Conservatives are committed to repealing Bill C-11
After a valiant effort by Conservatives to delay it, Bill C-11, the Liberals’ internet censorship bill has now become law after the government shut down debate in both the House and the Senate.
Bill C-11 has the potential to limit what Canadians can view and listen to. It will also harm Canadian artists, limiting their success and ability to reach domestic and global audiences.
Formerly known as Bill C-10, C-11 An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and make related and consequential amendments to other acts, was first introduced by the Liberal Government back in 2020.
The bill was initially aimed at ensuring increasingly popular and profitable social media platforms and streaming services were subjected to the same Canadian content requirements and regulations as traditional media. The bill also required these platforms to invest heavily in Canadian content. But then the Liberal Government added measures that would allow them to pick the winners and losers and opened the door to government censorship of what people were saying and posting online.
To be clear, I think all Canadians can agree that some regulation of the internet is required. For example, the government must take measures to deal with content-based online crimes such as child pornography, terrorism, or inciting violence.
Nor does the bill directly attempt to silence those critical of the government, as some online have claimed. The legislation is far more insidious.
Rather than censor its critics directly, the government has given the CRTC (who are themselves regulated by the government) regulatory control over internet algorithms. It’s the internet equivalent of the Prime Minister claiming “I never forced anyone to get vaccinated.” Direct interference or control isn’t necessary when the system is stacked to take you in a particular direction.
By stacking the algorithms, certain content is suppressed while other content shows up at the top of your search list. As such, when you do a search, instead of showing you to the things you want to view, it can only direct you to the things the government wants you to view.
While this is not guaranteed to happen, given the dictatorial tendencies of this Prime Minister, it is not hard to imagine such a scenario unfolding.
In fact, we have already seen examples of this.
The Trudeau Government has already shown they will ask media and tech giants to make news articles they don’t like to disappear.
Documents tabled in Parliament show that between January of 2020 and February of 2023 the Trudeau Government made 214 requests of Twitter and Facebook to remove certain content.
To be fair, in numerous cases these requests were legitimate (for example a fraudulent account impersonating RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki or an instance of CRA employees accidently posting the personal information of taxpayers on Facebook). However, we have also seen many examples (particularly over the past few years of COVID-19) of this governments’ willingness to censor or “cancel” anyone who disagrees with them.
This Liberal Government simply cannot be trusted to protect the right of Canadians to free expression.
These same algorithms also have the potential to harm the very people the legislation is purported to help.
Home-grown talent and creative content here in Canada will no longer succeed based on merit and what Canadians want – instead it will only reach audiences if it meets the criteria set by bureaucrats in Ottawa.
Conservatives have fought Bill C-11 since day one and proposed amendments to fully exempt the content Canadians post on social media from these draconian rules – sadly the Liberal-NDP coalition rejected these changes.
Conservatives (and only Conservatives) will continue this fight against Liberal Government censorship.
Conservatives are committed to repealing Bill C-11 when we form government.
Only Conservatives will protect the individual rights and freedoms of Canadians.