Canadians don’t need an ‘Internet Czar’

Citizens should decide what is “Canadian content”, not Trudeau bureaucrats

In the coming days, we are expecting Justin Trudeau to put C-11, his Online Streaming Act back on the House of Commons agenda so he can force it through Parliament with the help of his NDP allies. 

Trudeau is clearly determined to regulate online content. In 2020 he tried to pass similar legislation (Bill C-10). He failed only because Canadians fought back against this clear attempt at censorship. Thousands of content producers, experts, and Canadians made their opposition so clear the government allowed the legislation to die on the order paper.

The Liberals are also responsible for C-18 (currently before the Senate), which has some internet giants so concerned that Google has already started blocking some Canadian users from viewing news content.

And the obsession with controlling information continues with C-11, which will regulate what you see, read, and listen to online.

It creates the ability for the CRTC to almost arbitrarily manipulate the content you see on Facebook, YouTube and more. Under the guise of “protecting and promoting Canadian content”, C-11 gives bureaucrats the power to decide what actually counts as Canadian content and how much of it a foreign streaming service needs to have. Both of these decisions will affect what you see on social media.

And, despite the Senate’s attempt to amend the bill – which would have at least excluded some user-generated content from regulation – Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has already stated the Liberal/NDP coalition will reverse the amendment in question. Ultimately, with or without this amendment, under Bill C-11, the CRTC will still be able to compel platforms to promote CRTC-approved ‘Canadian’ content.

The government wants you to believe this bill is about “supporting Canadian culture” and “leveling the playing field,” but that’s a bait-and-switch game.  What they are actually doing with C-11 is taking freedom and choice away from Canadians and putting it in the hands of government. In effect, it will establish an “Internet Czar”—the CRTC—which will govern how easy or difficult creators (those who post) can make their content accessible online, and whether it is easy or difficult for viewers to find it.  It is online censorship disguised as cultural protectionism.

My Conservative colleagues and I believe you – not Trudeau’s bureaucrats – should decide what is “Canadian content” and we’ll continue to oppose C-11 with every tool at our disposal.

A Conservative government will replace C-11 with legislation that will require streaming services to invest more into Canadian content while allowing individual creators to continue to grow and reach a global audience without stifling them.

Conservatives will #KillBillC11 and put Canadians back in control of their lives.

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