Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has categorically rejected a recommendation from Liberal members of the Commons heritage committee that Ottawa impose a five per cent tax on broadband Internet services. The report, 15 months in the making, included 20 recommendations aimed at helping the media industry adapt to shifting consumer habits. The committee argues a levy on broadband services would create a more level playing field because the tax is already applied to satellite and cable TV, however Trudeau dismissed it as another tax on the middle class. The report also called for CBC to eliminate digital advertising; a tax credit compensating print outlets for digital investment; and tax deductions for digital advertising on Canadian-owned platforms.
The CRTC has extended the deadline to Aug. 4 for Videotron to terminate its Unlimited Music plan, offering music streaming without impacting data usage. The commission had originally set a deadline of July 19, following its April ruling on differential pricing, preventing exempting certain content from data caps. Videotron had requested an allowance to grandfather contracts currently in place and alternately a revised compliance deadline of Jan. 31, 2018.
National Post and Financial Post have launched new websites, to be followed by mobile apps later this month to enhance the digital experience for readers and advertisers. As in the past eight years, National Post moves to a Tuesday to Saturday print publication through the summer months, and this year will continue that schedule beyond the summer, eliminating the Monday print edition as of July. New this summer is the introduction of a Monday ePaper edition, which will start publishing July 3.
Facebook Messenger has teamed up with notable Canadians from across the country to launch a series of Canada 150 art for the new Messenger camera. Designed to embody Canadian heritage, personality and national pride, collaborators include the first First Nations Mrs. Universe, Ashley Callingbull of Alberta, and Olympic mogul skiers the Dufour-Lapointe sisters from Quebec. From “My Ocean Playground” to “Tansi” which means ‘hello’ in Cree to “Sorry, it’s raining again,” each frame features a phrase that represents a different part of Canada.
Eastlink has expanded its Gigabit Internet availability to more communities across Canada, as part of its continued investment in its core fibre-based Internet service. Eastlink’s expansion of Gig Internet, which has been available in certain parts of NS and PEI since 2015, brings the service to the communities of Guysborough, NS, Port Hawkesbury, NS, Kirkland Lake, ON, Picton, ON, and Oliver, BC.
TVO has received international recognition with a 2017 International Serious Play Award for mPower, creative online games that teach fundamental K-6 math skills. TVO mPower was a Silver Medalist in the worldwide competition. Launched earlier this year, the games are now in the hands of over 46,000 K-6 students, and are available free to teachers throughout Ontario. The games use digital technology that adapts to each learner to help kids develop STEM skills while learning about the province’s communities and environment.