C-10, social media and censorship – Stettler Independent
Many Canadians would not normally be interested in a federal bill that would amend certain aspects of the Broadcasting Act to better reflect the rapidly evolving nature of the Internet and social media and the impact they have had. about our company.
However, I have heard many constituents express their concerns about Bill C-10 over the past few weeks. The Conservatives expressed concerns last year about this bill when it was first introduced because it gave the CRTC more control over Canadian content on the Internet. The concerns we raised were about censorship of free speech, cumbersome regulations that could remove some content, and concerns about the centralization of power in Ottawa.
The bill at the time contained some clear exemptions that the government alluded to and said our concerns were “unfounded”.
A few weeks ago, Bill C-10 was studied by the committee.
Liberal MPs voted to remove the exemptions, paving the way for the government to censor free speech for anyone who could post something on the internet.
The minister responsible for this bill is the Minister of Heritage, Steven Guilbeault is in the habit of making statements about censorship, then withdrawing those statements. This was the case with C-10 when the minister appeared on television.
He says one thing, then his office or the Prime Minister is forced to clarify what he really meant. It would be one thing if it was a one-time event, but this minister has continued to confuse the issue, refuses to answer questions and appears to only defend his bill by citing groups that are funded by, or linked to, the Liberal government. This, while many experts, and even a former commissioner of the CRTC, say the bill is an attack on free speech.
The interconnectivity fostered by social media has made it possible for many people to stay in touch with their friends and relatives, or even just be entertained by the many talented internet entrepreneurs who produce content online. This has been particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Social media has allowed Canadians to exercise their freedom of expression and access information from a wide variety of sources without censorship or government interference. However, the content of social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook is at serious risk of being censored, restricted or changed by the government as a result of Bill C-10.
The Conservatives called on the government to withdraw C-10 because it has become clear that this bill will violate the rights of Canadians.
Our ability to communicate is essential to maintaining a just and equitable society. We will continue to defend the right of all Canadians to exercise their freedom of expression.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this column, we encourage you to write MP Kurek at 4945-50th Street, Camrose, Alberta, T4V 1P9, 780-608-4600, 403-575-5625 or email damien .kurek @ parl.gc.ca.
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