Death to User Generated Content! Government Debating Closure Motion on Bill C-11

The government is ramming through the free speech killing Bill C-11 by debating a closure motion. It’s putting user generated content on notice.

The Canadian government is pushing to get us one step closer to the abolishing of freedom of expression. Bill C-11, which takes away the ability of non-government certified Canadian content to be heard by the widest possible audience, has been a hugely controversial bill from the beginning. Recently, one MP supporting the bill said the quiet part loud and admitted that it does look like it violates freedom of expression, but for her, it is “worth it“.

Creators have sharply fought back against this bill, pointing out that losing the ability to have their content reach their audiences would have a hugely negative impact on their livelihoods. Likewise, members of the music industry also said that the bill would undermine years of technological progress. Legal experts point out that the bill is unconstitutional and is likely going to be challenged in court. The United States have repeatedly threatened to levy retaliatory trade tariffs on Canada for the bills violations of Canada’s international trade obligations.

Unfortunately, the Canadian government has proven to be too corrupt to listen to all common sense, reasoning, and those begging for the government not to destroy their likelihoods. After gaslighting creators and even went so far as to push for fake “investigations” into anyone daring to criticize the bill, the government effectively invalidated the lives of roughly 100,000 creators by essentially calling them “loopholes” and rejected a Senate fix, proving that regulating user generated content is the point of the legislation.

Freezenet has also learned that there are some thoughts in the Senate that there is only so much they can do and that challenging the governments rejection may not be a likely thing at this point. As a result, it looks like the Senate may very well surrender the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms rather than inconvenience the government.

Now, word is that the Canadian government is debating a closure motion on the bill

#C11 – HoC debating closure motion on the bill – apparently passing the bill quickly is more important than getting it right

This would effectively end further debate on the bill and take us one step further along the Royal Assent process. No doubt, the lobbyists for large corporations and the cultural elite are thrilled because this means that those pesky online creators will now be crippled, leaving fewer people to compete for people’s eyeballs – thought it is unlikely that those viewers would simply return to them given their viewing habits already.

Of course, even though it seems likely that this bill will become law, the fight is not over. Members of the Canadian legal community are already organizing themselves to challenge the law in court. The angles in which to challenge this law are numerous, though one angle is likely that the bill’s affront to freedom of expression would be one of the top of mind angles. Either way, it looks like the next phase of this debate will be a surreal “internet on trial” moment.

Regardless of that outcome, this bill sends a strong signal from the Canadian government that internet innovation is not welcome in this country. If you have a bold new business idea, the message from the Canadian government is that you have two choices: either find a new line of work or get the (expletive) out of the country. Either way, bold new innovative business ideas are not welcome in this country as far as the Canadian government is concerned. It is, indeed, a message that innovators heard loudly and clearly. The messaging is absolutely terrible, but one that the government seems to be shouting from the rooftops with enthusiasm and zeal.

At any rate, though this may be a step closer to the end of one chapter in the governments quest to kill user generated content in this country, there is going to be a new chapter waiting in the wings. Fortunately, there is reason for optimism that the next chapter will have a better outcome than the one that is likely awaiting Canadians at the end of this one.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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