GUNTER: The dangerous doublethink of the Liberal government’s online censorship | #socialmedia


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Thank god for the Canadian Senate.

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The Senate held up the Trudeau government’s obnoxious, anti-democratic Bill C-10 long enough that the legislation to regulate personal posts on the Internet failed to become law.

The bill was still on the order paper when Parliament rose for the summer. That means it’s still alive and debate on it in the upper chamber will quickly resume should Parliament resume in September.

However, if an election is called before the House and Senate return, Bill C-10 will die a well-deserved death.

What won’t die, though, is the Liberals’ desire to limit Canadians’ freedom and crown themselves or their appointees the final arbiters of what is and is not acceptable to put on the Internet in Canada.

Bizarrely, the Liberals have convinced themselves that in order to save free expression they have to limit it. And they believe this mission is so urgent, completing the passage of C-10 and its sister bill, C-36, will almost surely be one of their first tasks when Parliament resumes (unless they fail to win re-election, of course).

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Back in the spring, when Canadians and pundits began complaining that C-10 was an outrageous and unwarranted assault on free speech, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau scoffed at such accusations. He labelled them “fringe” thinking.

Steven Guilbeault testified at the Commons Heritage committee that “a very high proportion of Canadians are asking the government to step in.” Clear majorities in English and French Canada wanted government to step in and prevent harmful speech, he insisted. (Never once did the minister define what kind of speech was harmful.)

A briefing paper prepared by his office in early June got a bit of closure to the answer. Legal but “offensive” social media comments were intimidating “valuable voices” and causing them not to engage in discussions of important issues.

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The conclusion of Guilbeault’s staffers: Harsh online comments are “preventing a truly democratic debate.” They are undermining Canadian democracy, so even if posts are legal, the government needs the power to remove “offensive” comments from the Internet.

Offensive to whom, though?

See what I mean? The Liberals have convinced themselves that in order to save democracy and free speech, they have to tightly regulate what Canadians get to say online.

That’s dangerous doublethink. And it proves the Liberals are intellectually unsuited for the task of protecting Charter rights.

Which do you think is a greater threat to democracy: repugnant statements online by individuals with no power to enforce their screeds or committees of bureaucrats and “progressive” politicians sitting in judgement over what can and cannot be posted?

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As if C-10 were not enough to prove the Liberals understand nothing about free speech, consider that just before Parliament rose the Trudeau government introduced Bill C-36, an act that would reinstate the Canadian Human Rights Commission’s (CHRC) power to conduct hate-speech witch hunts.

The commission had so abused its power before by going after individuals who challenged political correctness, that the Harper government stripped the CHRC of what were known as Section 13 powers.

Now the Liberals not only want to restore the commission’s power, they want to beef it up with threats of up to $70,000 fines for any individual Canadian suspected of posting statements that “promote detestation or vilification.”

Posts could be instantly ordered removed and suspected offenders could be placed under house arrest, even if there is no evidence a criminal act has been committed.

And while the Liberals claim all this has broad public support, under questioning from Ontario Conservative MP Alex Ruff, Guilbeault’s staff was forced to admit that of the hundreds of letters and emails they had received on C-10, not a single one supported the bill.

No support at all.

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