Canadian Liberal Party Passes Resolution to Push for Censoring the Media

The Liberal convention is continuing right now, but one resolution that was passed called for censoring the media.

When I bring up the efforts of Bill C-11 and Bill C-18 as anti-competitive measures, I frequently get funny looks from others. For instance, Bill C-11, which is now law, is a means to kick out non-mainstream production companies from prominent positions on social media. Bill C-18 is a bill that is highly effective in putting significant pressure on independent news outlets to fold with government regulation heavily favouring the largest players. With the partisan jabs running around, it’s easy for some to conclude all of this is for purely political reasons. However, there are inconsistencies in viewing this as purely an effort for political gain.

For instance, with Bill C-18, right wing media will still be able to qualify and receive benefits from the bill. If Bill C-11 was about censoring right wing voices, how does that square with the fact that left leaning producers would also share the same fate? It’s these inconsistencies that make me skeptical that the reason for putting these measures in place is exclusively to try and put downward pressure on right leaning perspectives.

However, when one were to put it in the context of trying to serve the cultural elite, the major media outlets, and establishment players in the production sector, every step along the way makes sense. By forcing mainstream Cancon content down the throats of YouTuber’s, that, in theory, serve the established players because the competition gets kicked out of the algorithm (it doesn’t actually work, but when you are a corporation who thinks that forcing people to watch your content will automatically make you successful, then this perspective makes sense. There are executives who are dumb enough to believe that they will just strictly win in the end.) When you are ensuring that money gets redirected from smaller players to larger players in Bill C-18, you are basically ensuring that establishment players will not have as much pressure to produce content people will actually want. This exhausts the competition who would be starved for cash and forced to cut back eventually.

In the end, it all makes perfect sense. The Liberal party is trying to introduce laws and measures that will make the market as anti-competitive to new players as possible.

Recently, we have learned of another effort by the Liberal Party of Canada, the current governing party in Canada. During the Liberal convention, the party passed a resolution essentially censoring the media online. From the resolutions document (PDF) on page 12-13:

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Liberal Party of Canada:
● Request the Government provide additional public funds to support advertisement-free news and information reporting by Canadian media through an arm’s-length non-partisan mechanism.

● Request the Government explore options to hold on-line information services accountable for the veracity of material published on their platforms and to limit publication only to material whose sources can be traced.

This really shows that the party is really doubling down on their quest to censor anything and everything. If someone speaks out about something, but doesn’t want to be named as a source, well, then the media organization in question would, in theory, not be permitted to post that news on social media. This opens up the possibility that the government should have the power to politically retaliate against a source speaking out against something they see, hear, or know is happening. What’s more, this resolution means that there is a push for the government to grant itself censorship powers on social media. Don’t like a story? The government should then be able to zap it down the memory hole.

What some people are keeping in mind is the fact that this is happening as the Globe and Mail is publishing news about potential foreign interference from China and is not naming the source. There are allegations of intimidation and bribery among other things throughout this story. There are hearings about it and calls for a public inquiry, not to mention calls to expel the individual who has been perpetrating what is being alleged. So far, the government has been reluctant to expel the individual or hold a public inquiry into foreign interference allegations.

Of course, the implications are much wider than just one story. It seems that the governing party has an appetite to control the narrative and control who is permitted to speak in this country. So, for instance, when I publish a news story about a new revelation about the Bill C-18 debate, the government might be motivated to flag it as “misinformation” regardless of how rock solid the facts are – all for the simple reason that they are motivated to pass Bill C-18 and any questions surrounding that bill could slow the political process down.

Regardless, though, this latest resolution is yet another example of the governments efforts to clamp down on freedom of expression. The blatant unconstitutional nature of this is quite in your face in all of this. Hopefully, this isn’t the government gearing up to push the online harms proposal sooner because there is enough reasons to be deeply concerned about that forthcoming bill.

It’s worth pointing out that this is a resolution that was passed by the political party, not necessarily a bill before government (yet anyway). Still, it does appear to be an intention of the government to go this rout.

Perhaps the most stark thing in all of this is just how up front the party is in all of this. We are seeing a major national political party openly calling for the censorship of the media. This should be raising every alarm bell imaginable. Any media organization out there worth a gram of integrity should be raising questions about this resolution. Unfortunately, integrity in the media – especially when it comes to expression online – is quite the scarce commodity these days. Still, at the very least, you know that we are, once again, raising the issues that need to be raised here. That is, at minimum, worth something.

(Via @Mgeist)

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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