canadian content streaming platforms

There could soon be a lot more Canadian shows on Netflix and Disney Plus

If all goes as planned, Canada will soon introduce new legislation requiring streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime to produce more Canadian content. 

In his mandate letter from the Prime Minister's office, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has been instructed to create new rules to ensure streaming companies are prioritizing content from the Great White North. 

The mandate letter instructs Guilbeault to "introduce legislation by the end of 2020 that will take appropriate measures to ensure that all content providers, including internet giants, offer meaningful levels of Canadian content in their catalogues, contribute to the creation of Canadian content in both Official Languages, promote this content and make it easily accessible on their platforms."

"The legislation should also consider additional cultural and linguistic communities."

According to the National Post, Canadian broadcasters are currently required to air at least 50 per cent Canadian programming during prime television hours, between 6 p.m. and midnight. 

Currently, there are no comparable rules for streaming platforms. 

Netflix pledged to spend $500 million to fund original content made in Canada over five years back in 2017. The company said it met that target in September, according to CBC, but many of the productions were actually American despite being filmed here. 

University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist told the National Post that in order to effectively create more Canadian content, the government has to reassess exactly what that means. 

He said Canadian content is currently defined as any production that is overseen by a Canadian company. A production with Canadians in a key role (writer, director, lead actor, etc.) also gets bonus points. 

But if we truly want to be telling more Canadian stories, Geist told the Post, we just might need a new definition.

Details of the legislation, such as exactly how much Canadian content streaming companies will be required to produce, have yet to be revealed. 

Lead photo by

Stock Catalogue


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