This week the Liberals passed the C-11 censorship bill through the committee. This means it’ll return to the House of Commons, receiving a majority vote from Trudeau’s Liberals and with a little help from his New Lapdog Party friends.
I’m reminded of an early episode of Parks and Recreation where protagonist, government bureaucrat Leslie Knope, has to filibuster her own meeting. At 9 pm promptly, she shuts down the committee, leaving citizens angry and resentful.
The same thing happened here.
“Canadians watching the hearing would be rightly appalled, wondering how a democratic country that sees itself as a model for the world would descend to the level of racing through over a hundred amendments without discussions, debate or even public disclosure of the content of the amendments,” said Ottawa University’s Canada Research Chair in Internet Law, Michael Geist.
Of course, no one should be surprised that the Liberal/NDP coalition prematurely shut down the debate. It is, after all, a censorship bill. One that will put podcasts and YouTube videos under the direction of the federal government’s administrative bureaucracy.
That is, unelected government busybodies – living off your taxes – telling you what’s sufficiently “Canadian” enough for you to see on the once free internet.
150 Amendments Proposed and Ignored
The C-11 censorship bill would never have passed the committee if it wasn’t for Jagmeet Singh’s New Democratic Lapdog Party. The resentment toward Singh is already building up, and you can see it whenever he visits somewhere. Protestors heckle him out the door. At first, the corporate press tried to frame the hecklers as white supremacists. “Poilievre’s people,” the blue-check marks on Twitter claimed.
But then Singh was bullied out of a Brampton event by Sikhs with brown skin. So it’s clear that people are mad that the left-wing opposition to Trudeau’s government is now his lapdog. That Singh has done what he said he wouldn’t do during the election.
Suppose there was a case to be made for a Trudeau-Singh coalition. The C-11 censorship bill is where Singh needs to grow a backbone and say no.
Critics proposed over 150 amendments for C-11. Leading experts spoke to the committee and criticized it for many issues. Namely, giving the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) the power to regulate and censor user-generated content.
Things like podcasts, YouTube videos, Twitter posts, Facebook posts, Instagram posts. As it stands, sure, you can have a website and write whatever you want (within reason, Canada has no absolute freedom of speech). But heaven forbid you share your contrary opinions on the social media platforms everybody uses.
And if Canadians give the CRTC this inch, they’ll take a mile. C-11 censors what we can post on social media. You can guarantee the next iteration of the bill will be the CRTC censoring what Canadian websites can print… for public health and safety, of course. To combat mis- dis- and mal-information.
C-11 Censorship Nothing to Worry About?
The Liberals and CRTC are telling us to relax. They don’t expect to act on these new powers. But according to their definitions, this blog post is full of misinformation. Yet, nothing I’ve written here is a lie.
And I’ve never censored negative comments. I can’t say the same for the Liberals. Last year, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said government bureaucrats need protection from online scrutiny. Guilbeault also wanted to create a Digital Safety Commissioner with the power to block websites.
So much for only regulating social media.
Steven Guilbeault is no longer Heritage Minister. A radical Greenpeace activist who’s broken the law as part of his protests, he’s, unfortunately, doing a lot more damage now as Minister of the Environment.
This is not the Liberal Party of your grandparents. Certainly not the Liberal Party of Wilfred Laurier, who said, “Canada is free and freedom is its nationality.”
This is the Liberal Party of Justin Trudeau. Who said Canada has “no core identity,” and that we are “the first post-national state.”
Meanwhile, even Peter Menzies, a former vice-chair of the CRTC, describes the bill as “thuggish.”
Will the Senate Save the Day?
Some describe Canada’s Senate as the country’s “sober second thought.” One hopes that is the case with the C-11 censorship bill.
Fortunately, the Senate committee’s chair is a Conservative. Senator Leo Housakos accurately accused the government of trying to “ram this legislation through without proper parliamentary scrutiny.”
“Thanks to the Official Opposition in the Senate and a few other Senators from other groups and caucuses, those plans have been stymied,” Housakos said. “It’s been made quite clear to the Trudeau government that there will be a diligent and thorough study of this flawed legislation; one that will be done transparently and will include witnesses whose voices and concerns were silenced in the other place.”
Even though Canadian Senators are appointed, not elected, the #NeverVoteConservative crowd should give their heads a shake. Conservatives are the only major party opposed to the C-11 censorship bill.
And you can guarantee that C-11 censorship will target cannabis connoisseurs and activists.
Cannabis Expression & C-11 Censorship
Canada’s rules around cannabis promotion and advertising are fairly strict. But on the internet, it’s a free market. Of course, legal producers and retailers can’t advertise directly. But there’s far more wiggle room here than on traditional broadcasting outlets and print magazines.
With C-11 censorship, that comes to an end. As does this site, potentially.
Taking another step with C-11 censorship, my writing, in particular, promotes cannabis, common law traditions, and sovereign individuals. This is different from the “sovereign citizen” movement labelled domestic terror by Canadian and American intelligence authorities.
But do government bureaucrats know that?
Will the RCMP partner with the CRTC to scrub any mention of “common law” from the Canadian internet? Will they take a blanket approach and censor any notion that citizens can find truth and justice beyond the institution of the state?
It would be par course for the government of the man who said people who disagreed with his COVID policies were a “small fringe minority” who hold “unacceptable views” that “do not represent the views of Canadians.”
Do Canadians trust handing over the reigns of free internet expression to the trust-fund drama teacher who said people disagreeing with him were “very often misogynistic and racist” and then asked, “Do we tolerate these people?”
How long will Canadians tolerate Justin Trudeau?