FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE We must fight against the spread of fake news for the safety of Canadians

NDP Critic for Canadian Heritage Peter Julian issued the following statement:

“Canadians want reliable information about public health–especially during this pandemic. Unfortunately, the spread of fake news online has compromised the reliability and quality of the information people are getting. It has also created a space to feed online hate. People expect their government to help fix this problem.

Furthermore, the unfair competition from web giants is decreasing the revenue of media outlets that people depend on. The lack of a level playing field is leading to the closure of many local media outlets and making the spread of fake news a pandemic of its own threatening the safety of people, particularly racialized and Indigenous communities.

Following pressure from the NDP, the government is finally acting to force web giants like Facebook and Google to pay news organizations for content produced by their journalists.

For over 6 years, the Liberals have protected the profits of web giants instead of forcing them to pay their fair share for the work done by journalists, as other countries have done.

Liberals like to talk about a level playing field, but in 2018 and 2019, they spent five times more on advertising through foreign digital giants that don't pay their fair share than on Canadian platforms.

The NDP is fighting for Canadians and their right to access reliable, quality news sources. That's why we will carefully assess the government’s bill and pressure the Liberals to ensure that negotiation frameworks between web giants and media outlets are transparent and accessible to Canadian news platforms.

New Democrats will also look at ensuring that the money paid by the web giants supports the journalists who work to produce the content, not the executives' bonus increases. We will ensure access to reliable sources of information and a healthy democracy for Canadians.”

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