The title of the act of course means nothing. The passage of the bill could well spell the beginning of the end of free speech in Canada as the country is increasingly defined by the authoritarian tendencies of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
But C-11 was only the opening salvo in Trudeau's attack on free speech on the internet – and let’s face it – free speech anywhere, given the increasing dominance of social media on how people relay, distribute and receive their news.
The Online Streaming Act will be followed by the Online News Act, Bill C-18, and even more ominously by the Online Safety Act – a yet-to-be-named piece of legislation that was prepped in 2021, but died on the order table when Trudeau called an election for the fall.
But the innocuously entitled Online Safety Act will be upon us soon and it promises to be the most devastating attack on free speech yet devised by the Trudeau government. It is not just an excuse for censorship; it is a celebration of censorship by an intellectually bankrupt government that has assiduously sought to cultivate and grow its power while encroaching upon the freedom of individual Canadians.
Heritage Canada has outlined its impending legislative assault for all to see:
“The Online Streaming Act is one of three legislative projects that are a key part of the government’s digital agenda:
Online Streaming Act (Bill C-11): Makes Canadian stories and music widely available to Canadians;
Online News Act (Bill C-18): Requires large digital platforms to bargain fairly with news businesses over news content;
Online Safety (in development): Promotes a safer and more inclusive online environment.”
C-11 is forcing Canadian content on all social media platforms. John Carpay of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms told The Post Millennial:
"Under the OSA, the CRTC's new authority will not be limited to these large entertainment giants. Rather, the OSA will empower the CRTC to assume jurisdiction via regulation over any 'program' (audio or audiovisual online content) that is 'monetizable' because it 'directly or indirectly generates revenues.'"
Senators are currently studying Bill C-18, which is essentially an internet extortion bill that will force Big Tech companies that “make news content available” to pay Canadian news publishers for the privilege. This will require smaller New Media outlets that are not subsidized by the Liberal government to enter into litigation that could lead to bankruptcy.
New media in Canada are opposed to the bill because they fear the cost of litigation will be financially onerous.
But so far, the Trudeau Liberals have only been dancing around the periphery of free speech. The next step – the proposed Online Safety Act – will be the Enabling Act of the Trudeau government and – if all goes as planned – effectively eviscerate freedom of expression in Canada.
Just read the chilling language of the moribund Bill C-36 that Justice Minister David Lametti introduced on June 23, 2021 – just in time for Parliament’s summer recess and a fall election. This will be the template of any new legislation.
“This enactment amends the Criminal Code to create a recognizance to keep the peace relating to hate propaganda and hate crime and to define “hatred” for the purposes of two hate propaganda offenses.”
How is hatred defined? Hatred will be defined exactly as the government wants it to be defined. So if you question the validity or morality of chemically castrating children, that could and will be defined as “hatred” against the transgendered.
The very existence of the concept of hate speech in criminal law is onerous, repellent, and in abject rebellion against six hundred years of a British tradition dating back to the Magna Carta that sought to establish a right to speak opinion contrary to the ruling powers.
Quite literally, anything can be purported to be hate speech. Surely there was no one more hateful against capitalists and property owners than Karl Marx but I would not want this work banned or banished from the internet as hate speech.
Yet Bill C-36 sought to codify that concept.
“In addition, it amends the Canadian Human Rights Act to provide that it is a discriminatory practice to communicate or cause to be communicated hate speech by means of the Internet or other means of telecommunication in a context in which the hate speech is likely to foment detestation or vilification of an individual or group of individuals on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”
The legislation also “authorizes the Canadian Human Rights Commission to accept complaints alleging this discriminatory practice and authorizes the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to adjudicate complaints and order remedies.”
The Liberals have been meeting with like-minded people as they prepare to re-introduce the bill – which this time around will deal extensively with another woke buzzword: “disinformation.” Disinformation, which Trudeau loves to utilize to describe any policy or concept with which he disagrees – particularly when discussing those opposed to the COVID-19 vaccine – is another term that is ultimately both meaningless and menacing.
Though disinformation is entirely in the eye of the beholder, in the government’s hand it is a lethal weapon to strangle free speech.
Interestingly, in the summary of Heritage Canada’s eighth advisory group, the Trudeau government admitted it had no desire to even define disinformation because it could entangle the administration and execution of the law.
“Most experts expressed extreme caution against defining disinformation in legislation. Experts argued that the very process of defining disinformation in legislation is problematic for a number of reasons,” the paper declares.
The authors then make the startling admission: “First, defining disinformation would put the Government in a position to distinguish between what is true and false – which it simply cannot do.”
The summary also noted that it is “problematic” to determine whether there was intent to commit a disinformation offense and it raised the failure of the Biden administration to successfully run a Disinformation Board under the Department of Homeland Security.
The summary even confesses that “the term disinformation itself is not static nor absolute.”
So the Trudeau government cannot define disinformation, says it doesn’t want to, and admits that the law could be used against them if they do define it.
What is left? The stark acknowledgment that disinformation is whatever the government decides it is.
Democratic nations, especially those with such a long and successful experience as Canada, do not slide into authoritarian rule overnight. They are nudged and prodded by the mendacity and malfeasance of politicians who pretend they are taking our freedom away for a greater good.
Trudeau represents the clearest threat to Canada’s democratic way of life in this nation’s history.
The amazing thing is that this narcissistic hypocrite can travel to New York City and lecture the Council on Foreign Relations about the need to resist authoritarian policies and restore “faith in democratic values.” He neglected to mention Bill C-11 in that dissertation – even though it sailed through the Senate that very night.
It is all an acting job for a man who should never have progressed beyond a job as a drama teacher.
Unfortunately, he is acting out his fantasies in the real world and so far he has been successful in reshaping Canada’s democracy in his own image. The worst is yet to come.