Bill C-11 is inching closer to becoming the law, and Canadians are weighing in.
The legislation, if passed, will take aim at Canadians’ online feeds. One such affected feed could be their homepage on YouTube, where content would be prioritized based on goals set out by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
Bill C-11 moved through the Senate last week, and is on its way back to the House of Commons, where it is expected to be passed.
In light of this, Canadians have taken to social media to share their opinions.
On Monday, prominent Canadian internet and e-commerce law professor Michael Geist said trust is waning in the CRTC because it acts like an arm of the government instead of acting like an independent regulator.
“Just last week […] Rodriguez told an industry conference that he could ‘direct the CRTC on many things and in many ways,’” wrote Geist on Substack.
On Twitter, he wrote the government may have “lost the script” about Bill C-11.
Watching Minister @pablorodriguez flippantly dismiss fears of thousands of Canadian creators, mislead TV/film production community on their concerns, and reject an extensive Senate study on Bill C-11 suggests government has lost the script on this bill.https://t.co/nPXIG3zSoc— Michael Geist (@mgeist) February 3, 2023
Canadian YouTuber J.J McCullough took aim at the CRTC, referring to it as a “federal bureaucracy trying to regulate the Internet around nonsense vision statements.”
It would be funnier if we didn’t have a whole federal bureaucracy trying to regulate the Internet around nonsense vision statements like this. https://t.co/aCnGU4ztTy— J.J. McCullough (@JJ_McCullough) February 5, 2023
Twitter user Cheryl Robinson said the bill offended her freedom of expression and infringed on her right to choose what she views online.
Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre wrote that “even Trudeau’s appointed Senators are opposing his attempt to censor what you can see and say online.” He was referring to a speech given by Senator and novelist David Adams Richards.
While some Canadians have criticized Bill C-11, the Liberal government maintains that the criticisms are misplaced.
Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said the bill is designed to promote Canadian content creators, and to protect Canadian heritage. He said the Liberals will not compromise on that goal by making conflicting amendments, such as some of those introduced by the Senate last week.
Thank you @The_CMPA for hosting me at #PT2023! It was a pleasure discussing our common goals: to promote and strengthen Canadian film and television.— Pablo Rodriguez (@pablorodriguez) February 3, 2023
Thank you for the great work you do for our culture and our independent producers! pic.twitter.com/RwWXEUcjnr