July 22, 2021
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh on Wednesday threw his full support behind the controversial Liberal Internet censorship bill, and its need to pass urgently, says Blacklock’s Reporter.
“This is serious,” Singh told reporters.
“We’ve got hate speech laws. We know and we’ve agreed as a society there are certain things you can’t say, absolutely not.”
Parliament in 1970 banned hate speech under the Criminal Code. Cabinet on June 23 introduced Bill C-36 to further ban online content deemed to “foment detestation or vilification.”
Internet publishers, bloggers, Facebook users and others would face $70,000 fines or house arrest for Internet writings without evidence any crime was incited.
“Right now you can’t use hate speech in public or in written form,” said Singh.
“There can be remedies. But if you’re doing it online, there is no remedy.
“There is no way to stop it right now. That has to end,” he said.
“Right now there are really only two options. The current existing model is we leave Mark Zuckerberg to do it. Facebook does it. I think that’s a bad model. It hasn’t worked. They’re not doing a good job of it and they don’t have a vested interest in it. They just want to make money.
“I think it’s incumbent on Canadians to have a say about what is appropriate and what is not. The way we have a say is we’ve got elected officials and we can bring in legislation that regulates online hate. It should be the government’s responsibility.”
Bill C-36 would amend the Criminal Code to permit house arrest or electronic monitoring for any Internet user suspected “on reasonable grounds” of thinking they might commit “an offence motivated by bias, prejudice or hate.”
The Ontario Civil Liberties Association has called the measure an “astounding proposal.”