Today's discussion:

The government doubles down on censoring the internet

The Online Harms Act is a profoundly anti-free expression bill that threatens draconian penalties for online speech, chilling legitimate expression by the mere spectre of a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission or the new Digital Safety Commission of Canada.

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Interesting many take position that trying to protect people and particularly children from harm is draconian.

Sure the Bill needs careful rewording before it passes. And even more careful oversight. Will there be issues ? Most certainly as with any new legislation.

For those that say, parents can manage this themselves – I ask if it’s that simple then why haven’t they by now? Is it because they don’t care or maybe they have their heads buried in the sand?

If it’s that easy to manage your own kids online experience and protect them from porn, online harassment & bullying, perhaps worse …. Then why is it that parents aren’t doing it by now. Perhaps it’s because it’s a losing, lonely battle being the sole meanie or the lack of skill and resources. It’s not easy.

How do you keep your kid in a bubble from other kids showing them content from their phone? Parents/grandparents of young kids – pretty sure most of them have unintentionally stumbled across porn (maybe intentionally) – how do you feel about that and what discussions have you had with them? What are you doing to actively prevent it? How are you dealing with the bullying that’s going on under the radar?

Then theres the hate and genocidal posting. Perhaps it’s time we listen to Karl Popper & learn to be intolerant of intolerance. It’s okay to call people out for being racist or promoting hate. It starts at home but tweens/teens are more heavily influenced by their peers and social media. Like it or not, social media is a major factor that negatively impacts mental health.

If you haven’t yet read it, I encourage you to read Michael Geist’s overview of the bill and its red flags.

This time I think we are on the right track.

28th February 2024 at 9:56 am
Peter Menzies

As Michael points out this morning, the changes to the criminal code and human rights act both need to be removed from this act. The rest of it is about things that are already crimes and have been being removed for years so the duty of care approach is fine.

28th February 2024 at 10:57 am
Deborah Ketchabaw

Canada is becoming a communist country and I pray we can turn it around in the next election. Otherwise it’s time to move out of the country I love.

28th February 2024 at 8:13 am

Looks like there are a lot of liberal paid people don’t like your comment. Means you are right.

28th February 2024 at 1:54 pm
Paul Attics

“Their side” paid. “Our side” sincere. Makes nuanced things comfortably simple I expect.

28th February 2024 at 2:12 pm
Don Morris

Are Dean Steacy and Richard Warman still around? This law is absolutely vile, something you might expect from North Korea,China, Russia, Cuba and a few third world countries.
This law will be used to frighten people the government’s appointed and undoubtedly “woke” commission disagrees with.
It is incredible how totalitarian this government is,but then Trudeau DID state openly that China was the country he most admired. It seems there was a good reason for that.

Will this law be trotted out during an election campaign, as when CBC sued the CPC for using clips of their TV news articles?
Canadians must reject this government in the next election.

28th February 2024 at 12:22 pm

Not that I stick up for Trudeau but I do not recall hearing ever say he admire China. When was that?

29th February 2024 at 12:15 am

This bill confirms how I feel about Prime Minister Trudeau, he is a dictator & wants to control us all. This bill must never get through Parliament. Also confirms the sooner we get rid of him, the better.

28th February 2024 at 8:55 am

How does this comment add to the intellectual discussion?

28th February 2024 at 2:51 pm
Bernie Langlois

this censorship bill must be fought all the way
legislation already exists

28th February 2024 at 8:45 am

Tyranny has raised it’s ugly head in Canada.,Trudeau’s love for China is showing.He seems to be leading Canadians in the wrong direction.How do we stop the insanity?If only we could impeach in this country!

28th February 2024 at 8:28 am
Peter Menzies

There are many speech-threatening aspects to this bill that the author rightly points to. But at this stage, forcing X to remove the sort of tweet described is not one of them. The bill is specific to seven particular “harms” at this stage, each of which is already illegal and routinely removed. And take down orders only apply to two of them.

28th February 2024 at 10:54 am
Gary Oxenforth

So now the Liberals want to create a dept that fines or jails Canadians who bad mouth Trudeau and his ilk.

28th February 2024 at 9:42 am
Enyaw Nerraw

This is the only way the workds cowards can shut down the truth as they are afraid of the result they will have to run from.

28th February 2024 at 12:17 pm
Michael F

Typical partisan hackery. Reviews of the bill I have read have said it strikes a good balance. The Facebook whistleblower who brought attention to the company monetizing hate speech says Canada’s new online harms legislation isn’t just good, it’s “one of the best bills that has been proposed today.”

Can there be some tweaks and changes? Absolutely. It’s a 100 page bill that is complex because it is a complex issue. Some jaunty populist slogan isn’t going to work.

28th February 2024 at 11:34 am

Great article, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I hate fascists, Stalinists, and any other type of deviant government regime that does not support the rule of law, the Constitution and Charter Rights. Does that mean I am in trouble for stating that I despise these regimes and leaders who do not tolerate opposition and dissent or drama and comedy? I might have to ask my lawyer. My heart goes out to anyone bullied in person or on social media but the remedy is not a word police otherwise we are one step closer to an ISIS regime monitoring speech and then clothing and then what? The remedy is teaching and rewarding tolerance and civility and reporting criminal behavior. One of the most powerful tools at our disposal is defamation, libel and slander and if statements have injured someone civilly then let the evidence and due process happen. Our threshold for criminal behavior should be more than just writing or uttering words. Telling you I hate you is different than stating I hate you and then throwing rocks at your house or hurting you physically or creating rules that prevent you from enjoying access to due process, services, etc. This balance is the fundamental essence of common sense that makes liberal democratic societies unique from authoritarian regimes.

28th February 2024 at 6:48 pm
Gail T

On one hand the government promotes adults to encourage sex with children and on the other hand wants to jail anyone who speaks about issues that offend Trudeau. This bill is so draconian it is laughable.

28th February 2024 at 5:13 pm

Where or when did the government “promotes adult to encourage sex with children”?
I must have missed that news day.

29th February 2024 at 12:18 am

One must also wonder just how many more bureacrats will be added to the already bulging government dole. Even more importantly, who will these administrators be? If this government’s past record on appointments is any indication, we should all be very, very concerned.

28th February 2024 at 5:08 pm

If this legislation is put into effect, I think the wisest thing for social media companies to do is to BLOCK all Canadians from using their services. Either lock them out, or lock them out and delete their profiles and accounts. The revenue generated by Canadians can’t be that high that the social media companies would miss us. The risk of expensive fines is quite high and difficulty controlling content rather difficult.
I for one, wouldn’t care at all if I was kicked off social media sites. I really only use one of them anyway.

29th February 2024 at 12:13 am

Oops, Sorry, I posted before I proof read. Rewrite: “The risk of expensive fines is quite high and task of controlling content, that stringently, nearly impossible.”

29th February 2024 at 12:21 am
Kim Morton

Aside from attempts to protect kids from online harm and keeping them away from certain internet sites, which I think we can all agree is a good idea, the only redeeming value I see to of the proposed legislation is that TrudOWE is guilty of breaching most of them.

28th February 2024 at 1:53 pm

More sandbox quality.

28th February 2024 at 2:53 pm