Connect with us

Media

Most Canadians oppose internet censorship, federal report finds

Published

5 minute read

From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

” even those who voiced concern over potentially ‘harmful’ content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube and Snapchat held that it ‘was the responsibility of individuals’ and not government to determine what Canadians can and cannot view. “

Most Canadians want the Trudeau government to keep its hands off access to the internet, according to a federal report.  

According to information published January 3 by Blacklock’s Reporter, an in-house Privy Council report titled Continuous Qualitative Data Collection Of Canadians’ Views has found that most Canadians believe the federal government should not introduce legislation that would censor internet content.

“Discussing actions which could be taken to mitigate online misinformation and disinformation, participants stressed the role of individual responsibility,” federal government researchers wrote in the report.  

According to the report, even those who voiced concern over potentially harmful content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, YouTube and Snapchat held that it “was the responsibility of individuals” and not government to determine what Canadians can and cannot view.   

The research was contracted out to Strategic Counsel, which gathered information from focus groups in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec and Atlantic Canada.  

“A number were of the view it was of critical importance for Canadians to be able to leave comments and have their voices heard regarding initiatives and policies important to them,” the report stated.  

According to the research, Canadians were unsure that legislation to censor internet activity was necessary, or even a good idea, explaining that they could “filter out hateful content” without the government’s intervention.   

“While most believed harmful content online represented a growing concern few felt it to be a major issue at present,” the report said. “Several were of the view that individuals were typically able to avoid harmful content by blocking it or not utilizing platforms on which it was present.” 

“Participants were asked if they were concerned about the spread of misinformation and disinformation,” the research added. “Though all participants reported feeling some degree of concern some also expressed reservations about the potential for censorship in any attempt by the federal government to prevent the proliferation of false information online.”  

The research comes as Canadians are facing increased internet censorship thanks to the Liberal government under the leadership of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.   

This past June, Trudeau’s internet censorship law, Bill C-18, the Online News Act, was passed by the Senate. This law mandates that Big Tech companies pay to publish Canadian content on their platforms.   

As a result, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, blocked all access to news content in Canada, while Google  agreed to pay Canadian legacy media $100 million under the new legislation.    

Critics of Trudeau’s recent laws, such as tech mogul Elon Musk, have commented that the legislation shows that “Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada.”    

Musk made the comments after the nation’s telecommunications regulator announced that due to new powers granted to it via the Online Streaming Act, certain podcasters will now have to “register” with the government. 

Just last week, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), Canada’s official broadcast regulator, announced it might soon be producing draft rules for a pre-election “code of conduct” for newsrooms, which includes print and online journalists.  

The “code of conduct” can be legally enforced thanks to a little known clause in the Online News Act. Clause, 27.1.b.iv says newsrooms that want Google money must demonstrate full compliance with a “code of ethics.” This “code” was not defined, however, and Canada has no such national code of newsroom ethics. 

Todayville is a digital media and technology company. We profile unique stories and events in our community. Register and promote your community event for free.

Follow Author

International

‘They’re So Dishonest’: Doctor Unloads On Media For Asking Biden ‘Terrible’ Questions Instead Of ‘Grilling’ Him

Published on

From the Daily Caller News Foundation

By JASON COHEN

 

Physician and medical professor Dr. Vinay Prasad criticized the media on Thursday for not asking President Joe Biden the right questions to assess his cognitive capability.

Democrats have increasingly been encouraging Biden to drop out of the presidential race after his debate performance against former President Donald Trump, which caused worries regarding the president’s mental competence. Prasad on his YouTube channel said the media should challenge the president’s capability through asking tougher questions rather than pushing him to take a cognitive test.

WATCH: 

“The media, they’re so so relentlessly focused on whether or not he should get a neurologic test. I think they fundamentally misunderstand. Yes, if you’re his doctor, you might want to do tests on this gentleman, but if you’re vetting a candidate for this office, the test is learn how to ask better questions,” Prasad said. “The questions they ask are so terrible. Ask pointed questions, ask really questions that force him to retrieve memories, ask questions that really ask him to articulate.”

“Don’t ask open-ended questions that allow him to filibuster and just go back to saying the stock and trade things he says all the time that come out like rote memorization,” he continued. “Push him in different domains. You can actually assess someone for president if you are a competent journalist and ask the right questions. They don’t appear to do that.”

Corporate media’s years-long effort to quash questions regarding Biden’s mental fitness faced a substantial setback after the debate. Despite worries from Americans, legacy media outlets consistently downplayed their legitimacy.

“We have to admit that they’re completely dishonest. Before the debate, when 50 million Americans watched him with word-finding difficulties and things of that nature … they were running a media campaign that said any video you saw of him was probably doctored or it was taken out of context because, of course, the man is doing just fine,” Prasad said. “They never raised the question of, ‘is he performing, this 80-plus-year-old gentleman is up for the task of being president?’ They never raised that question. The moment that everyone saw it, and then the jig was up and they couldn’t conceal these deficits anymore … now they’re suddenly happy to run op-ed after op-ed and calls for him to step down.”

“They’re so dishonest, this media. What are you doing in the White House Press Corps? Don’t you see the man? Aren’t you assessing him daily? Why are you keeping that a goddamn secret?” he asked.

Biden recently sat down for an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an effort to reassure voters that he is capable of being president, asserting his debate performance was just a “bad night” and that he is not cognitively diminished. The president also seemed to express an unwillingness to take a cognitive test.

“No amount of medical testing is going to answer the question of if somebody is fit enough to be president of the United States. Just like no amount of imaging and test questionnaires is going to tell you if a college kid is able to play in the NBA,” Prasad added. “You have to watch them play basketball and you have to watch him engage in the sorts of acts that one would expect from a president.”

“It would probably involve, I would imagine, being woken up in the middle of the night and having to get your opinion on a bunch of big issues and that might happen like many nights in a row, so you might have some chronic sleep deprivation,” he said. “How would you perform under those circumstances? You might get a sense for that if you were really grilling somebody in a vigorous dialogue and vigorous questioning, which the media didn’t want to do for all this time.”

Continue Reading

Energy

Free Speech Was Curtailed In Canada. Did You Notice?

Published on

From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Brian Zinchuk

We’ve seen this before, of course… The Soviets under Lenin and Stalin, and Maoists in China made denunciation commonplace. Don’t like someone? Denounce them for anti-revolutionary speech and have them hauled off to the gulag for 10 years

In the waning days of June, the federal Liberal government, supported by the New Democratic Party, passed legislation to take away some of the rights to free speech in Canada.

Bill C-59 was an omnibus budget bill, which meant its passage was assured lest the government fall. And there are some amendments to the Competition Act within C-59 which are effectively a gag law for you, me, and everybody else.

Gag law

I honestly wasn’t aware of it until Minister of Justice and Attorney General Bronwyn Eyre held a press scrum at the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show on June 5 to talk about this. She called it a “gag law,” and it has become evident those were very fitting words.

The additions to the budget impact the Competition Act, for the purpose of eliminating “greenwashing.” The significant clauses state:

“A person engages in reviewable conduct who, for the purpose of promoting, directly or indirectly, the supply or use of a product or for the purpose of promoting, directly or indirectly, any business interest, by any means whatever …

“(b.1) Makes a representation to the public in the form of a statement, warranty or guarantee of a product’s benefits for protecting or restoring the environment or mitigating the environmental, social and ecological causes or effects of climate change that is not based on an adequate and proper test, the proof of which lies on the person making the representation;

“(b.2) Makes a representation to the public with respect to the benefits of a business or business activity for protecting or restoring the environment or mitigating the environmental and ecological causes or effects of climate change that is not based on adequate and proper substantiation in accordance with internationally recognized methodology, the proof of which lies on the person making the representation.”

The penalties for a corporation can be up to three per cent of global revenue.

Charlie Angus’ influence

The Bill was introduced last November, but these portions were amended since then. And you can see from a briefing submission from the environmental lobby, some of their suggestions were implemented.

It also seems to be an extension of Charlie Angus private members bill, which was banning the promotional petroleum in early February. I think that was a trial balloon. No one really thought anything would come of it, but the essence of that bill was already in Section 236 of C-59, with amendments made at the very end of the budgetary process.

This move seems to be a back-door implementation of NDP MP Charlie Angus’ private members bill, Bill C-372, which sought to shut down all oil and gas advertising. Angus’ press release said, “Passage of Bill C-372 will mean that no fossil fuel company will be able to advertise, promote their products, nor mislead the public about the health and environmental threats posed by the burning of fossil fuels, which the World Health Organization now says is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.”

Isn’t that eerily similar to the clauses noted above?

Saskatchewan calls it a gag law

Eyre told reporters on June 5, “This is a gag law. It’s a federal gag law. It’s Charlie Angus’ fossil fuels advertising act in another form, and it is very serious. That’s what the letter expresses, our profound alarm at this rushed bill, Bill C-59, which is part of an omnibus budget bill. It was rushed, it was done without consultation with any of the provinces. And it could have a very profound effect, very sobering effect harmful effects on our economy, frankly, so very, very concerned about C-59.”

Premier Scott Moe posted on social media on July 2, “It’s a wonder why the federal government would want to put a gag order on Saskatchewan oil and gas companies when they are having great success with their emission reductions. In fact, our energy sectors greenhouse gas emissions last year were 67 per cent below levels reported in 2015. Our government will continue to fight against the Liberal-NDP Coalition Bill C-59 plan in order to protect Saskatchewan’s energy sector.”

Such a statement, made by a provincial premier, no less, could possibly be considered afoul of the law, if he had made these statements after June 20, 2025, when the law is implemented.

Did Moe quote “proper substantiation in accordance with internationally recognized methodology?” After all, according to the law of the land now, “the proof of which lies on the person making the representation.”

Jordan Peterson persecution

The implementation of this law is essentially modelled on the persecution (and I don’t use that term lightly) of Dr. Jordan Peterson.

As noted by the National Post, Dr. Peterson’s plight was that the “College of Psychologists of Ontario that ordered Jordan Peterson into a mandatory rehabilitation program for his politically incorrect tweets, which had nothing to do with his practice and involved none of his patients.”

Among the complaints made against him was the submission of the entire transcript of his appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast! And an Ontario court backed up the College’s prosecution (persecution?) of him!

Bill C-59 conjures up a similar system. As energy advocate Deidra Garyk writes in Pipeline Online, “While focus has been on the muzzling of oil and gas supporters and companies, this bill is agnostic and, therefore, allows all industries to be targeted. Although, oil and gas is likely to be disproportionately aimed at and penalized since anyone can go onto the Bureau’s website and easily complete a complaint form. You do not have to be a victim to file a complaint, meaning a company can be accused of a victimless crime.”

Communist-style denunciation

We’ve seen this before, of course, long before Peterson’s problems. The Soviets under Lenin and Stalin, and Maoists in China made denunciation commonplace. Don’t like someone? Denounce them for anti-revolutionary speech and have them hauled off to the gulag for 10 years, but only if they don’t catch a bullet behind the ear, first.

Process is the punishment

While Canadians aren’t likely to catch a bullet, yet, this is a situation where the process is the punishment. It doesn’t matter if the complainants win. All they have to do is initiate the process, and you are in a world of hurt.

And trust me, they will be filing complaints. Expect groups like Ecojustice, Sierra Club, and Greenpeace to be lining them up as we speak. In December, several of them, including Ecojustice, submitted a briefing note “amending Bill C-59 to more effectively combat greenwashing.”

A few clicks online and bam! You’re tied up in litigation that’s from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

And even if you win, you still lose, because you’ve paid all that money for the lawyers and the time and effort.

And in the meantime, while you’re in litigation, you’re not going to say a damn thing until it’s resolved. So, you have effectively been muted until the court process, which is never quick and efficient, is dealt with. Again, the process is the punishment.

Easier to say nothing, ever

Now, the solution for most people, and most companies, will realize is that it’s easier not to say anything at all, which effectively silences you. As Eyre said, this is a gag law.

And you know what really, really troubling?

Some of the largest companies in Canada, corporations with literally floors of lawyers among them, folded like a house of cards as soon as C-59 became law. The Pathways Alliance, made up of the six largest oilsands producers, promptly wiped their website clean. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, on June 20, said it “has chosen to reduce the amount of information it makes available on its website and other digital platforms until the Competition Bureau has released further guidance on how these amendments will be implemented.”

So the gag has been thoroughly applied, already. Spines, and perhaps some other bodily parts, are notably absent.

And these are the organizations with by far the largest resources to fight this assault on free speech. Instead, they issued press releases. Big deal. That press release should have said they will fight this tooth and nail. Instead, They’ve already all but given up.

So what the hell am I supposed to do, working in my basement as a one man band? I have no financial resources to pay for any sort of legal fight.

How the hell am I supposed to fight this when the people who have all the resources in the world, in this country have said, “Oh, we’ll put up a press release saying, ‘We don’t like this, but we’re not going to do anything about it.’”

I’ll tell you what my defence is, should I, or my corporation, Pipeline Online Ltd., have a complaint issued under this legislation: Section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It states, “Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.”

That includes the right to say whatever you want about “protecting or restoring the environment or mitigating the environmental, social and ecological causes or effects of climate change.”

And under Canadian law, corporations have rights, too.

ESG as the rope to hang you

And here’s another twist: in the last four years, environment, social and governance, or ESG statements or reports have went from non-existent to required if you expect any sort of institutional investment. No ESG report; no money, honey.

But these very reports, the ones making companies’ environmental cases, will now be rope with which the likes of Ecojustice and Greenpeace will hang them. Now if you publish an ESG statement, your critics can use that as evidence to prosecute you. So you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t. If you don’t put out an ESG statement, maybe you’ll lose all your investors. And if you do publish it, well, maybe you’ll get prosecuted by this for saying the wonderful stuff that you have tried to do for the environment.

What if a journalist like me comes around and does a story on your company? Let’s give a real example. Several years ago, a drilling company which no longer exists called CanElson converted many of it rigs to operate on dual-fuel; diesel and compressed natural gas. And one of the reasons cited at the time when I wrote about it was the environmental benefits from lower emissions. But now, lawyers would almost certainly tell them everything they say would have to be couched with “proper substantiation in accordance with internationally recognized methodology.” In other words, mountains of fine print. But no press organization is going to publish all of that, and the company would have no control over what is published. So that company’s lawyer would, according to the new law, obviously advise their clients to say nothing, ever, to any media where it could be published, lest they open themselves up to prosecution under the Competition Act, as amended by Bill C-59.

Again, a gag law.

1984

This is really an implementation of George Orwell’s 1984, where groupthink has been legislated into law a couple week ago by the federal government. If you say anything against the current orthodoxy of anthropogenic climate change, or even if your efforts to support it are found insufficient, you are an apostate and can be prosecuted for it.

This is not hyperbole. This has really happened.

Your freedom of speech, today, is dramatically reduced from what it was on June 19.

And we allowed it to happen.

Authoritarian pattern

This reminds me of how the Russian Revolution evolved under the Soviets, as recorded by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago. First they came for the Mensheviks, then the socialists. Then they came for the bourgeois business owners and clergy. Next were the engineers, which were called “wreckers,” as well as the intelligentsia. Then they came for the kulaks, which were farmers who had as few as three cows, leading to the Holodomor. Then they came for the military, in the great purge.

This is the route authoritarianism takes. Free speech is the first to go. What comes after that?

I’ve been talking to a number of people about this in recent weeks. Some have suggested working within the system as it now exists, under the new changes to the Competition Act. Some have suggested using the new rules to fight back, making complaints about the green lobby, instead.

That’s a fool’s errand. You’re co-opting the authoritarians’ plan. Just like the Jews who dutifully donned their yellow Stars of David. If we just do what they tell us to, work within their new rules, maybe they’ll leave us alone.

How did that work out?

I wore a uniform as a reservist officer in the Canadian Forces. I may have been the lowest form of reservist officer, but I still wore a uniform for seven years, and there’s no way in hell I am going to be gagged by my own federal government for being able to say what I’m going to say.

And the fact that CAPP and the Pathways Alliance folded on this like a cheap house of cards, is all the more troubling. They’ve just been handed the environmental equivalent of a yellow star, and they dutifully put it on.

Will you do the same?

Brian Zinchuk is editor and owner of Pipeline Online, and occasional contributor to the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. He can be reached at [email protected].

Continue Reading

Trending

X