Pablo Rodriguez

Courtesy CBC

It appears the Liberals are trying to censor the debate of censoring the Internet.

Blacklock’s Reporter says the Liberals on Monday in a 2021 Priorities Survey of party members dropped all mention of Internet regulation.

Party members were asked to choose from dozens of issues “as we kick off this new mandate,” but omitted any reference to Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez’s web controls.

“This is an important moment as we kick off this new mandate and we want to hear from you,” said an electronic questionnaire sent to the Liberal membership.

“Take two minutes to complete the Forward Now 2021 Priorities Survey and have your say about your top priorities for the work that Justin Trudeau and our Liberal team will be doing in the House of Commons and in communities across Canada.”

The questionnaire listed 23 optional “priorities.”

None mentioned Internet regulation. Rodriguez on October 26 described regulation of YouTube videos under the Broadcasting Act as fundamental.

“We promised to bring in some bills very quickly,” said Rodriguez.

“C-10 is one of them. Why? Because it is fundamental.”

“We made many promises to table important bills in the first 100 days and that includes the broadcasting bill. We need that bill. We have to modernize it.”

The bill lapsed in the last Parliament at the Senate communications committee. Bill C-10 proposed to have the CRTC regulate YouTube videos as public broadcasts subject to compliance orders.

Rodriguez’ department on June 23 also introduced another lapsed bill — C-36  — that threatened $70,000 fines on bloggers suspected of posting content promoting “detestation or vilification” of identifiable groups.

The department on July 29 released a Technical Paper proposing the appointment of a chief censor, the digital safety commissioner, to enforce “content moderation” on the Internet with powers to block websites.

The Priorities Survey made no mention of Bills C-10 or C-36 or the appointment of a safety commissioner. Optional priorities listed for members included new housing, subsidized daycare, more regulation of firearms, “reconciliation” with First Nations and “making significant investments in mental health.”

Other suggested priorities were climate change, new programs for veterans and “strengthening Canada’s leadership in the world.”

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