Not entirely surprising, but Bill C-11 has passed the House of Commons stages in secret rushed processes.
There really is no defending Bill C-11 at this point. Talking point after talking point has either been debunked or gone down in flames. The legislation regulated user generated content. What’s more is that the legislation orders platforms to manipulate their respective outcomes. These are points that are no longer debatable.
With the Liberals constantly in retreat, logical arguments supporting the legislation became fewer and fewer. So, with no way of debating the legislation, Liberals began resorting to less honourable methods to pass this unconstitutional bill. They started harassing witnesses for daring to speak out against the legislation. This then expanded to being abusive to experts over social media after that. This escalated to straight up lying to the public by simply repeating the lie that Bill C-11 doesn’t regulate user generated content (it does).
From there, the Liberals began effectively accusing witnesses of being racist in their efforts to discredit them. All these efforts seemingly made them realize that defending their legislation is so much easier when you shed any semblance or morality. So, they devolved into amoral monsters as a result.
It was at that point that they tabled a motion to brush aside an investigation looking into sexual assault. They defended this move by trivializing sexual assault, calling sexual assault ‘Conservative filibuster’ and even suggesting that sexual assault is no big deal. Since there is no bottom, they even went to the extreme of blocking reporters who refuse to tow the government line. It got so bad that it is reasonable to ask if these people are even human.
So, with moralities thrown out the window, why stop there? The government then chose to start throwing out basic democratic norms by shutting down any and all debate that they could surrounding the legislation. Amendments were voted on by number only without debate or questions. Those amendments were also withheld from the public as well. Despite this, one amendment that was voted down leaked and it suggested that the Green Party tried to remove user generated content from the bill.
Eventually, the law was made public and it was largely unchanged.
In the flurry of events that ultimately unfolded since, it appears that the legislation has passed the House of Commons stages. At this point now, the integrity of freedom of expression now rests with the Canadian senate. While there has been considerable push by Liberals to get the Senate to burn free speech to the ground as quickly as possible, Senators have signalled that they intend to actually study the legislation – something that the Liberals have flat out blocked in every meaningful way up to now. As a result, a delay into the Fall is pretty much a sure thing at this point.
It is indeed rough knowing that the Canadian Senate is the only thing standing in the way between the Liberals and abolishing free speech online from the governments perspective. While the study might actually buy some time, that’s about all it will buy. Sooner or later, the Liberals will eventually succeed in ramming through this legislation and slitting the throats of the careers of online creators in the process. That will set the stage for a legal challenge in the courts after which has much better odds at succeeding in putting a stop to this madness.
Still, it is disheartening seeing this legislation pass through – especially in the manner that it did. Secret lawmaking is an affront to basic democratic norms. Passing laws that abridge the freedoms is also an affront to Canadian democracy. We got both in spades thanks to this legislation. Let’s hope we can enjoy freedom of expression for a few months because that is the most that can be hoped for at this stage.