Free Speech Under Threat From ‘Online Harms Act’

Bill C-63, introduced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to safeguard children from pornography, is an assault on free speech, according to the Campaign Life Coalition (CLC).

According to CLC President Jeff Gunnarson, Trudeau is using the usual Liberal tricks to win over the public. He is championing noble causes like safeguarding children from the dark side of the internet and giving the government more authority to regulate their right to free expression.

In addition to updating the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, the bill would establish the Online Harms Act. Some instances of online content removal, according to the Liberals, will be targeted by the measure. These examples include incidents involving salacious photos of child abuse as well as so-called “hate speech” and cyberbullying.

There are grave worries about the implications of the legislation on the freedom of expression of Canadians online, stating that it will empower an as-yet-unformed digital safety commission to hold “secret commission hearings” against those deemed to have broken the new law.

The government-appointed five-person panel, which includes the planned commission’s ombudsperson and other offices, will handle public complaints about online content and put out a regulatory role. This committee’s job is to monitor how people use various online platforms so that those responsible can be “accountable.”

The proposed law includes a $20,000 fine and possible jail time as penalties for infractions. Gunnarson expressed concern that the allegedly extreme measures would signal the end of Trudeau’s dictatorial reign in Canada. The Canadian people will never forget his autocratic leadership, suppression of liberties, and countless scandals, he added, suggesting that the move may be an attempt by a politician whose time is running out.

He did point out that the planned bill would place enormous limits on free expression, something the left disagrees with, but that the CLC does think that laws protecting children from internet pornography are necessary. If the newly established government were to enact a bill to shield children from explicit material online, they would promptly veto the current one and replace it with a more reasonable one.