Liberals set to ask expert panel for ways to regulate online streaming services

OTTAWA — The Liberals are enlisting seven experts to help rewrite the country’s broadcasting regulations so online streaming giants like Netflix and Spotify are forced to give a boost to Canadian content.

Government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information was not yet public, say the panel will also be asked to review the mandate of CBC/Radio-Canada with a view to protecting future governments from slashing its public funding and to revamp the role and powers of the national broadcast regulator.

A key message the government is likely to push today is that the review will study how to modernize the broadcast system without increasing the cost of services to consumers.

The seven-member panel will have 18 months to complete its work, ensuring a final report will not arrive until weeks after the next federal election in October 2019.

The expert panel, the details of which were first reported by The Globe and Mail, is the latest in a series of reports and consultations the Liberals have ordered about the future of the cultural sector in the digital age.

Last week, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission recommended the Liberals consider regulating any online video or music service and have them pay to create, or better promote, domestic content.

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