Canada’s Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said Monday that the bill will be considered in Parliament within the next fortnight during a videoconference with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.
Guilbeault admitted that the government has not held “a public-wide consultation” on the details of the proposal. “That being said, obviously once the bill is tabled there will be further consultations by a parliamentary committee, and once the bill is adopted — and I’m confident it will — there will be further consultations.”
Speculations probing the possibility of a hidden purpose behind this latest legislative manoeuvre have been raised, given that the country has had hate speech laws since at least 1970.
An email statement issued by Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), Canada’s national pro-life, pro-family political lobbying group, and obtained by LifeSiteNews, takes aim at the Minister for Heritage for “doing his utmost to undermine and subvert our heritage by pushing for speech police, censorship, and strict controls on the media and internet.”
CLC Campaigns Manager David Cooke speculated that “online hate speech” is a term wielded by the Liberal Party to attack and malign speech that doesn’t align with the Left’s “un-Canadian” values. “If Mr. Guilbeault has his way, what were once free and open channels of communication — where ideas could be exchanged, and differences aired — will become a propaganda mouthpiece for the government,” Cooke said.
Guilbeault referenced a survey conducted by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation as proof that he has widespread support for the proposed speech infringements, claiming that 93 percent of Canadians “believe that online hate speech and racism are a problem,” and 80 percent “want social media companies to be required to remove racist or hateful content within 24 hours.”
On the back of this survey, Guilbeault commented that the conclusions “are clear.”
“Hate speech has no place in our society. It’s time to step up against online hate. The numbers are disturbing, but they come as no surprise.”
Cooke, on the other hand, characterized Guilbeault’s heightened push as “totalitarian creep … reminiscent of the rise of Adolf Hitler.”
“Truly, I have no interest in Mr. Guilbeault safeguarding my ears and eyes online. That’s my own concern. And I think most Canadians feel the same way! We do not need ‘big brother’ deciding what we can and cannot see online. No thank you.”
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