A Bloc Quebecois MP said in the House of Commons on Monday that it was worth violating the free speech rights of Canadians with Bill C-11 if it means that content made in Quebec gets promoted online.
Shefford MP Andreanna Larouche made the comments yesterday in French.
“If violating freedom of expression means ensuring that Quebec content is well represented online, then that’s worth it,” said Larouche.
Bill C-11 is close to being passed into the law. Earlier this month, the federal government rejected amendments from the Senate which would protect content posted online by ordinary Canadians from government regulation.
The Bloc Quebecois has supported the Liberal government’s push to get the bill passed into law.
In a blog post, law professor and University of Ottawa Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law Michael Geist called the Bloc Quebecois MP’s comments the “most accurate” representation of the government’s view around the problematic legislation.
“In other words, in the zeal to court support from the Quebec culture lobby, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez and the government are choosing in Bill C-11 to sacrifice some freedom of expression, which includes both the right to speak and the right to be heard,” said Geist.
According to Senator Paula Simons, passing Bill C-11 in its current form could be a disaster for the Liberal government.
“We still think (our amendments) offered the government an elegant escape from what is going to be, I think, a public relations nightmare and a policy blunder,” said Simons.