The Liberals along with the NDP voted to shut down debate on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s internet censorship law, Bill C-11.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, a vote by Liberal MP Sean Casey on a motion for the House of Commons heritage committee to immediately pass the bill cited “the procedural games, the obstructionist tactics, the filibusters and the like.” It was passed by 174 votes for and 146 against.
“They are censoring the censorship of their own censorship bill. That is what is happening,” said Conservative MP Blaine Calkins.
Critics have argued that C-11, which seeks to update the Broadcasting Act so that the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has jurisdiction over regulating online content, is an encroachment on Canadians’ right to freedom of expression.
Although Liberal Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez has claimed that the bill does not extend CRTC regulatory powers to include everyday content generated by Canadians online, the head of the CRTC testified that the law does expand to user-generated material.
“[Section] 4.2 allows the CRTC to prescribe by regulation user uploaded content subject to very explicit criteria. That is also in the Act,” said CRTC Chair Ian Scott.
Scott, who was appointed by Trudeau in 2021, claims the commission would not use those powers.
“Users of online and social media services expect freedom of expression, and they will continue to enjoy this under the new Broadcasting Act,” said Scott.
“Put another way, the CRTC issues about 250 broadcasting decisions annually. Not a single one has ever been successfully challenged on the basis that it somehow infringed Canadians’ freedom of expression.”
During the House debate on the motion, Green Party MP Elizabeth May blasted the Liberals over a double standard when it comes to quashing opposition.
“Ask how this place would react to a motion like this had it been brought forward in the period of time when there was a Harper majority government,” said May.
“I cannot think of a time that a motion this egregious was put forward in that era.”