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Quebec eyes new bill to force online streaming giants to show more francophone content


Quebecers could soon see more homegrown content on streaming services like Netflix and Disney+.

The provincial government announced that it plans to introduce a new bill within the next year to force online streaming giants to add more made-in-Quebec media on their platforms. It was one of nine measures unveiled on Sunday under the province's plan to spend $603 million over five years to protect the French language in Quebec.

Culture Minister Mathieu Lacombe did not provide specifics of what would be inside the bill.

"We are working on it," he told reporters at a press conference in Montreal. "The goal is to make sure that when you're connecting on platforms on the internet, like Netflix, like Disney, the goal is for the users here in Quebec to have access more easily to Quebec's content, which is not the case right now."

The new funding will be aimed at nine priorities outlined by the government to boost the status of French. More than half of the money — $320 million — will be earmarked for ensuring temporary international workers speak and learn French. After immigration, culture is poised to get the second-largest chunk of the funding, at $187.3 million.

The Ministry of Culture and Communications and the Ministry of International Relations and Francophonie will both be tasked with increasing the availability and accessibility of Quebec francophone culture on digital platforms. According to the action plan unveiled Sunday, the two ministries will be responsible for providing "leadership and development international partnerships to ensure diversity of francophone culture content on digital platforms."

It's not clear how Quebec intends to force streaming giants to boost locally produced content on their services. The action plan mentioned it would develop international partnerships and that "the government is determined to use all the levers at its disposal to raise the profile of Quebec's francophone culture." Top Stories

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