Canadians should not be indifferent to Bill C-10 and the right to free speech


In human history, we have never had the ability to access such information or create it and share it with others. You can access the contents of the entire library on your mobile phone and see everything from your work of art to theatrical production on your mobile phone signal.

You can also reach the outside in new ways. Anyone can create videos that can reach thousands or even millions. Post poems, articles, and even digital books online for instant reading by people around the world. The ability to publish and broadcast content widely was previously limited to large media companies. Today, the general public has the ability to communicate and influence other people on the planet. This authority is offensive to old guards.

Every time humans make great progress, there can be downsides, and the information age is no exception. In addition to unprecedented access to information, we also have more incorrect access to information than ever before. Fake news is a very real problem, as rumors and falsehoods can cross the planet unchecked. Easy-to-share content makes it nearly impossible to protect intellectual property and works of art. I also feel that the culture is under threat as foreign entertainment content has overwhelmed local works and democratic movements such as elections have been found to be influenced by foreign forces.

The double-edged sword of free communication urged the Government of Canada to expand the capabilities of the Canadian Radio-Television and Communications Commission (CRTC) through Bill C-10. This proposed law allows CRTC to directly regulate content on digital platforms such as Netflix using streaming services, as is already done in traditional broadcasters such as television and radio. I will.

Canadian Cultural Heritage official Thomas Owen Ripley to MP at a hearing of the Canadian Cultural Heritage Commission in March, Bill C-10 to make a financial contribution to support Canadian content on social media platforms He said he would demand and give him the ability to impose programming standards and reporting requirements. .. Then, in April, the Commission updated the bill to remove the exemption from user-created online content, such as personally posted YouTube videos. This removes the previous clarity that such content on social media platforms is not considered “programming” and is therefore not subject to federal regulation.

In early May, liberal MP Julie Double Singh imposes restrictions on CRTC’s ability to regulate user-generated content, in response to protests from critics concerned that this represents an attack on freedom of speech and expression. I proposed a revision plan for C-10. However, that type of content is still considered programming, and regulators can force social media platforms to promote Canadian content to users.

The fix may fail, but it has revealed the enthusiasm of some regulators to chase after small independent content creators. Unregulated internet content may present some annoying problems, but if bill C-10 is passed, legislative remedies will be much worse than illness.

Empowerment comes with responsibility, and it looks like a nasty number of people are trying to abdicate both to the state. The generation of peace has satisfied us. This issue has received less attention in the public spectrum, while voices from all aspects of the political spectrum are talking about the risks posed by Bill C-10. Our wonderful, unhindered access to unregulated online content is threatened, and citizens respond by simply shrugging indifference. Many people find that giving up on freedom of speech and expression is less of a hassle than sifting through content and deciding on its own benefits. This is a very dangerous place for society.

Governments today may guarantee that they will not violate freedom of speech, but can you be confident that this promise will be kept, or that future governments will keep the same promise? How can we protect ourselves from malicious governments when governments control our ability to communicate and express? History should have taught us by now that the assumptions of good intentions of the nation are often misguided. We shouldn’t think about giving up basic rights such as speech and expression for a moment, but we’re just about to do it.

Opposition to bill C-10 should cross party boundaries. Obligations to citizens should come first for legislators when they consider ratifying this bill. The Canadians as a whole appear unaware of the outcome of Bill C-10, but elected officials are well aware that the bill imposes unacceptable restrictions on freedom of speech and expression. is needed. It is their duty to oppose the bill and act on their own behalf of the unsuccessful citizens.

We are tired of the state’s invasion of individual rights. We have allowed many charter rights to be suspended in the name of anti-pandemic measures, passively, credibly, and hopefully only temporarily. You cannot easily get into the habit of giving up your rights. Ultimately, we will want to regain those rights. If you renounce your basic rights of freedom of speech and expression, it becomes almost impossible to organize to regain the remaining rights.

Freedom of speech is taken for granted. Many Canadians may not understand how important these rights are, but ambitious authoritarians can rest assured that they do. We hope our MPs do the right thing and don’t put Bill C-10 on its way.

Cory Morgan is a Calgary-based columnist and business owner.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.