News Analysis Apr 9, 2021 1:57 PM EST

Trudeau Liberals pushing for internet law that targets hurtful words against politicians

Guilbeault said that "we have seen too many examples of public officials retreating from public service."

Trudeau Liberals pushing for internet law that targets hurtful words against politicians
Nico Johnson Montreal, QC
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Justin Trudeau's Heritage Minister has suggested that internet censors should attempt to ban mean words against politicians.

Steven Guilbeault often gets into trouble for speaking his mind about internet censorship (he's in favour). This time, however, he has vehemently argued for a "kill switch" for when websites are saying hurtful words, according to Blacklock's Reporter.

Speaking about the matter on a podcast, Guilbeault said that "we have seen too many examples of public officials retreating from public service due to the hateful online content targeted towards themselves."

"As a dad and a stepdad to six kids, continued Guilbeaut, "I know more can and should be done to create a safer online environment."

Despite the seeming vast disapproval that Canadians have for internet censorship, the Trudeau Liberals are set to plow ahead with the legislation. "I am confident we can get this adopted," added the minister.

The Liberals will discuss the bill further during their convention, which costs a desk-thumping $499 to attend as an observer.

On top of this, the Liberal Government is set to table this legislation within the next couple of weeks. This is in spite of a stunning lack of public consultations.

"What we’re seeing is this dream of this free platform where we could have those open discussions, well that dream for many is turning into a nightmare and people are just simply deciding to take themselves out of that public debate because the conditions under which we’re asking them to participate simply aren’t sustainable," added Guilbeault. "We know it’s a minority of actors but a very organized, a very loud minority, and something must be done."

Guilbeault has been curiously laconic when it comes to defining what will actually be banned or what constitutes legitimate speech. It is worth noting, for instance, that Canada has had hate speech laws since the 1970s. Perhaps a good question to ask then, is why is this necessary?

Another point of curiosity is why Guilbeault's internet censorship has been so cloak and dagger; denying multiple times that they were even considering it.

Guilbeault was elected in 2019 as the Liberal MP for Laurier—Sainte-Marie. Before he was elected, Guilbeault spent most of his time either up the CN tower or lamenting the death of geese.

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