By Cosmin Dzsurdzsa
Published:September 23, 2021
An internet freedom advocacy group from Vancouver launched a petition calling for the government to not re-introduce Bill C-10 and Bill C-36 – two bills which critics warn would infringe on the free speech rights of Canadians online.
According to the non-profit organization Open Media, Liberal Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault’s plan is meant to trick Canadians.
“Liberals are poised to push forward with their harmful internet censorship plans,” Open Media Campaign Director Matthew Hatfield wrote in a message to donors.
“Our newly-elected government is cynically taking advantage of our political fatigue and frustration with the internet to try to trick the public.”
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the group went on to say that the bills would make “Canada’s internet one of the most censored and surveilled in the democratic world.”
Earlier this year, the Liberals failed in a hamfisted attempt to rush Bill C-10 and Bill C-36 through parliament.
Although the Liberals claim that Bill C-10 is meant to update Canada’s Broadcasting Act to modern digital realities, critics have accused the government of using the law to regulate the content Canadians post on the internet on a daily basis.
Two former commissioners with the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which would be in charge of implementing the law, have come out against the bill which one of them described as “authoritarian.”
In an attempt to deflect criticism of his anti-free speech bill, Guilbeault accused opponents concerned about C-10’s implications on Charter rights “extremists.”
Meanwhile Bill C-36 which seeks to revive the controversial Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, would make Canadians liable for up to $70,000 in fines or house arrest for posting illegal content that promotes “detestation and vilification.”