Liberal Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault is hoping to cut short debate on his government’s internet regulation bill, C-10.
The minister presented a notice of a motion on Thursday, which would effectively force the committee to abide by a strict time window to pass Bill C-10 “as quickly as possible.”
“It will finally put an end to six weeks of systematic obstruction of the bill by the Conservative Party,” said Guilbeault.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, during a House of Commons heritage committee meeting, Guilbeault expressed frustration about not getting the legislation passed in time before parliament’s summer recess starts on June 24.
“I have another bill that’s been stuck in committee for weeks where there is absolutely no progress whatsoever that’s being made because of one party deciding they don’t want this to happen,” said Guilbeault.
“We are a minority government. It is more challenging to move legislation through the House of Commons in this context.”
According to defenders of the bill, C-10 would force large platforms like Facebook and Google to pay for Canadian cultural and news content while also updating the Canadian Broadcasting Act to better meet current digital realities.
However, an earlier decision by Liberal members of the heritage committee to strip the law of a provision protecting user-generated content from CRTC regulation sparked weeks of public outcry centred around free speech concerns.
Several experts including a former CRTC vice-chair have publicly decried the law as at odds with open internet and freedom of expression.
Instead of addressing concerns around free speech, Guilbeault has opted to name-call opponents of the law and accused those who are critical of the legislation of belonging to an “extremist element” of the Conservative Party.
As of Thursday afternoon, #TrudeauDictatorship was trending on Twitter as Canadians continued to voice their concerns about Bill C-10 online.