Surging Political Party Supports Regulating Netflix Canada

Left-leaning political party puts support behind Canadian broadcasters looking to see Netflix regulated north of the border.

TORONTO – With opinion polls pointing to a surge in support for the New Democratic Party ahead of a May 2 federal election, the left-leaning opposition party has come out in support of a drive by domestic broadcasters to see Netflix regulated in Canada.

Just as BDUs and telecommunications carriers are required to do their part to ensure the continued vitality of Canada’s cultural sector, we believe the providers of wireless services and new so-called 'over-the-top' services should also make a contribution to the system from which they will profit,” the NDP said in a response to a election questionnaire from the Canadian Conference for the Arts.

The intervention follows Canadian broadcasters calling on the CRTC, the country’s TV regulator, to order Netflix Canada to subsidize homegrown production as it continues to sign up subscribers for its local online video streaming service.

The latest polls indicate the NDP has surged to first place in popularity in Quebec, and could potentially be the official opposition party in the House of Commons after May 2, displacing the Liberal Party.

The Liberals for their part were more vague in their response to the CCA questionnaire, indicating only that “in an era where Internet is increasingly relevant as a distribution platform, our legal and economic frameworks must be updated to reflect recent and upcoming challenges and opportunities.”

Canadian broadcasters earlier this month pointed to Netflix’s upcoming House of Cards drama series to convince the CRTC to finally regulate the U.S. video streaming giant’s Canadian operation.

The Canuck broadcasters in the April 1 letter urged the Canadian regulator to launch public hearings to consider how non-Canadian companies like Netflix Canada could support Canadian content production.