CUPE is one of the founding members of the Coalition pour la culture et les médias, which made the same request on Monday at a press conference in Montréal.
“It’s unacceptable for the Canadian government to be negotiating a mutual agreement behind closed doors that favours a multinational Internet corporation over its Québec and Canada-based competitors,” stated CUPE-Québec president Denis Bolduc.
Netflix uses tax avoidance strategies to make itself exempt from having to collect any sales tax on its services. By signing an agreement with this corporation, the Canadian government is endorsing this approach and throwing further out of balance a Canadian media ecosystem already suffering the impact of failure to regulate foreign over-the-top content providers.
“The situation is serious,” added Réjean Beaudet, president of CUPE 687, the TVA employees’ union, and recording secretary of CUPE’s communications sector provincial council (CPSC). “Instead of supporting companies in the industry that provide jobs to our members, the government is making it look like it’s started lobbying for Netflix. What we’re asking isn’t rocket science. We’re just trying to make the market fair again by requiring the online giants to follow the same tax rules.”