Quebec does not rule out legislating to bring the web giants to heel
Minister Lacombe says to himself ready to take action even if broadcasting is generally a federal responsibility.
The Quebec Minister of Culture and Communications, Mathieu Lacombe, says he is ready to tighten the screws on Spotify and Netflix, even if telecommunications traditionally fall under the federal government.< p class="e-p">Ottawa showing reluctance to take into account Quebec's demands regarding Bill C-11, the Legault government says it is ready to use its own legislative tools to force major digital platforms to promote cultural products Québécois.
In an interview on Wednesday on the show Midi info, on the airwaves of ICI Première, the Minister of Culture and Communications, Mathieu Lacombe, indicated that he did not rule out legislating to bring the web giants to heel, even if broadcasting is traditionally a federal responsibility.
Since Quebec has its own culture and its own identity, the province has, according to him, certain levers that would allow it to force digital platforms to put forward certain content. Legislating, […] is one of the tools in the toolbox that I do not rule out using, confirmed Mr. Lacombe on Wednesday.
The reflection, embryonic, would have received the approval of the jurists of the Quebec government, according to the minister. Culture is a shared competence, he pleads, and there is no unanimity on what we can or cannot do in a context where it is is paramount [and] where it really matters.
It is, according to him, the existence, the survival of our culture in the coming years, in the coming decades.
The minister's posture is surprising insofar as his predecessor, Nathalie Roy, deplored at the time that Quebec's grip on the content offered by platforms such as Netflix and Spotify was limited to a power of taxation.< /p>
The context has changed, replies Mr. Lacombe. The CAQ succeeded in amending the Canadian Constitution to include certain provisions of Act 96 on French as a common language and Act 4 on the oath of deputies, things that were thought impossible four or five years ago, he illustrates.
There were many skeptics, recalls the minister. However, we did it, and the federal government was the first to recognize that we had the right to do so.
The Legault government still hopes x27; adoption of C-11 by the House of Commons, assures Mr. Lacombe, even if his request to insert in the bill a mechanism for mandatory consultation of Quebec was quickly rejected by Ottawa.
The piece of legislation is eagerly awaited in Quebec, particularly in the music world. However, the Conservatives are strongly opposed to it and are trying in every way to delay or even prevent its adoption. The previous version of the bill died on the order paper in the previous Parliament.
I encourage Pablo Rodriguez, my federal colleague, to go from x27;before, and I'm sure – I hope, in any case – that when we come up with solutions for the cultural specificity of Quebec, we will also have his support, said Mathieu Lacombe in an interview on Wednesday.
“I don't think this is a turf war. I think we have to show solidarity with these web giants, because what's most important is to protect our cultural specificity. »
— Mathieu Lacombe, Quebec Minister of Culture and Communications
The Minister says he is aware that it is impossible to force the customers of these major platforms to consume Quebec content. But you can't love what you don't know, he emphasizes.
According to him, the mere fact of showcasing Quebec cultural products will generate interest. Subscribers will follow, believes the minister. Let's offer them [Québec content], then let them make their choices, he suggests.