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OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) – Canada Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said the federal government will pull its advertising on Facebook and Instagram in response to the platform’s parent company, Meta, saying it will block Canadians’ access to news on its sites due to a new internet censorship law.

“We have decided to take the necessary step of suspending all Government of Canada advertising to Facebook. We cannot continue paying advertising dollars to Meta while they refuse to pay their fair share to Canadian news organizations,” Rodriguez announced today on Twitter.

Canada’s Senate passed the Online News Act, or Bill C-18, in June and it quickly became law. The House of Commons, led by the Canadian federal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, passed Bill C-18 in December 2022.

This new internet censorship law mandates that online tech companies be forced to pay publishers for news content shared on their sites.

Instead of going along with the law, both Meta and Google, whom it should be noted are responsible for censoring or limiting news content on their platforms, notably during the COVID crisis, have said they would block Canadians’ access to online news. The tech giants have ironically blasted the new law as an attack on internet free speech as well.

Today, Rodriguez claimed to reporters at a press conference that “Facebook has decided to be unreasonable, irresponsible and started blocking news.”

“This is why today we are announcing the Government of Canada will be suspending advertising on Facebook and Instagram,” he added.

Reaction to Rodriguez’s announcement of pulling ads from Facebook came swiftly from those who oppose Trudeau’s extreme internet laws.

“Throw a temper tantrum, break your crayons and stomp off. That’ll teach ’em!” Alberta political commentator Paul Mitchell tweeted in reply to Rodriguez’s Twitter post.

Twitter user Jason James wrote, “Happy to know my taxes are no longer paying for Liberal propaganda on Instagram and Facebook.”

It should be noted that while the federal government is pulling ads from Meta’s platforms, the Liberal Party of Canada is not, and reporters pointed that out to Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, however, claimed that the government is “one thing and the party is another” when it comes to advertising.

Facebook has said that to comply with the Online News Act that it would have to stop the flow of content “from news outlets, including news publishers and broadcasters,” who “will no longer be available to people accessing our platforms in Canada.”

According to Rodriguez, the federal government spends about $10 million annually on Facebook and Instagram ads.

Just last week, tech giant Google announced that it will soon block Canadians from accessing news on its search engines and other platforms after the passage of Trudeau’s Online News Act.

Google condemned Bill C-18, saying the law was “unworkable” and that it would in effect stop the free flow of internet traffic that has been in place for 30 years.

Google followed Meta, which weeks ago said it would block news instead of being forced to pay publishers for news content.

Overall, Bill C-18 gives the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) the ability to decide which news content Canadians are permitted to view.

According to the bill’s text, news outlets that are given the label of a “qualified Canadian journalism organization” could be given favorable rankings on Big Tech platforms and would even be entitled to “fair compensation” whenever their news content is shared on such sites.

Since first taking office in 2015, Trudeau has pushed a radical agenda that has targeted free speech on the internet.

Last month, LifeSiteNews reported about how the Trudeau government is looking to have the CRTC enforce upon all broadcasters woke and pro-LGBT “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion” (EDI) requirements.

Besides the Online News Act, the Trudeau government passed another internet censorship law, Bill C-11, in May that will allow the CRTC to in effect regulate YouTube and Netflix.

In practice, Bill C-11 now mandates that the CRTC oversee regulating online content on platforms such as YouTube and Netflix to ensure that such platforms are promoting content in accordance with a variety of its guidelines.

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.

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