Bill C-11: A Flawed Gateway to Government Censorship
- Publication date
- Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Bill C-11, Jay Goldberg, freedom of speech, Chrystia Freeland, censorship in Canada, Internet censorship, Association of Saskatchewan Taxpayers, Resolution One Association, Canadian content regulations, CRTC, Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission, Franco Terrazzano, Michael Geist, Digital Safety Commission, Bill C-10, Pablo Rodriguez, social media content regulation, Independent Press Gallery, OpenMedia.ca, Ian Scott, Gotta Love Trump, The Handmaid's Tale, Marco Mendicino, Rachel Thomas, Online Streaming Act, Steven Guilbeault, Guillaume Bourgault-Côté, Canadian Media Producers Association, Canadian content requirements, Mark McCaffrey, Paige Hayes, Jason Wagner, Telefilm Canada, Julie Dabrusin, Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, Canada Broadcasting Act, Bill Curry, freedom of expression
"The government wants the power to regulate the internet. It wants to make it easier or harder for you to find content based on whether the government views the content as Canadian. The government says it will use the new powers it seek through Bill C-11 to make sure Canadian content shows up more prominently, but allowing the government to filter what we see and share online could be a dangerous gateway to government censorship. Through Bill C-11, the government proposes to give these new regulatory powers to the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). It would be up to the CRTC to decide what content qualifies as Canadian, with content being made more or less accessible online based on that standard. Until now, Canadians have been against the idea of the government regulating the internet, other than to enforce laws that target criminal activity, such as terrorism or child pornography. Bill C-11 is not about criminality – it is about empowering bureaucrats to play a role in deciding what comes up and what gets buried on Canadians’ social media feeds and streaming platforms. Many rightly question whether the government is even competent enough to decide what should be considered to be Canadian content. As of now, the legislation gives the CRTC the power to regulate the internet, with rules and instructions about how far the CRTC should go in regulating the internet to follow only after Bill C-11 is passed into law. That’s asking for a lot of trust from Canadians. Bill C-11 would impact Canadians’ ability to hold the government to account. If the government has the power to filter and prioritize what Canadians are able to see and share online, the risk is that the government could use its new regulatory power to bury unfavourable content and promote content that is friendlier to the government. This raises very serious accountability issues.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s core mission is to advocate for lower taxes, less waste and more accountable government. Bill C-11 would make government less accountable, which is why the CTF is putting out an eBook outlining the dangers of the government’s censorship legislation. This eBook contains several components. First, it includes four newspaper columns written by the CTF’s Ontario Director, Jay Goldberg, outlining the pitfalls of the government’s censorship efforts. Second, it includes the testimony Goldberg gave before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage outlining the CTF’s concerns with Bill C-11. Third, it contains the text from the CTF’s report on Bill C-11, which was written with the advice and input of Dr. Michael Geist of the University of Ottawa. Finally, it contains a transcript of a podcast in which our Federal Director, Franco Terrazzano, interviews Ontario Director Jay Goldberg and Dr. Geist about the C-11 report. For those who want to get the key points quickly, the newspaper columns and interview transcripts are a great introduction, while the report dives into the deep detail of the issue."
- 2022-09-09 21:13:42
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