Briefing

Netflix claims it fulfilled its five-year $500 million Canada commitment in two years

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Stéphane Cardin, director of public policy for Canada, said the country has been the company’s second- or third-largest production centre over the last three years. Netflix pledged the spending as part of a deal with the federal government in 2017. (La Presse)

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Talking point: The company’s spending figures aren’t based on the Canada Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s point system for certifying Canadian content—it’s counting movies like Murder Mystery, which, though filmed here, was produced by and starred Americans. Netflix and other foreign streaming services could be forced to follow a more conventional definition following the October election. In July, Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said a re-elected Liberal government would require platforms to contribute “meaningful levels of Canadian content,” under guidelines to be recommended by a government-appointed panel reviewing broadcasting law. The NDP want foreign firms to follow the same rules as Canadian broadcasters, but Netflix has argued its spending commitment should make it exempt.