Twitter posts are “undermining Canada’s democracy,” said Canada’s Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault in a briefing note, and now #TrudeauDictatorship is trending on the social media platform.
Parliament in 1970 banned hate speech under the Criminal Code. Bill C-36 would expand the law to prohibit hurtful remarks without evidence any crime was committed.
“Social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter are increasingly central to participation in democratic, cultural and public life,” said the briefing note:
“However, social media platforms can also be used to threaten, intimidate, bully and harass people or used to promote racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, misogynist and homophobic views that target communities, put people’s safety at risk and undermine Canada’s social cohesion or democracy.”
“This content steals and damages lives,” wrote the staff. “It intimidates and obscures valuable voices, preventing a truly democratic debate.”
The briefing note provided no examples, despite calls to action for greater "accountability" and "transparency" from online platforms. Staff added: “The mandate of the Department of Canadian Heritage includes the promotion of a greater understanding of human rights."
The Post Millennial Editor-in-Chief Libby Emmons reported on the Trudeau Liberals meeting with Facebook executives to censor content before the previous federal election. "This seems like a bad thing for a democracy," she tweeted in 2019.
“Trudeau and his ministers have had private meetings with top Facebook execs asking them to censor content.” Emmons added: "Trudeau will censor your social media if reelected."
Prominent free-speech advocate and Psychology professor Dr. Jordan B. Peterson has explicitly condemned the federal government over the controversial Canadian censorship Bill. Bill C-10 was spearheaded by Guilbeault, but failed to pass before the end of session in June. If the Bill passed, it would have set a legal precedent in regulating all Canadian social media users, with imposed CRTC restrictions on content.
The Department of Justice in a June 23 Backgrounder to Bill C-36 said it “would apply to public communications by individual users on the internet, including on social media, on personal websites and in mass emails,” blog posts, online news sites, “operators of websites that primarily publish their own content” and user comment sections.
62 percent of Canadians fear federal regulation of the internet will curb lawful speech, according to a July 5 survey by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority.
“The question remains whether Canada will commit to a democratic and open internet that puts people first, or will it put a damper on the greatest transformative economic force of our time?” said Better Internet. “As internet regulation looms, public opinion on these issues matters more than ever,” the report added.