Russ Harvey Consulting - Computer and Internet Services

Canadian Internet Legislation

Bill C-11 | Bill C-18 | Canadian Content Rules (CanCon)

Canadian flag waving in front of the Parliament Building on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

The Liberal government has passed a series of very dangerous laws that restrict the Internet and appear to be aimed at controlling the news media. This legislation threatens democracy in Canada.

The Online News Act (Bill C-18) was written by and for Canada's largest news publishers — and now YOU are paying the price. After Meta's pullout, not a single new dollar of funding is going their way, while you suffer from MASSIVE online news blocks that might put local news out of business.


Bill C-11 (that could STILL give the government control over your feeds) was passed DESPITE the glaring holes that leave it so open to abuse that the government was forced to issue specific instructions to the CRTC to not meddle with user content and respect our choices — instructions that a future government or minister could change at any time!


Online Harms legislation is coming soon, and could be the worst yet. Don't forget — the government's first proposal for it was designed by and for CSIS and the RCMP, giving them an unlimited surveillance web over every Canadian on online platforms — and they would have passed it into law, had an overwhelming volume of citizens and experts not spoken up demanding a reconsideration.

Unfair and Poorly Executed

Bill C-11 and Bill C-18 are poorly executed attempts at government control of the Internet while failing to fix the issues which they claim to address.

In less than two months, the government has reshaped the Internet in Canada with Bills C-11 and C-18 leading to streaming services that may block Canadian users and platforms that may block news sharing. The result is a cautionary tale for Internet regulation initiatives with Canada emerging as a model for how things can go badly wrong.
Michael Geist

News is Harder to Discover in Canada

The attack on social media giants threatens the discoverability of Canadian news by making it dependent upon foreign media giants.

Despite claims to the contrary, local news will be even more difficult to find and concentrated into central newsrooms controlled by Big Media. Bell Media began to centralize news services even before Bill C-18 was passed.

Earlier this year, the Trudeau Government — supported by the NDP and Bloc Quebecois — passed a bill known as C-18, which aimed to coerce social media companies, specifically Facebook and Google, to pay “government accredited media” every time one of their links was shared on the social media platforms.


[T]his is nothing more than an attempted government shakedown of tech companies to reward their favourite media outlets — who already remain almost universally dependent on government financing.


News and media companies PROFIT from the free advertising generated from social media platforms like Facebook.


They use these platforms (at no cost) to distribute links to their content that directs back to their websites where they sell advertising and subscription services.


To then attempt to receive coerced payment for that free advertising is the height of arrogance and hubris that has rightly blown up in their face (and the government's).
Aaron Gunn

The unfair CanCon rules will be applied to the Internet and allow the industry-friendly CRTC to determine what Canadians see and hear, removing choice for consumers.

This ignores the nature of the Internet which, unlike cable TV, allows everyone to watch what they want at any time without interfering with anyone else's choices.

Both bills will enhance the profitability of Canadian Big Media yet have an adverse affect on Canadian content worldwide, ignoring or imperiling international copyright and other agreements.

Meanwhile, Canadian small independent media creators with huge international audiences may be forced to leave Canada to save their businesses.


Bill C-11: Online Streaming Act

Bill C-11, also known as the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2020, would repeal parts of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and replace them with a new legislative regime governing the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information for commercial activity in Canada. As the core of this regime, the Consumer Privacy Protection Act would be enacted to maintain, modernize, and extend existing rules and to impose new rules on private sector organizations for the protection of personal information.
Government of Canada

Bill C-11 became law on April 27, 2023 without key amendments that would protect your posts and feeds from being regulated by the CRTC.

On April 27, 2023, Bill C-11 passed the Senate, as fundamentally broken as it was when it first left the House. Despite opposition from over 100,000 Canadians, the bill was passed without crucial amendments that would have protected user-generated content and online choices.

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C-11 Controls What You Watch

The government told Canadians that it wanted to grab control back from big foreign Internet companies.

Instead, Bill C-11 gives that control to the CRTC — a direct conflict of interest because the CRTC is controlled by Canada's big media corporations.

Bell started the process of centralizing local news even before Bill C-11 passed, clearly indicating that local news would not be saved by Bill C-11.

Bill C-11 will meddle with Canadians' ability to pick their own content and content creators' business, in the name of "protecting the economic interests of a niche of Canada's music and video industries," according to the Canadian arm of the Internet Society.


In a scathing submission, the non-profit group argues that "Bill C-11 seeks to turn the Internet into a mere extension of the Canadian broadcasting system – a dying artifact of 20th Century technologies."
The Globe and Mail

Our Freedom of Choice Denied

The approval of the Rogers-Shaw deal clearly demonstrates an out-of-touch Liberal government controlled by big media.

We should be deciding what we watch and listen to online, not our government.

After months of government denials that the text of Bill C-11 empowers the CRTC to regulate our user content and feeds, the draft directive sheepishly acknowledges the need to keep cleaning C-11 up.


Key improvements include more plainly excluding our content, acknowledging the need to respect user choice, and minimizing changes to algorithms.
While protection of our feeds and content in the law would have been better than a revocable policy direction, some protection is much better than no protection at all.

It is unfortunate that this protection was provided via policy rather than within the legislation itself. As a result, this protection could be removed in the future.

What is the Real Agenda?

The testimony of those opposed to Bill C-11 (mostly smaller content creators) was shamefully ignored and worse, discarded as invalid:

The government's decision to ignore the overwhelming majority of testimony on the issue of regulating user content damages the credibility of the committee Bill C-11 review….


But the government went beyond just ignoring witness testimony yesterday in the House of Commons. It now claims those views constitute “misinformation.”
Michael Geist

The intimidation of these small creators when testifying was shameful. Many of these creators have carved out a niche in international markets that Bill C-11 will destroy.

While Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez insisted that Bill C-11 would not interfere with what users put online or watched. The minister's references to “cat videos” muddied the waters. Perhaps only cat videos would escape the CRTC's control.

[CRTC Chair] Scott's comments confirm what Rodriguez has misleadingly denied and Bill C-11 critics have maintained for months: the bill's discoverability requirements will obviously require algorithmic manipulation in order to prioritize Canadian content.
Michael Geist

Rather than clarifying the exact sorts of content that would be controlled and how within C-11, the government left it open for future government directions that weren't subject to the same sort of review and oversight as the legislation.

Who Benefits the Most?

Bill C-11 hands the CRTC power to rule over what online material counts as “official” Canadian Content (widely referred to as CanCon) on almost all online services.

This legislation primarily benefits Canada's big three telecoms (Bell, Rogers and Telus) and ignores contributions by Netflix and other online streaming options.

Government documentation mentions the streaming services supported by Canadian cable companies so your current streaming options may be affected even there.

Small Creators Threatened

In particular, the hotly-debated inclusion of small YouTube and other social media creators while retaining the outdated and confusing CanCon rules. This could force them to contribute to CanCon yet prevent them from benefiting financially.

In fact it has become clear that the only beneficiaries of Bill C-11 is going to the big Canadian media companies that already get the lion's share of CanCon money in spite of the government's claim that it will protect regional news.

Michael Geist on Bill C-11

Michael Geist, law professor at the University of Ottawa, has continuing coverage on the foundational faults of Bill C-11.

Bill C-11 trades prioritizing Canadian content for a market of 38 million people for de-prioritizing that same content for a global market that runs into the billions of viewers.

CanCon Imposed on the Internet

Bill C-11 imposes the twisted CanCon rules (which are based upon CAVCO CPTC certification) onto the Internet

The only beneficiaries are the big Canadian media companies and their overpriced cable packages.

The CRTC still can ask platforms for an end result, meaning it will still be in the business of picking winners who get promoted and losers whose content is downranked and hidden on online feeds.


Unless and until CanCon definitions are thoroughly revised, this will mean upvoting the narrow range of legacy media content to the top of our feeds over other content we actually like.

Bill C-11 Ignores the Nature of the Internet

Bill C-11 seeks to mandate changes to streaming platforms' algorithms so that specific Canadian content rises to the top of our feeds.

It ignores the fact that, unlike cable TV, everyone could simultaneously watch different content on an open Internet.

Instead, it chose to censor the Internet.

Both the government and big Canadian media companies cry foul when you try to block this censorship.

The Internet is Not Cable TV

Fixed timetables cannot compete with choice in your viewing time combined with program selection nor allow bing-watching of a series.

Netflix Already Provides Canadian Content

If people were getting what they want on cable TV, Netflix wouldn't be a threat.

There is more Canadian content available on Netflix than cable operators would have you (or the government) believe. All you have to do is enter “Canadian” into the search feature.

Despite the absence of regulatory requirements, Netflix has emerged as one of the leading backers of Canadian content, reporting that it commissioned hundreds of millions of dollars in original programming in Canada….


In fact, Netflix says that Canada now ranks as one of its top three locations worldwide for original productions. Given that the company spends billions each year on content, the activity in Canada is likely larger than all but a handful of regulated sources.
Michael Geist

Instead, Canada's big three would rather tax your choice of Netflix or simply not provide access at all.

Under Bill C-11, streaming companies like Netflix will also be forced to pay to produce CanCon — but will be ineligible to receive funding from the Canadian Media Fund, even when producing Canadian content.


Result? A direct money transfer from streaming platforms Canadians like, to legacy broadcast services we increasingly don't. What a deal!

Don't be surprised if the amount of Canadian content and content produced in Canada by Netflix plummets as this legislation rolls out.

CanCon Not Generating International Audiences

It isn't CanCon that is creating massive international online audiences — it is those individuals that have used the power of blogs and podcasts to generate massive audiences, some that dwarf even sports team fan bases.

This is what irks traditional media, leading to demands to place those successful individuals under the umbrella of the CRTC where they will fund the big Canadian media giants (while being ineligible themselves).

YouTube fears the proposals in the Online Streaming bill could skew the algorithm it uses to match content with viewers' personal preferences.


The platform says proposed legislation obliging platforms to promote Canadian content risks downgrading the popularity of that content abroad — and the foreign earnings many Canadian YouTubers rely on.
The Canadian Press

CRTC Unsuitable

Bill C-11 gives the CRTC even MORE power to decide that even more content should fall under their regulation — the power to control what ordinary Canadians are posting without the level of influence enjoyed by the big media companies.

Bill C-11 gives the CRTC authority to:
  • Dictate how and where your content appears on digital platforms.
  • Affect your discoverability by artificially promoting some creators over others. Viewers may be pushed to watch content they aren't interested in, resulting in more skips and thumbs down, which would impact how your content is exported to global audiences, lowering viewership and revenue.
  • Apply complex “CanCon” rules that require you to prove your content is “Canadian” enough. This is easy for large Canadian media companies with teams who have been following these rules for decades, and makes it harder for smaller creators to benefit from any financial or promotional gain.
  • Push your content down in feeds if it doesn't meet CanCon requirements.
  • Regulate the length and type of advertising on your channel, which could mean less money in your pocket.
  • Digital First Canada

The CRTC is an unsuitable body for such authority; more so since it listens only to big media.

One of the most troubling aspects of Bill C-11 is the virtually limitless reach of the CRTC's jurisdictional power of audio-visual services.


Bill C-11 does not contain specific thresholds or guidance. In other words, the entire audio-visual world is fair game and it will be up to the CRTC to decide whether to exempt some services from regulation.
Michael Geist

CRTC Approved the Rogers-Shaw Deal

A very strong indicator of the CRTC's unsuitability is the approval of the purchase of Shaw by Rogers, a deal that will limit competition and increase the cost of Internet and cellular for Canadians. Good for Rogers; bad for consumers.

This is a tone-deaf decision from a CRTC that has completely lost touch with ordinary people in Canada.


Ordinary people know very well what this deal will mean; less competition, fewer jobs, and higher prices for telecom customers. And yet not one of the institutions we've charged with assessing the deal has had the courage to say it.

Fixing the CRTC would probably require legislation banning these big media companies from influencing the decisions made by the CRTC.

Don't put the CRTC in charge of regulating the whole Internet. We should be deciding what we watch and listen to online, not our government.

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Bill C-18: Online News Act

Bill C-18: An Act respecting online communications platforms that make news content available to persons in Canada
Bill C-18 purports to address a real crisis — the drying up of advertising funding that previously supported news organizations in the 20th century.


Unfortunately, Bill C-18 misunderstands that crisis, misdiagnosing why news advertising revenue has collapsed, and who is at fault for it.

Bill C-18 received royal assent on June 22, 2023 without any major cleanup. This could permanently compromise the independence and diversity of Canadian news.

There is a Solution

Bill C-18 is badly designed legislation that fails to achieve its objectives. Worse, it will likely lead to the collapse of local news coverage for Canadians.

There is a solution: we need the government to abandon Bill C-18. A rotten bill built on a faulty core isn't going to support our news industry. Canadians deserve better.


We need our leaders to go back to the drawing board and develop a public news funding model that is transparent, independent of government control, not tied to social media shares and gives support where it's needed — to local news and public accountability journalism.

Not only has Bill C-18 not produced the promised millions to news organizations, but has led to the cancellation of all existing funding agreements with Canadian news organizations.

The end result — at least for now — is a legislative mess that leaves no clear winners with Meta downgrading its platforms in Canada, Canadians cut off from their ability to share news on popular social media platforms, Canadian news outlets losing their second most important source of referral traffic, and the government looking to have made an epic miscalculation for having ignored the risks it created by establishing a mandating payments for links system with uncapped liability for the Internet companies.
Michael Geist

Bill C-18 is mainly affecting the small independent news services that have managed to make the transition to digital services. Once example is the Halifax Examiner which depends upon social media for most of its new subscribers, much of which is now blocked.

Demand that Bill C-18 Be Revised

In response to Bill C-11, Canadian news is unavailable.

Bill C-18 is proving to be a lose-lose bill with news organizations losing access to social media and Canadians are losing access to quality, credible news on the affected platforms.

Bill C-18 was jammed through with few remedies, and now reality is sinking in: when faced with paying for news or blocking it, both Meta and Google picked blockage.

The majority of Canadians support for local news and for the government to do whatever it takes to keep platforms from pulling news.

Email Minister St-Onge and demand that the government fix the existing bill, or present new, robust legislation that better safeguards freedom of the press and citizens' access to reliable news sources.

Why Bill C-18 Must Change

Bill C-18 essentially monetized links to news for just Google and Facebook.

The government spread misinformation, stating that these companies are “stealing Canadian news.” That is not true.

Google doesn't "use" news content — we link you to it, just like we link you to every other page on the web.
Google blog

What both have been doing is providing links back to the news sources (i.e., the news outlets themselves). This is how the Internet works.

By monetizing these links, Bill C-18 has broken the Internet.

Bill C-18 requires two companies (including Google) to pay for simply showing links to Canadian news publications, something that everyone else does for free.


The unprecedented decision to put a price on links (a so-called "link tax") breaks the way the web and search engines work, and exposes us to uncapped financial liability simply for facilitating access to news from Canadian publications.
Google blog

It is important to understand that the main beneficiaries of these links were the news organizations themselves. They post links in social media because it draws traffic to their site.

Many companies tried to work with the Canadian government to fix the issues with Bill C-18 over the last year (including Google and Meta), but without success.

Google and Facebook Blocking Canadian News

Following the passage of Bill C-18, both Google and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) have followed through on their plans to block Canadian news.

The Liberals gambled that Google and Meta would cave to their blackmail. Instead, their poorly-written legislation has resulted in the removal of these services to Canadians and a potential death blow to Canada's local news organizations.

Bill C-18 has become law and remains unworkable. The Government has not given us reason to believe that the regulatory process will be able to resolve structural issues with the legislation.


As a result, we have informed the Government that we have made the difficult decision that when the law takes effect we will be removing links to Canadian news from our Search, News, and Discover products and will no longer be able to operate Google News Showcase in Canada.
Google blog
Today, we are confirming that news availability will be ended on Facebook and Instagram for all users in Canada prior to the Online News Act (Bill C-18) taking effect.

Government Reaction Shameful

The reaction from the Liberal and Bloc Quebequois governments has been shameful yet has not stopped the Liberal party from continuing to post on Facebook.

They continue to blame Meta and Google for a mess of their own making. Forcing these companies to pay for merely linking to news shows a clear misunderstanding of how the Internet works.

Even BC Premier David Eby blamed Facebook for not carrying news about the wildfires even though it was Trudeau's Liberals that passed the legislation that resulted in that blockage.

Why News Media Monopoly Profits Are Gone

Once upon a time news media outlets had a monopoly on advertising and charged accordingly. This was before the Internet provided free and widespread access to information.

I remember paying a month's rent for a small two-week classified ad in the local newspaper to attract tenants for a three-bedroom suite — nearly 10% of my gross annual rental income for the suite. Unlike today, vacancies between tenants were common at the time.

Those local newspaper monopoly profits are gone forever, replaced with unlimited opportunities to advertise online for free.

It is true that the internet broke the business model for newspapers. Newspapers had been financially healthy for decades, but when the internet came along, the landscape shifted under their feet.


Sellers could now advertise on Craigslist, or put their products on eBay or Amazon, or build their own sites and market directly to consumers. That meant fewer dollars got spent on traditional advertising.


This development has been financially catastrophic for the news industry. But importantly, this is a tragedy without a villain.


It is normal for technologies to evolve and open up new capabilities, for innovation to happen as a result, players to compete, and winners and losers to emerge.


That's how markets work, and it's not usually deserving of intervention by the federal government.
Sue Gardner

The Link Tax Issue

The most concerning aspect of Bill C-18 is the issue around the “link tax.”

There is much to unpack about the provisions in Bill C-18 — the enormous power granted to the CRTC, the extensive scope of the bill that could see services such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Bing forced to pay for links posted by their users, and the provision that encourages the Internet platforms to dictate how Canadian media organizations spend the money among them — but at the heart of the bill is the principle that news organizations should be compensated by some entities for links that refer traffic back to them.
Michael Geist

While social media is dependent upon content, news media plays a very small part of that

Social media provides the opportunity for Canadians to comment on the news — discussion that is an important component to a functioning democracy.

C-18 Threatens a Free and Open Internet

The Internet is a wonderful source of freely available (but not necessarily free) information primarily because there is no cost to link to content elsewhere.

Hyperlinks thus share the same relationship with the content to which they refer as do references.


Both communicate that something exists, but do not, by themselves, communicate its content. And they both require some act on the part of a third party before he or she gains access to the content.


The fact that access to that content is far easier with hyperlinks than with footnotes does not change the reality that a hyperlink, by itself, is content-neutral — it expresses no opinion, nor does it have any control over, the content to which it refers.
Supreme Court of Canada

Imagine if every time you posted onto Twitter, Facebook or your favourite social media service that you were charged for that link. Would you continue to provide links to interesting news stories or to relevant websites?

These links provide the ability to credit the source for quotations or other statements, much like the practice of citations at the end of an essay or other publication.

The Benefits and Who's Affected Remains Unclear

While the bill's sponsors claim that it will only affect sites like Facebook that “aggregate” news, Bill C-18 doesn't specify the conditions for which such a tax would be valid.

News Organizations Post Links on Social Media

If the inclusion of links on social media sites is so financially damaging, why do those news organizations aggressively post on Facebook, Twitter and other social media?

Today, producers of quality news want everyone who cares about their story to click through to their site and read all about it. That open flow of quality journalism has created the relatively robust online information system we use today.


While the news industry is definitely facing challenges, the Link Tax and promotion of misinformation simply isn't the solution.

Who Benefits?

The supporters of link taxes say that Google, Facebook and others benefit from these links. Maybe so, but so does the broadcaster.

The stated premise of C-18 is that by making links to news material available on their sites, platforms are taking value from publishers, and so they need to be forced to compensate publishers for that value to "enhance fairness" in the Canadian digital news marketplace.


But that premise makes no sense. We know that because news publishers have always been able to opt out of appearing in Google search results, and they don't.


In fact they do the opposite: they vigorously compete to maximize their presences on Google and on Facebook. News publishers want to appear on those platforms, because that's where people are finding news.


When someone sees a story on Google or Facebook, and clicks on it or shares it, that brings traffic to the publisher's site, increasing its reach and its revenue. Being on Facebook and Google helps publishers. If it didn't, they would just opt out.
Sue Gardner

The reasons cited for a link tax may be exaggerated or invalid.

What Are the Risks?

Bill C-18 has already resulted in a reduction in your sources for information. Worse, it could result in the wholesale reduction of Canadian content worldwide.

It would result in our news media being dependent upon the big social media companies, increasing the concentration of news media like the telecom monopoly has for Canadian Internet access.

Rather than increasing local content, our news coverage will be even more centralized by the big Canadian media companies.

[Bell Canada is] moving to a single newsroom approach across brands, allowing for greater collaboration and efficiency.


It's a consolidation of news gathering, news delivery. We are combining the news production function in a horizontal way so that you have one common platform that is serving news to the relevant outlet from one management team.
Richard Gray, vice-president of news at Bell Media

Local news will all but perish in the process.

Link Taxes Failed Elsewhere

Bill C-18 has seen the affected social media giants simply quit linking to Canadian news.

These policies have been tried and have failed elsewhere. The Canadian market is too small to control an increasingly diverse and internationally sourced content. Unlike Australia, we share a border with the country with the world's largest concentration of social media, television and movie conglomerates.

When a link tax was introduced in Australia, the three largest media companies received 90 percent of the resulting revenue.

There is every reason to think that history is about to repeat itself in Canada. The media giants Bell, Rogers and Telus are likely to be the primary beneficiaries rather than the small local news organizations that the government insists will benefit.

Any new revenue will come at the expense of small Canadian creators like those reaching international audiences on platforms like YouTube and TikToc.

What About Local News?

We cannot fix the problem by propping up older systems whose funding model quit working when our options for information extended beyond the local newspaper.

Newspapers downsized their newsrooms and began to use Canada Press (CP) for news snippets rather than delving into issues that TV newscasts couldn't cover in depth.

To survive, local newspapers need focus on what they do best — cover local news and events. The print edition is all but finished because the cost of production and delivery can no longer be funded by display advertising that has already moved to TV and the Internet to get its message out.

There are already local mini online publications that focus on neighbourhoods such as the Oak Bay Local.

Warnings from Major Canadian Newspapers

These warnings are even coming from major Canadian newspapers like The Globe and Mail:

  • The Globe and Mail's Phillip Crawley warned against the intrusion of the CRTC into the news business, calling it a “threat to the independence of media.”
  • Jesse Brown of Canadaland highlighted the trust deficit with news organizations and the risks that this could exacerbated by the bill.
  • Both the Globe and Mail and Village Media said they paid Facebook to surface their content, surely an obvious rebuttal of the value that flows from free links and the absurdity of claiming that such content posted by publishers anxious for visibility requires further compensation
  • Virtually everyone admitted that Facebook and Google blocking news sharing would have a devastating effect, with the services accounting for sizable portions of traffic (70% for Le Devoir, 50% in the case of Village Media, 30% search for the Globe). Elgie said Village Media would not survive blocking from both Google and Facebook, while the Globe said it would cost millions of dollars.
  • News Media Canada wants the bill passed by the summer, though it also wants amendments. It seems unlikely both are possible.
  • Michael Geist

Not Everything is Bad

When we focus only on newsroom closures, we overlook the most innovative part of the journalism industry. Over the past five years, 106 local news outlets opened. While closures were majority print newspapers owned by large newspaper chains, the vast majority of the outlets that launched are digital and independently-owned. Bill C-18, as currently structured, threatens these burgeoning operations.
The Globe and Mail
A preliminary review of the bill would not be complete without referencing one positive, namely a prohibition on discrimination, preference and disadvantage. Section 51 states:


In relation to news content that is produced primarily for the Canadian news marketplace by a news outlet operated by an eligible news business and that is made available by a digital news intermediary, the operator of the intermediary is prohibited from acting in any way that (a) unjustly discriminates against the business; (b) gives undue or unreasonable preference to any individual or entity, including itself; or (c) subjects the business to an undue or unreasonable disadvantage.
That is an excellent starting point for addressing the actual concerns of the platforms and news media.
Michael Geist

More on Bill C-18

Michael Geist, law professor at the University of Ottawa, has extensive coverage on Bill C-18.



When cable TV emerged in the 1990s, there were only so many channels and so many hours in the day available for scheduled programming.

Canadian content rules (CanCon) were put in place to ensure that Canadian TV wasn't overwhelmed with cheaper U.S. productions.

Can You Identify CanCon?

You might be surprised that your favourite movies and TV shows might not meet the official standards to be considered CanCon.

Take the quiz to find out if you can identify what qualifies as CanCon.

Think you can tell the difference between CanCon and not? Take the quiz! to find out which films and TV shows are certified “Canadian” — according to our government.

CanCon — Not What You Think

The point of CanCon is to promote Canadian stories — but what stories are up to snuff, according to the government?

This strict points system is choosy about which parts of a production count towards “Canadian-ness.”

The result? Content we'd all recognize as quintessentially Canadian slipping through the cracks.

Quality Not a Consideration

Unfortunately program quality was never part of the criteria. Schitt's Creek is one of the few exceptions.

Instead, CanCon rules recognized documentaries on the American Civil War and Ghandi, but not a program based upon Canadian Margaret Atwood's novel, The Handmaid's Tale (successfully running on Hulu).

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Updated: August 27, 2023