Google says it will stop blocking Canadian news links next week

Photo: Aleksandr Zubkov / Moment / Getty Image

Google says it will end its block on news links next week following a five-week test that limited access to news for some Canadian users.  

The test began in early February, and affected users were prevented from seeing news links on Google's search engine and Discover panel on Android phones. 

The company says the test was to assess potential impacts of a response to Bill C-18, the Liberal government's controversial Online News Act. 

The update comes as the head of Google Canada appears in front of a parliamentary committee to answer questions about the test. 

Sabrina Geremia says the bill, which puts a price on free links to web pages that produce news, sets a dangerous precedent that threatens the open web and free flow of information.

She says the Online News Act is no longer about supporting local journalism and will benefit legacy media and broadcasters the most, while incentivizing clickbait content over quality journalism.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 10, 2023.

The Canadian Press