Trudeau Government Plans to Pass ‘Online Harms’ Bill

KIEV, UKRAINE - Jul 11, 2016: Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau during his official visit to Kiev, Ukraine

The liberal government in Canada is working to potentially clamp down free speech online even more, yet a Conservative MP said recently that the bill they’re pushing is so flawed that it could never be enforced or make its way to passage before the country’s next election.

The bill, C-63, is called the “Online Harms Act.” Justice Minister Arif Virani introduced it to the House of Commons back in February, but constitutional experts immediately blasted the bill as being troublesome.

Virani put forth the bill under the guise of protecting Canada’s children from online exploitation, the legislation seeks to expand the scope of prosecutions for hate speech, trying to target that kind of speech retroactively.

Yet, speaking last Friday in the House of Commons, Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner said:

“The government is close to the end of its mandate and does not have a lot of public support across the country.”

She further said the bill “would not likely become law,” and she’s certain “the regulatory process is not going to happen prior to the next election even if the bill is rammed through.”

In addition to the above, the bill calls for a Digital Safety Commission to be created. It would also create a Digital Safety Office and digital safety ombudsperson, all of whom would police content on the internet. 

The hate speech section of the bill includes broad definitions, dubious tactics and severe penalties. According to LifeSiteNews, preemptive judgments could be levied against people if they feared they’d likely commit an act of “hate” at some time in the future.

LifeSiteNews further reported that the legislation’s details show it could ultimately lead to more people being sent to jail for hate crimes, or facing fines of as much as $50,000 if they protest over what the Canadian government defines as hate speech based on categories such as race or gender.

Rempel Garner added that members of the cabinet for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government don’t have the public support they should to move forward with Bill C-63.

As she explained:

“We are presently living under a government that unlawfully invoked the Emergencies Act and that routinely gaslights Canadians who legitimately question efficacy or the morality of its policies as spreading misinformation.”

She added that the harmful online content could better be countered by “laws that are already on the books but have not been recently enforced due to a lack of extreme political will.”

It’s not just lawmakers who are railing against the bill.

Jordan Peterson, who is one of the most well-known psychologists in Canada, said recently that the bill attempts to create a pathway to allow for “Orwellian Thought Crime” to become a norm throughout Canada.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk — who runs the social media site X, the electric car company Tesla and the space exploration company SpaceX — also called the proposed bill “insane,” as it would target internet speech retroactively if it somehow becomes law.