If re-elected, incumbent Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed that he would tax streaming services like Disney+ and Netflix, as well as multinational tech giants during the French-language debate.
Trudeau was joined by Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer, New Democrat Party Leader Jagmeet Singh and Bloc Québécois leader Yves-François Blanchet. All agreed that international tech giants need to be contributing to Canada’s economy during the first French-language debate of the 2019 campaign.
To note, quotes and the debate for this article have been translated from French.
Trudeau said that what his party has introduced would be a way to protect the industry, especially the media industry, in Canada.
“[We] assure that Disney and all that is coming, they will pay a tax because they are coming internationally, it’s their responsibility,” he said. “We have to help celebrate and aid the culture here.”
Currently, the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review is taking place and is looking into whether or not Netflix should be taxed. But in the meantime, Disney+ is arriving into Canada on November 12th and there’s no word on a tax on the streaming site.
To note, Quebec and Saskatchewan already charge a provincial tax on Netflix.
Trudeau recently revealed that if he was re-elected, his party will create a three percent tax on the revenue generated by tech giants in Canada for the sales of online advertising or any profits generated through Canadian user data.
Scheer also recently announced that if elected as the next prime minister would tax big tech giants. However, he did not say before, nor did he say during the debate, exactly what that would look like.
He told Radio Canada’s Toute le monde en parle that he would get these tech giants to “contribute to our society.” This would include companies like Facebook and Google.
During the debate, he reiterated his statements and said: “We would have them pay.”
“Know that the Liberal government has [made it easy] for big tech giants coming into Canada and it’s not helping,” Scheer said.
Singh, on the other hand, also did not indicate how his party would put non Canadian tech giants in their place.
But, he indicated that he would “have the courage to correct the injustice that foreign companies are bringing in Quebec and in Canada.”
“We attack the injustice that Mr. Trudeau has given to big companies like Netflix,” Singh said. “We propose to defend the identity of Quebec and the media and bring strength and create a tax for the tech giants.”
He also added that Netflix was “disastrous and not helping Quebec or Canada,” and accused Trudeau’s party of not doing anything.
The leaders were also asked how they would protect the privacy of Canadians, which has taken a toll recently, especially with the Capital One data breach.
All leaders felt it was important that better privacy protections were necessary.
The article will be updated with more details on what Blanchet said.