Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau is joining the chorus of dissent coming from Quebec over the federal government’s recent dealings with Netflix.
During a speech given to the Board of Trade of Metroplitan Montreal, Peladeau underscored the investments of Quebecor’s telecom arm Vidéotron — including the $117 million CAD it gave the Canada Media Fund over the past five years and the $1.1 billion it spent on its network over the same period.
Peladeau said Vidéotron would spend another $200 million in network investments over the next three years “just to cope with Netflix’s consumption,” adding that the platform “does not pay a dime” to use the bandwidth on which it rests its business model.
Peladeau also brought up Quebec’s proposal to the federal government to coordinate a sales tax on foreign online goods-and-services providers — a combined levy that would equal about 15 per cent.
In his prepared comments, which we’ve translated from French, Peladeau stated:
“Let’s hope that the Trudeau government will have the courage to do what is right: seize the outstretched hand of the Quebec government, and tax Netflix. In this regard, there is a rare consensus in Quebec.”
Members of Quebec’s provincial government have already been vocal in disagreeing with the federal government’s approach to dealing with the taxation of foreign digital platforms like Netflix.
Quebec’s Finance Minister Carlos Leitao stated earlier in November that the province intends to force Netflix to pay provincial sales tax in the region because its exemption gives it an unfair advantage over Quebec-based companies that offer similar streaming platforms, with Vidéotron’s Club Illico being the most notable example.
The uproar over taxation of Netflix and similar platforms began in October when Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly revealed Canada’s new cultural policy plan.
The plan, ‘Creative Canada,’ features as its centerpiece a $500 million CAD deal with Netflix that involves opening a permanent production “presence” in the country. It does not, however, include new taxes on digital platforms, and also drew criticism for not committing strongly to the production of French-language content.
Source: Quebecor via YouTube