Politics Briefing: Meta officially ending news availability in Canada


Discovering news articles and videos on Facebook and Instagram will soon become a relic of the past, as Meta announced it is officially ending news availability in Canada.

Meta said Tuesday that within a few weeks, it will remove news, including from international outlets, for all Canadian users of its popular Facebook and Instagram platforms.

In June the company started running a test that limited news for up to five per cent of users, but now it says it is moving out of the testing phase.

“In order to provide clarity to the millions of Canadians and businesses who use our platforms, we are announcing today that we have begun the process of ending news availability permanently in Canada,” said Rachel Curran, head of public policy for Meta Canada. Curran previously served as a policy adviser for former prime minister Stephen Harper.

That means Canadians will no longer be able to share or view news articles and other content posted by publishers and broadcasters, including international outlets. News links to articles, reels – which are short-form videos – or stories, which are photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours, are also expected to be affected by the block.

Full story from The Canadian Press here.

Canada’s new Heritage Minister, Pascale St-Onge, said last week she would stand up against the tech giants about the Online News Act. Ottawa reporter Marie Woolf reports here.

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Justice Minister to take new oath after wording left out of previous one – Arif Virani, the new federal Justice Minister and Attorney General, is scheduled to swear a fresh oath Tuesday because the one he recited last week left out new wording ushered in following the SNC-Lavalin affair. Story here.

NDP Leader deals with drive-by heckler – CTV reports here on how NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was quick to clap back at a heckler during a news conference in St. John’s on Tuesday, inviting the man to “have a conversation” with him instead of shouting expletives out of his car window.

Not enough places to live, Trudeau says of the housing market, as he pledges to scale supply – There are simply not enough affordable places for people to live across Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday during a housing announcement in Hamilton, where he promised the federal government would work to scale up supply. Story here.

Chefs whip up diverse dishes to satisfy international crews fighting Canada’s wildfires – Being a chef at a remote fire camp this summer has meant feeding crews from around the world, who have come to Canada to battle some of the worst wildfires this country has ever seen. Cooking up a mix of dishes that will satisfy them all takes plenty of hours, skill and trial and error. Story here.

LRT shutdown in Ottawa prompts talk of rider compensation – The head of Ottawa’s transit commission says city councillors are looking at the idea of providing some kind of compensation to riders inconvenienced by the two-weeks-and-counting shutdown of the LRT. Story here from CBC.


Summer break – Both House of Commons and the Senate are on breaks. The House sits again on Sept. 18. The Senate sits again on Sept. 19.

Ministers on the Road – Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Gary Anandasangaree, in Saskatoon, joined chiefs and members of the communities of a number of Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 First Nations to celebrate settlement agreements regarding Treaty Salaries Specific Claims. Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, in Montreal, made an announcement on the recovery of species at risk in the St. Lawrence Lowlands. Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan, in Woodbridge, Ont., launched the 2023–2024 call for proposals for community-based projects through the New Horizons for Seniors Program.


Private meetings in Ottawa.


Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre held a news conference on Parliament Hill.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, in St. John’s, held a news conference.

No schedules provided for other party leaders.


On Tuesday’s edition of The Globe and Mail podcast, Vett Lloyd of Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B., talks about contracting Lyme disease from a tick, and how she made it her mission to study these parasites. She tells us where ticks are, what to look out for, and what to do if you find one. The Decibel is here.


Brett Wilson – Conservatives are taking note of the passing of Brett Wilson, who worked for several MPs in Ottawa. “He was a valued member of our Conservative family. His bright & cheerful disposition had an immeasurable impact on everyone encountered,” Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, here. Philip Lawrence, the MP for Northumberland-Peterborough South, said here that Mr. Wilson would be remembered as a young man who cared.


The Globe and Mail Editorial Board on the summer that climate heating metastasized:Every summer in the Northern Hemisphere seems to bring a new reckoning with the consequences of climate heating. What will next summer, and the one after that, bring? There are things Canada can and must do to begin mitigating the catastrophes that kill people, harm the economy, destroy property to the tune of billions of dollars and create ever-greater inequality. We will discuss those measures in our next editorial. But the bottom line is that Canadians can no longer look away, hope for the best and rely on others to address the climate crisis. It’s here now, and getting worse.”

Gary Mason (The Globe and Mail) on how the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is a disaster for everyone but Alberta: The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was supposed to allow Alberta oil to reach foreign markets like China. Except Asia will likely not have any interest in oil from Canada as long as it can get it at a discount from Russia. So the oil from our new pipeline will mostly go to the U.S., where most of Alberta oil goes now anyway. So much for best laid plans. What won’t change is the untold billions the pipeline will deliver to the Alberta economy in the form of royalties. I’m sure politicians like Jason Nixon will heap unfettered praise on Mr. Trudeau for being the architect of their good fortune. Or not. “

André Picard (The Globe and Mail) on how cities need to make space for transportation alternatives: Now, just over a century after mass production of cars began, Canada is one of the most auto-dependent countries on Earth. We have almost as many motor vehicles as people, and we have given over an inordinate amount of public space to accommodate them, leaving mere scraps to everyone else. It’s time for a shift – one as revolutionary as the transition from horses to cars, but done smarter. This time around, change should be driven not only by shifting public tastes, but by public-health concerns, from tackling climate change through to promoting individual health.”

Jillian Horton (Contributed to The Globe and Mail) on how, when it comes to a COVID inquiry, we shouldn’t succumb to cynicism: Last week, the British Medical Journal published a series co-authored by a number of distinguished Canadian experts examining our national response to the COVID-19 pandemic and calling for a national inquiry – something many of us assumed would be well under way by now. And yet, there have been no other recent high-profile calls for a national inquiry that I can recall – no provincial medical associations, no national health care organizations, no political parties. There is a weariness when it comes to rehashing events of the past three years; a sense that we’ve already heard this song, and an inquiry is just wasting more time talking about what we already know. Time for action, the refrain goes. Well, it is time for action. But weary or not, the best path we have when it comes to getting that action right is a federal inquiry.”

Randall Denley (The Ottawa Citizen) on how Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservatives need to learn from the Kanata-Carleton by-election result: “The outcome of last week’s provincial by-election in Kanata-Carleton was bad for Progressive Conservative candidate Sean Webster, but it was bad for Ottawa, too. The city desperately needs more representation in Premier Doug Ford’s government. Instead, voters chose Liberal Karen McCrimmon, a former MP who can now look forward to three futile years in the nine-seat Ontario Liberal caucus. No disrespect to McCrimmon. She was a solid two-term federal representative for the riding, but the Liberals have neither a leader nor policies. McCrimmon says she’s looking forward to helping rebuild the party, but that in itself won’t do much for Ottawa voters. The Ontario PC Party campaign geniuses who managed to lose this eminently winnable by-election need to learn some lessons from the experience. When you deploy the premier in Ottawa in an attempt to hold the seat, then still lose it, that’s an extremely bad result.”

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