This week, former Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC) vice-chair Peter Menzies blasted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan to censor the internet and Canadians online.
Menzies made the comments in a recent op-ed published by the Financial Post.
“When it comes to communications regulation, let’s be clear: the election did not give Justin Trudeau’s government a mandate to continue messing with free speech on the Internet,” wrote Menzies.
“(The Liberals) wanted the CRTC to have authority over the entire global internet — that’s right, the whole, infinite enterprise — and to order social media companies to suppress and remove posts by the tens of thousands of Canadian creators who flourish by pleasing consumers. Posts by ordinary citizens would also have been under the guise of the regulator.”
This is not the first time that Menzies has called out the Liberal government over Bill C-10, which died in the Senate at the end of the last parliamentary session.
In a different op-ed penned in May, Menzies called the legislation – which would place online content under the regulatory oversight of the CRTC – a “national embarrassment.”
Menzies isn’t the only former CRTC official who has pointed out the sweeping overreach of the Liberal government’s plan to regulate the internet.
Two other former top CRTC officials including ex-chair Konrad von Finckenstein and former commissioner Timothy Denton also signed a petition which criticized Trudeau’s plan as a step towards authoritarianism.
In his op-ed published this week, Menzies also targeted the “lobby group representing those in the creative industry” who were eager “to access government funds.”
Among those who have lobbied in support of the censorship bill are groups like CBC/Radio-Canada, the Canada Media Fund and Rogers Media, which have all received government funding in the past.
In the face of the growing criticism, the Liberals have denied that the bill would target content posted by ordinary Canadians and claimed that the law is meant to help news providers get a fair shake from social media giants like Facebook and Google.