Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault will introduce the first-ever internet control bill to be tabled in Parliament within the "next couple of weeks," he revealed during a videoconference.
"My job is to ensure the safety and security of the Canadian population," said the minister.
Guilbeault revealed that the legislation being tabled is the first step in creating a "safer environment for all people online and not just for a handful," regulating hurtful content beyond what is already covered by the Criminal Code, according to Blacklock's Reporter.
"With the legislation we will be tabling, it won’t matter whether or not the company is Canadian," said Guilbeault. "It won’t matter where the company is registered or where their servers are located."
"Once a publication is flagged it will have to be taken down within 24 hours of having it being flagged," he said. "There are not a lot of countries that are doing that right now."
"I think it’s going to be a really good remedy to a number of problems but it won’t solve everything," said Guilbeault. "One of the issues I’ve learned, looking at different models, is you shouldn’t try to tackle everything from the get-go."
Guilbeault said that hate speech will "definitely" be a part of the legislation being tabled, as well as other "online harms."
Guilbeault also said that the bill will aid in maintaining the "social fabric of our society."
Guilbeault has previously cited surveys by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation showing that 93 percent of Canadians "believe that online hate speech and racism are a problem" and 80 percent "want social media companies to be required to remove racist or hateful content within 24 hours."
Guilbeault said "the conclusions of this survey are clear. Hate speech has no place in our society. It's time to step up against online hate. The numbers are disturbing, but they come as no surprise."
He continued, "Almost half of Canadians either have experienced or seen violent and hateful content online. Canadians want us to act and that's exactly why we intend to introduce legislation. Our approach will acquire online platforms to eliminate illegal content such as hate speech, terrorist and violent extremism, child pornography, and the non-consensual sharing of intimate images online."
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