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Canadian Prime Minister Justin TrudeauGYG Studio/Shutterstock

OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) –– Due to new powers granted via Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, Canada’s broadcast regulator has now mandated that certain online streaming services and podcasters “register” with the government by November 28, 2023, a command that has been ridiculed online as outright “censorship” by a slew of prominent figures.

In a press release sent out last Friday, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced the new rules “to modernize Canada’s broadcasting framework and ensure online streaming services make meaningful contributions to Canadian and Indigenous content.” 

Any online streaming service that offers content in Canada, which includes podcasters, falls under the new rules. The rules stipulate that for now, only streaming services and podcasters who earn more than $10 million or more in annual revenues “will need to complete a registration form by November 28, 2023.” 

“Registration collects basic information, is only required once and can be completed in just a few steps,” said the CRTC. 

The CRTC is also mandating new “conditions” that streaming services and podcasters must follow, including requiring those “services to make content available in a way that is not tied to a specific mobile or Internet service.” 

Soon, online streaming services and podcasters will also be mandated to either provide or produce more “Canadian and Indigenous content” in rules the CRTC says are in the works. The CRTC says it will hold a three-week public hearing starting on November 20 to decide on what “contributions” traditional and online broadcasters need to make.  

For now, the rules exempt video game services or audiobooks, as well as individual users of social media platforms. 

Leader of Canada’s opposition, Conservative Party head Pierre Poilievre, blasted the new “censorship” regulations in a social media post on Monday.  

“We warned that Justin Trudeau’s online censorship law was coming to censor what people can see and say online,” posted Poilievre on X (formerly Twitter).  

“Liberals denied it. Now, it is exactly what they’re doing.” 

Poilievre said that the “Conservatives will repeal Trudeau’s censorship, and restore freedom of expression online for all,” should they form government in the next election.  

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, had previously urged the Senate to stall the bill before its passing in April. 

Trudeau trying to ‘crush’ free speech in Canada, says Elon Musk 

News of the CRTC’s new “registration” requirements spread quickly and drew a strong reaction from X owner and billionaire Elon Musk, who spared little in blasting Trudeau over the new regulations. 

“Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada,” wrote Musk on X.


Late last year, Musk, who holds Canadian citizenship, said it was the first time he had “heard” about looming Canadian internet censorship regulations, and has since been a vocal advocate for free speech on the internet.  

New rules appear to run counter to ‘freedom of expression rights,’ law professor says

Dr. Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, who has been critical of Bill C-11 and the Trudeau government’s other internet regulatory bill, C-18, in comments posted on X today said much of the problem with the new rules rests with the government. 

“Much of the problem lies with government, which claimed Bill C-11 was just about web giants and ‘platforms were in and users were out.’ This was never true. Law always broadly covered all audio and visual services worldwide including podcasts, news, and adult sites,” wrote Geist.  

Geist said that the “crucial” issue with Bill C-11 was always whether “CRTC exemption from registration requirements, which it sets at $10M in Canadian revenue.” 

“That isn’t trivial, but additional exemptions for podcasts, social media, adult sites, news services, thematic services were all rejected,” he noted. 

Geist observed that the CRTC in its new rules is effectively saying that a “podcaster or news outlet that generates a certain threshold of revenue must register with the government.”  

He said this is a position that “runs counter to freedom of expression rights without government interference.”