Calling criticism of his Bill C-10 An Act To Amend The Broadcasting Act as the work of “tinfoil hats,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dismissed denunciations of the first-ever federal internet regulations.
Trudeau’s remark came under questioning yesterday of Bill C-10 that would regulate YouTube videos as programs subject to CRTC controls, said Blacklock’s Reporter.
Conservative MP Michael Barrett (Leeds-Grenville, Ont.) called the bill an attempt at “silencing Canadians online” who use services like YouTube. “
Will the Prime Minister tell us how long it will be before every aspect of Canadian life must conform to his Liberal vision of Canadian society?” asked Barrett.
“The tinfoil hats on the other side of the aisle are really quite spectacular,” replied Trudeau, who added free speech online “is not negotiable by our government.”
Bill C-10 would compel YouTube management, not individual users, to comply with federal orders, Department of Heritage staff said at an April 23 committee hearing.
“When you or I upload something to YouTube or some other sharing service, we will not be considered broadcasters for the purposes of the Act,” said Thomas Ripley, director general of broadcasting for the heritage department. “In other words, the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission couldn’t call us before them and we couldn’t be subject to CRTC hearings and whatnot.
“The programming we upload onto YouTube, that programming we place on that service, would be subject to regulation moving forward,” said Ripley. “It would be the responsibility of YouTube.”
Opposition Leader Erin O’Toole questioned the scope of internet censorship, in the Commons yesterday.
“Last night Reuters had a headline that said ‘the government was working on fake news legislation to tackle misinformation, hatred and lies’ as worries grow over media freedoms,” said O’Toole.
“We have been clear this is not about individual users,” replied Trudeau.
“That Reuters headline I was talking about was actually referencing new legislation being introduced in Hong Kong,” said O’Toole. “It should worry Canadians the Prime Minister could not tell the difference.”
Mike D’Amour is the British Columbia Bureau Chief for the Western Standard.