Canadian Parliament calls Google top executives questioned

With the decision taken at the last meeting of the Parliamentary Culture Committee, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Head of Global Affairs Kent Walker, Vice President of News Richard Gingras and the company’s Canada Director Sabrina Geremia are invited to answer the Committee’s questions.

Parliament does not have the authority to call people outside the country for committee interrogation, but if these four do not show up, Parliament will be able to issue subpoenas if they set foot in Canada.

What happened?

With the Online News Act, also known as Bill C-18, which was last passed by parliament in December 2022 and will be discussed in the Senate in the coming months, digital giants like Google and Facebook owner Meta pay Canadian media companies fees for republishing their content on their platforms. had decreed.

Upon this development, Google began to prevent some Canadian users from viewing news content.

In Google’s ongoing application, some users cannot access content created by Canadian publishers and media outlets.

Google announced that this app covers about 4 percent of Google users in Canada and is a temporary trial test.

On the developments, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez’s spokesperson, Laura Scaffidi, said that Google threatened to block news from its site in response to the bill, and that this would not intimidate Canadians.

“This didn’t work in Australia and it won’t work here. At the end of the day, all we’re asking tech giants to do is pay journalists when they use their jobs. Canadians need access to quality, fact-based news locally and nationally, and that’s why we passed the Online News Act,” Scaffidi said. “Tech giants need to be more transparent and accountable to Canadians.”

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