According to the government, Bill C-11 (https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-11/third-reading) is designed to update the Broadcasting Act. It gives the CRTC sweeping power to “regulate and supervise” the internet.
Critics have raised serious concerns about the wording of the bill. It claims to protect Canadian content but leaves many key terms or thresholds undefined and could have harmful impacts on content creators. It could also lead to censorship of material (such as a livestreamed sermon) that the government finds objectionable.
As special guest Peter Menzies (Macdonald-Laurier Institute) points out, the idea of “public safety” is used to justify internet restrictions in places like North Korea, Iran, and China. No one wants to be exploited by big tech companies, but we shouldn’t have to choose between Mark Zuckerberg or Justin Trudeau controlling what we see or say online. Mr. Menzies argues that consumers and free citizens should be in charge!
As a journalist and former commissioner with the CRTC, Mr. Menzies speaks with personal insight and expertise on these issues. He reminds us that we need free speech, including open dialogue online, because we are fallible. We should be open to correction rather than insisting that everyone should think like us.
Find Mr. Menzies on Twitter @pagmenzies. Read Mr. Menzies’ recent editorial, “Bill C-11 critics are now Enemies of the People.”
You can also visit Michael Geist’s website for extensive commentary on the bill (including his persuasive argument that “while officials and Minister Rodriguez regularly point to what they intend the bill to do, experts note that the text does not reflect those intentions.”)
Please note the views expressed by the individual(s) in this video are their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views or principles of the First Freedoms Foundation.