Response To Bill C-36 Could Make Or Break The Conservative Party

They have an opportunity to reconsolidate some of the lost conservative vote, and focus the attention of the nation on a true debate over freedom of expression and the limits of government power.

Bill C-36 is many things.

In particular, it is a devastating attack on freedom of expression that would move Canada closer and closer to the ‘basic dictatorship’ of the Chinese Communist Party that Justin Trudeau so admires.

It is however also a lifeline for the Conservative Party of Canada – perhaps the last lifeline they’re going to get before an election in which – if the polls are to be even somewhat believed – they trail the Liberals badly.

According to the latest Abacus Data poll, the Liberals have 37% support, the CPC are at 27%, the NDP is at 18%, the Bloc are at 9%, and the Greens are at 5%.

That poll also showed the CPC leading the Liberals by just 5 points, (39%-34%) in Alberta, with the PPC pulling in 7% in that province.

Nanos Research has the Liberals at 37%, the CPC at 25%, and the NDP at 18%.

The only real ‘positive’ outlier in recent polls for the CPC is Leger, who have the Liberals at 34%, the CPC at 30%, the NDP at 20%, the Bloc at 8%, and the Greens at 5%.

If even the ‘best’ poll for the CPC as of late shows them doing four points worse then they did under Scheer in the 2019 campaign, you can see how bad the situation currently is for them.

Of course, we’ve known for sometime that O’Toole’s rapid shift from ‘True Blue’ to a completely different message, along with some CPC MPs taking on the same apologetic, submissive, and ‘woke’ talking points of the far-left, risked looking hypocritical to the country, simultaneously demoralizing their own supporters while failing to win over new ones.

And if the CPC truly has fallen into the 27% – 25% territory in terms of national support, that is exactly what is happening as their core voters and activists disengage while the public doesn’t believe the new image.

Fighting C-10?

Now, before I get into how important the fight against C-36 will be for both Canada as a whole and the CPC itself, let’s consider what Michael Geist had Tweeted in late April of 2021:

“Liberals move motion to regulate apps under Bill C-10. Argues that it is needed to make sure Cancon is “discoverable”. No opposition from anyone and it passes. I wrote about app regulation here”

Initially, the CPC wasn’t pushing back much against Bill C-10, with some reports indicating Erin O’Toole had told the Conservative Caucus it would be a ‘nothing bill.’

It spoke to a disconnect between the CPC and their actual supporters, though they did eventually take a strong stance in opposition to the legislation, and have promised to repeal it (but would that repeal be like the carbon tax promise where they replace it with their own similar plan?)

C-36 is even worse

As bad as Bill C-10 is, Bill C-36 is far worse.

As I recently noted, the legislation gives the government massive power to punish people for vaguely defined and open ended ‘hate propaganda,’ even before someone has actually done anything:

“Fear of hate propaganda offence or hate crime

810.‍012 (1) A person may, with the Attorney General’s consent, lay an information before a provincial court judge if the person fears on reasonable grounds that another person will commit

(a) an offence under section 318 or subsection 319(1) or (2);
(b) an offence under subsection 430(4.‍1); or
(c) an offence motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other similar factor.”

“That is all incredibly disturbing, because it means that someone ‘fearing’ that another person will commit a ‘hate propaganda offence’ or ‘hate crime’ can initiate a process that would result in someone facing a severe loss of freedom and/or financial damage, all without that person having actually committed any crime, not to mention that ‘hate propaganda’ and ‘hate crime’ are incredibly vague in the legislation.

This is the kind of legislation you would expect to see in an anti-democratic, Communist state that is seeking to create wide pretexts to arrest or punish whomever the government feels has ‘stepped out of line’ with the official government message.”

No supposedly free and democratic nation can allow legislation like that to pass and still consider itself to be a place where free expression exists.

And, any party claiming to be ‘conservative’ will need to fight back relentlessly against it.

Courage and self-interest

The irony of this situation for the CPC is that the courageous move, and the self-interested move both align, something that is rare in politics.

It will take courage to fight back against C-36, because the political establishment and the media will gladly cast any opponents as ‘hateful’ and ‘bigoted’ and all the other names that get thrown out all the time.

Yet, that courage is exactly what many people feel has been lacking from the Conservative Party, and that is why the CPC seems to be slowly bleeding away core support to the Maverick and PPC. And, if Derek Sloan ends up creating a party and running candidates, the CPC could lose even more support.

The carbon tax flip and treatment of Sloan by O’Toole means many of those votes could be lost for good.

But, if the CPC has any chance at winning, they need to both re-energize Conservative Canadians, and reframe the debate nationwide.

Taking a firm stance in favour of free expression, standing up against the far-left, politically correct media (a media that is out of touch with most Canadians as can be seen by CBC’s moribund ratings), and showing some authenticity and courage may be the only way the CPC can turn around their increasingly brutal poll numbers.

The right thing to do

There is another reason the CPC should stand against Bill C-36, and it’s far more important than any cynical political calculus or analysis.

Simply put, because it’s the right thing to do.

C-36 is a full-blown assault on free expression, thus making it a full-blown assault on Canada’s core values, and on what Canadians have fought and died to defend.

Around the world, ‘democratic’ and ‘free’ nations are seeking to emulate Communist China’s information control system, and it’s no coincidence that an increasing number of Canadians who either came here, or had family come here from Eastern Europe are sounding the alarm.

We cannot, we must not stand idly by and watch Canada continue to turn into a place where the individual rights of Citizens are sacrificed at the altar of government power.

As Andrew Lawton said quite well, “Free speech must be the hill to die on for the CPC and everyone else.”

Spencer Fernando

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With Free Speech in Canada under Attack, we need Independent Voices like Spencer Fernando pushing back. If you support Spencer’s work, you can contribute through PayPal, or directly through Stripe.


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