May 19, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Some of the sharpest tech critics in Canada are urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in an open letter to put the brakes on a bill to regulate the internet that they say will undermine a “free and open Internet in Canada” and “curtail freedom.”
“We call on you to stop harming the Internet, the freedoms and aspirations of every individual in this country, and our knowledge economy through overreaching regulatory policies that will have significant, yet unintended consequences for the free and open internet in Canada,” the May 17 letter, signed by more than two dozen respected tech critics, states.
The letter comes in the wake of the Trudeau government introducing Bill C-10 last year to regulate certain online media services through the creation of a new class of broadcaster called “online undertakings.” The regulations, overseen by Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), would come into effect by the bill amending the country’s Broadcasting Act.
Critics warn that if the bill passes, it would regulate social media users in Canada while only allowing online content the government deems acceptable.
The signers of the open letter say the bill smacks of authoritarianism.
“However, it appears that Canada is not immune to the growing trend of government intervention to curtail freedom, and seek to control parts of the internet’s infrastructure, in ways reminiscent of actions taken by authoritarian governments,” they write.
Among the signatories of the open letter are the VP of a large internet service provider in Canada, a former chairman and commissioner at the CRTC, and academics from the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has introduced a bill which threatens to seize control of online media content in Canada, putting liberty and freedom at risk.
But, the Trudeau Liberals have no right to impose their party's ideology on the Canadian internet!
Please SIGN this petition which tells the Trudeau Liberals, as well as the opposition, to leave the internet as a free speech zone!
Bill C-10 is causing alarm bells to sound with conservative and Christians, who are concerned that it is the first step towards the destruction of independent online media in Canada.
The Bill would require more "diversity and inclusion" content, reflecting the experience of "Canadians from racialized communities and Canadians of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds, socio-economic statuses, abilities and disabilities, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and ages."
And, Bill C-10 would also give power to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to "assign penalties for non-compliance."
With this frightening new power, Bill C-10 is a real threat to the freedom of speech of conservatives and Christians in Canada who engage with the entire world about their issues on the internet.
Jay Cameron, a lawyer for the Canada-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms told LifeSite:
"It is clear from recent statements by the PM and the Heritage Minister that the federal government wants to increase control and penalties for speech and content that is not approved of by the ideologues in the Liberal Party. Unsurprisingly, the purpose of Bill C-10 is not to increase freedom of ‘thought, belief, opinion, and expression’ (section 2(b) of the Charter) but to further restrict it.".
Simply put: the chilling effect that this Bill could have on freedom of speech rights is incalculable.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition which tells Trudeau Liberals to stop their attempt to impose their party's ideology on the Canadian internet.
Tell them to scrap Bill C-10 and leave the internet as an independent forum where ideas, beliefs and other ventures can be discussed without government regulation or censorship.
And, tell them that Canadian adults are mature enough to make up their own minds about sensitive topics without government interference.
After you have signed the petition, please consider politely contacting the Minister for Canadian Heritage, the Shadow Minister for Industry and Economic Development, and the Prime Minister's office, to tell them about your dismay regarding Bill C-10. CONTACT DETAILS BELOW.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Trudeau government introduces bill to force online media companies to push liberal content' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/trudeau-government-introduces-bill-to-force-online-media-companies-to-push-liberal-content
Steven Guilbeault - Minister of Canadian Heritage Telephone: 819-997-7788 Email: [email protected]
Alain Rayes - Opposition Shadow Cabinet - Canadian Heritage, Official Languages & Quebec Economic Development Telephone: 819-751-1375; Email: [email protected]
Justin Trudeau - Office of the Prime Minister Fax: 613-941-6900 [email protected] https://pm.gc.ca/en/connect/contact
The critics lay out all of their concerns to Trudeau.
“A recent series of proposals and actions taken by your government threaten to adversely impact our freedom to access online content of our choice, to post legal content without fear of censorship, and even risk disrupting the technical infrastructure of the internet,” the letter states.
“We understand that some online regulation may be necessary, and that policies need to be updated. But decisions about Canada’s internet policy can’t be taken lightly – they have social, economic and cultural implications and could harm the technical foundation that makes the internet work for everyone,” the letter continues.
“We urge you to carefully consider decisions through consultation and impact assessments to avoid negative implications for individuals, our economy, and our democracy. More than ever, we need evidence-based policies that reflect the interests of every individual in this country – not rushed, politically-driven processes that respond only to those of a few,” it adds.
The group criticized Trudeau for being “committed to protecting an open internet and net neutrality” in 2017 only to go on to make “uninformed decisions that threaten to undermine the Internet and innovation in Canada.”
“We ask you and your team to pause and take the time to study the harmful implications of recently tabled internet policies and regulations,” the letter concludes.
Canadian free speech defender Jordan Peterson criticized the bill last week on Twitter.
“How about we don’t do this, Canada. I’d hate to move,” he wrote.
Peterson let Trudeau know on Twitter that Canadian freedoms would not be lost without a fight.
“Just try and regulate my YouTube channel and see what happens @JustinTrudeau,” he challenged.
Bill C-10 has passed its first reading. Last week, the Department of Justice released its findings that the bill was compatible with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and would not restrict social media users’ freedom of expression.
Conservative leader Erin O’Toole has pledged that a Conservative government would “repeal” the bill.
“The Liberals want to push through Bill C-10 with no regard for your free speech. If Bill C-10 passes, a Conservative government will do the right thing and repeal it,” he wrote in a May 19 tweet.