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May 8, 2023 10:18 am  #1

Opinion Piece On Bill C-11 Comes With An Unexpected Twist

I came across this article about the recently passed Internet Content Law aka Bill C-11 on a website called "Canadian Dimension," which has been around as a magazine since 1963.

As I read the copy, I thought, well, this must be a right leaning website that's against anything this government does. So I was very surprised when I got to the end and read their mission statement:

"A forum for debate on important issues facing the Canadian Left today." 

That was the last thing I was expecting to see. It's very rare that the left and the right agree on anything, so if both think this law is pretty much a disaster, you have to wonder how wise the new rules that are going to affect what you see and hear on the web in Canada really are. 

But it warns the worst may be yet to come.

"While enabling the CRTC to regulate streaming video under Bill C-11 is arguably needed to update the Broadcasting Act in the Internet Age, giving it oversight of written news online under Bill C-18 promises to be a slippery slope indeed if the future of journalism is digital. The third leg in the Liberal offensive—planned legislation to deal with so-called “online harms” such as hate speech and cyber-bullying—may go even farther in limiting free speech.

It was first introduced as Bill C-36 in 2021 but died on the order paper with an election call and has yet to be re-introduced because the prospect of government censoring otherwise lawful speech has civil libertarians aghast."

Is this the end of press freedom in Canada?