May 19, 2021Liked by Line Editor

If a news channel were showing videos of a massacre or videos of people making bombs, it would be censorship to tell them to stop. I'm not sure we can have an honest debate if one side is going to say "it's not really censorship if the speech is *truly* detestable." It's still censorship. You can argue that it's meritorious censorship the same way Tipper Gore can argue it would be meritorious to censor the hip hop lyrics, but it's censorship. A dictionary might help you out if you remain confused on this point (I'll include a definition below).

Also, I remember the heyday of the early 90s when the CRTC forced MuchMusic to stop carrying the cartoon Ren & Stimpy because it wasn't musical enough (though the creator was Canadian). They also said the Partridge Family would be have to be pulled. You can read that decision at the link below. Choice excerpt:

"The Commission, by majority, has determined that the continued broadcast on MuchMusic of the program 'The Partridge Family' constituted non-compliance with its condition of licence and has accordingly not granted a full licence term."

So forgive me if I don't trust the good intentions of a society of professional Ottawa busybodies.


censorship: the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.

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It takes a lot of cojones to write a piece that spends its first few paragraph assuaging fears over Internet censorship, and its last few paragraphs calling for Internet censorship.

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I shall quote the Attorney General of Canada, David Lametti in the House of Commons on May 18, 2021 when they were discussing Bill C10. "Rights and freedoms can be limited,” Attorney General David Lametti yesterday told the Commons heritage committee. Lametti spoke in favour of first-ever federal regulation of legal internet content under Bill C-10 An Act To Amend The Broadcasting Act.

“When Parliament legislates it may affect Charter rights and freedoms,” said Lametti. “This may include limiting their enjoyment or exercise when it is in the broader public interest to do so.”

“This is entirely legitimate,” said Lametti. “The rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Charter are not absolute but rather subject to reasonable limits so long as those limits can be demonstrably justified.”

Bill C-10 would grant the CRTC new powers to regulate YouTube content uploaded for private viewing. Three former CRTC commissioners including an ex-chair and former federal judge have cautioned the bill will have “unintended consequences for the free and open internet in Canada.”

Attorney General Lametti yesterday acknowledged concerns of internet censorship. “The fact Charter rights and freedoms can be limited is not a license to violate them,” he said. “Rather it is a reminder that any legislative limits to rights and freedoms must be carefully considered in the context of shared values.”

I do not now, nor have I ever had the same "shared values" of the Liberal Government of Canada's. I stand for Israel as they have always been our allies and are the only Democratic nation in the Middle East. I believe in the rights for women to have an abortion but with limitations. I believe in the freedom of speech, I believe in the freedom to gather to protest as long as its does not destroy property or harm others. I believe in the freedom of speech most of all as with out sharing opinions or ideas, we can not move forward together.

The fact that the Liberal Government of Canada has interfered in our Justice system with no repercussions, no RCMP investigation, and no punishment is a flagrant abuse of power to which again divides our ideal of "shared values." When Justin Trudeau stand in front of Canadians and openly lies, again these are not my values. In fact I have no confidence in the Liberal Government of Canada nor do I share all "their values". Canadians do not have, nor have ever had, shared values. The Liberals mean "their shared values" when they speak, meaning many of us will be censored.

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The comments and quotes of Lametti in the beginning are taken from and are the and are the property rights of Blacklock's Reporter. I do not want to take credit for their hard work that is valued deeply.

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Virtually all the examples the author raises are related to hate speech, online harm, violence and sexual exploitation. If the author read the bill they would understand that the bill is not about those things but is 100% focused on CanCon, that is, making sure content is "Canadian enough".

A separate bill is coming from the government that will regulate online harms and I would guess it will receive a lot more support than C-10, which is a flawed bill based on a 1960s regulatory regime being grafted onto the modern internet.

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Again, this article is a giant straw man that is replacing CanCon (the actual issue) with hateful online content in an effort to trick people into supporting it.

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What problems does C10 aim to solve beyond buying votes in Quebec, which is only a problem faced by the Liberal campaign team?

The Internet has largely made the CRTC, and other government agencies attempting to regulate culture, irrelevant. Delivering media no longer requires licensing scarce public frequency bands (except for carrier data services). Content creators are now largely separate from content curators, who are in turn separate from service providers, so regulation is bound to be ineffective as only the service providers fall under Canadian jurisdiction. Content is pulled by consumers instead of pushed, so the concept of broadcasting is obsolete.

The lack (or impossibility) of regulation is a feature, not a bug. As a media consumer, I can access whatever online content I feel fit. Assuming that some politician or bureaucrat or law enforcement official or other alleged expert should have any influence whatsoever on that decision is egregious (except in extreme cases such as child pornography). When online media started to explode in the 90's, one of its most appealing benefits was the ability to sidestep Canadian Content. As I consumer, I view CanCon rules as censorship, impeding my ability to gather information and form opinions.

Death to the CRTC, CanCon, the Canadian Department of Heritage and especially C10.

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A big part of existing CRTC regulation is rooted in achieving social and industrial goals by regulating the supply of cultural content. This made perfect sense in a world where supply and distribution were both constrained.

This piece and most of the other C-10 arguments (for and against) are almost desperately trying to avoid a parallel goal of C-10: lawmakers very explicitly want the CRTC to regulate demand for cultural content, not supply, by imposing CanCon-esque discoverability requirements on internet platforms and their ranking/relevance algorithms.

There's no telling how disruptive or onerous these requirements will be because no one has been willing to articulate a set of governing principles for the new regime, sticking to talking points and taglines like "support Canadian culture" and "make Big Tech pay".

This is a problem because despite what supporters argue, dissemination of media/culture on the internet (and how producers/intermediaries/consumers interact with it) is fundamentally different from traditional broadcasting, as both a market and an ecosystem. How we regulate it should probably be different too.

The CRTC has an incredibly poor track record in advancing the interests of consumers. They seem mainly responsive to the interests of those industry actors they regulate.

It seems like the push for C-10 is really about expanding Canadian regulatory capture, laundered through the current moment's justified animosity toward the tech industry and desire for them to give more back. The status quo needs to change, but what we do deserves open, honest, and precise conversations that we're not having.

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One justification given for C-10 is that Canadian creators are seeing their income stream threatened by the shift to online content.

And yet, we live in an age where even the smallest niche can be catered to. Hell, there's people making a living eating noodles in front of a camera. If Canadian producers can't find an audience online amid such low standards, it's time to throw in the towel.

The elephant in the room here is that the Canadian public chooses not to consume particular cultural products that government, literary and media figures think they ought. THAT is the root of the "problem". And wrapping the CRTC's hands around the Internet's neck will not make it go away.

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I wondered who could be the author of such a naive and dissimulative piece. Then i reached the end and saw the identification of Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. Ah, yes — chief apologists for the CBC. All is explained.

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If I could edit by earlier post, I would add "death to CBC"

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I don't so much say death to the CBC, just I don't want to pay for it. which might amount to the same thing.

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Defund would be good

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I trust Michael Geist a lot more than a shill for the CBC.

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What is the social good of using government regulation to demand that the private sector or the tax payer maintain CanCon requirements? The claim that we need to hear Canadian voices is supported by the fact that anyone with creativity, some technical expertise, and the wherewithal to promote through social media can post their works online, maybe find an audience, and have their voice heard. But that is not what is being discussed here. It's the belief that the interests of an entrenched few may be put at risk.

The tech and media companies, including Bell and Rogers are of course self-interested. But, so are the Canadian producers, writers, and filmmakers that have been the direct beneficiaries of mandated financial support. Seems to me the concern with C-10 is that mandate will be weakened and the money might dry up. The stories of conflicts of interest between our cultural industries and those in government and the granting bodies, are well known.

Framing criticism of C-10 as apologetics for tech firms is disingenuous, when the question may actually be, why the tax payer and private companies must continue to prop up the interests of a few? This seems to be true, regardless of what your friends might say.

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