(LifeSiteNews) — Twitter owner Elon Musk took a direct shot at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s looming internet censorship legislation Wednesday, suggesting the bill is an attempt to “muzzle” the voice of Canadians.
On Tuesday, True North’s senior journalist Andrew Lawton wrote a tweet asking Musk – the billionaire tech mogul behind Space X and Tesla and now the owner of Twitter – to take a “stand” against Trudeau’s online censorship legislation.
Canada’s Liberal government wants to regulate internet content and deputize social media companies to enforce “hate speech” bans (with a low and murky threshold for what “hate speech” is). I hope @elonmusk takes a stand against this.
— Andrew Lawton (@AndrewLawton) December 13, 2022
Musk responded to Lawton’s tweet directly on Wednesday, writing:
Sounds like an attempt to muzzle the voice of the people of Canada
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 14, 2022
One of the main pieces of internet censorship legislation in question, Bill C-11, is currently in its third and final reading in the Canadian Senate, and is expected to pass shortly.
As the bill stands, once law it would give the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) the ability to regulate what it says is “commercial” video content on sites such as YouTube or Netflix. However, because the bill does not define what “commercial” means, critics have long warned it carries the potential to severely stifle free speech online, and could likely also impact individual users.
While Bill C-11 has been at the forefront of the free speech battle in Canada, Lawton’s tweet seems to also be a reference to the now-lapsed but potentially returning Bill C-36.
Introduced by the Trudeau government in 2021, critics of Bill C-36 warned at the time that the broadly-scoped act would have led to the censorship of bloggers and individual social media users, and could have even opened the door to giving police the power to “do something” about online “hate.”
Bill C-36 included text to amend Canada’s Criminal Code and Human Rights Act to define “hatred” broadly as “the emotion that involves detestation or vilification and that is stronger than dislike or disdain (haine).”
The bill would theoretically have allowed a tribunal to judge anyone who has a complaint of online “hate” leveled against them, even if he has not committed a crime. If found guilty, the person would have been subjected to fines of up to $70,000 and could have even been placed under house arrest.
Due to Trudeau’s calling of an election in the fall of 2021, Bill C-36 was ultimately dropped from the order paper. This past August, however, Trudeau’s Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez hinted that a form of Bill C-36 could be coming back.
This is not the first time Musk has acknowledged Trudeau’s internet censorship legislation.
In October, Musk responded to a message from a pro-freedom Canadian group about Trudeau’s Bill C-11, noting it was the first time he had “heard” about it.
Since buying Twitter, Musk has allowed the reinstatement of multiple people who were canceled for not going along with the mainstream narrative with respect to COVID and the LGBT agenda, but does not himself seem to hold traditionally conservative principles.
Trudeau, on the other hand, has a history of lamenting the lack of control governments have over social media, and has made the countering of online speech a hallmark of his tenure as prime minister.