“This Is A Censorship Bill, Plain And Simple”: With Rejection Of Senate Amendment, Liberals Confirm Plan For Far Broader Content Regulation

The government can claim all they want that they don’t seek to regulate user generated content on social media. Their actions say otherwise.

The Liberal government has rejected a key Senate amendment to Bill C-11.

The amendment – put forth by Senator Paula Simons – would have ensured that user generated content was not captured in the expanded CRTC regulatory framework imposed by the bill.

Senator Simons had noted the Liberal government claimed they had no intention of capturing user generated content with the legislation, which would make her amendment in keeping with the stated intentions of the government.

The amendment was also supported by many content creators, who warned that Bill C-11 could have a devastating impact on the many Canadian online personalities who have built successful businesses and large followings organically, without any government assistance.

But now, we are seeing that the stated intentions and the actual intentions of the Liberal government are quite different.

The government made their opposition to the amendment clear, saying the amendment “would affect the Governor in Council’s ability to publicly consult on, and issue, a policy direction to the CRTC to appropriately scope the regulation of social media services with respect to their distribution of commercial programs, as well as prevent the broadcasting system from adapting to technological changes over time.”

The reaction to the Liberal government’s rejections of the Senate amendment has been swift:

“What a truly appalling spit in the face. The creator community of this country rose up in furious opposition to C-11 and the Senate responded with amendments that addressed many of our concerns. But the Liberal government doesn’t care. So maddening. All that activism for nothing.”

As Jay Goldberg – Ontario & Interim Atlantic Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation – explained, Bill C-11 is now clearly a “censorship bill”:

“By rejecting the Senate’s amendments to Bill C-11, the Trudeau government is making it crystal clear it wants government bureaucrats to be able to filter your user-generated content.

This is a censorship bill, plain and simple.”

As noted by Professor Michael Geist, the passage of an unamended Bill C-11 will make Canada a disturbing outlier in the democratic world:

“There are still several steps left for the bill including a House vote that will likely make the NDP and Bloc complicit in making Canada the only country in the democratic world to engage in this form of user content regulation and a return to the Senate for a final review. But regardless of the upcoming legislative steps, the government has left no doubt about its position. On its way to rejecting the concerns of thousands of Canadian creators and dismissing the fears of authors such as Margaret Atwood and Senator David Adams Richards, its real mantra is platforms are in and user content regulation is in.”

At a time when Canada is trying to protect our democratic institutions from the threat posed by the Chinese Communist government in China, some of our own core Canadian values are being undermined by our own government.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube


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