Liberal politicians join the NDP and other federal parties in demanding that the details of the agreement that Ottawa signed with global entertainment giant Netflix be made public, a first.

Liberal politicians join the NDP and other federal parties to demand that the details of the agreement that Ottawa signed with global entertainment giant Netflix be made public, a first.

Meeting in the heritage committee on Monday, the deputies had to position themselves on a motion tabled by the New Democrat Heather McPherson, which asked the government “for a copy of the initial agreement and including any subsequent modification, in both official languages, between Heritage Canada and Netflix Canada, signed in 2017 and entered into under the Investment Canada Act ”.

The wording of the motion calls for the agreement to be returned to the committee no later than June 20.

A Liberal member of the committee, Julie Dabrusin, was quick to indicate that she would support this motion “in the interests of transparency”, even though she said she “disagreed with the premise behind this motion”.

Ms. Dabrusin refers to accusations by the NDP that Netflix is ​​receiving preferential treatment in its negotiations with Ottawa.

In early May, it was revealed that the new 3% “digital services tax” in the 2021 Freeland budget would not apply to Netflix, an exemption the NDP is confused about.

The budget provides that the tax will be levied on revenue earned through online marketplaces, social media, ads and user data, and will only apply to businesses that have a minimum annual revenue of 750 million euros, or approximately CAN $ 1.1 billion.

Until today, the Liberals insisted that the details of the deal with Netflix, under which it pledged to invest $ 500 million over five years for the production of Canadian content, should be kept confidential because of the confidentiality clauses and that, in any case, the Investment Canada Act did not allow it.

In a letter sent Monday to Minister of Heritage Steven Guilbeault, the NDP members of the committee, Alexandre Boulerice and Heather McPherson, are firing red balls on the Liberal camp.

“You continue to protect the profits of this powerful American multinational; you lacked courage; you only thought about protecting the interests of your rich friends and big business. It’s cowardly, ”they say.

The NDP accuses the Liberals of decrying the “unfairness” of the market on the one hand, while maintaining a system that “protects the profits of the web giants and subjects our cultural sector to unfair competition”.

“When the last budget was presented, it was believed that you had had an epiphany and that you had finally resigned yourself to requiring Netflix to pay its fair share. But no. It was only a mirage, only wind, only fine words ”, they denounced.





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