One of the organizations in charge of distributing millions in Liberal media bailout funds has come out in support of the pro-censorship bill, C-36, and has called for the law to provide legal protections for journalists who face harassment online.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, News Media Canada offered its support for the bill in a submission to the Department of Canadian Heritage.
“This is not about limiting democratic expression. It is about protecting it, and its most precious guardians, journalists. And it is about ensuring all publishers including internet intermediaries are held accountable for harmful content,” wrote News Media Canada CEO Paul Deegan.
Bill C-36 would re-introduce the controversial Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act and make Canadians liable to arrest or a fine of $70,000 if they are found to post content that was “likely to foment detestation or vilification of an individual or group.”
Although the bill was struck down at the end of the last parliamentary session, the Liberals have promised to re-introduce it this year.
Recently, the Vancouver-based internet freedom advocacy group Open Media called Bill C-36 and Bill C-10 dangerous.
According to the group, the two laws would make “Canada’s internet one of the most censored and surveilled in the democratic world.”
In his submission, Deegan claimed that journalists face “harassment,” defamation” and unnamed “threats” before asking the government to alter the bill to offer the media more protections.
“As a business, the news publishing industry remains under threat from the unregulated and unchecked social media and other online communication service providers,” wrote Deegan.
“We recommend the Government of Canada explicitly recognize online threats to journalists directly into the Act. Journalists should be afforded ‘exceptional recourse’ to online threats. News Media Canada submits online platforms should act upon reports of harassment from news publishers and journalists within 24 hours.”
As exclusively reported by True North, despite being entrusted with overseeing the Liberal government’s $50 million subsidy to local reporters, News Media Canada was unable to provide the names or the exact amount of dozens of legacy media outlets that received funding under the program.