After years of declining credibility, the Senate can take a stand for freedom of expression and show that it still has an important and valuable role.
Throughout the process of pushing the anti-free expression Bill C-10 through Parliament, the Liberals have made it clear that they know how politically toxic it is.
They repeatedly shifted their explanations, did things in secret, and constantly attempted to stop the Canadian People from knowing what was going on.
While governments are usually excited to brag about their legislation, the Liberals seemed ashamed of C-10.
And, in a final affront to Canadians, they passed it in the middle of the night:
“At 1:30 am, Bill C-10 passes 196-112.”
At 1:30 am, Bill C-10 passes 196-112.
— Michael Geist (@mgeist) June 22, 2021
Here’s what Michael Geist wrote about it:
“The Liberal government strategy of multiple gag orders and a “super motion” to limit debate bore fruit last night as Bill C-10 received House of Commons approval at 1:30 am. The Parliamentary process took hours as the government passed multiple motions to cut short debate, re-inserted amendments that had been previously ruled null and void, and rejected a last-ditch attempt to restore the Section 4.1 safeguards for user generated content. The debate included obvious errors from Liberal MPs who were presumably chosen to defend the bill. For example, Julie Dabrusin, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, said that Section 2.1 in Bill C-10 “specifically excludes content uploaded by users.” Only it doesn’t as Dabrusin should know given that 2.1 covers users not content and she was the MP who introduced the amendment at committee to remove Section 4.1, which was the provision that excluded content uploaded by users.”
As noted by Tracey Wilson, this is bad news:
“They debated into the night, but in the end, a desperate Liberals get a final vote on #C10 – internet censorship legislation. This is bad news for our country as we continue a downward slide.”
For the historical record, Conservative MPs, and Jody Wilson-Raybould voted against C-10, while the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc voted yes.
In response to the Liberals forcing through C-10 in the middle of the night, the Conservatives responded and pledged to fight it:
“Weeks ago, the Trudeau Liberals secretly withdrew the section of their own bill that protects individual users’ content. Resulting in Canadians being subject to broad government powers to regulate their use of social media. The government went even further when they used extreme tactics, that haven’t been used in decades to silence the opposition, keeping Canadians in the dark about their infringement on freedom of speech, and ramming the bill through without proper debate.
“We have been hearing from experts and Canadians from all walks of life who are worried about the Liberals’ plan to restrict freedom of speech by regulating the internet.
“Shutting down debate on a bill widely condemned for its attacks on freedom of speech sets a very dangerous precedent. If this controversial bill is adopted, a Conservative government will stand up for Canadians and repeal this deeply flawed legislation. Only Canada’s Conservatives will keep on fighting for the freedoms of Canadians.”
Redemption for the Senate?
As noted by the National Citizens Coalition, “All eyes turn to the Senate”:
“All eyes turn to the Senate, where many of its members have been rightly appalled by Trudeau and Guilbeault’s attempts to censor and regulate internet free speech and content.
The fight isn’t over.”
All eyes turn to the Senate, where many of its members have been rightly appalled by Trudeau and Guilbeault’s attempts to censor and regulate internet free speech and content.
The fight isn’t over. https://t.co/9vfr6Xnu2C
— National Citizens Coalition (@NatCitizens) June 22, 2021
For many years, the credibility of the Senate has been in decline.
Often ignored in Canadian politics and seen as an afterthought, the Senate was often beset by scandal in recent years, and angered people across the political spectrum at various times – usually whenever their political opponents appointed a slew of partisan individuals to do their bidding.
Yet, the Senate’s role as a place of ‘sober second thought,’ remains relevant today, and extremely relevant with Bill C-10.
Already, some Senator’s are noting that the Senate won’t be rubberstamping the legislation:
“Senator Dennis Dawson, a former Liberal MP, says there is a ‘zero-per-cent chance’ the Senate will approve it by the end of this week when it breaks for the summer.”
Refusing to pass C-10 would be a moment of immense redemption for the Senate.
From an oft-maligned institution, they would be transformed in the eyes of many Canadians into an institution that – despite its flaws – proved their worth and stood up for the free expression rights of Canadians in the face of a Liberal, NDP, Bloc attempt to dangerously expand government power.
Pushing back against neo-Communist drift
As I wrote in a recent column, Canada and much of the Western world faces what is essentially an effort by neo-Communists to take power. Under different names and different pretexts, an agenda that is based upon Marxism is worming its way into more and more institutions, often substituting an attempt to foment racial conflict for class conflict.
This neo-Communism seeks to demoralize Western democratic nations, cast our history as evil, divide people, and of course expand government power to limit our ability to speak out and push back against the neo-Communist agenda.
Thus, it is no coincidence that C-10 moves Canada closer to Communist States that already massively circumscribe what individuals can and can’t say.
The internet has been one of the greatest engines for free expression, free debate, openness of information, and the ability to challenge the government, and that’s why the neo-Communists and those influenced by them are so desperate to control the internet.
If you can control the internet, you can control a society, and slowly move to criminalize your political opponents and narrow the bounds of ‘legitimate’ political debate and expression of opinion,
China already does this, as do many other authoritarian nations, so to see Canada moving in that direction is not only deeply disturbing, but represents a clear break with our traditions and our history as a nation that values the Western principles of free speech, free thought, freedom of association, and freedom of expression.
In the face of this revolutionary neo-Communist movement, institutions like the Senate have an important role to play, as a possible bulwark against extremism.
By stopping C-10, by refusing to give their imprimatur to the horrible and dishonest process the Trudeau government, NDP, and Bloc used to ram C-10 through, the Senate can strike a blow in favour of Canada’s values and principles, and help give confidence to the many freedom-loving Canadians who are appalled and sickened by our country’s slide towards communist-style information censorship and control.
If the Senate can do that, they will redeem themselves in the eyes of millions of Canadians.
Photo – YouTube