KRAYDEN: Trudeau's censorship bill backfires as social media companies pull out of Canada

Is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau losing his mind at the same rate as President Joe Biden? Or has he just become such an accomplished, bald-faced liar that he is actually capable of believing his own mendacity?

The always insouciant woke politician seemed more concerned on Thursday about Taylor Swift’s current concert tour bypassing Canada as he sent the lefty entertainer an imploring tweet, begging her to reconsider her schedule.

While Trudeau grapples with the corrosive and catastrophic effects of his Online News Act, or Bill C-18, that his Liberal government pushed across the legislative goal line just before the House of Commons recessed for the summer, he has actually attempted to suggest that it is social media and not his teetering government that is trying to censor the news in Canada.

He’s clearly frustrated and delusional over social media refusing to play ball with him, and when his plans are unraveling, that’s when Trudeau talks the craziest.

“Facebook decided that Canada was a small country, small enough that they could reject our asks,” Trudeau declared, as if speaking in an alternate universe.

“They made the wrong choice by deciding to attack Canada. We want to defend democracy. This is what we’re doing across the world, such as supporting Ukraine. This is what we did during the Second World War. This is what we’re doing every single day in the United Nations.”

“What we did in the Second World War”? Is he kidding, prevaricating or just that vacuous? Trudeau is continuing to give democracy a bad name as he is doing nothing to “defend democracy” but is working overtime to augment his personal power and that of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Not only is Trudeau the censorship zealot who is systematically suppressing free speech in Canada through a legislative trilogy of bills that will put the state clearly in charge of the internet, his threats to social media are going unheeded by Meta and Google. They are not about to submit to his internet extortion act and promise to pay Canadian media agencies an unspecified amount of money for the assumed privilege of distributing Canadian news around the globe.

Canadians are getting a closer look at the Online News Act, and that observation is frightening.

Not only will this law further cobble the ability of legacy media to survive in the New Media marketplace, but it will increasingly isolate Canada as a bastion of media control in a world that was supposed to enjoy a new birth of media freedom within the potential of the internet.

Clearly, neither Trudeau nor Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez – the dimbulb tasked with transforming this bill into law – have a clue about how social media interacts with the online news industry nor how much news media benefits from having social media outlets distribute their news content to the world.

A story that might have reached maybe 5,000 readers is suddenly accessible to millions.

You can’t buy that sort of promotion, and it’s the reason social media doesn’t owe the Canadian news outlets a penny. And they won’t much care if the Canadian government withholds its advertising dollars.

This looming fiasco smacks of the sheer, lumbering, ineffective incompetence of the Trudeau government and a federal bureaucracy that is far too attuned to its political masters than the real world. But there is a much more sinister objective at work here.

The act opens the doors of the newsroom to the government investigator or censor. As clause 53 stipulates, “An operator or news business must, at the request of the Commission and within the time and in the manner that it specifies, provide the Commission with any information that it requires for the purpose of exercising its powers or performing its duties and functions under this Act.”

That dictate frightens even the legacy media that originally supported Trudeau’s bill, but they are now beginning to see that this political dance by Trudeau and Rodriguez is not only agonizingly embarrassing but an insidious attempt by the government to police the media.

“Allowing the CRTC [Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission] to go fishing for confidential information from news organizations, particularly information related to editorial departments, would be an overreach that's best avoided.”

“But I'm more concerned about the threat to the independence of media rather than the loss of a few million dollars,” Globe and Mail publisher Phillip Crawley told a Canadian Senate committee investigating the new legislation.

“I think that's a much more long term threat to our industry if we don't get the language of this bill right.”

Sen. Pamela Wallin (CPC-SK), who enjoyed a prominent and highly successful career in television journalism that culminated as a CTV News anchor, is continuing to fight the bill, especially as she believes the details in the legislation have not been discussed.

“Is it worth the risk of having the government now interfere or snoop in your newsrooms in order for the exchange of cash which you're already getting through the deals you've signed?” she asked Crawley.

“I think at a time when there is a question of trust in media, we want to make sure that trust in media is something that people believe in, and I don't think that's helped if you allow …. the CRTC to snoop into what's going on in the newsrooms and have some say in what would otherwise be a commercial agreement that is struck between the parties and value will be found in those agreements,” she continued.

“We've already had suggestions from ministers that they do actually consider that one of their rights, that they would make judgments about content.”

“I'm assuming that concerns you,” she asked Crawley. He nodded his agreement. “It does. Thank you.”

The Globe and Mail has every reason to fear the overreach of government in a brazen attempt to restrict freedom of speech and press freedom. A whistleblower from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service [CSIS] went to the outlet earlier this year with information that the government of communist China was interfering in Canadian elections and had probably helped elect a lot of Liberal MPs in the Greater Toronto Area. 

When asked if the presence of this whistleblower demonstrated that members of CSIS were very concerned about the extent of China’s influence over Canadian democracy, Trudeau instead turned on the whistleblower, promising vengeance

With the Online News Act, the PM can make good on this threat.

Jody Thomas, Trudeau’s national security and intelligence adviser, told CBC News that she believes the identity of the CSIS whistleblower will be revealed and he or she “will be punished.” 

How can she be so sure unless she is well aware of the draconian powers the new media bill offers the federal government? 

So Trudeau and Rodriguez might look like a bad performance at the Comedy Club but you can bet there is a razor blade hidden under this clown costume. Trudeau doesn’t like opposition from the media. He owns CBC and he has massively subsidized the legacy media in an attempt to buy their compliance. But even that hush money hasn’t stopped some of Canada’s once proud publications from biting back. 

Trudeau has tried using the carrot to control the media.

Now it’s time for the stick. And there’s more authoritarian measures coming in the fall when Trudeau plans to introduce the Online Safety Bill that will promise to ban “disinformation” from Canada’s internet – without even bothering to define what that actually is.

Disinformation, like freedom of speech, will be whatever Trudeau decides it to be.

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