Canadian Bill C-11 Could Silence Freedom-Loving Content Creators

P. Gardner Goldsmith | February 14, 2022
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Those who have watched Canadian lawyer Viva Frei’s YouTube or Rumble streams from downtown Ottawa (and his brother’s from the Ambassador Bridge, in Windsor, Ontario), or appreciated the tireless work of Rebel News as they have covered two years of Canadian government crackdowns, oppression, and anti-rights legislation (even as the Canadian government has tried various legal maneuvers to shut down Rebel News), or appreciated the courageous work of Vancouver-based Dan Dicks of Press For Truth, or watched former U of Toronto Psych prof Jordan Peterson, know how integral they (among many video presenters) have been in exposing numerous politicians for their attacks on Natural Rights and the so-called “rules” under which the Canadian government is supposed to operate.

And now, possibly because of the power these presenters have shown for countering the corrupt narratives of those lockdown politicians, jab-mandaters, and modern Mad Hatters, a gang of Canadian Parliamentarians are ready to weaponize against these indie content creators the already ill-gotten and self-proclaimed government power to “regulate” and to impose “diversity” mandates on videos.

–Thus silencing speech.

The bill is called C-11, and it piggybacks on extant statute applied to corporate entertainment “streamers” such as Netflix, Hulu, and major TV nets doing business in the Great White North.

Specifically, it amends the Broadcasting Act, to include independent streamers and content creators – literally individuals doing videos (as Viva often does) from their CARS, or offices, or kitchens, or who are streaming events like the Ottawa trucker rally for freedom to show what the pop media (such as government-funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation -- CBC) will not show.

Write the attorneys at Lexology:

Under the Canadian broadcasting system, online services such as Netflix, Crave, Disney+ and their domestic and foreign competitors are described as ‘online undertakings.’

And, now, so will the solo video-creators, or small teams, like those at Rebel News. In their revisions of the already oppressive speech code, the proponents of the C-11 bill slip in a vast new crackdown power to apply to anyone who makes money by uploading videos or streaming, and they accomplish this subterfuge by including it in a so-called “protection” for people the government says are simply uploading personal videos to “social media.” Check out the way they create new targets by supposedly “shielding” one group:

(5) New Approach to Social Media: The Bill’s approach to social media services focuses on fair treatment for programs consumed on different platforms, regardless of how they are transmitted. The Bill will exclude the application of the Broadcasting Act to programs that are uploaded by users of social media services unless such programs comprise professional/revenue-generating commercial content that is generally found on other online platforms…

Those include YouTube, Rumble, Odysee, BitChute, etc., and the bill applies to domestic Canadian creators and international creators who make money off their videos or utilize livestreaming to generate revenue.

The eel-like manner in which this expansion of Canadian speech policing is slid into the “amendments” for the current “broadcast regulations” is a warning shot for Americans who still have not awaken to the fact that the US Federal Communications Commission is not only unconstitutional, it is a titanic threat to free speech.

Like the US FCC, the Canadian government operates what it calls the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (the “CRTC”), and it already has orders from the politicians to police “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” quotas.

I know this from personal experience, having spent time in the script department of a TV show being produced in Canada. If I, as a US citizen, had been considered a full-time employee of the Canadian company making the show, I could not have been employed, because the government mandated quotas, and reserved a certain percentage of jobs to Canadians. That was in 1996, and the mandates now cover the actual content of what is available, mandating quotas for whatever level of “group” or “type” (be it ethnic, religious, sexual, etc) the CRTC decrees.

Notes Lexology about Section 2 of the bill:

If passed, the Bill will empower the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications (the “CRTC”) to make orders imposing conditions on “online undertakings” reflective of certain objectives, including, but not limited to: support for the creation of Canadian content; fair and equitable treatment of similarly situated broadcasting undertakings; and diversity, equity and inclusion (including with respect to Indigenous communities).

Much like the Orwellian “Fairness Doctrine” imposed on US radio and television for years until Ronald Reagan got the FCC to drop it in the late 1980s (inspiring the renaissance of local and national talk radio that, itself, gave rise to FoxNews and energized many of today’s indie video creators), this claimed power of the CRTC (and FCC) works not to open the airwaves and net to ideas and diversity, but to use fear and intimidation to stifle independent views and small voices.

The doctrines mean that anyone who says anything about anything must be ready to provide whatever “viewpoint” the government deems is required to offer “balance” or “inclusion” or “diversity.”

Through the guise of “inclusivity,” this speech-stifling proposal will punish people, revealing the truth: the backers of this in the government certainly don’t want to be “inclusive” and “accepting” of divergent views. Through force, they will put at risk indie video creators and reporters, and even risk churches that stream their content online. And in order to facilitate enforcement, the CRTC’s power to punish will be expanded beyond the pulling of “licenses” of streaming services it currently claims the power to pull.

Since little creators aren’t “licensed,” C-11 serves up a new power for CRTC to levy fines – any time, on any “non-personal, non-social media” online video creator – and shut down the creator.

If this reminds you of the numerous times giant Big Tech firms like Google were exposed for having “black lists” (MRCTV was on one list), or exposed for purging hundreds of YouTube channels (like David Knight, PressForTruth, Amazing Polly, and more), you are in good company.





And if the “silencing through cover of ‘inclusiveness’” speech policing reminds you of Canada’s C-16, you’re not alone. Remember, that was the statute the Canadian Parliament passed in 2017 mandating that any business “regulated” by the Canadian government (pretty much all of them) or any group/business/school operating as a part of the Canadian government must make its employees use “pronouns” directed by the demands of any customer. It’s still extant, and still threatening people that if they don’t use the language the government approves, they will be fined, and, should they not pay the fine, imprisoned.

Peter Menzies, a former Canadian Radio‑television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) vice-chair and past newspaper publisher, tells Global News Canada, he finds the legislation to be concerning.

 'Overall, the big problem still is that they continue to believe that the internet is broadcasting, and I don’t think they really understand what it is,' he said.

The former CRTC vice-chair’s concerns about regulatory overreach are also still at the top of his mind.

'It’s unfortunate because they’re giving the CRTC enormous powers — enormous powers — and it’s not in the DNA of any regulatory body to not continue to expand its turf,' Menzies said.

'So that’s troubling.'

Menzies later added:

'It’s almost hard to say who shouldn’t be concerned (about being regulated), because so much left to the CRTC to decide.'

Meanwhile, the politicians will say whatever they want. Justin Trudeau can falsely claim that peaceful truck convoy protesters are “white supremacists” and blithely do it again, while the Canadian government prepares to silence any dissenting voice.

And in the US, Joe Biden’s new FCC nominee Gigi Sohn might push for the falsely titled “Net Neutrality” that will, again, unconstitutionally claim power to further regulate companies trying to provide internet service to willing customers.

The answer, in any nation, is not political threat under the mask of “help.”

The answer is freedom.

Related: MRC's Bozell: 'Conservatives Need to STOP Defending' Google | MRCTV