TORONTO , July 6, 2023 /CNW/ – In the wake of Meta’s threat to ban Canadian news on its platforms because of the Online News Act, Unifor is calling on all provincial and municipal governments to follow the federal and Quebec governments’ announcements that they will stop advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
Unifor is also calling on corporations who are responsible for a large portion of the more than $4 billion in revenue Facebook takes out of Canada every year to also stand up for local news and Canadian content.
“The one way to push back against a bully is through solidarity. As Canada’s largest private sector union, we know all about hard bargaining. And what this situation calls for is leadership from all of us. Unifor is calling on governments and major Facebook ad buyers to band together in support of Canadian journalism and give local news a fighting chance in this country,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne.
“Our priority is jobs and journalism – not lining big tech companies’ pockets, especially those companies that refuse to support Canadian news.”
Unifor applauded the passing of Bill C-18: The Online News Act on June 23 as an important next step towards supporting local news and Canadian content in the media.
The federal government has made it law for digital companies, such as Google and Facebook, to pay their fair share for Canadian news stories shared on their platforms. Unifor members have vehemently fought for this and are now watching it being put into action.
Digital giants like Google and Facebook have responded by threatening to eliminate access to Canadian news content on their platforms and cut funding to local journalism initiatives.
Unifor will also be halting advertising on all Meta-owned platforms in support of the union’s media members.
Unifor supports the federal government as they stand up to Google and Facebook’s intimidation tactics, including Minister Rodriguez’s announcement yesterday that the Government of Canada will be suspending advertising on Facebook and Instagram, which are collectively controlled by parent company, Meta.
Unifor also backs Quebec Premier François Legault’s announcement on the same day that the province will stop advertising with Meta until it enters negotiations over how to comply with the Online News Act. The union is also pleased to see a number of mayors of Quebec cities (Montreal, Quebec City, Gatineau, Laval and Longueuil) make the same commitment.
Unifor represents more than 10,000 media workers, including journalists in the broadcast and print news industry.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.