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Google says it will volunteer its top execs to testify at parliamentary committee


Google says it will send some of its top executives to appear before a parliamentary committee studying a hotly debated bill with implications for the media industry.

MPs clashed with Google representative earlier this month

Google says it will send two of its top executives to testify before a parliamentary committee, after both initially rejected requests to do so. (David Gray/Bloomberg)

Google says it will volunteer some of its top executives to testify at a parliamentary committee.

In a statement, the company says it aims to work constructively with the heritage committee that is studying the actions of Google after the Silicon Valley giant ran a five-week test that blocked news links to some of its Canadian users.

The test was meant to assess the effects of a potential response to Bill C-18, the Liberal government’s controversial Online News Act.

A spokesperson says Google will be making their president of global affairs and chief legal officer, Kent Walker and vice-president of news Richard Gingras available to meet with the committee.

Both rejected a summons by the committee earlier this month.

The head of Google Canada appeared in their place, but Google says it recognizes that MPs on the committee continue to have questions that they wish to have answered.

Bill C-18 has been hotly debated given its implications for the Canadian news industry. Among other provisions, it would set out a framework under which platforms like Facebook and Google could make deals with news organizations — including potentially the CBC — to pay them in exchange for posting or linking to their content.

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