OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) – Canadian Conservative MP Leslyn Lewis voiced concern over a new internet censorship bill from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, saying that passing the legislation would open “the door” to internet suppression and canceling of opposing political views.
“Neither the Liberals nor any government, regardless of your political stripe, can be trusted to be neutral referees of what is preferred speech and preferred content,” Lewis said during a Bill C-11 debate in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
Lewis then said that Trudeau’s response to the trucker Freedom Convoy is “evidence” that the bill could be used to suppress opposing political views.
Bill C-11, like its predecessor C-10, shows that the government doesn’t trust Canadians with free speech & to make their own internet choices. #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/vi6ecJROky
— Dr. Leslyn Lewis (@LeslynLewis) March 2, 2022
Lewis noted that Trudeau’s refusal to “listen to legitimate concerns of fellow Canadians, even when those who trucked from clear across the country came to just have a conversation,” shows he cannot be trusted when it comes to Bill C-11.
Lewis said that Trudeau choosing instead to label “people as racist, misogynist, anti-science people with unacceptable views” was “done in order to silence and cancel their voices.”
“A prime minister who can hardly tolerate differences of opinions within his own cabinet and party cannot be trusted to respect the different opinions and preferences of Canadians,” Lewis added.
Lewis noted that Canadians’ ability to freely share information and ideas via the web “must be protected.”
“Primarily it must be protected from government, from governmental interference,” she said.
“Bill C-11, the online streaming act, opens the doors to government control of Canadians through the internet through their internet activity and speech,” Lewis said. “We’ve heard these concerns about this government in the last iteration of this bill. Unfortunately, the same concerns remain with this bill.”
Liberal Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez introduced Bill C-11, An Act to Amend the Broadcasting Act and to Make Related and Consequential Amendments to other Acts, in February.
The last version of this bill, under the name Bill C-10, “An Act to Amend the Broadcasting Act,” drew fire for its targeting of user-generated content on social media platforms.
Bill C-11 is overall remarkably similar to the first version Bill C-10, which failed to pass into law after Canadian senators stalled its passage last summer.
Dr. Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa and Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, commented that Bill C-11 will allow for the government’s broadcast regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC), a “virtually limitless reach” in what is deemed acceptable or not for programming.
It is feared that Bill C-11 might force websites under the CRTC – including YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook – to remove content deemed “harmful” within 24 hours, and compel services like Netflix to have more Canadian content.
Trudeau took the unprecedented step of enacting the Emergencies Act (EA) in response to the thousands of Freedom Convoy truckers who descended upon Ottawa in February.
He refused to meet with any of the convoy leaders, and before they arrived in Ottawa, he called them a “fringe minority,” with him later saying they were “racist.”
Last week, Trudeau announced that he was ending the EA, only a day before Russia invaded Ukraine.
Two of the main Freedom Convoy organizers, Pat King and Tamara Lich, are still in jail after being denied bail.