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OTTAWA—Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez defended Ottawa’s online news bill before a parliamentary committee on Friday, the same day Google — C-18’s top critic — shared how it would want to see the proposed legislation amended.

“The world is watching us, and I hope that we will rise to the occasion,” the minister told members of the House of Commons heritage committee.

“We can give Canadian news media a chance to rebuild and thrive in a more sustainable, fairer use of the system. And we’ll do everything we can to give Canadians access to fair, impartial, fact-based, high-quality news.”

Rodriguez was backing the Liberal government’s proposal for an Online News Act, which would compel online platforms like Facebook and Google to share some of the revenues they generate from posting news content on their sites with the outlets themselves. The bill is meant to toss a lifeline to Canada’s journalism industry at a time when tech giants dominate the digital advertising market.

Earlier in the day, Google Canada held a briefing with reporters on the changes it wants to see made to the bill. The changes were submitted to the committee on Thursday.

One of the top amendments the global search giant is pushing for involves striking or limiting a section of the bill that would block platforms from giving “undue or unreasonable preference” to certain news content.

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