Feds clear up misunderstanding over licensing news outlets

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There was much confusion over whether the federal government had plans to license news outlets until it was cleared up by Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault who said: “Let me be clear. Our government has no intention to impose licensing requirements on news organizations nor will we try to regulate news content.”

The confusion arose over the weekend when Guilbeault in an interview said the government would ask media outlets to be licensed. Opposition Conservatives quickly pounced on that statement alleging that the government intended to use licensing requirements to censor news.

Guilbeault had to walk that statement back quickly saying, “Our focus will be and always has been to ensure that Canadians have access to a diversity of high-quality and credible news sources.”

He said he was not referring to news organizations when he spoke about media outlets, but rather about organizations that produce and distribute cultural content. The minister suggested that those questioning his comments might have misunderstood.

The CTV interview, aired on Sunday, was on a wide-ranging report released last week, which included 97 recommendations aimed at modernizing Canada’s antiquated broadcast and telecom laws. -CINEWS

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