Ottawa's $500M Netflix deal draws reaction from incumbents

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Accordingly, Netflix will establish Netflix Canada - a permanent production presence that represents its first such venture outside of the United States, Variety reports.

Under an agreement with the government of Canada, Netflix has agreed to invest a minimum of $500 million Canadian (about $400 million U.S.) in original productions in the country over the next five years, Variety said.

This week on the SyrupCast Igor Bonifacic, Rose Behar, and Patrick O'Rourke discuss Netflix's announcement to dedicate half a billion dollars to Canadian content.

However, many producers claim the deal unfairly advantages Netflix, which will pay no taxes for the duration of the agreement and is not subject to the existing 5% content levy.

Some people within the industry as well as the political sphere would have preferred to see Canada impose a "Netflix tax", as France and Australia are doing, to inject development funds into the Canadian industry.

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What do you think about the Netflix investment in Canadian content? Overall, though, the plan plots a course that aims to rework many of Canada's laws and regulations that oversee broadcasting, telecommunications and copyright, as well as the private and publicly supported funds that back musicians, writers and publishers in the coming months.

"We simply want Netflix, Amazon and others to play by the same rules as Canadian media and not take money out of Canada without contributing to Canadian programming", said Suzuki, a popular broadcaster and environmentalist.

Launching the initiative, Melanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, said that there had been a shift in how people access content, with this increasingly taking place online.

"The Government of Canada is committed to growing our creative industries with new investments that create opportunities for creators and producers across the country to make great content that stands out", said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

The company has already co-produced a handful of Canadian television series with public broadcaster CBC and others, including Anne, based on the novelAnne of Green Gables, and Canadian author Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace.

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