Heritage Minister’s actions verify that a second concern about online voice regulation is justified


Canada’s Minister of Heritage Pablo Rodriguez has twice confirmed that fears of the imminent regulation of online speech in Canada continue to be justified.

First, in early February, Trudeau’s second attempt by the Trudeau government to define the world’s Internet as mere broadcasting and to take charge of the Canadian Radio-television Commission (CRTC). It was when I introduced it. In all of that, lock the stock and barrel. This replaced Bill C-10, the first effort last year to accidentally find the House of Commons before dying in the Senate when the elections were summoned. In the course of the journey, then Minister of Heritage Stephen Gilbo dismissed concerns from many civil rights, law, and other experts, claiming that his law does not threaten freedom of speech. did. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the legislative opponent Tin Foil Hatter.

So when the liberals stepped back into the plate in February this year, I was relieved to hear that Rodriguez acknowledged the seriousness of last year’s concerns and made some adjustments.The gesture was highly appreciated, but it was still executed immediately Proved to be exactly that— Cosmetic gestures.

The second verification is Rodriguez earlier this month after Russia invaded Ukraine. Online news law Further funding the “approved” private media and fighting “wrong information”) ordered the CRTC to review the status of RT (formerly known as Russian TV). RT is funded and controlled by the Russian Government and is generally understood to be the provider of Putin’s publicity. The tricky thing for Rodriguez was that the broadcast law prohibited politicians from ordering the removal of television channels. So, to avoid that, he ordered the CRTC to “review” the status of RT, conduct hearings, and make a decision within two weeks.

As a result, it was criticized as a show trial in other countries, emphasized recognition, disregarded by evidence, and, unsurprisingly, concluded with minimal controversy that RT was not suitable for use on Canadian cables. I did. Satisfied with this successful end-around, Rodriguez declared that the system would work. Others, through a bitter smile, see it as evidence that appointees like those who run CRTC do not hesitate to remove channels that do not fit the government’s mood when asked politely. I did.

The rationale for the CRTC’s decision that the RT had to go because its content was abusive and likely to expose Ukrainians to hatred was noteworthy in its subjectivity.

“If these services were licensed in Canada, the Commission would have called them to explain their content based on the fact that it constitutes an abusive comment.” Stated the decisionThis also referred to the legitimate sanctions of RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan by Canada.

Her practices and the whole of RT, previously investigated by British broadcast regulators, are, for example, the system “cultural, political, political, Canadian social and economic structure.”

fair enough. But to whom did the government fail to use the same subjective means to request further “reviews”?

Certainly no one seems to be bothering the parliamentary hills or the CRTC office in Gatineau, not the Chinese state media.

Epoch Times Photo
Peter Dahlin, executive director of the human rights group Safeguard Defenders, speaks to the media at a press conference in London, England, on November 23, 2018. (AP Photo / Frank Augstein)

Less than a year ago, regulatory agencies Will be completely ignored When Peter Dahlin, Executive Director of the human rights group Safeguard Defenders, appealed to CRTC about CGTN practices Broadcast of confessions He was forcibly pulled out of a prisoner who was exposed to sleep deprivation and other annoying practices. When he did, he pointed out in 2006 that the Commission had previously broadcast abusive content on CGTN’s predecessor, CCTV-4, and if it aired again, Canada’s cable transport approval would be granted. Warned that it could be canceled.

Undoubtedly, some observers will see these two situations and question the role of politics and the atmosphere of the government of the day, which should be in the decisions of independent regulators.

People may ask why the abusive content of Russia’s state media is bad, but the same nonsense from China’s state media is clearly okay.

And how long does it take CRTC to pick winners and losers on the internet and apply the same mysterious and inconsistent approach that shuts down podcasts? Canada’s cultural, political, social and economic structure? “

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

Peter Menzies


Peter Menzies is an award-winning journalist and senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, former vice chairman of the CRTC.