Quebec will impose a provincial tax on Netflix whether Ottawa likes it or not, according to a letter obtained by La Presse. In the Nov. 7 letter, Quebec Min. of Finance Carlos Leitão, advises his federal counterpart Bill Morneau of his intention to impose the QST on subscriptions to the American streaming giant. The letter suggests Ottawa review its position. Leitão states “The status quo is no longer possible. Our sales taxes must adapt to the realities of the XXIth century, so is the fairness and legitimacy of our tax systems.” Thus far, Ottawa has refused to levy taxes on broadband internet providers, arguing against another tax on the middle class.
The Canada Media Fund has spearheaded the launch of a YouTube channel featuring memorable Canadian film and TV content. Encore+ offers over 300 videos across 100 feature films and television series in both official languages, with new titles to be added weekly. Among the top titles featured are Da Vinci’s Inquest, Degrassi High, Due South, Little Mosque on the Prairie, Mr. Dressup, New Waterford Girl and The Littlest Hobo. The channel is managed by service-provider Broadband TV (BBTV) and supported by Google Canada, Bell Media, Deluxe Toronto and Telefilm Canada.
Rebel Media is back in the headlines after a terse exchange between the alt right online site’s B.C. bureau chief Christopher Wilson and federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna. At the closing news conference of the environment ministers’ meeting in Vancouver on Friday, McKenna demanded that Rebel stop calling her “climate Barbie.” From there it digressed into a bitter exchange with Wilson accusing the minister of banning Rebel reporters from a climate conference.
Amazon.ca has debuted the new Fire TV Stick Basic Edition in Canada and 100 other countries, a streaming media player that provides access to movies, TV shows, apps, games and content from Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Spotify and YouTube. Customers have the ability to set their default language as French, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, German, or English. The portable device connects to an HDTV’s HDMI port and also offers 8 GB of storage and 1 GB of memory.
Twitter has expanded its 140 character limit to 280, after launching a test rollout in September. The platform says while many people Tweeted the new full 280 limit for the first few days, once the novelty wore off behaviour normalized. Only five per cent of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only two per cent were over 190 characters. As a result, the timeline reading experience shouldn’t substantially change. Overall, Twitter says people in the higher character limit experiment felt more satisfied with how they expressed themselves.
Google will not have to comply with a Supreme Court of Canada order compelling it to remove certain results from its search engine in the U.S., following a decision by a California court. The decision says the SCOC ruling “threatens free speech on the global internet” by forcing intermediaries to remove links to third-party material and undermines Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. B.C.-based Equustek Solutions Inc. brought about the original action in 2011 and won an injunction, later upheld by the B.C. Court of Appeal, forcing Google to remove search results related to networking tech company Datalink Technologies Gateways Inc., which Equustek accused of infringing on its intellectual property.