I think a lot of this drive is to protect the livelihood of Canadian content producers dependent on government-mandated content. There aren’t many of them, but they know how to grab attention and make the government feel the pain if they don’t get what they want. It’s pathetic how the current obsession with political micro-targeting has magnified the influence of small groups at the expense of the overall population. We all have to pay a rent for content we don’t want to placate a group of people working in an uncompetitive sector because they’re clustered in politically-important Liberal ridings. The government was reluctant to impose travel restrictions on India because they were afraid of alienating South Asian voters. The government won’t take a hard line on Chinese belligerence because a generation of Liberal politicians have built a lucrative business around consulting. We put up with higher dairy prices, crappy cheese, and weirdly hard butter because a small number of dairy farmers has managed to exert disproportionate influence over a few key ridings. You could make a case that we need to make these compromises for national unity, but mostly it seems to be a case of concentrated benefit and diffused cost.

Expand full comment

When you peel away the government's disingenuous posturing around "reigning in the tech giants", a huge part of what they want to do - but are afraid to openly admit - is expand the Cancon regime to algorithmically curated social media feeds. They want to amplify content deemed Canadian at the expense of everything else.

The real prize is something like: every Canadian's TikTok feed should include at least 30% of videos set to Canadian background music (along with mandatory royalties paid out to Canadian artists). Or at least 30% of YouTube video recommendations shown in Canada to be Canadian content. And so on.

There's very little chance content will be removed if it's not deemed Canadian, but it doesn't have to. That's why C-10 is so very shrewd: it recognizes that on the internet, you don't (and can't) regulate the supply of content. The real impact is in regulating demand by targeting intermediaries. No casual (or pro/semi-pro) YouTuber need be classified a "broadcaster" to feel the vague, open-ended hand of this bill. By artificially promoting/suppressing platform demand for their content (which inevitably affects their ability to monetize), you indirectly and invisibly regulate the individual's behaviour.

The government is doing a piss-poor job saying so, and you would never know it looking at either the law or the rhetoric, but C-10 isn't trying to go after our right to say anything; it does an end-run by instead regulating the means by which we're heard.

Yet as is tradition, they're asking us to take them at their word while arming themselves with an extremely vague, open-ended legislative tool without putting in the work to articulate a vision that motivates or justifies this expansion of power. They seem to not think it's unnecessary to consider or discuss the unintended consequences of "supporting Canadian culture", and that we should just trust they *and all future governments* will carefully use the capability they're asking for in good faith.

Put another way: they're opening a Pandora's box of issues on freedom of expression and regulatory overreach, all so that 30% of our TikTok feeds will be set to Nickelback.

Expand full comment

Controlling a message nowadays is a fruitless and meaningless task. There may be a day when 50 million ideas coalesce precisely on the same subject and the same time, but it won't be because of the governments policies, it'll be something way bigger, a movement.

Expand full comment

"The timing is also not-a-little suspicious. First Reading was on November 3, American election day, and the bill is now in its late stages. We're 1,294 months into a global pandemic, staring down a third wave of cases. Nobody's got the bandwidth for this right now, including, I'd argue, the Liberals."

...We're nearly 108 years into a global pandemic?

What exactly were you saying here?

Expand full comment

I can't help but think the Liberal's primary goal is wanting to control where and how we get our news, and hence the content. We think media bias is bad in Canada (which it is!) but it doesn't seem to be at nearly the crazy level as seen in the US. More people are turning to new outlets like Rising with Krystal and Saagar on Youtube or podcasts like Joe Rogan and Megyn Kelly.

In this clip from Rising, CNN is calling for legislation to deplatform these newer outlets as they see their own ratings drastically drop. Rather than increase the quality of their own reporting, I guess it's just easier to try and get rid of the new guys. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wThP4i80Tw&list=PLuGGLs2Z6d2Oe7uZzPzq9jziLeukSG7f1&index=13.

Speaking of Rising, I would love to see a Canadian version of it. Maybe Jen and Jamil???

Expand full comment

Jen continues to focus on the minutiae of what the Liberals are doing. We need to see the much bigger picture of the global elite ruling class led by the WEF goals. IMO. We need to keep in mind that our Finance Minister and her side kick (or maybe she's the sidekick?) Mark Carney are both on the board of the World Economic Forum. I think the loss of freedoms we have experienced in the past year should be our concern. I think the fact that it has been suggested by the former director of the CDC that this virus was leaked from the Wuhan lab should be of concern. Jen continues to push the idea that if we all get vaccinated ASAP her kid will go back to school and her life will return to normal. This couldn't be further from the truth. When will a canadian journalist actually confront the truth? Wise people have said that the conspiracy lies right in front of our eyes. I think that is the case. No one is trying to hide the plan.

Expand full comment

This was the first "The Line" email to land in my spam folder. Coincidentally I have purchased several rolls of tinfoil.

Expand full comment

It's time for English Canada to ask if all this tilting the scales for French Canadian special interests, in the name of unity, is worth it.

From media to language laws to Ottawa centralization for the benefit of Ottawa Valley mandarin dynasties to even supply management and a weirdly detached foreign service, is it worth it?

Anglos must really hate America (Satan's Playground) or Albertans (Satan's Children) to tolerate this much humiliation, rubbed in our faces, from our political elite. Even peasants have a limit.

Expand full comment

You just don’t get it.

Expand full comment

You know, I was all upset, 30 years back, at the Clinton admin inserting the "clipper chip" into phones and stuff so that they could snoop encrypted communications. Tyranny awaited.

This news catches me not half-way through The Atlantic's "White Noise" about Canadians like Gavin McInnes and Lauren Southern, after a pandemic reading some fairly close friends on Facebook emit three or four pandemic-is-a-hoax memes every day, and I just can't work up any outrage about "censorship".

The Internet is virtually impossible to actually censor. If there are any imporant messages out there, any suppressed scandals, they'll still get out. They had to jail a guy for putting up a revenge-porn site on his wife, because it was impossible to shut down, hosted abroad. I can't work up the slightest worry about "The Internet".

"Social media" is not the internet. It's a large business run by amoral businessmen who profit from lies that hurt the whole country. Anybody can have their own web site, and that's where I post my rants, where nobody has to see them unwanted (and just about nobody does). I'm actually fine with policing "social media". Screw social media, I hate it.

Expand full comment