Mélanie Joly confident French-language content won't be overlooked with Netflix deal

The Netflix logo is shown above their booth at Comic Con International in San Diego California U.S

"We want them to participate in our goals to support the creation and discovery of Canadian content that showcases our talent, our cultures and our stories", she said.

Along with Netflix contributing $500 million to Canadian content, Joly went on to explain that Facebook has teamed up with Toronto's Ryerson University to fund a new digital news incubator. The deal also supports Canadian French-language content on the Netflix platform.

Canadian broadcasters also must fulfil a quota of Canadian content on air, which streaming services are not required to match. Streaming services like Netflix and YouTube are not subjected to the same regulations as media companies in Canada.

But their numbers are dwindling, with an estimated 200,000 or two percent of television subscribers per year cutting the cord, said an April report titled "The Battle for the North American Couch Potato". The government did not tax Netflix as some had proposed.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected a so-called "Netflix tax" in the 2015 election that swept his Liberals to power. However, she noted that "access and affordability of internet and wireless are real issues for many", and, with Canadians paying "some of the highest rates in the world", the Government "won't increase the cost of these services to Canadians by imposing a new tax".

It's unclear whether the C$500 million must be spent on productions directed by or featuring Canadians, or if it would apply to shows Netflix is producing in Canada simply because the country is a cheap place to shoot.

Canada's Heritage Minister, Melanie Joly, said the deal "signals a meaningful partnership in supporting Canadian creators, producers and Canadian creative work, and in bringing that work to millions of viewers around the world". No figure is available, but Joly says top-ups from Ottawa will start next year to cover the shortfall.

"In announcing the pact, the Canadian government called out "Alias Grace", a co-production of CBC, Netflix and Halfire Entertainment".

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