Election 2015 Tech Watch: The mythical Netflix tax

Canadians will go to the polls in a federal election on October 19th, following one of the longest campaigns in Canadian history. And the IT sector is sure to play at least some role as the parties roll out their policies and trade barbs on the hustings.

At ITBusiness.ca, our regular Election 2015 Tech Watch feature will highlight any IT-related issues or policies that pop up on the campaign trail and, when necessary, correct the record.

In our inaugural edition, we look at comments Stephen Harper made in a Twitter video Wednesday where, after expressing his love for Breaking Bad (we won’t ask which character he identified with) he went on to talk about Netflix.

“Some politicians want to tax digital streaming services like Netflix and YouTube,” said Harper. “Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair have left the door wide open to doing just that. I’m 100 per cent against a Netflix tax — always have been, always will be.”

So, Harper is firmly against a tax on Netflix. It’s not a major economic issue, but many Canadians use the popular video streaming service so that’s certainly good to know. Should Netflix users be concerned should the Liberal Party’s Trudeau or NDP’s Mulcair come to power though, as the Conservative Harper implies?

Thankfully, no. The truth is, no party has proposed or even mentioned the remote possibility of a Netflix tax. It’s just a case of politicians being politicians. Netflix users can continue streaming tax-free whoever is elected this fall, and can cast their election ballots based on other surely equally important issues.

The online world did have fun with the Conservative claims though, launching the hashtag #HarperANetflixShow on Twitter. Here’s a few of our favourites:

https://twitter.com/LiberalCanuck/status/629145839215116289

https://twitter.com/EmmMacfarlane/status/629121616337870848

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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