Canada’s largest media companies are struggling to survive a new climate legislation that could impose a $100 million fine on media outlets that fail to provide accurate climate data.
The new regulations come amid a series of lawsuits against Canadian media outlets by citizens and other organizations who claim they have been misclassified by government officials.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the CBC/Radio-Canada are among the major media companies facing the fines.
Canada’s Climate Action Plan has been a target of a series on climate change by Canadian citizens and environmental groups.
A separate lawsuit brought by a group of climate activists last month challenged the plan’s inclusion of a carbon price.
The legislation passed by the Canadian Parliament on Friday, but it faces stiff opposition from industry leaders and advocacy groups.
The law also requires media companies to provide data on climate and air pollution in the same way that they do for economic data, including by providing information on the number of jobs created and the percentage of people living in poverty.
“It’s not the same as climate change.
The data is different,” said Bill Morneau, the Canadian finance minister who introduced the legislation.
“If we want to know about climate change, we need to have the data.”
The bill also makes it easier for Canadian media companies and others to sue governments, though it does not mandate any fines.
It also creates new penalties for failing to comply with climate data requests, which include fines of up to $100,000 per case.
The government says it’s committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25 per cent by 2050, a goal set by the United Nations.
But critics say the plan will not be enough to meet that goal.
The regulations will take effect in 2019.