C10 Pushed Through

By now you may have heard about Bill C-10. It’s the Bill that the Liberal Government says will ‘modernize’ the Broadcasting Act. What the Government doesn’t like to talk about are the implications and powers that will be granted to the Canadian Radio-Television Commission, or the CRTC. When Bill C-10 inevitably becomes law thanks to Liberal, NDP, and Bloc Québécois collusion, Canadians’ online content will be subject to moderation and enforced by the CRTC. 

The Liberals have maintained the ruse that Bill C-10 is nothing more than a legal mandate to level the playing field between foreign big tech giants like Google and Facebook. That they pay their share in Canadian tax just as Canadian companies are subject to. However, Canadians are not convinced, nor will they be fooled. The costs will be passed down to the consumer and will not be transparent.

By volume alone, Bill C-10 has been the issue I have received the most correspondence on. In the survey from my May e-newsletter (to which you should subscribe if you haven’t already!) a whopping 93% of respondents said that government should NOT regulate posts on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. 

Then comes the infamous 4.1 clause. The clause that protected Canadians’ content online was inexplicably stricken from the bill by the aforementioned gang of three. This clause would have ensured that, no matter the provisions put into effect by the other clauses in C-10, the content (or ‘programs’) that Canadians would post online would not be subject to CRTC regulation. With this clause removed, the CRTC will have the power to compel social media sites to remove/modify/replace online content posted by everyday Canadians at its sole behest. No explanation, no criteria, no guidelines. Just because the CRTC can.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage has gone on record saying that the CRTC ‘has no interest’ in regulating individual Canadians’ content. However, that argument doesn’t stand up to scrutiny either. Despite the apparent disinterest in regulating content, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. This opens up a can of worms and the potential for a snowballing effect. Regulation of content will set a precedent defined by the unelected, unaccountable body of the CRTC which operates at arms-length of the Canadian Government. This should be setting off extremely loud alarm bells.

In the House of Commons, the Liberals put forward a procedural motion called ‘time allocation.’ This motion limited debate at committee stage during deliberations pertaining to amendments to the Bill to a further maximum of five hours. The committee stage of a Bill is arguably the most important as that time is dedicated to in-depth study of proposed legislation. By limiting debate at committee, the Liberals effectively limited study, debate, and scrutiny of the bill in its entirety. 

Canadians must now wait in uncertainty as to how the future of online content and communication will be affected once Bill C-10 becomes law. The Conservative Party will repeal this bill once we are elected. We will always stand up for the freedoms of Canadians.

I can be reached by email at: martin.shields@parl.gc.ca. My Brooks office can be reached at 403-793-6775, and my Strathmore office at 403-361-2980. Please don’t hesitate to contact me on any federal issue.

About the author

Martin Shields

Martin Shields

Martin Shields is the Member of Parliament for the Bow River riding, Alberta. Martin has been living in Brooks with his family for 38 years and is committed to the success and quality of the community. Martin serves as Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party’s Alberta Caucus, and as a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development.

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