18 requires Facebook and Google to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to legacy media outlets if the platforms continue allowing news links on their websites.

Legacy media falsely claimed links on the Internet constitute theft.

Canada’s legacy media outlets drafted bill C-18, which seeks to increase the profits of corporations that own legacy media outlets while targetting locally owned digital media outlets that have refused to take government funding.

Facebook quickly complied with Bill C-18 by removing news links from its platform.

Legacy media outlets are now lobbying governments to retaliate against Facebook, including lobbying municipal governments to endorse Bill C-18, stop advertising on Facebook, and create local media bailout programs.

Bill C-18 is tied to Bill C-11, which gives the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission powers to regulate all internet content.

In September, the CRTC ordered online audio and video platforms to register under Bill C-11.

City Manager Working on Deal with Legacy Media to Increase City Funding to Them

Outgoing City Manager Janette Smith has been negotiating with legacy media outlets to provide them more financial support.

Smith’s Chief of Staff, Director of Communications Matthew Grant, will come to Council in November with a proposal to give free office space to media outlets using “surplus funds” the City Manager’s Office claims the City has.

Using emergency spending authority, Grant spent $150,000 in public funds to build new offices and studio space in the basement of City Hall for legacy media outlets.

Grant requires Council authorization to sign permanent rent-free leases to allow legacy media newsrooms to relocate into space.

City staff state next year’s property tax increase will need to be over 14 percent to address the City’s financial deficit.

Grant, a City’s Senior Leadership Team member as de facto Chief of Staff, has not explained how the City has surplus funds simultaneously as it has a massive deficit.

Grant is seeking to ban all media who refuse to accept government funding from being allowed to attend press conferences at City Hall.

As editor of TPR, Joey Coleman’s position is that because TPR covers the government, it should not be taking money from the government.

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Published: October 13, 2023
Last edited: October 13, 2023
Author: Joey Coleman
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