The Liberal government has struck a deal with Netflix and it looks like we’re going to be seeing a whole lot more Canadian-made entertainment on the streaming service soon. Netflix has agreed to invest $500 million in Canadian content over the next five years. The deal is part of Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly’s overhaul of decades-old culture policy. According to the government, this deal is the biggest investment in Canadian content from a foreign company in 30 years.
The reboot to the plan also includes updated and increased funding for the Canadian Media Fund and the CBC and $125 million to be spent on a ‘creative export strategy’ which would work to get Canadian creators recognition on the world stage.
One thing Canadian media companies aren’t too pleased about is the omission of a ‘Netflix tax’ in the updated policy. Streaming services like Netflix and YouTube are not subjected to the same regulations as media companies in Canada. These regulations include a minimum requirement for Canadian programming and a mandatory pay-in to the development of that content. Canadian media companies would like to see Netflix subjected to the same regulations, but the government is not imposing them on the streaming service in the new policy.
Another notable absence is the lack of funding for other facets of Canadian media. This plan covers TV and whatever movies Netflix and the CBC will put out. There is also a collaboration between Facebook and Ryerson University that will fund a digital news incubator. Other than that, Minister Joly mentioned that the rest of Canadian media is underfunded, but offered no plan for fixing it.
In honor of Netflix’s new investment, Canadians did what they do best: made some jokes about it on Twitter. Would you find these shows binge-worthy?
Plaid is the New Black #netflixcancon
— Brian Jackson (@brianjjackson) September 29, 2017
— Jacob Glick (@jacobglick) September 27, 2017
Friends From University. #netflixcancon
— Peter Nowak (@peternowak) September 28, 2017
Gaga 157.5 cm #NetflixCanCon
— Chris Clarke (@clarkey) September 28, 2017
— Mark Burdon ツ (@mark_burdon) September 28, 2017
The Nature of Stranger Things with David Suzuki #NetflixCanCon
— allison (@allisonalright) September 28, 2017