The Thought Police are Coming: The Online Harms Bill
John Carpay

March 12, 2024

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Our government, as usual, is up to no good.

In 2021 they tabled a bill for an Online Harms Act, which would have made ‘hate speech’ a crime in Canada. And their definition of hate speech was very broad and amounted to saying anything against the government narrative. To make sure of this, the bill called for creating the office of a Digital Safety Commissioner, essentially George Orwell’s Ministry of Truth from the dystopian novel 1984. But the bill didn’t get far. It passed a first reading before the House in November of 2021, then languished due to pushback from the public, rightly concerned that such a bill would be a violation of our Constitutional right to Freedom of Speech.

On February 21st, just a few weeks ago, Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced, both verbally, and in writing, that there would be no Digital Safety Commissioner in Canada, and cited petitions from the public directed at the concerns already mentioned.

But then, just 5 days later, Trudeau’s government resurrected the Online Harms Act, Bill C-63, and it passed a first reading before the House on that same day, February 26th. It will soon receive a second reading before the House. Our government seems very determined to push this bill through.

Was Minister LeBlanc’s statement a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand was doing? Possibly, but unlikely. Mr. LeBlanc is the Public Safety Minister. It would be his job to know about things like this. And he chose his words carefully when he announced there would be no Digital Safety Commissioner, because Bill C-63 calls for the formation of a Digital Safety Commission, not a Commissioner.

And the current Bill is even more draconian than the last. Not only would hate speech not be limited to written or spoken statements online, but could possibly include statements made orally, outside the internet. Furthermore, Bill C-63 would allow for complaints of ‘hate speech’ to be made anonymously, another violation of our right to face our accuser. Finally, the Bill would make intending to voice ‘hate speech’ a potential crime as well.

Orwellian, indeed. That’s the thought police.

A few days ago I received a very perceptive and extensive article on Bill C-63, written by John Carpay, the president of the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms. John has been defending our constitutional rights for over 15 years.

John joins me in the studio today to detail the threats to our constitutional rights and freedoms posed by this draconian Bill, but perhaps more importantly, what we can do about it.

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