OTTAWA, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Canadian government has reached a deal with Google over the Online News Act, Canadian Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge announced Wednesday.
In a statement, St-Onge said Google will contribute 100 million Canadian dollars (74 million U.S. dollars) in financial support annually, indexed to inflation, for a wide range of news businesses across the country, including independent news businesses and those from Indigenous and official-language minority communities.
"This will benefit the news sector and allow Google to continue to play an important role in giving Canadians access to reliable news content," said St-Onge, adding that with newsrooms cutting positions or closing entirely, the health of the Canadian news industry has never been more at risk.
Google will have the option to work with a single collective to distribute its contribution to all interested eligible news businesses based on the number of full-time equivalent journalists engaged by those businesses, the statement said.
In addition to its financial contribution, Google has indicated that it will continue to make programs available for Canadian news businesses, such as training, tools and resources for business development and support for non-profit journalism projects, the statement said.
The federal government's Online News Act, or Bill C-18, received royal assent on July 22 and will come into force on Dec. 19. The legislation requires tech platforms to bargain with Canadian news organizations to fairly compensate them for their work. Currently Meta, the parent company of Facebook, continues to block news content for Canadian users in response.