Canada recently passed one of its most controversial bills in recent decades: Bill C-11, known as the Online Streaming Act. This bill has been very contentious since it was introduced by Trudeau’s Liberal government back in November 2020. It failed to pass the Senate before Parliament was dissolved for the Canadian federal election in 2021. The Liberals reintroduced it with amendments in February 2022 and it received Royal Assent (the final step for a bill to become law in Canada) on April 27, 2023.
There has been a lot of debate, controversy, hand wringing and knashing of teeth over this bill, and for good reason: Bill C-11 substantially reforms Canada’s Broadcasting Act and particularly focuses on online content. Among other things, Bill C-11 subjects social media platforms like YouTube, Netflix, Crave, Spotify Amazon Prime, Disney+ and others to comply with Canadian content (“CanCon”) requirements. It also requires these platforms to spend millions of dollars investing in CanCon.
The details are still yet to be determined, but some of the main concerns with this bill are that it will significantly alter what Canadians see online, because these streaming platforms are now required to promote a certain amount of Canadian content to Canadian users.
If you live in Canada, you become very familiar with various Canadian bands and TV shows due to CanCon requirements. Broadcasters are required to promote a certain amount of CanCon, paving the way for the huge national success of Canadian bands like The Tragically Hip and Nickelback. Now, I think I would still love The Hip even if I didn’t grow up hearing them so much, but I can’t say the same about Nickelback. (But I have heard their songs so many times that I’ll involuntary sing along to “How You Remind Me” when it comes on the radio.)
Let’s take a look at the astrology of this historic bill:
I put this chart in Placidus instead of Whole Sign Houses (WSH), as I’ve been working with a combination of quadrant houses and WSH lately. Also, I think Placidus better captures some of the key patterns in this chart.
The event data for this chart came from this article, which notes 6:55pm ET as when Bill C-11 received Royal Assent and therefore officially became law.
Right away we see that the Ascendant was in Libra, ruled by Venus in the eighth house. The Libra Ascendant speaks to the intense debate on this bill – many sides were presented and there was a lot of weighing of options. Venus being the ruler of the Ascendant makes sense because Venus is associated with arts and culture, artistic works of all kinds – exactly the things that this bill is all about.
Venus being in the eighth house speaks to the impact this bill will have upon Canada’s foreign financial dealings with other nations. One of the key parts of C-11 is that is will require large streaming sites (the vast majority of which are not Canadian) to pay money to support the creation of Canadian content.
Venus is also in Gemini, ruled by Mercury. Again, the symbolism is a perfect match: Mercury signifies communications of all kinds, and Venus is arts and culture – combine them and you get cultural communications, which are at the heart of C-11. Unfortunately, Mercury is not in a good place in this chart: retrograde, combust and conjunct Uranus. This speaks to long-term communication challenges with this bill. I could see this playing out both in problems getting the bill’s stipulations actually enacted, and also problems with Canadians’ voices being heard.
Another striking part of this chart is the nodes along the Ascendant-Descendant axis, which speaks to the gravity and weight of this bill. The north node is also in the middle of a stellium in the seventh house, ruled by Mars in Cancer up in the ninth house.
The heavy seventh house emphasis clearly illustrates how Bill C-11 will have the most impact on Canada’s foreign relations with other nations. And yes that’s exactly what this does: it is an attempt to force foreign-owned (mainly American) streaming sites to comply with Canadian broadcasting requirements. There are a lot of competing factors here:
- The Sun represents Prime Minister Trudeau, whose government was behind the bill. Trudeau is the face of our foreign relations and he is now thrust into the international spotlight as the face of Bill C-11.
- Mercury, the planet signifying communications of all kinds being in a really crappy condition – see my comments above.
- Uranus’ position in the seventh adds some chaotic fuel to the fire, and suggests a strong individualist sentiment bubbling up in the discourse around the bill. This matches the position that the Conservative Party (led by Pierre Poilievre) and the streaming platforms have taken: let the individual decide what they want; don’t let the government tell them.
- Jupiter is right on the Descendant, suggesting a judicial element to Bill C-11. This is reinforced by the ruler, Mars, being in Cancer in the ninth. I’m expecting further lawsuits and court cases to come out around this bill. I don’t have high hopes for those accomplishing much – Mars in Cancer is weak. This is a whiny, passive aggressive, butthurt Mars that will be all bluster and little action.
Bill C-11 really impacts and changes Canada’s relations with other nations, mainly the US, and that’s clearly shown here with the stellium in the seventh. The rulers of both signs in the seventh (Aries and Taurus – Mars and Venus) are not in strong positions, so these foreign relations are likely to be more difficult and uncooperative; possibly even outright combative. I’m looking forward to seeing what response/retaliation the streaming platforms have in store for Canada on this one.
Another key part of the chart is the Moon on the Midheaven in Leo, closely opposite Pluto in Aquarius on the IC. The Moon is the people of Canada who are shoved into the spotlight with this bill. C-11 directly impacts the people and highlights what we can (and can’t) see in our media. The opposition to Pluto shows an underpinning of obsessiveness and transformative power dynamics at play. The square to the Sun shows the adversarial nature of the relationship of the federal government and Trudeau to the people.
All eyes are on Canada for a bit, with the passing of C-11. Canadians are trapped in a fixed T-square, suggesting that this situation will be rooted in stubborness that will take time to change.
Other than all of that, I’ll briefly mention Saturn and Neptune in Pisces, which are in the fourth and fifth houses, respectively, when this chart is in Placidus. (They are in the sixth house in WSH.) It makes sense that Bill C-11 finally became law after Saturn exited his own sign and is now in a significantly weaker part of the sky. I am optimistic that because of this, Saturn will not be able to control the effects of this bill in the way that the government may want it to operate.
It certainly speaks to the shifting boundaries and structures that Bill C-11 represent: boundaries and structures that are immaterial and will be constantly shifting and changing. The exact effects of Bill C-11 are quite intangible, matching up to Saturn’s position in the mutable water sign of Pisces. Neptune further reveals the illusions and delusions associated with this bill. It is likely not going to be as horrible as its harshest critics suggest. It’s also not going to bring in a new wonderland of opportunity for Canadian content creators, like its supporters claim.
Overall, the chart for Bill C-11 suggets a lot of upcoming tension and conflict for Canada and its relationship to the US. The Jupiter-Mars square suggests legal issues will arise as the details come to light. Mars in Cancer might even end up being the big tech platforms flat out refusing to comply.
Both the execution and effects of C-11 are likely to be largely intangible and difficult to quantify. The Mercury retrograde in this chart is a big indicator that things will remain murky for a long time to come, and will need future revision.