The Canadian tech industry is witnessing a colossal battle, a battle of ideologies between Justin Trudeau’s government and American Big Tech companies.
With Bill C-11 and C-18 already in place, and increasing surveillance on media portals, Trudeau seems determined to take on the tech giants head-on. However, the consequences of this war have left Canadians flabbergasted.
Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, along with Google, has announced their intentions to block local news from their platforms in Canada. This move comes after Canada passed a law to compel tech giants to pay news providers for content. What’s even more alarming is that Google might be next in doing so.
As a result, Canadian news organizations are now facing a potential blackout as the tech giants refuse to comply. While Google had struck payment agreements with news providers in other parts of the world, they have labeled Canada’s current law as “unworkable” and threatened to remove links to Canadian news from their platforms once the act takes effect.
As a result, Canadians are left with only federally-funded media on their phones and devices, with private news organizations bearing the brunt of this tech war.
Trudeau Tax on Tech Giants
Now, to add insult to injury, Ottawa is heading to introduce a special tax targeting these social media companies even further. Despite 138 other countries agreeing to delay similar measures, the Liberal government is determined to go ahead with the tax in 2024.
This move has angered the USA too, as they consider retaliatory measures against Canada’s digital services tax. By targeting Big Tech with this tax, the Canadian government is also antagonizing several large U.S. companies.
This puts Canada in the league of such authoritarian states, that don’t want American firms to stay active in their nation. It is becoming increasingly evident that American tech giants are losing patience with Justin Trudeau’s federal policies.
China is OK?
But, there is one aspect that no one is talking about. Interestingly, while American tech giants are visibly fuming over Trudeau’s announcement, there’s a conspicuous silence, a schtum from Chinese social media giants.
Platforms like TikTok and WeChat, known for snooping and stealing data, and serving as mouthpieces for the Chinese Communist Party, have remained silent on the issue. Isn’t that fishy?
Trudeau’s cozy relationship with Xi Jinping has been a topic of concern on several occasions. It has been seen many times that JT follows the footsteps or guidance of Chinese leadership making it more evident that liberals do actually have a soft corner for China.
Also, giving leverage to Chinese tech giants will also increase Chinese scrutiny of Canada’s domestic and political affairs. It seems as though Trudeau’s relentless push to make Canada his own and China’s echo chamber is paying off.
The possibility of Canadian citizens losing access to American social media while Chinese social media fills the void is a concerning development. It raises questions about Trudeau’s loyalty and whether he’s acting as a puppet for Xi Jinping.
The move to drive out American Big Tech companies from Canada and potentially replace them with Chinese alternatives suggest a troubling trend.
The implications of this conflict reach beyond the realm of tech and into the political landscape. Is Canada heading down a path of aligning more closely with China’s interests, even at the cost of freedom of information and cybersecurity? For how long will Trudeau continue to prioritize his relationship with Xi Jinping over the interests of his own country, possibly till his departure, which is coming very soon.