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Trudeau claims Canada must subsidize CBC to ‘protect our democracy’

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From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

Trudeau failed to explain how the CBC could be an unbiased news source for Canadians when it is being funded by the Liberal party.

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claims that Canada must continue to subsidize mainstream media outlet CBC to “protect our democracy.”

During the January 31 question period in the House of Commons, Trudeau promised continued funding for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Canada’s public radio and television broadcaster, arguing that the state-funded outlet is necessary for Canada’s democracy.  

“At a time of misinformation and disinformation, and the transformation of our media and digital era, we need CBC/Radio Canada to be strong to protect our culture, to protect our democracy, and to tell our stories from one end of the country to another,” Trudeau said.  

“We’ll always be here to defend CBC/Radio Canada, and we are going to seek to make necessary investments … to fulfill their mandate to inform and to strengthen democracy here in Canada,” he continued.  

Trudeau’s statement was in response to a request from Quebec Member of Parliament Martin Champoux (BQ-Drummond) for increased government funding for the Quebec division of CBC, Radio Canada. 

Trudeau pointed out that the Liberal government is already massively subsidizing the mainstream media. 

Ironically, Trudeau celebrated Bill C-18, the Online News Act, a law which mandates that Big Tech companies pay to publish Canadian content on their platforms.    

“This is why we put forth [Bill] C-18 which will help our journalists at all levels to continue operating,” Trudeau stated. “We’ll be here to support a free and independent press. That is professional. We know there’s a lot of work to be done still.” 

However, thanks to his law, Canadians can no longer view or share news on Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, which blocked all access to news content in Canada rather than pay the fees outlined in the new legislation. Google, on the other hand,  agreed to pay Canadian legacy media $100 million. 

Additionally, Trudeau failed to explain how CBC could be an unbiased news source for Canadians when it is being funded by the Liberal party.  

Indeed, many Canadians have pointed out that the massive subsidies have made the CBC into a wing of the Liberal party.  

In April, Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre labeled the CBC a “biased propaganda arm of the Liberal Party and frankly negatively affects all media.” 

“For example, Canadian Press is negatively affected by the fact that you have to report favourably on the CBC if you want to keep your number one, taxpayer-funded client happy,” he said. 

“We need a neutral and free media, not a propaganda arm for the Liberal Party… When I am prime minister, we are going to have a free press where every day Canadians decide what they think rather than having Liberal propaganda jammed down their throats.” 

Poilievre added that if he becomes prime minister he will cut “corporate welfare,” including money to the CBC.

Despite being nominally unaffiliated with either political party in Canada, CBC takes in about $1.24 billion in public funding every year. This is roughly 70 percent of its operating budget.  

That subsidies are the CBC’s largest single source of income has become a point of contention among taxpayers who see the propping up of the outlet as unnecessary.  

Furthermore, the CBC was set to receive increased funding thanks to the deal with Google that followed the passing of Trudeau’s Online News Act. 

The deal was finalized in early December. Under the new agreement, Google will pay legacy media outlets $100 million to publish links to their content on both the Google search engine and YouTube.  

As a result of the government handouts and the Google agreement, roughly half the salary of a CBC journalist earning $85,000 is estimated to be paid by the combined contributions of the Trudeau government and Google.  

Additionally, Trudeau recently announced increased payouts for legacy media outlets ahead of the 2025 election. The subsidies are expected to cost taxpayers $129 million over the next five years.  

However, even these massive payouts may be insufficient to keep the CBC relevant amid growing public distrust in mainstream media.  

According to a recent study by Canada’s Public Health Agency, less than a third of Canadians displayed “high trust” in the federal government, with “large media organizations” as well as celebrities getting even lower scores.  

Large mainstream media outlets and “journalists” working for them scored a “high trust” rating of only 18 percent. This was followed by only 12 percent of people saying they trusted “ordinary people,” with celebrities receiving only an eight percent “trust” rating.  

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Trudeau’s online harms bill threatens freedom of expression, constitutional lawyer warns

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

The legislation could further regulate the internet in Canada by allowing a new digital safety commission to conduct ‘secret commission hearings’ against those found to have violated the new law.

A top constitutional lawyer warned that the federal government’s Online Harms Act to further regulate the internet will allow a new 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.

Marty Moore, who serves as the litigation director for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms-funded Charter Advocates Canada, told LifeSiteNews on Tuesday that Bill C-63 will allow for the “creation of a new government agency with a broad mandate to promote ‘online safety’ and target ‘harmful content.’”

“The use of the term ‘safety’ is misleading, when the government through Bill C-63 is clearly seeking to censor expression simply based on its content, and not on its actual effect,” he told LifeSiteNews.

Moore noted that the bill will also “open doors for government regulation to target undefined psychological harm.”

The new government bill was introduced Monday by Justice Minister Arif Virani in the House of Commons and passed its first reading.

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 under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claim will target certain cases of internet content removal, notably those involving child sexual abuse and pornography.

Details of the new legislation to regulate the internet show the bill could lead to more people jailed for life for “hate crimes” or fined $50,000 and jailed for posts that the government defines as “hate speech” based on gender, race, or other categories.

The bill calls for the creation of a digital safety commission, a digital safety ombudsperson, and the digital safety office.

The ombudsperson and 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 monitor internet platform behaviors to hold people “accountable.”

He said that while the Commission’s reach is “only vaguely undefined,” it would have the power to regulate anyone who operates a “social media service” that “has a yet-to-be-designated number of users or is “deemed a regulated service by the government without regard to the number of users.”

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.

Virani had many times last year hinted a new Online Harms Act bill would be forthcoming.

Law opens door to secret or ‘ex parte’ warrants, lawyer warns

Moore observed that Bill C-63 also gives the commission the ability to seek secret or “ex parte warrants to enter people’s homes and to impose massive fines.” He told LifeSiteNews this will “likely coerce those operating social media services to exceed the Commission’s requirements of censorship on Canadians’ expression.”

Moore also confirmed that the Trudeau government’s new bill will “allow for” the creation of “secret commission hearings” simply on the basis that the “commission considers secrecy to be ‘in the public interest.’”

Moore told LifeSiteNews that the bill will also allow for the digital safety commission to be made an “order of the Federal Court.” He said this brings about a “serious concern that the commission’s orders, reissued by the Federal Court, could result in people being fined and imprisoned for contempt, pursuant to Federal Courts Rules 98 and 472.”

“While people cannot be imprisoned under section 124 of Bill C-63 for refusing to pay a Commission-imposed fine, it is possible that having a Commission order reissued by the Federal Court could result in imprisonment of a person for refusing to impose government censorship on their social media service,” he said.

 Lawyer: Trudeau’s bill will allow for ‘confidential complaints’

As part of Bill C-63, the Trudeau Liberals are looking to increase punishments for existing hate propaganda offenses substantially.

The Online Harms Act will also amend Canada’s Human Rights Act to put back in place a hate speech provision, specifically, Section 13 of the Act, that the previous Conservative government under Stephen Harper had repealed in 2013 after it was found to have violated one’s freedom of expression.

The text of the bill, released Monday afternoon, reads that the Canadian Human Rights Act will be amended to add a section “13” to it.

Moore warned that the return of section 13, will allow for “confidential complaints.”

As fines top $50,000 with a $20,000 payment to victims, the new section 13, Moore observed, “will undoubtedly cast a chill on Canadians expression, limiting democratic discourse, the search for truth and normal human expression, including attempts at humour.”

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leader Pierre Poilievre said the federal government is looking for clever ways to enact internet censorship laws.

On Tuesday in the House of Commons, Poilievre came out in opposition to the Online Harms Act, saying enforcing criminal laws rather than censoring opinions is the key to protecting children online.

During a February 21 press conference, Poilievre said, “What does Justin Trudeau mean when he says the word ‘hate speech?’ He means speech he hates.”

Thus far, Poilievre has not commented on the full text of Bill C-63. Many aspects of it come from a lapsed bill from 2021.

In June 2021, then-Justice Minister David Lametti introduced Bill 36, “An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act and to make related amendments to another Act (hate propaganda, hate crimes and hate speech).” It was blasted as a controversial “hate speech” law that would give police the power to “do something” about online “hate.”

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Trudeau’s ‘online harms’ legislation includes life imprisonment for ‘hate speech’

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Justice Minister Arif Virani

From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

While the government claims the bill is intended to protect kids, Conservative Party of Canada leader Pierre Poilievre said Liberals are looking for clever ways to enact internet censorship laws.

Details of new “online harms” legislation to regulate the internet have emerged, revealing that the bill could lead to more people jailed for life or fined $20,000 for posts that the government defines as “hate speech” based on gender, race, or other categories.

Bill C-63 is titled “An Act to enact the Online Harms Act, to amend the Criminal Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act and An Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service and to make consequential and related amendments to other Acts.”

It was introduced by Justice Minister Arif Virani in the House of Commons today and passed its first reading in the afternoon.

The new bill 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 under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau 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.

Virani had many times last year hinted a new Online Harms Act bill would be forthcoming.

While the Trudeau government claims the bill is being created to protect kids, Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leader Pierre Poilievre said the federal government is looking for clever ways to enact internet censorship laws.

During a February 21, press conference, Poilievre said that Trudeau is looking to in effect criminalize speech with he does not like.

“What does Justin Trudeau mean when he says the word ‘hate speech?’ He means speech he hates,” Poilievre said.

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

The Online Harms Act will also amend Canada’s Human Rights Act to put back in place a hate speech provision, specifically Section 13 of the Act, that the previous Conservative government under Stephen Harper had repealed in 2013 after it was found to have violated one’s freedom of expression.

The text of the bill, released Monday afternoon, reads that the Canadian Human Rights Act will be amended to add a section “13” to it.

This section reads, “It is a discriminatory practice to communicate or cause to be communicated hate speech by means of the Internet or any other means of telecommunication in a context in which the hate speech is likely to foment detestation or vilification of an individual or group of individuals on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.”

“In this section, hate speech means the content of a communication that expresses detestation or vilification of an individual or group of individuals on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination,” the bill reads.

A “Clarification – hate speech” in the bill reads, “For greater certainty, the content of a communication does not express detestation or vilification, for the purposes of subsection (8), solely because it expresses disdain or dislike or it discredits, humiliates, hurts or offends.”

Earlier Monday, details of the bill were released to the media in a technical briefing.

“New standalone hate crime offence that would apply to every offence in the Criminal Code and in any other Act of Parliament, allowing penalties up to life imprisonment to denounce and deter this hateful conduct as a crime in itself,” the technical briefing reads.

“The maximum punishments for the four hate propaganda offences from 5 years to life imprisonment for advocating genocide and from 2 years to 5 years for the others when persecuted by way of indictment.”

For now, the law will affect all social media platforms as well as live-streamed video services, notably Meta and Google (YouTube).

Bill creates three ‘Digital Safety’ positions to enforce rules and let anyone file ‘complaints’

Bill C-63 mandates the creation of the Digital Safety Commission, a digital safety ombudsperson, and the Digital Safety Office.

The 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.”

Bill C-63 also includes text to amend Canada’s Criminal Code and Human Rights Act to define “hatred” as “Content that expresses detestation or vilification of an individual or group of individuals on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination, within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act, and that, given the context in which it is communicated, is likely to foment detestation or vilification of an individual or group of individuals on the basis of such a prohibited ground.‍ (contenu fomentant la haine).”

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, those, or other areas.

If a person is found guilty of violating the Human Rights Act by going against what the government deems to be hate speech, they face fines of $20,000 along with being mandated to take down any postings online, notably on social media.

Many aspects of Bill C-63 come from a lapsed bill from 2021.

In June 2021, then-Justice Minister David Lametti introduced Bill 36, “An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act and to make related amendments to another Act (hate propaganda, hate crimes and hate speech).”

It was blasted as a controversial “hate speech” law that would give police the power to “do something” about online “hate.”

It was feared that it would target bloggers and social media users for speaking their minds.

Bill C-36 included text to amend Canada’s Criminal Code and Human Rights Act to define “hatred” as “the emotion that involves detestation or vilification and that is stronger than dislike or disdain (haine).”

If passed, the bill would theoretically allow 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 be in violation of the new law and could face fines of $70,000 as well as house arrest.

Two other Trudeau bills dealing with freedom as it relates to the internet have become law, the first being Bill C-11, or the Online Streaming Act, that mandates Canada’s broadcast regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), oversee regulating online content on platforms such as YouTube and Netflix to ensure that such platforms are promoting content in accordance with a variety of its guidelines.

Trudeau’s other internet censorship law, the Online News Act, was passed by the Senate in June 2023.

The 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. Google has promised to do the same rather than pay the fees laid out in the new legislation.

Critics of recent laws such as tech mogul Elon Musk have said it shows “Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada.”

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