Editor’s note: This article was updated at 7:14 p.m. ET to include the fact that Bill C-11 has now been given Royal Assent.
OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) –– The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s internet censorship legislation Bill C-11 has now become law after Canadian Senators late this afternoon voted to pass the bill, forgoing all their previously recommended amendments.
The bill passed via a motion with 52 votes for, 16 against, and 1 abstention.
Vote result on @SenMarcGold‘s motion, as amended, relating to the House of Commons response to the Senate’s amendments to Bill #C11:
Yeas: 52 ✔️
Nays : 16 ❌
Abstentions : 1#SenCA #CdnPoli
— Senate of Canada (@SenateCA) April 27, 2023
Senators in the majority vote agreed to tell the House of Commons that it will accept the version of the bill the House passed last month. This means that the changes the Senate demanded to be made to the bill will not be included in the bill as the House rejected a vast majority of the proposed amendments.
The now-passed motion, put forth by Senator Marc Gould, explains that “Government Bill C-11 would amend the Broadcasting Act to modify Canada’s broadcasting policy, bring into the act ‘online undertakings’ that transmit content over the internet, and change the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s regulatory powers, among many other things.”
In the Upper Chamber, senators appointed by Trudeau have spent the last few days shutting down further debate on the bill, with the vote today essentially accepting it as is.
One Conservative senator, who voted against the bill, blasted its passage as a “sad day” for Canada.
Sad day in the Senate, as after a very long fight, Bill #C11 passes.
Thank you to @SenatorHousakos for your “Spartan warrior” battle against this terrible censorship bill.
Now, we need to elect a #CPC @PierrePoilievre Government — as we will repeal this law. #Pierre4PM#SenCA https://t.co/tIjXviTphY
— Sen. Denise Batters (@denisebatters) April 27, 2023
In anticipation of the bill’s passing, Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leader Pierre Poilievre said that should he be elected as prime minister, his government would repeal the bill.
After having passed both the House and Senate, Bill C-11 received Royal Assent on Thursday evening and officially became law.
Under the new law, it will now be up to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to come up with the details on how the bill will be enforced, which critics have said could take years of back-and-forth debate.
The bill itself has faced immense criticism for its implications on freedom of speech, to the point that even Big Tech giants YouTube and Apple, which both have a history of enacting their own forms of censorship on users, have previously urged the Senate to stall the bill.
In practice, Bill C-11 now mandates that the CRTC be in charge of regulating online content on platforms such as YouTube and Netflix to ensure that such platforms are promoting content in accordance with a variety of CRTC guidelines.
Bill C-11 was initially introduced to the House of Commons by Rodriguez on February 2, 2022, and is just one of many similar pieces of legislation introduced by Trudeau’s Liberals since they took power in 2015.
Late last year, the Trudeau government decided to fast-track another content-regulation bill, C-18, titled the “Online News Act,” by rushing it through the House of Commons. This bill is also now before the Senate.