Source: Facebook

A United Kingdom television news show recently slammed the authoritarian aspects of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s proposed online hate legislation, Bill C-63. 

TalkTV host Maddie Hale devoted a segment to the Online Harms Act with a former British government adviser and research fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies, James Price, and Telegraph journalist Madeline Grant as guests. 

Both guests expressed deep concerns regarding the implications of the proposed legislation.

Hale launched the discussion by asking whether the guests thought the bill was “another example of Justin Trudeau being a bit of a dictator.” 

“Well, I think that it shows a real arrogance and a sense of almost megalomania that we’ve come to expect from him. It shows no understanding of the limits of what the state can and also should do,” said Price. 

He highlighted the potential dangers of empowering judges to decipher individuals’ intentions merely through observation, without considering the unintended consequences of granting excessive power to the state and courts.

Bill C-63 would allow a judge to order a person into house arrest should they reasonably suspect that they might commit an online hate offence. 

Grant echoed Price’s sentiments, questioning the lack of public debate surrounding such a significant shift in the law. 

“How do you even begin to deliberate on something like this? It seems like a very fundamental change of law. If they were going to go in that kind of direction, you would hope that there would be some kind of proper public debate on it because it really is setting a brand new precedent,” said Grant. 

“It’s not the time to be bringing in some sweeping change of precedent into the legal system.”

She went on to scrutinize the bill’s contents, noting the presence of seemingly innocuous clauses alongside more alarming provisions buried in dense legal jargon. Grant emphasized the risk of unfairly criminalizing individuals based on speculative judgments, leaving them vulnerable and devoid of proper rehabilitation measures.

The segment also further delved into Trudeau’s past actions, drawing parallels with the invocation of the Emergencies Act in 2022 to quash Freedom Convoy protesters.

“It’s kind of the new example of invoking the Emergencies Act in 2022 when he invoked that,” said Price. 

“Canada’s got all kinds of problems. It’s got an even worse housing crisis than we’ve got here in the UK. It’s got problems with cultural cohesion, it’s got economic issues, all the rest of it.”