University of Toronto Psychology professor, and well-known proponent of individual liberty and free speech, Dr. Jordan Peterson rose to world prominence when, in 2016, he publically opposed Canada’s obnoxious “pronoun” law C-16, which mandated that any “regulated” business in the nation have its employees use the “pronouns” that customers demanded. The bill was bad enough, since it abrogated the principles of private property and free association, but many saw it as the start of a long march towards even harsher censorship.
And now, Peterson is sounding the alarm again.
As Angelo Isidorou reports for the Post Millennial:
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson took to Twitter on Wednesday to critique the controversial Canadian censorship Bill. Bill C-10 is currently being pushed forward by the Liberal government and is being spearheaded by Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault. If passed, the Bill would regulate all Canadian social media users and impose CRTC (Canadian Radio and Telecommunications) restrictions on content.
What a shock that the Canadian government should want to attack free speech. Goodness knows that the precedent already hasn’t been set with C-16, or the repeated crackdowns on churches, or the Canadian government attacks on Ezra Levant’s Rebel News after it was critical of that overbearing Canadian government.
And, like Rebel News, and like those courageous religious people who will not bow to government threats, Peterson is standing tall against this next step towards Canadian authoritarianism.
After National Post Columnist Colby Cash tweeted “Do you remember electing this man President of the Internet(?)” along with a shot of “Heritage Minister” Steven Guilbeault and a story from CTV News describing how C-10 would place online participants with a “large enough” audience under Guilbeault’s eye for censorship, Peterson re-Tweeted Cash’s post, and added:
How about we don’t do this, Canada. I’d hate to move.
And, later, Peterson added:
I have a million more YouTube subscribers than our national broadcaster CBC. So does that make me a broadcaster to be regulated by Trudeau's pathetic minions? Or does it just indicate that CBC is a failure, despite the fortune it takes in in public subsidy?
And he noted:
CBC, your heavily subsidized but once admired and credible state broadcaster is now ideologically addled, propagandistic, outdated and increasingly despised or ignored. And now you dare to extend your incompetent governance to other media forms?
And, finally, Peterson wrote:
Just try and regulate my YouTube channel and see what happens @JustinTrudeau
To which the Post Millennial’s Isidorou tweeted:
I’ve studied this Bill closely. You will absolutely be considered a broadcaster and regulated as such. You will pay into the Canada media fund and be potentially mandated to CRTC quotas around content.
Indeed, for Post Millennial, he reports:
In an interview with The National Post, Former CRTC commissioner Peter Menzies said that Bill C-10 ‘doesn’t just infringe on free expression, it constitutes a full-blown assault upon it…’
Of course, the very existence of a “Radio and Television Commission” is an assault on free expression because it presupposes a government oversight of expression, so Mr. Menzies has some learning to do when it comes to the state and speech.
Related: Canadian Politicians Pass Law Criminalizing Use of 'Misgendered' Pronouns
And that is the crux of the problem. Once the camel’s nose of government is under the proverbial tent of speech, the principle of free speech has been broken, and increasingly more onerous and authoritarian speech restrictions will arise.
Even in America, where the First Amendment strictly forbids the feds from infringing on speech, the DC politicians created the Federal Radio Commission in the 1920s and turned that regulatory monster into the FCC in the 1940s.
We haven’t had free speech in the US ever since.
So there are lessons to be learned and battles to be fought.
Thank goodness Jordan Peterson and folks like Isidorou are willing to don their armor and stay in the arena.
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