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The urgency of taxing Internet giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft (GAFAM) was mentioned by all the stakeholders who took part in the committee on the future of media this week. The MNA representing Verdun and Official Opposition Critic for Culture and Communication, Ms. Isabelle Melançon, is urging the government to take action in this file.
The groups that were heard in parliamentary committee were unambiguous- the loss of advertising profits to Internet giants is the real issue.
Ms. Melançon laments the Premier’s statement earlier this week when he said that he was beholden to Ottawa to take action in this file. He already has the means to intervene! It would only require political will like that shown by the previous government when it decided to tax Netflix.
Also recall that last May the MNA representing Verdun called upon the Legault government to reduce the purchase of government advertising from digital platforms and instead support local and regional media. It is a simple act that the Minister of Culture, Ms. Nathalie Roy, could have undertaken to show a true willingness to save Quebec media. Ms. Melançon is still waiting for the Minister’s response.
The government lacks leadership in this file. The issue can no longer be put off to a later date. Solutions are on the table but the government refuses to take action. Taxing Internet giants is possible, we did it with Netflix. We didn’t wait for Ottawa to act. It just requires political will. The same goes for purchasing government advertising from Quebec media rather than from Internet giants. Where is the Minister of Culture’s leadership?
–Isabelle Melançon, MNA representing Verdun and Liberal Critic for Culture and Communications