'The world is watching' Canada's online news feud, heritage minister says


Jul 5, 2023


As Canada’s fight with Meta and Google escalates, Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said other countries and organizations are keeping a keen eye to see how things play out.

Rodriguez told BNN Bloomberg Wednesday that he has meetings with representatives from the U.K., U.S., Indonesia and Brazil about the fallout from the Online News Act.  

“Meta’s attitude is unacceptable,” he said. “They’re trying to intimidate Canadians. By intimidating Canadians, they’re trying to intimidate Americans and citizens from other countries and also governments from other countries.”

On Wednesday, the federal government announced it was suspending all advertising from Facebook and Instagram, which was followed by the province of Quebec and City of Montreal making similar pledges.

Quebecor and Cogeco have also committed to pulling ads from the platforms.

Rodriguez said several other domestic governments and companies are considering joining the boycott.

“It’s up to them to make their decision, maybe they’ll be inspired by what we do, but at the same moment, we also know the world is watching,” he said. 

Rodriguez said he has a meeting with Google later this week, but Meta has refused to meet.

“There’s a path to move forward and we’re inviting Meta to come to the table and negotiate with us,” he said.