OTTAWA, Ontario, June 7, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Political debate regarding the Canadian government’s controversial internet regulation Bill C-10 will now be restricted to only five more hours after a motion to limit debate on the bill at committee gained enough support to pass in the House of Commons this morning.
Last Thursday, the Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced a motion to limit debate of Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault’s Bill C-10, or “Act to amend the Broadcasting Act.” The motion came about because Guilbeault claimed opposition filibustering from Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MPs at committee hearings of the bill were a form of “obstruction.”
“It will finally put an end to six weeks of systematic obstruction of the bill by the Conservative Party,” said Guilbeault.
The motion passed in a 181-147 vote with the support of the Bloc Québécois. Voting against the gag order were CPC, NDP, and Green MPs.
The motion of the text reads that in relation to “Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts,” no more than “five further hours shall be allotted to the consideration of the committee stage of the bill.”
“That, at the expiry of the time provided for the committee stage, any proceedings before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on the said bill shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment,” reads the motion sponsored by Liberal MP Mona Fortier.
Bill C-10 would force companies such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook to remove content deemed “harmful” within 24 hours. In essence, it would let the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regulate the internet and social media in line with their regulations for broadcasting services.
The CRTC is the federal body tasked with regulating TV and radio in Canada, but has had to keep a hands-off approach to regulating the internet.
According to Dr. Michael Geist, law professor at University of Ottawa and Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, placing a “gag order” on a debate of a Bill at a committee hearing is not something that has been used in a long time.
“As expected, the Bill C-10 gag order passes 181-147 with Liberal and Bloc support. Committee limited to 5 more hours. Many potential amendments will not be considered. This process to shut down committee work hasn’t been used in 20 years and never for this short period of time,” tweeted Geist.
CPC MP Rachael Harder blasted Guilbeault last week for trying to prevent MPs from voicing their concerns about the bill at committee hearings of the bill.
“How low can you go, that’s the name of the game when it comes to free speech with this government and it’s attack, time, and time and time again,” said Harder.
“What this government is doing now is nothing less than a gag order. Censoring the voices of creators wasn’t enough. Now, they’re having to stop members of parliament from debating this atrocious bill at committee,” she continued.
As a retort to Harder’s comments, Guilbeault said that without placing limits on debates it would take “months” for the bill to be debated.
Harder said that the Liberal government is so “determined to rush it though” that they are going as far to “silence” our “voices” by shutting down debate on Bill C-10: “Now, the government doesn’t want any more problems to be discovered with their bill, which is plagued with them by the way, and so now they’re shutting us down. Why?”
Guilbeault responded by saying, “If we continue going at the rate we’re going now, in six months’ time from now the bill would still be in front of the committee.”
PETITION UPDATE (5/5/2021) - BREAKING: Facebook permanently removes LifeSiteNews’ page
Facebook has just permanently banned LifeSiteNews’ Facebook page. This apparently is not a temporary measure: It is gone for good.
"Much like when LifeSite was removed from YouTube, this comes with little surprise,” noted LifeSiteNews Marketing Director Rebekah Roberts.
"Facebook has been silencing any voice that goes against their beliefs and agenda," continued Roberts. "Our LifeSiteNews Facebook page has been removed simply because we have shared reports of doctors, nurses, expert researchers, and even the former Pfizer VP speaking out against the COVID shots. We’ve also been tagged for the numerous articles we have shared making the connection between the COVID shots, and really all vaccines, and aborted baby cell lines."
"This all comes down to another case of Big Tech silencing free speech on their platform," she added.
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PETITION UPDATE (2/23/21) -
LifeSite has signed on to a Media Research Center (MRC) letter to all 50 state Attorneys General, calling for an investigation into Big Tech.
Google, Facebook, and Twitter have monopolized the industry, and are using their influence to collect user data, suppress content, and silence those who voice ideas and beliefs counter to their own.
As we urged prior, action must be taken to combat these efforts, and that is why we’ve joined the MRC in this fight.
Please take a couple of minutes to READ this LifeSiteNews article about MRC's initiative: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/lifesite-joins-effort-asking-state-attorneys-general-to-investigate-big-tech-for-deceptive-trade-practices
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PETITION UPDATE (2/9/21) -
YouTube just completely removed the LifeSiteNews YouTube channel. This isn’t a ban, every single one of our videos is completely gone. Being completely removed from YouTube means we’ve lost access to 300,000+ followers.
This is the latest and appalling affront to free speech which is happening to many conservative and Christian organizations.
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PETITION UPDATE (1/26/20) -
Twitter has again locked LifeSiteNews out of two of our accounts on the platform for displaying a message noting that President Joe Biden’s newly named Assistant Secretary of Health “Rachel” Levine is a man.
Both accounts displayed a simple message which read: “Biden names transgender ‘woman’ as Assistant Secretary of Health. ‘Rachel’ Levine is a father of two who divorced his wife in 2013 after 30 years of marriage.” The tweets also included a link to LifeSite’s article Biden names transgender ‘woman’ as Assistant Secretary of Health, and contained part of the opening sentence of that article, “Joe Biden has announced his intention to appoint a gender-confused man” as Assistant Secretary of Health.
For stating biological or Biblical truths, Twitter and Big Tech are trying to shut down conservative voices.
Therefore, it is now more important than ever to consider dumping Twitter, Google (who own YouTube) and Facebook. To be clear: LifeSite is still using Twitter and Big Tech to encourage others to migrate away from these illiberal platforms.
This is not the first time that LifeSiteNews has been censored by Twitter. In December 2019, Twitter indefinitely suspended our account for a tweet that linked to an article on transgender activist Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv.
At the time, Twitter gave LifeSite the option to delete the tweet and reactivate our account right away. LifeSite remained steadfast that the tweet did not violate any of the company’s “rules and policies,” and sought several appeals with Twitter, while looking into legal action against the company.
And, while LifeSite's account was eventually restored, we must now consider what course of action we will pursue in this case, over and above appealing the ban.
Meanwhile, since taking office on Wednesday last week, Joe Biden has already signed an executive order which will force women’s athletic programs, restrooms, and locker rooms to be open to men. He has also turned back the Trump administration’s policy protecting women’s sports programs in schools.
Last week, LifeSite was banned for two weeks from our YouTube channel, after the site determined that one of our videos about vaccines violated YouTube’s “community guidelines.” We are also in the middle of appealing this ban.
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Twitter just deplatformed President Trump premanently! And, other conservatives, including General Flynn and Sidney Powell, were also summarily deplatformed.
Conservatives, Christians and freedom-loving Americans of all political persuasions must now take a decision to preserve their free speech AND their ability to peaceably assemble by dumping Twitter and Big Tech, and by finding other good alternatives to communicate with each other and share their opinions.
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When you use Twitter or Facebook to communicate, and, or, Google and Amazon to search for something online, these companies can stifle your ability to share your thoughts and opinions and manipulate your search results, threatening your privacy, your freedom of speech, and even our democracy.
Evidence suggests that Twitter and Facebook's 'community guidelines' are selectively enforced against conservatives and Christians, while Google rigs their search algorithms to direct traffic away from conservative and Christian websites, effectively choking traffic to those sites.
Simply put, Twitter, Facebook, Google (who owns YouTube) and Amazon appear to be actively suppressing access to pro-freedom, pro-family and pro-life news and opinion.
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To repeat: a few liberal and completely unaccountable computer programmers in Silicon Valley are dictating what we do and do not see in our Twitter and Facebook feeds, and in our Google searches.
We, here, at LifeSite, also recently had our Twitter account suspended by the company over "misgendering" a man who claims to be a woman.
LifeSite has also experienced a fall-off in Google search-related traffic since the company updated its search algorithms at the beginning of May.
And, since the November election, Twitter and Big Tech appear to have dramatically INCREASED their censorship of conservatives and Christians as the President Trump disputed the results of the election and when evidence of election fraud began to mount.
Now, it seems likely that they are trying to cut-off conservative leaders (like President Trump) from conservatives on the ground, and effectively exclude us from the national conversation.
But, this tactic will not work. Because Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon are not the only game in town! There are a good number of excellent alternatives which we list in our 'Goodbye Google' Resources page.
The great irony is that, while Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon executives talk a lot about maintaining freedom of speech and diversity, in fact, these hypocrites are ATTACKING free speech point-blank!
This kind of manipulation poses a lethal threat to our democracy, but as we see so clearly now, Twitter and Big Tech have shown no hesitation in excluding conservatives and Christians from the public square.
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Last year, the Trudeau government introduced Guilbeault’s Bill C-10 that would regulate certain online media services through the creation of a new class of broadcaster called “online undertakings.” The new regulations would be done through amendments to Canada’s Broadcasting Act.
The original draft of Bill C-10 had a Section 4.1 exemption clause for “user content” posted on social media by individuals, meaning such posts would originally have not fallen under CRTC regulations.
However, a recent amendment to Bill C-10 through the Heritage Committee removed the Section 4.1 provision, which could mean that the federal government will regulate what people post online.
The Liberals, NDP, and Bloc party members recently rejected a CPC amendment to Bill C-10, which would have brought back safeguards for user-generated social media content during a clause-by-clause review of Bill C-10 by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
Recently, the Heritage Committee put a hold on Bill C-10 until the Department of Justice looked at it to determine whether or not the recent amendments violate one’s free speech granted in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms with regard to posts on social media.
After a review, the government said in explanatory note on the bill that it does not impede Canadians’ freedom of speech.
Bill C-10 has come under fire from the former head of the CRTC, Peter Menzies, who said, “Putting the CRTC in charge of the entire internet, I mean, that’s like putting a logging company in charge of the Great Bear Rainforest … it’s not going to end well.”
Currently, Bill C-10 is at second reading stage. Parliament is scheduled to wrap up by June 23 for summer break, so the government will likely try to ensure it gets passed in the House of Commons by then. It is unlikely to make it through Canada’s Senate for a full review in that timeframe, however.
In a May 17 open letter addressed to Trudeau, critics called upon the Trudeau government to halt all regulation of the internet, saying there would be “unintended consequences for the free and open internet in Canada” from any “overreaching regulatory policies.”
Guilbeault recently struggled to give a clear answer to justify why a committee he chaired moved to have personal social media posts placed under government oversight.
CPC leader MP Erin O’Toole said a future Conservative government would do away with Bill C-10.