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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives to speak to the media on the third and final day of the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau on June 28, 2022 near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Stop Trudeau’s Censorship Bill! Contact your Canadian Senators & MPs NOW

OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) –– The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is rejecting multiple changes made by senators to its controversial internet censorship bill targeting online content, leaving uncertain the future of the contentious piece of legislation.

Last Tuesday, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez sent a message to the Senate in which he said he disagrees with some of the senators amendments to Bill C-11, titled,  An Act to Amend the Broadcasting Act and to Make Related and Consequential Amendments to other Acts. 

In total, Rodriguez gave his dissent to six of the amendments added by senators but agreed to over a dozen others.  

Bill C-11 passed Canada’s Senate last month with 43 votes in favor and 15 opposed, but with multiple amendments added. 

All Conservative-appointed senators present in the Senate chamber voted “no” to the bill, while only three senators appointed by Trudeau voted against it.   

Normally, once the Senate passes a bill it will be given Royal Assent and become law. However, procedure dictates that for a bill to become law the text which is passed by both the Senate and House of Commons must be exactly the same. As the Senate made multiple amendments to Bill C-11, it must get reapproved from the House of Commons before being enshrined.   

Due to Rodriguez’s rejections of multiple amendments, as it stands, the status of Bill C-11 remains in a rare House of Commons/Senate stalemate. 

The bill has faced immense criticism for its implications on freedom of speech, and even Big Tech giants YouTube and Apple, which both have a history of enacting their own forms of censorship on users, had urged the Senate to stall the bill.  

In effect, Bill C-11, if given Royal Assent, would mandate that Canada’s telecommunications regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), be in charge of regulating online content from platforms such as YouTube and Netflix to ensure that such platforms are promoting content in accordance with a variety of CRTC guidelines.  

Senators Julie Miville-Dechene and Paula Simons added amendments that would more or less exclude user content on social media from any regulatory administration by the CRTC. 

According to Rodriguez, he disagreed with the amendment “because this would affect the Governor in Council’s ability to publicly consult on, and issue, a policy direction to the CRTC to appropriately scope the regulation of social media services.” 

Rejection of Senate amendments leaves ‘no doubt’ Trudeau gov’t wants to regulate user content

According to Michael Geist, who serves as the research chair of internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa, Rodriguez’s objections to some amendments “has left no doubt about the government’s true intent with Bill C-11: retain power and flexibility to regulate user content.”  

“While the decision does not come as a total shock – Rodriguez suggested last month that he would reject any substantive amendments – it still stings,” wrote Geist in a recent blog post.   

“The Senate amendment crafted by Trudeau-appointed Senators Simons and Miville-Duchêne took the government at its word that their objective was to ensure sound recordings on services such as YouTube were caught by the bill. Their amendment did that.”  

Geist added that rather than “citing misleading lobbying claims opposed to the change, it calls it like it is: the government wants the power to direct the CRTC on user content today and the power to exert further regulation tomorrow.”  

Geist warned that if Bill C-11 gets Royal Assent it would make Canada “the only country in the democratic world to engage in this form of user content regulation.” 

“On its way to rejecting the concerns of thousands of Canadian creators and dismissing the fears of authors such as Margaret Atwood and Senator David Adams Richards, its real mantra is platforms are in and user content regulation is in.” 

Bill C-11 was initially introduced to the House of Commons by Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez on February 2, 2022, and was passed by the House on June 21. 

The bill is just one of many similar pieces of legislation introduced by Trudeau’s Liberals since being elected in 2015.

Late last year, the Trudeau government decided to fast-track another content-regulation bill, C-18, titled the “Online News Act,” by rushing it through the House of Commons. The bill is now before the Senate.  

According to Derek Fildebrandt, publisher and CEO of the independent Western Standard, Bill C-18 is a direct attack on media that does not get government funding and poses an existential threat to all independent reporting in the nation.  

Last month, in preparation for the passing of Bill C-18, tech giant Google blocked access to some online news content for many Canadians in what it said was an operational test-run. Canadian MPs have since demanded the company’s CEO change its attitude toward their content-regulation efforts. 

Stop Trudeau’s Censorship Bill! Contact your Canadian Senators & MPs NOW