(Victoria) The BC government has stopped advertising on Facebook and Instagram to send a message to parent company Meta, which blocks Canadian news from social media platforms.

Premier David Eby said in a statement that Meta’s decision to cut off access to information for many people in British Columbia who use social media sites is “unacceptable.”

Meta recently announced that it would block Canadian news on its platforms in response to the new federal online news law, which came into effect on June 22, 2023.

The law, which is expected to come into force within six months, will force the biggest digital platforms, including Meta and Google, to negotiate with Canadian news companies and pay for the use of their content.

Mr Eby’s statement says the province wants to send a strong message to Meta that journalism is a vital public service and that access to information should not be blocked.

The statement says BC will only advertise on Meta to provide the public with essential information related to public health and safety emergencies, including information about wildfires.