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Conservative Party of Canada Leader Pierre Poilievre delivering a speech at the CPC 2023 convention in Quebec CityGlobal News/YouTube

Send an urgent message to Canadian legislators urging them to stop Trudeau’s ‘Online Harms Act’

OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre has criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “Online Harms bill,” but has not yet said what action his party plans to take against the proposed law that could see Canadians jailed for vaguely defined “hate speech” infractions online.   

In a February 27 press release, Poilievre decried Bill C-63, the Trudeau government’s latest “online harms” legislation which could severely punish Canadians for posts defined as “hate speech.” Poilievre explained that the legislation should stick to its purported goal of protecting children from exploitation without also expanding the scope of what constitutes illegal speech.  

“Common sense Conservatives believe that we should criminalize and enforce laws against: sexually victimizing a child or revictimizing a survivor online; bullying a child online; inducing a child to harm themselves or inciting violence,” Poilievre wrote.  

“Criminal bans on intimate content communicated without consent, including deepfakes, must be enforced and expanded,” he continued.   

“We believe that these serious acts should be criminalized, investigated by police, tried in court and punished with jail, not pushed off to new bureaucracy that does nothing to prevent crimes and provides no justice to victims,” Poilievre added.  

However, he noted that the proposed legislation, while framed as a way to protect children, would lead to censoring Canadians.  

“We do not believe that the government should be banning opinions that contradict the Prime Minister’s radical ideology,” he stated. 

“Common sense Conservatives will protect our kids and punish criminals instead of creating more bureaucracy and censoring opinions,” Poilievre added.  

Poilievre’s statement comes just a day after Justice Minister Arif Virani introduced the legislation in the House of Commons. 

Bill C-63 will create the Online Harms Act and modify existing laws, amending the Criminal Code as well as the Canadian Human Rights Act, in what the Liberals claim will target certain cases of internet content removal, notably those involving child sexual abuse and pornography.  

According to the Trudeau government, Bill C-63 aims to protect kids from online harms and crack down on non-consensual deep-fake pornography involving children and will target seven types of online harms, such as hate speech, terrorist content, incitement to violence, the sharing of non-consensual intimate images, child exploitation, cyberbullying and inciting self-harm.  

As part of the new bill, the Trudeau Liberals are looking to increase punishments for existing hate propaganda offenses in a substantial manner. 

A top constitutional lawyer warned LifeSiteNews that the legislation will allow a yet-to-be-formed digital safety commission to conduct “secret commission hearings” against those found to have violated the new law, raising “serious concerns for the freedom of expression” of Canadians online. 

The proposed commission’s ombudsperson, along with the other offices, will be charged with dealing with public complaints regarding online content as well as put forth a regulatory function in a five-person panel “appointed by the government.” This panel will be charged with monitoring internet platform behaviors to hold people “accountable.” 

Most worryingly, the new bill will allow it so that anyone can file a complaint against another person with the Canadian Human Rights Commission for “posting hate speech online” that is deemed “discriminatory” against a wide range of so-called protected categories, notably gender, race, sexuality, or other areas.  

Penalties for violations of the proposed law include $20,000 fines and jail time.

Poilievre has yet to take concrete action against the legislation   

While Poilievre did criticize the proposed legislation, he did not outright explain what action he is going to take on behalf of Canadians.

The Conservative leader is known for waiting to make strong statements until after the public reacts. Earlier this month, Poilievre muzzled his MPs from speaking Alberta’s ban on “transitioning” kids, only to come out days later in favor of the move after public support for Alberta’s policy rolled in. 

While Poilievre’s popularity continues to skyrocket, many social conservatives remain wary of the leader as he has a history of holding pro-LGBT and pro-abortion views. 

Send an urgent message to Canadian legislators urging them to stop Trudeau’s ‘Online Harms Act’