Understanding Canada’s Online News Act and Its Impact on Broadcasting


Canada’s recent decision to cap the funding private broadcasters receive from Google under a $100 million deal has been making headlines. This move is part of the implementation of the Online News Act, a significant step in reshaping how news is financed and distributed in the digital age.

The Deal and Its Implications

Under this new framework, private broadcasters are set to receive a maximum of $30 million from the fund, while print outlets will get $63 million. CBC/Radio-Canada, the national public broadcaster, is allocated no more than $7 million of the annual fund. This distribution aims to support a diverse range of news outlets, including independent and Indigenous news platforms.

Quote: Canadian Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge emphasized the importance of equitable commercial relationships between tech giants and newsrooms, stating, “It’s an essential part in ensuring the sustainability of our news sector and ensuring that journalism continues to play its role in democracy.”

The Online News Act

The Online News Act compels tech companies to compensate news publishers for linking to their content if it generates revenue. Google, while critical of the law, has found a path to exemption in the final regulations and will continue to send traffic to Canadian publishers.


  • What is the Online News Act?
    • It’s a Canadian law that requires tech companies to enter into compensation agreements with news publishers for using their content.
  • How much will private broadcasters receive from Google?
    • Private broadcasters will split $30 million, with CBC/Radio-Canada receiving a maximum of $7 million.
  • What does this mean for news distribution in Canada?
    • This arrangement aims to ensure fair compensation for news content used by tech platforms, supporting the diversity and sustainability of the Canadian news industry.


Impact on the Broadcasting Landscape

The cap on funding is a strategic move to balance the scales in the news industry, promoting fairness and diversity in news distribution. It reflects a shift in how digital news content is valued and compensated, acknowledging the crucial role of journalism in a democratic society.

Stats to know: The funding will be distributed based on the number of full-time journalists employed by a company, with small print and digital outlets expecting to receive about $17,000 per journalist.


Canada’s Online News Act and the recent funding cap announcement mark a pivotal moment in the media landscape. It illustrates the government’s commitment to ensuring a fair and diverse news industry, adapting to the challenges posed by the digital age.

[Source: CityNews Toronto, Global News]