Is an Internet tax coming for Canada? by Michael Geist

The emergence of cultural funding as a hot-button political issue in the current election campaign appears to have taken virtually everyone by surprise. The roughly $50 million in cuts may be tiny in terms of the overall federal budget, yet the significant impact on the cultural community has propelled the issue onto the national stage.While leaders debate the merits of public funding for the arts, whoever forms the next government will quickly face a far bigger cultural funding issue that promises to make the current dispute seem like a short preview as compared to the forthcoming main attraction.The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission will hold hearings on new media regulation in early 2009 and barring a change of heart, the focal point will be the prospect of a mandated levy on Internet service providers to fund new media cultural production.

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