OTTAWA – A Canadian creator of a YouTube channel for children with 34.2 million subscribers called the government’s online streaming bill a “bad piece” of legislation written by people who don’t understand digital platforms.

Morghan Fortier, a member of the House of Commons heritage panel, warned MPs Tuesday that the bill was “far too broad” and gave the broadcast regulator power over the internet.

She stated that Bill C-11 was not ill-intentioned, but she believes it to be a bad piece. It was written by people who don’t know the industry.

YouTube entrepreneur Bill C-11 is confusing online platforms like Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and CBC with broadcasters such as CBC and Netflix.

Fortier stated that a light regulatory touch is key to her success and that of other digital creators. She also argued that Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez’s promises that Bill C-11 would not impact user-generated content were “untrue.”

Fortier revealed to MPs that Super Simple Songs, her digital-first studio channel, features children’s songs set to animated videos. It has over 1.3 million views.

She suggested that a clause in the bill that gave the CRTC the power to regulate YouTube videos should be removed.

This bill will update Canada’s broadcast laws and include streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify. The bill would help Canada’s creative industries by ensuring that streaming services are financially supported and featured Canadian television, music and film.

Dr. Irene Berkowitz, Toronto Metropolitan University, told MPs that she is deeply concerned about the possibility that C-11 would “chill Canadian media innovation.”

She claimed that YouTube’s No. 1 exporter is Canada. Canada is the No. 1 exporter, which enhances Canada’s soft power and our values around world. People of all races and genders benefit.

Berkowitz asked, “Why mess up the earnings of self-starters that have never asked for anything from the public purse?”

Other experts advised MPs that the bill should be quickly introduced to protect Canadian music producers as well as create an equal playing field between streaming giants like Netflix and Canadian broadcasters.

OutTV CEO Brad Danks warned that there were some streaming services outside Canada that refuse to show LGBTQ content.

Danks explained that while some, such as Amazon Prime, have accepted such content, other algorithms predict that no one will subscribe to TV and film with a LGBTQ theme. This was a mistaken assessment.

He warned that streaming services that do not allow LGBTQ content may soon be coming to Canada.

Danks stated that regulations are required in the bill to ensure that Canadian content, including LGBTQ programs, is featured on premium streaming services.

He stated that it was “essential” for Canadians to have access to streaming giants.

Jerome Payette is the executive director of Professional Music Publishers Association. He stated that streaming giants “no respect for the cultural aspects” of francophone music and that some musicians were making pennies off their work through web giants.

He insisted that “it is our culture and cultural sovereignty that are at stake.”

Troy Reeb is the executive vice-president at Corus Entertainment. He stated that Canadian broadcasters are subject to layers of regulations which foreign rivals are not. The bill would ensure equal playing fields.

Alain Saulnier (author and retired professor of communications at Universite de Montreal) said that “putting Canadian and foreign companies on the same page is essential.”

He warned that it was necessary to protect our cultural sovereignty from foreign streaming platforms. These were taking over traditional TV companies.

Michael Geist, University of Ottawa’s Canada Research chair in internet law, stated that the bill would create “regulatory uncertainties” and called for a more specific approach.

Geist stated, “If the goal of the legislation is to target large streaming service providers or to exempt niche streamers and video games, then say so in the legislation.”

He suggested Canada should mirror the European Union legislation, which distinguishes between uncurated and curated content.

Matthew Hatfield, OpenMedia, a community-driven organisation dedicated to an open internet, stated that users’ podcasts and YouTube videos must be exempted from the bill.

He asked MPs for “minimum safeguards” to ensure that user-generated material is completely, clearly and definitively exempted from CRTC regulation.

Hatfield stated that the federal government had just made a “flimsy assurance” that the CRTC wouldn’t abuse this extraordinary expanded power.

Rodriguez spokeswoman said that Bill C-11’s purpose was to encourage online streaming companies to make contributions to Canadian culture and to update broadcasting policy to reflect a vibrant, diverse 21st century Canada.

“The minister has stated from the beginning that he is open for ideas to strengthen the bill and reach these policy objectives. Ashley Michnowski stated that the goal of regulating user-generated content is not one. “There’s a lively debate in the parliamentary panel about the bill. We’re exploring options for strengthening it.”

She stated that YouTube, “as Canada’s largest streaming music platform,” is included in the bill. However, “users will have no obligations.”

She stated that only platforms such as YouTube can contribute to Canadian culture, and must pay their fair share.