Canada’s largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), is calling on the Trudeau government to stand strong in the face of bullying by tech giants Meta and Google, who do not want to pay their fair share to support local journalism in Canada.

“Tech giants like Google and Meta have been making billions off of content they don’t create, while local outlets fold and thousands in the news industry lose their jobs. This has to stop, and C-18 is a crucial part of how we’re going to stop it,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock.

The Online News Act (Bill C-18) was passed into law last month, which requires companies like Meta and Google to compensate news organizations when web users access a web story through one of their platforms. In recent years, revenue streams for news outlets have plummeted as more and more advertising dollars go to digital platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google. Similar legislation to Bill C-18 was implemented in Australia, where it has led to a resurgence in local journalism, and it’s hoped that it will have the same effect in Canada.

“A healthy democracy depends on strong local journalism in our communities,” said CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick. “Our government must stand up and defend this vital industry for the benefit of everyone across Canada.”

CUPE represents approximately 7,000 workers in the telecommunications and broadcasting sector, primarily in Quebec.