Canadian News Jun 13, 2021 5:48 PM EST

Committee accused of trying to rush censorship bill through with SECRET LAWMAKING

The House of Commons' Heritage Committee is trying its best to push the unpopular and controversial C10 bill, and critics and pro-free speech advocates are taking notice.

Committee accused of trying to rush censorship bill through with SECRET LAWMAKING
James Anthony Montreal QC
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The House of Commons' Heritage Committee is trying its best to push the unpopular and controversial C10 bill, and critics and pro-free speech advocates are taking notice.

At the heart of the issue is that the amendments made to the bill between Thursday and Saturday have not been made available to the public.

Critics have also voiced concern about the potential chilling effect of Bill C10, as it contains many provisions which, if fully enforced, would severely limit Canadians' ability to speak their minds on the internet.

"I find it shocking and deeply troubling that the committee is proceeding with clause-by-clause by voting on amendments that have not been made public, are not subject to debate, and there are no experts available to answer questions," mentioned Michael Geist. Geist is a professor of law at the University of Ottawa.

Parliamentary privilege normally implies that the text of bills and amendments aren't available to the public after the vote has been cast on them. However, in this cases, this has been combined with what's known as "time allocation", which aims to pass the bill quickly in the House of Commons with a bare minimum of analysis and debate.

Also shocking is the fact that, in this case, it appears that no fewer than 35 different amendments were voted on in private. Alain Rayes, a conservative heritage critic, commented:

"Canadians watching committee work are being kept [in] the dark and approximately 35 such amendments that were voted on were never revealed to the public."

The National Post tried to obtain the exact text of the amendments that have been voted on, but the appropriate staffer at the Heritage Committee informed them that they haven't been able to provide the complete text of all the amendments before the weekend, and that people would have to wait for next week.

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