New Data Reveals Nearly Half of Canadians Worried About Impacts of Bill C-18

Research suggests 70% of Canadians who are worried about the impact of the bill plan to change how they access their news in response to Bill C-18, according to Talk Shop

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Since the enactment of Bill C-18 on June 22 this year, Canadians have undergone a notable shift in their news consumption habits, reflecting on the Bill’s broader impact on society. A recent survey conducted by Canadian Communications Agency, Talk Shop, highlights the public's early recognition of the effects ushered in by this new legislation.

Bill C-18 was originally introduced with the aim of compensating Canadian news organizations for the vital information they provide Canadians. However, major technology giants like Google and Meta (the parent company behind Facebook and Instagram) chose instead to block Canadian news content on their platforms, an unintended consequence of the Bill. In the months following the enactment of Bill C-18, Canadians' access to content has shifted significantly, and the implications are already being felt.

Findings from new research conducted by Talk Shop between August 28-30, this year, among a representative sample of 1,505 online Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum, revealed the following about respondents who follow the news:

  • Half (51%) are worried about how Bill C-18 will impact how they stay informed
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Gen Zs and Millennials (18-34 age group) expressed concern about access to news
  • Women seem slightly more worried (55%) than men (45%)

"There is no question that Bill C-18 will have an unintended impact on media consumption. We anticipate consumer loyalty surrounding chosen or preferred outlets will intensify," noted Katie Stevens, Managing Partner at Talk Shop Media. "The impact of the Bill also underscores the importance of aligning media relations efforts to their intended audiences, whether it’s specific media outlets or otherwise, and highlights the value of an integrated communications strategy.”

Among those who are concerned, 70% plan to change how they get their news, noting they plan to get more news from sources not impacted by the Bill (42%) including subscribing to newsletters, downloading news publication applications, visiting news websites directly, picking up a physical paper media, watching the news, or listening to the radio.

In terms of where Canadians currently turn to for news consumption, the top sources of information are news websites (56%), social media (52%), and TV (47%). And within these categories, there are significant age differences: almost two-thirds (64%) of those 18-34 get news from social media, whereas only 40% of those 55 and older do. Conversely, only 28% of the 18-34 cohort get news from TV, whereas 65% of those 55+ do. This means that delivering digital content is paramount if those ages 18-34 are going to stay informed, and consumers must be directed to newsletters, news websites, and apps.

To view the full report, click here.

Media Contact

Kayla Moyes
Account Manager, Talk Shop

About Talk Shop

Talk Shop helps clients to get known and be understood. Founded in Vancouver in 2011, and with a second head office opening in Toronto in 2019, and Los Angeles in 2023, Talk Shop supports clients with their communications needs. Focusing on traditional public relations tactics and digital strategies, Talk Shop works with clients in the technology, lifestyle and real estate, and non-profit sectors to meet their business objectives through smart strategies. Talk Shop employs the best talent in the country and team members who know how to deliver exceptional results for clients across North America. Talk Shop’s commitment to being a family-first workplace, delivery of mentorship programs and ability to retain top talent as they grow their careers has led to the firm being named one of Canada’s 100 Top SME Employers by the Globe and Mail. Talk Shop’s all-women partnership team is made up of entrepreneurs who are passionate about building businesses.

About this Study

These are the findings of a survey conducted by Talk Shop from August 28th to 30th, 2023 among a representative sample of 1,505 online Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The survey was conducted in English and French. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/-2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.