Justin Trudeau’s Heritage Minister has proposed that internet censors try to ban derogatory language directed at politicians.
This occurred shortly after Steven Guilbeault voiced his concern about online hatred, which was brought to light during the pandemic. Canadians relied on digital communications to stay linked and updated.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, he had vehemently advocated for a “delete switch” when websites were saying hurtful words. Although social media firms have taken recent measures to resolve these concerns proactively, Camille Gagné-Raynauld, Guilbeault’s press secretary, said in an email that self-regulation is insufficient and that the heritage minister is drafting legislation with colleagues in other departments, including justice and public safety.
In a briefing note titled “Regulation Of Social Media Channels,” Heritage department staff said they planned a holistic approach to introducing a bill in early 2021 that would apply to the different platforms.
The note went on to say that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter were becoming an increasingly important part of “democratic, cultural and public life.” However, these social media platforms may be used to “threaten, intimidate, bully, and abuse citizens, or to encourage racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, misogynist, and homophobic views that target groups, jeopardize people’s protection, and undermine Canada’s social cohesion or democracy.”
Guilbeault explained that the committee work is underway as part of a three-pronged approach to the challenges that social media platforms and other major internet-based content providers pose to the ways media in Canada has been regulated, financed, and policed in the past.
“Unfortunately, some internet users are also exploiting these platforms maliciously, to spread hate, racism, and child pornography,” he said. “There is currently illegal content being uploaded and shared online to the detriment of Canadians and our society. This is simply unacceptable.”
According to Guilbeault, the upcoming bill will provide a legislative system for hate speech, child pornography, and material that incites people to violence. He said that he wanted to “protect Canadians online.”
Despite widespread public opposition to internet censorship, the Trudeau Liberals were determined to push through the legislation. “I am confident we can get this adopted,” Guilbeault said. This law was expected to be introduced by the Liberal government in the coming weeks despite a shocking lack of public consultations.
Lawyer Jay Cameron, litigation manager for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, recently told LifeSiteNews that no matter what the government’s intentions are for internet regulation, free speech will suffer in the end.
“When the Federal Liberals announce with great fanfare that they are going to tackle ‘online hate,’ what they really mean is that they intend to censor legal speech they and their supporters disagree with. When you start asking questions, what you quickly realize is that what the Federal Liberals mean by ‘online hate speech’ is really ‘speech online that they don’t like’ and is disagreeable to their supporters because it departs from progressive orthodoxy,” Cameron said.
“Canada already has a Criminal Code prohibition against hate speech, but it has rigorous defenses built into it, and prosecution requires consent from the Attorney General. The Heritage Minister knows that the speech he wants to go after is legal and cannot be prosecuted under section 319 of the Criminal Code. So he wants to create a new tool to prevent speech that is otherwise legal,” he added.