“Free speech is something we stand for in this country and we shouldn’t put up with this,” Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MP Jamie Schmale tells the MyHaliburtonNow.com newsroom when asked about Bill C-10.
The bill was put forward by Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault and, if passed, would enforce regulations on streaming giants like Netflix similar to what standard radio and television broadcasters face.An amendment was made to include user-generated content like what you see on YouTube, so long as the social media influencers have a certain amount of followers. “You would then fall under the CRTC guidelines and be defined as a broadcaster,” Schmale explains.
It was reported Tuesday by various news outlets that the Bloc Quebecois will support the bill and Schmale believes the NDP might be preparing to as well. “It looks like it may pass,” he says.
Schmale believes the bill will allow the government to decide what hate speech is, so it could become a situation where anything someone says criticizing them is considered as going against CRTC rules. He adds that goes for any party, not just the Liberals. “What stops the Conservatives from saying any message coming from the left is hate speech,” he says.
“The internet has been for the most part freely accessible to anyone,” Schmale goes on to say. “You can post what you want. You can basically say what you want within reason, so this is a major change.”
Schmale points to two former CRTC Chairs who signed a petition saying the bill, “would control the internet in ways reminiscent of actions taken by authoritarian governments.”
No matter what party you support, Schmale says this should be a “major issue” and one you should be against.