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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 MPs NOW

OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s Senate has passed an amended version of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government’s controversial internet censorship bill targeting online video content.

Bill C-11, titled  An Act to Amend the Broadcasting Act and to Make Related and Consequential Amendments to other Acts,passed Thursday with 43 votes in favor and 15 opposed, with multiple amendments added.  

Due to the fact that the bill – which one senator said is something Stalin would support – was passed with amendments and not as written, it is not yet law and has to be revisited by lawmakers in the House of Commons. 

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

Many took to social media to blast the controversial bill’s passing, including Senator Denise Batters, who wrote:

Former National Hockey League (NHL) star Theo Fleury also expressed his discontent, adding:

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.  

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.  

Bill C-11 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, the law, 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. 

Trudeau’s Cabinet opposes Senate amendments  

Trudeau’s cabinet has already said that it will not accept some of the amendments made to the bill, meaning its swift passage might not happen. 

After C-11 was passed by the Senate, Rodriguez remarked that while some of the amendments have “zero impact” on the bill in terms of the goals of the Trudeau Liberals, other amendments do and therefore “we will not accept them.” 

Senators made amendments to protect user-generated content, as well as ban the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) from making its own sponsored content.  

Another amendment was made to make it so that companies would be mandated to verify a users age to access pornographic material, a move that even those who support keeping explicit material out of the hands of youngsters worry could carry with it online privacy implications. 

The Senate can also still choose to forgo its amended version and go with the government’s original bill, but this would set a bad precedent, according to some analysts.  

Michael Geist, who serves as the research chair of internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa, commented on Friday that as C-11 now heads back to the House of Commons, it will be up to “the Senate to stand its ground and reaffirm the changes it just overwhelmingly supported.” 

“For the Senate to simply accept a blanket rejection would be to admit that genuine efforts to improve legislation are just theatre, leaving stakeholders and Senators looking like chumps in the face of government gaslighting with little interest in good governance and improving its demonstrably flawed legislation,” commented Geist.  

In addition to Geist, last Tuesday Senator David Richards, who is also an acclaimed author, said that Bill C-11 is the type of law that will “be one of scapegoating all those who do not fit into what our bureaucrats think Canada should be.” 

“[Joseph] Stalin again will be looking over our shoulder when we write,” he added, in reference to the infamous leader of the former Soviet Union.

Since Trudeau became prime minister in 2015, his government has pushed forth many other bills targeting legal content on the internet, which critics have likewise blasted as an affront to freedom. 

Late last year, the Trudeau government decided to fast-track Bill C-18, titled the “Online News Act,” 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. 

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