More than half the people in Ontario oppose the major aspect of Bill C-10 — the federal government’s ability to meddle in internet searches — according to a recent poll.
When asked whether they support a federal government bill to promote and demote content in the results of search functions on social media sites like YouTube and Facebook, 62% of Ontario residents said they oppose this initiative. Of those, 41% said they strongly oppose the government having this power, while only 6% strongly support it.
Young Ontarian men and women, those aged 18 to 34, were most likely to oppose the new sweeping powers introduced in Bill C-10, according to the results of the survey commissioned by True North and conducted by One Research.
Bill C-10 was a controversial bill proposed by the Trudeau Liberals to expand the mandate of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and apply it to the internet. This would give the federal government sweeping new powers to regulate content online, including the ability to meddle in the search results for social media sites like Facebook and YouTube.
This bill was rushed through the House of Commons, but failed to make its way through the Senate before summer recess. If there is an election this summer or fall, Bill C-10 will die and a future government would have to start from scratch to reintroduce this legislation.
While this unpopular bill has been put to a halt, the Trudeau government has continued to push for more online regulation. Bill C-36, a bill which would give the Canadian Human Rights Commission the power to compel citizens to cease online communication or pay a monetary fine, was tabled last-minute prior to the House rising for the summer.
According to the poll, only 4% of young women in Ontario said they strongly support these proposed new powers, with 18% giving moderate support, 21% moderately opposing these powers and a staggering 45% strongly opposing them.
When it comes to young men in Ontario, 5% say they strongly support the powers laid out in Bill C-10 and 18% moderately support it, while 28% say they moderately oppose them and 36% strongly oppose these new proposed powers.
The strongest support for Bill C-10 came in the Toronto region, even though more than half of respondents (55%) opposed them. In Toronto, 9% of respondents said they strongly support the initiative and 25% moderately support it. Likewise, when divided by previous partisan support, 9% of those who previously supported Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario Liberal Party said they strongly support C-10 and 33% give moderate approval.
Of those surveyed who voted for Doug Ford’s Conservatives in Ontario, 73% oppose granting the feds these new powers, while only 3% strongly support it.
The survey was conducted from June 22 to 24, 2021, and 1,002 Ontarian adults were surveyed online using a representative panel. The results have been weighted for accuracy by age, gender, region and past provincial vote using the most recent census data from Statistics Canada.