Freezenet’s Official Podcast: November 2022: The Bill C-11 Senate Hearing Special 3

In the 49th episode of the Freezenet official podcast, “The Bill C-11 Senate Hearing Special 3”, we take a look at the news and reviews we covered in November 2022.

Welcome to the public version of the Freezenet Official Podcast for November, 2022. This episode is entitled “The Bill C-11 Senate Hearing Special 3” because we are still working our way through the Senate hearings. This episode makes it most of the way through the remaining hearings.

In addition to that, we also cover the insanity surrounding the Elon Musk Twitter acquisition and the fallout along with being able to successfully call out the Canada Media Fund of all organizations.

This episode also features a new track from Psy’Aviah called “OK”.

Also, we cover all the usual music and video game reviews too.

All this and more on this months podcast!

You can check out our official podcast on Anchor. Alternatively, you can take a listen below:

What follows is a transcript of this month’s podcast:


The Bill C-11 Senate Hearing Special 3

Hi, I’m your host, Drew Wilson.  Welcome to episode 49 of the Freezenet official podcast for November, 2022.  Here are your top 3 headlines:

The Top 3

The Bill C-11 Senate hearings continue in Canada

Elon Musk buys Twitter, sparking an exodus of users and advertisers

… and Freezenet successfully calls the bluff by the Canada Media Fund after the organization told Senators they are seeking content creator’s to fund

Top Stories

Before we get into the top three stories, I wanted to point out that I released another vlog posting this month.  This time, I roll up my sleeves and got straight into the text of the bill.  In the video, I discuss the hugely controversial Section 4 which is the section that shows how digital first creators are swept up in the bill.  I go into detail about the individual relevant provisions within the text of the bill itself.  So, if you want a clear explanation of why digital first creators are, in fact, subject to regulation under Bill C-11, you can check the video on my site or on YouTube.

Now, for the top three stories.

This month, we continued where we left off with the second segment of hearing 12.  This hearing featured a number of digital first creators with different focuses on what content they produce.  One notable moment happened at the beginning of the question and answer segment.  This is where Senator Leo Housakos asked Jennifer Valentyne if creators need such an interventionist bill.  Her answer wound up going into the optimistic side of the internet which so often gets lost in the debate.

[Valentyne Clip]

There was, of course, a rather viral moment at the end of the hearing.  This is when Senator Paula Simons asked if Darcy Michael considered his content “Canadian”.  Yeah, you knew I had to include that moment:

[Michael Clip]

An obligatory inclusion, really.  What it did show is how bad the definition of “Canadian content” really is these days.

So, with that, we moved on to the first segment of hearing 13.  In this hearing, there was a lobbyist and a statistician from Abacus Data.  What struck me about the hearing was what David Coletto had to say about Bill C-11.

[Coletto Clip]

There are two takeaways I got out of this and his further testimony.  The first, of course, is the obvious idea that younger people are, in fact, using technology – specifically platforms – to access entertainment more and more.  This trend is obviously not going to slow down any time soon.  With Bill C-11 destined to cause significant harm to the very people providing that entertainment, there is a very real risk of alienating a whole generation and, as a result, confirming again this idea that the government is working to impede the average Canadian consumer.  If such a cohort sees that the government is working to stymie their ability to access the very content they want to consume, that increases the odds that such a generation will view the Canadian government in a negative way.

The second take away is significantly less obvious, but nevertheless, important.  That was the fact that Coletto had little to no data on the implications of Bill C-11.  This theme did repeat throughout the hearing.  At first, this might be frustrating to potential listeners because some might wonder if he had very much in the way of useful information.  However, I took a very different message from that aspect.

Naturally, when you are collecting data, you can only report back to interested parties with what you find for the most part.  Another way to say this is that you can only work with what you got.  He pointed out that only one study was ever conducted on the implications on Bill C-11.  Unfortunately, those results were held by YouTube and not released to the public.  This speaks more to the state of the debate where the government rushed in with only presumptions rather than evidence.  They conjured up a problem with their wild imaginations.  From there, they decided to use the legislative hammer to deal with this supposed problem.  As a result, most objective observers realize that the legislative hammer is only going to serve as a means to break things.  If this was a well researched area, there would be mountains of data to draw from to help guide the legislative process.  In this instance, there is little, if any data, to speak to this.  So, to me, the message is clear, the government didn’t even conduct basic research to understand the technology they are dealing with as well as the impact it has on society from an objective point of view.  They just assumed and pushed legislation accordingly.  It’s a bad way to legislate.

Worth noting is that we were falling a little bit behind on these hearings, but we did take note that we were heading into week 7 as we worked on the second segment.

In the second segment, we heard from the Documentary Organization of Canada as well as David Bussières, an artist and member of a lobbying organization.  During the question process, Bussières commented on YouTube and it was his comments that ended up going viral for all the wrong reasons.  He was pushing very hard for Bill C-11.  One of the criticisms directed at those supporting the bill is that they don’t understand technology.  Let’s just say that he inadvertently, uh, proved the point.  Here’s him answering a question from Senator Julie Miville-Dechene:

[Bussieres Clip]

I know he isn’t an internet person even though he feels like his opinion overrides those who do operate on the internet, but around these internet parts, the term we use to describe that answer is an “epic fail”.  Also, the part about people not liking what they are pushed?  That answer shows that he has a complete lack of understanding with the point that people won’t like the content being pushed.  It isn’t the idea that Canadian’s won’t like Canadian content.  It’s the idea that Canadians are searching for a certain kind of content and getting irrelevant results while searching.  That is the problem being brought up. Unsurprisingly, this point got oversimplified and completely misunderstood here.

Now, something else happened during this hearing that I wanted to showcase.  It is related to the third big story of the month.  It has to do with a response by Valerie Creighton, president of the Canada Media Fund.  So, here is a clip of her speaking about how the organization is seeking to help digital creators.


Now, hearing that, I became highly suspicious that they were really seeking out digital first creators like that.  It didn’t really make any sense that no one that I’m aware of actually received financial aid from this organization to fund their YouTube or TikTok projects.  It was always my understanding that these government funding programs were for the large broadcasters that have millions bankrolling their efforts already.  So, I opted to send the organization a message and ask if someone like me should consider going through their process or not.  It was largely a test to see if this was something that they really did or if it was the par for the course ‘too good to be true’ scenario.  I strongly suspected that it was the latter, but I sent the message to give the organization a chance to prove me wrong.  More on that later on.

We then moved on to hearing 14.  This one featured Robert Fenton of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.  Along with him was Jean-Christophe J. Lamontagne of H264 and Sam Norouzi of ICI Television.  Now, one of the issues with Bill C-11 is the fact that it’s a blatant violation of CUSMA.  Specifically, this revolves around Article 19.4 which states, “No Party shall accord less favourable treatment to a digital product created, produced, published, contracted for, commissioned, or first made available on commercial terms in the territory of another Party, or to a digital product of which the author, performer, producer, developer, or owner is a person of another Party, than it accords to other like digital products.”

So, on so many levels, Bill C-11 is a violation of this because it demands that American based platforms pay into a system.  It also allows a regulator to order a platform to manipulate their algorithms to achieve a specific outcome, and places a number of obligations on those same platforms as well in the process.  All of this hinges on the concept of how the platform must have a material impact to the policy objectives of the Broadcasting Act.  Now, finding this article in the agreement wasn’t all that hard for me.  It took a mere one minute of Google searching as well as an additional 3 or 4 minutes of sifting through the articles to find it.  All of this was for free.  Now, imagine my surprise when I heard the following exchange between Senator Simons, Lamontagne and Norouzi who seemed to think that this whole CUSMA issue was somehow a big mystery without explanation:

[Norouzi Clip]

What?  The CUSMA issue of Bill C-11 isn’t that hard to understand.  CUSMA forbids unfavourable treatment to a digital service in another country through Article 19.4.  Bill C-11 weighs down platforms with all of these new regulations and requirements – platforms that predominantly come from the United States.  The United States don’t have the same sort of regulations of these platforms to surface specific content or to contribute to certain funds or require them to carry certain kinds of content.  Canada clearly doesn’t really have a Canadian equivalent to YouTube, Disney+, or other services.  Therefore, this is a blatant violation of CUSMA.  How is this so hard to understand?  Further, how did 5 minutes of free time from me completely outperform a now probably permanently unnamed high profile law firm?  Note to CPAC, get a refund from that law firm, they clearly failed you in a spectacular fashion!  Seriously, how is this possible?

From there, we then made it to the second segment which featured Vanessa Herrick of the English Language Arts Network and Jay Thomson of the Canadian Communication Systems Alliance.  Things got interesting towards the end of the hearing when the issue of how much added responsibility the CRTC would have.  Here’s Senator Pamela Wallin asking the question and it being answered by Thomas.

[Thomas Clip]

Yeah, sure this is a horribly bad idea, but it’s better than nothing!  Guess we have no choice but to let this terrible idea play out because, uh, reasons and like such as.

We then moved on to hearing 15.  The first segment featured more lobbyists.  Previously, we noted the comments made by former CRTC chairs talking about how Bill C-11 is a really bad approach.  It seems that these comments didn’t go unnoticed by lobbyists who seemingly indirectly responded by saying that their remarks are unfortunate.

[McDougall Clip]

You can really hear how much lobbyists were really grasping at straws to try and defend the legislation.  Trying to compare transparency of the government to the transparency of a private entity, as if there was an equivelence at all, is completely insane.  A change in rules within a private company affects the private company and their customers some of the time.  A change in rules for the government can affect everyone.  It’s bizarre because these are business type people and I have to actually explain this.

The desperate talking point never really gained any significant traction because, well, it’s such a bad defence of the legislation.  However, supporters of the bill were desperately trying anything and everything to find at least some sort of viable defence of the legislation.  That shows just how far they were reaching for something.

Fast forward to the second segment, we got to hear from more lobbyists.  While these hearings are generally much more exciting then you might imagine, this particular hearing was definitely an exception to that.  It was surprisingly light on content.  If you want a nice rousing conversation about a companies staffing level in Quebec, I have some short descriptions about what was said as well as a link to the video.  If you want to check out a conversation about cold war era radio technology and its relationship with the CBC, this hearing may be for you.  Beyond that, though, well, let’s just move on.

With that, we then moved on to week 8 of these hearings.

Now, hearing 16 is where things got interesting.  The interesting thing that I’m talking about in this hearing wasn’t what was actually said during the hearing, but rather, what seemingly happened behind the scenes.  Originally, there was a video that was produced.  I don’t know how long the video was up for playback or if it only made it as far as being live streamed.  What I do know is that the video was taken down from the Senate website.  For this series of hearings, this is highly unusual because it is the only hearing, to my knowledge, that is not officially available in video format.

For the record, I do not know what the actual cause was for this video being taken down.  What I do know is that it was during this hearing that there was a pretty big interpreter mistake translating from French to English.  One of the witnesses was talking about Latin pop and Afrobeat music in Canada.

What he actually said in French was that he believes that the two genre’s do contribute to Canadian culture.  Unfortunately, the interpreter translated that to say that he didn’t believe that the two genre’s contribute to Canadian culture.  Two totally different statements that actually caused a minor storm on social media after.  That was, of course, until it was discovered that it was an interpreter error that caused the misunderstanding.  Oh no, indeed.

Now, whether it was this interpreter error that ended up being the cause for the video being taken down or something else entirely, I don’t honestly know.  I can see it being a good reason to have the video taken down, because you don’t want the government completely misrepresenting what a witness said, but I don’t know if that was the actual reason.

At any rate, this kind of put us in a tight spot because we don’t have any footage to work with.  Luckily, an interim transcript was posted, so we ended up working off of that instead.

Segment one featured lobbyists and the Canadian Taxpayer Federation.  The latter organization is strange because every time I’ve personally ever seen them represented in the news, they were always supporting things that the Conservative party was supporting.  I don’t know what is going on with that, but it’s something I’ve always noticed with them.  Since the Conservative party was opposed to this legislation, probably not a surprise that they were opposed to this legislation as well.

They did call for the release of the regulations before Bill C-11 is passed.  They also pointed out that the current CRTC Chair admitted that user generated content is captured in the bill.  Also, they voiced concern about what the regulations mean for future government as they currently stand.  Sure, the current CRTC Chair and the current government said that they won’t regulate user generated content, but what about future governments and future CRTC Chairs and Commissioners?  Since this is written in the bill, there is nothing stopping them from exercising that regulatory power.

Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne asked one of the lobbyists about whether the divide in the debate is a generational divide.  Gabriel Pelletier responded by saying that there is a generational divide thanks to the misunderstandings of all the wonderful things the Broadcasting Act has given Canadians.  This includes many fantastic examples like… uh… that… old cartoon lumberjack video that ended up making lumberjacks be a stereotypically Canadian thing… I think?  I dunno.

Yeah, that was a pretty weak argument.  It suggests that younger people are just too stupid to know what’s good for them.  Not exactly a winning argument.

Meanwhile, the second segment featured a comment from one of the lobbyists that was present.  His comments sparked outrage online for reasons that were more than reasonable.  I’ll read out the portion from the transcript I got because I don’t think I can summarize the comments without sounding like I exaggerated something:

“The Chair: Mr. Alonso, I listened carefully several times to what you said, that international companies are the ones who decide what we’re going to listen to, what we’re going to see, and that you’re much more comfortable when Canadian institutions make those decisions, such as the CRTC, a group of public servants, or the like.

When I look at the modern platform that’s out there, these people don’t decide anything at all, it’s just a platform. Wouldn’t you agree that it is open to all artists around the world, including Canadians? It gives them a chance to promote their products to a larger market than just Canada.

And in addition, the platforms’ model is based on potential. If their products, what they sell or what they put on their platform is listened to by a lot of people, it generates a bigger audience. Is it better to let the market and the audience decide if a product is good or not or if a product is prioritized, if there are high ratings?

Isn’t it better to have this platform, rather than a few bureaucrats, decide what is good for Canadians and the Canadian market?

Mr. Alonso: I will answer you using my daughter as an example. If a company that makes pizza wants to sell pizza to my daughter every day and she is used to eating pizza every day, she will ask me if she can eat pizza at every meal. As a parent, I will say no. As a parent, I know it’s bad for her health, I care for her and protect her; even if she wants to eat it and the company wants to sell it to her, I’m going to have to refuse. Our interests are not aligned with these companies that want to sell pizza and I want my daughter to experience something other than pizza.”

Wow, just wow.  I remember Senator Simons saying that she takes issue with the idea that Canadian content is something that has to be spoon fed to Canadians because it is good for them.  This guy decides that there’s nothing wrong with this idea and decides to go full Orwellian with his answer.  It was stunning.

With that, we moved on to the 17th hearing.  This hearing, for me, was definitely one of the more interesting hearings.  The Senate was hearing from specifically first nations witnesses.  Now, I made a big deal about how traditional outlets reject so much talent and so many ideas in the past.  Whether it was Darcy Michael or, really, a whole host of people who tried to make their way through mainstream broadcasting sources or production companies.  A number have grown bitter and basically said, ‘to heck with you, I’m forging my own path by going onto social media.’  There are those that have found huge success because of that decision – so much success that even if those same production companies came back and admitted that they made a mistake and want them on board, they would say “no” to these large companies.  It is a frustrating story that just keeps getting repeated over and over again.

Now ask yourself this: what do you think is the relationship between first nations people and social media?  I think for a number of non-indigenous people, the answer is a very embarrassed “I don’t know.”  Believe me, I was pretty much the same way because my focus has long been on technology and digital rights issues.  I do know that when the two topics intersected, such as the urgent need to connect rural and indigenous communities, I was more than happy to report on it.  The article I wrote was about the study on the digital divide from RBC from last year.  That is a great example of that.  I ended up agreeing 100% that getting fast, reliable, high speed internet into these communities could very easily help out Canada’s overall GPD because, in part, entrepreneurship is a big part in a number of these communities.  We take for granted some of these tools in more urban settings.  It makes sense that when these communities have access to these tools, they can show what their knowledge and skill can bring to the global audience.  It’s a very worthwhile goal to have and it should seriously get looked into at the Federal level and not get shuffled to the side like some unimportant pet project.

In spite of knowing very well about that debate, though, I don’t know very much about how various indigenous communities interact or how they even react to social media in general – presuming they do have that reliable access in the first place.  So, you know what the answer that I heard at these hearings was?  A number of these communities are absolutely thrilled that social media is a thing.  They are able to tell their stories and platforms are much more open to saying “yes” when traditional broadcasters typically say “no”.  Here’s Senator Julie Miville-Dechene asking her question and Jesse Wente of the Indigenous Screen Office answering.

[Wente Clip]

I don’t know about you, but I actually found that fascinating on a number of different levels.  It does have that frighteningly familiar theme of broadcasters rejecting talent, to be sure.  To that, I almost half wonder if when non-indigenous creators complain that traditional broadcasters are rejecting them, that an indigenous person is seeing that and quietly saying, ‘yeah, join the club.’  On another level, I found myself hearing answers like that and thinking about how obvious it all just seemed to be in retrospect.  When someone has a story to tell, and they are constantly told “no”, then the internet comes along and happily allows that person to finally tell their story, of course that person is going to be happy about that opportunity.  To me, hearing answers like that makes me realize that, after it was explained, the answers just seems plainly obvious now.  Like, why was this so hard for me to figure out before? On top of that, there was that whole aspect of having that completely different, yet highly informative perspective on the issues.

At any rate, I found that segment to be very enlightening.

Going to the second segment, we actually heard from an indigenous online creator.  Her name is Vanessa Brousseau. On TikTok, she goes by the name Resilient Inuk.  She was at the second segment along with a lobbyist, but really, I found Brousseau’s testimony to be a big highlight in the hearing.  In fact, I would go so far as to say her entire appearance was a series of highlights that I easily could play back here.  I could very easily highlight how she was talking about how she became a huge success on TikTok talking about the very worthwhile cause of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and girls.  I could very easily talk about how she talked about how downranking harms the chances of creators like her and is a huge step back for reconciliation.  I could very easily talk about her bringing up the important cause of increasing broadband access to indigenous communities.  I could even showcase her responding to CRTC requirements asking her to prove that she is Canadian and her calling the idea insulting because she’s indigenous.

OK, seriously, Brousseau, for time reasons, I can’t play back the entire second segment of this hearing.  Like, what part do I choose?  Alright, I’ll just choose from a whole list of right answers and pick the one that did make waves on social media.  This clip features her perspective on the treatment she got from the Heritage Ministry.

[Brousseau Clip]

This has definitely been a theme I keep hearing off and on about with the Heritage Ministry.  People approaching them to voice their concerns only to be treated horribly like that.  It’s incredibly frustrating to hear these stories over and over again.  The good news is that she was mostly treated well throughout the hearing that I was able to see.  There was one moment where she was gaslit when one Senator suggested that deciding what is Canadian is up to the platform when, in fact, it’s actually the CRTC that makes such a call.  I found that frustrating especially in light of her describing her mistreatment.  Beyond that, though, I thought she was treated well during that Senate hearing.

After that, we then found out that the 9th week will, in fact, be the final week of these hearings.

Hearing 18 would be one giant two hour block as opposed to being split between two separate hours.  So, we ended up having to find our own midway point in the hearing so we can divide it up into two convenient chunks.

This hearing was probably one of the most hotly anticipated hearings because it featured the CRTC including the Chair, Ian Scott.  Throughout the hearing, Scott went back and forth on a number of key issues.  For example, he tried to reframe his original admission that algorithm manipulation is in the legislation.  Instead, he claimed, it was an objective to ensure discoverability of Canadian content.  Shortly after, he would admit that algorithm manipulation is possible in the legislation, putting the whole debate back to square one.

Another argument that Scott tried to make was that the CRTC does not regulate content.  That argument ended up going down in flames when Senator Housakos brought up the CBC N-Word decision where the CRTC had, in fact, regulated content.  Scott tried to defend this, but, well…

[Scott Clip]

Just to emphasize, the question was not whether the CRTC did anything wrong, but rather, whether the CRTC has the authority to regulate content in the first place.  By the time this question was asked, though, Scott was pretty much screwed on this point.  As far as I could tell, there was no viable answer Scott could give.  Scott certainly gave it his best shot. You could clearly hear him grasping at straws when he pointed out that the complainant was from Quebec.  The decision that was rendered ensured that there was no good answer to give.  Scott couldn’t come back from that and, quite frankly, I don’t think anyone could have come back from that one.

The second half, as well as the final hearing, was published after the cutoff point, so the final pieces of the hearing puzzle will be part of next month’s episode.

This month, we once again, covered the antics of Elon Musk and his acquisition of Twitter.  Over the last few months, the off again, on again, off again deal was not only on, but approved.  The deal was worth roughly $44 billion.

After walking in with what appeared to be a bathroom sink, it seems that he was going to get straight to work on day one… of burning down the whole platform.  First, he fired many of the executives who basically helped make the platform the huge success that it was, even managing to pass off the cesspool of vitriol and hyper-partisanship as something half way respectable still.

Musk also proclaimed that free speech was going to be his top priority.  He carried that out like you would expect any right wing nutjob in his position would: banning anyone who dares disagree with his decisions from the platform.  Yeah, so much for saying that he hopes even his worst critics stay on.

From there, Musk then started selling the blue verification check marks for $8, explaining that those accounts would be promoted over non-verified accounts – which is a nice roundabout way of saying that you ether pay up or get shadow banned.  Naturally, the decision caused impersonations of famous individuals and organizations to skyrocket.  Examples include tweets pretending to be a company, causing share values to tank.  It really didn’t take long for the situation to spiral out of control.

So, with all of this chaos happening, Musk did probably what you shouldn’t do in this situation: which is to lay off half of the staff – the same staff who were, you know, basically doing everything to hold the whole platform together in a reasonable manner despite its gargantuan size.  It was also a move that caused several million users to join alternative platforms like Mastodon and, reportedly, Countersocial.  After all, once that decision was made, racist trolls began testing the limits of what remained of the moderation team by causing hate speech to spike on Twitter.

With all the chaos that unfolded, several big advertisers were being advised to pause sending money for advertising to the site.  Many companies were growing increasingly worried that Twitter was becoming increasingly not brand safe because their advertisements could be placed next to comments by the worst society has to offer.  Even Musk admitted that this has caused a massive drop in revenue.

As time went on, however, suspicions began to rise that maybe the whole point for Musk to buy Twitter was to do everything in his power to destroy it.  After all, Musk’s response to the advertisers having second thoughts in trusting their brand with the company was to supposedly go nuclear on anyone daring to pull advertising from the platform.  Because, you know, that’s exactly what you should do when advertisers begin to head for the exits: scream threats like a maniac at them in the process.  Never thought I’d indirectly compare Elon Musk to Sideshow Bob, but here we are.

Mastodon, of course, was a huge beneficiary of this massive migration where journalists, high profile stars, and even former Twitter employees began to set up shop.  The number of signups quickly numbered in the millions and, even for a decentralized system, you could tell the sudden load of extra users were having a somewhat negative impact on server response times on some instances.  It’s arguably the best problem you could ever hope for, really.

Of course, morale began to plummet within Twitter, so Musk decided to threaten to declare bankruptcy on Twitter.  What’s more, Musk, in his series of crazed rantings, openly contemplated putting all of Twitter behind a paywall, thus defeating the whole point of Twitter in the first place.

The practical effect of all of the layoffs was, of course, Twitter responsiveness suffering.  Elements started failing to load and Twitter accounts took a long time to load to name two issues.  There was, of course a whole range of other error messages that kept cropping up.  Clearly the engineering team that was supposed to keep an eye on that should – oh wait, Musk already fired them.  Uh, never mind.

At any rate, a common theme for observers was that Musk was speedrunning everything you shouldn’t do when you take over a business.  One honestly hopes that business textbook authors take note of this incredible failure.  This by explaining to future business executives of how not to run a business.  I mean, at least something of value could be gained outside of watching Musk fail at every decision.

Earlier in the top story, I mentioned how the Canada Media Fund was apparently seeking out YouTube and TikTok creators so they can find out how to better fund them.  I even showcased a clip of that.  Well, I did send a note to them simply stating that I was an average, OK, sort of average, startup on YouTube and wondered if I should consider applying to their experimental fund.  Now, when I sent the message, I pretty much knew that there was only two possible outcomes:

1. I would never get a response or,

2. I would get a response telling me to expletive off

As it turns out, I got the first possibility as, after a week, I never heard back.  In fact, even as of this podcast, I still never got an answer.  So, if you happened to catch that hearing and think that maybe you could benefit, well, I hope I saved you from some disappointment by showcasing exactly the kind of response you can expect to get when you come asking.  The money is not for you.  It’s for the already wealthy broadcasters so they can keep financing the same garbage you have no motivation to watch or hear.  It really is that simple.

Amidst all of that excitement, you might be surprised that I was able to post an article or two on other things as well.  So, here are some of the other stories making news this month.

Other Stories Making News

Things grew progressively worse this month with Bill C-11.  Even as the hearings continued, Senators have voted to pass the legislation 49-19 at second reading.  Yeah, it wasn’t even close.  As I predicted, I strongly suspected that it would get passed despite the near universal backlash against it.  While I did accurately predict that, it was still one of the toughest things I had to sit through and watch.

Just to pour salt in the wound, Heritage Minister, Pablo Rodriguez, was pictured clinking wine glasses with his lobbyists pals.  One thing was clear, there was only one side he was ever planning on rubbing shoulders with.  It was with all those lobbyists demanding that free speech was only for them and not for anyone else.  In some respects, it came off as a victory lap for the Minister because the shredding of the Canadian Charter is obviously reason to celebrate.  After all, the reduction of basic human rights was clearly not his problem, so why should he be concerned?

Of course, all of these developments were not sitting well with independent digital first creators.  The worries were only escalating as many of them were openly discussing leaving Canada or using VPNs to circumvent the legislative hammer that was looming over everyone’s heads.  It simply seemed that the situation was only growing more dire by the day.

Naturally, the CRTC decided to not be helpful in this situation.  As worry and outright panic escalated, the CRTC decided to weigh in.  After swearing up and down that they won’t be regulating user generated content, the CRTC posted the following message:

“We strongly encourage interested parties – like TikTok users – to monitor our announcements and participate in public processes. Any decisions on who would have to register and how would only follow those processes, and people should make no assumptions about how the Commission may rule beforehand.”

Yeah, people are already freaking out about being forced to fill out 30 page submission forms just to register a single video.  Then they get treated to that message.  Note to the CRTC, you’re not helping.

Now, the second bill that the government is contemplating in their war on the open internet is, of course, Bill C-18.  This is Canada’s link tax legislation.  The legislation, much like its user generated content regulation counterpart, Bill C-11, Bill C-18 basically picks winners and losers in the news industry.  After going after digital first creators, the Canadian government decided to go after people like me next.  Great.

Despite pointing out that only 4 in every 1,000 posts link to a news source in Facebooks main feed, many supporters are somehow under the impression that Facebook is in some way wholly dependent on the news content from mainstream outlets.  What’s more, despite Facebook threatening to block news links in Canada, the legislation’s supporters somehow believe that this was all just a big fancy bluff and that they are absolutely flush with cash to give to the news industry.

This month, that talking point ran into a significant problem after word came out that Facebook was laying off 13% of its workforce as part of a cost cutting measure.  To be fair, most of those losses seemed to stem from the big bet that the Metaverse was going to be the next big thing in technology – something that didn’t exactly work out.  At the same time, the company, and its advertisers, are also bracing for a recession next year.  So, the company isn’t exactly swimming in cash at the moment.  With that not seemingly ready to change any time soon, it put further doubt that Facebook would actually pay into a link tax scheme in the comparatively small country of Canada.

On the topic of link taxes, though, one major criticism of the Australian model, a model that Canada is foolishly following to an extent, is that Rupert Murdoch received a lions share of the revenue paid out.  So, it is probably not a surprise that history is repeating itself here.  According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, it is estimated that the total revenue being extracted from the largely US based companies  is roughly $329 million per year.  Of that, it is estimated that $247,677,000 would go to the likes of the CBC, Bell, Shaw and Rogers – so the largest companies.  The remaining $81,550,000 would go to newspapers and everyone else.  So, basically fighting for scraps at that point.  University law professor, Michael Geist, commented that this means that three quarters of all the expected revenue is expected to be redirected to the countries wealthiest players – the same players that are already heavily subsidized.  You really can’t make this up.  The criticisms of the legislation are already playing out to the letter.

Video Game Reviews

So, quite a lot happening this month.  Now, let’s turn towards entertainment.

Before we get into the video game reviews, I wanted to point out the first impression video’s we’ve posted this month.

First, we checked out the Steam game, The Elder Scrolls IV – Oblivion – Game of the Year Edition.  That video can be seen on our site and on Youtube.

From there, we checked out the Playstation 3 game, Max Payne 3.  That video can be seen on our site and on YouTube.

After that, we checked out the XBox 360 game, Tetris Evolution.  That video can be seen on our site and on YouTube.

Finally, we checked out the Steam game, Mirror’s Edge.  That video can be seen on our site and on YouTube.

As always, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel and turn on notifications to get realtime updates on what video’s we’ve posted.

Now, here are video games we’ve reviewed this month:

First up is the Sega Genesis game, Klax.  Variations in play add to the value, but repetition means that this game ends up being a very average experience.  This one gets a passable 50%.

After that, we played the Sega Genesis game, Earthworm Jim.  An interesting and surreal visual experience, though constantly changing dynamics of gameplay means that players are also constantly learning how to play from scratch.  Still, this one gets a very solid 78%.

Next, we played the Sega Genesis game, The Lost Vikings.  Lack of checkpoints might be a deterrent, but light humour and puzzle elements are certainly worth checking out.  This one also gets a very solid 76%.

Finally, we played the Playstation 2 game, Timesplitters: Future Perfect.  Nice writing and sense of humour combined with many extra modes beyond the main game really makes this a great experience.  Great graphics also helps this one along.  So, a game that gets a great 82%.

Music Reviews

Before we get into the music reviews, I wanted to take a moment to appreciate the gift I got in my inbox this month.  This month, I got the EP Maxi of Psy’Aviah – OK.  This track features Huong Su.  Here’s a sample of the rediscovered mix, so, enjoy!

[OK Sample]

Always a pleasure to hear new music hit the ol’ inbox.  So, if you have a recent release or a release that is coming soon, feel free to send something along.  If we like it, we’ll be happy to add it to the podcast.  As you can tell by the release date of this month’s podcast, we are falling a little bit behind on things, but we are in the process of catching up.  So, keep sending your stuff in.

As for music we’ve listened to this month, we’ve got…

Def Leppard – Slang

Manic Street Preachers – Everything Must Go

Super Furry Animals – Something for the Weekend

The Cure – Strange Attraction

ATB – Feel Alive (Airplay Mix)

Bryan Adams – Star

Sloan – The Lines You Amend

Beck – Where It’s At

… and finally, The Offspring – Gone Away

Picks of the Month

So, that leads us to our pick of the month.  This month, our pick of the month belongs to Timesplitters: Future Perfect for the Playstation 2.  Also, be sure to check out ATB – Feel Alive (Airplay Mix).


Before we close out this month’s episode, I got a couple of announcements to make.

First, Freezenet’s YouTube channel has reached another milestone.  Earlier this year, we reached 500 views.  This month, though, we have managed to reach 1,000 views.  This milestone was huge for me because there is clear evidence of growth here.  What’s more, this comes just two months before we make a major announcement regarding the Youtube channel.  Can’t go into the details, but what I can say is that things could get even more interesting for the channel.  So, something to stay tuned for.  In the mean time, thank you to all those who checked out the videos, liked them, and subscribed to the channel.  It means a lot to me especially in light of all that I’ve gone through to get to this point.  So, thank you so much for helping me get to this point.

Next, we have been watching the chaos and destruction going on with Twitter.  This thanks to the complete insanity that has been on display by Elon Musk.  So, in response, we have created a Mastodon account.  This is supposed to allow us to survive in the micro blogging sphere in the event that Twitter finally goes under.  So, check us out on Mastodon and feel free to give us a follow and say hello!

Finally, this month, we released the October Wiki content patch.  There wasn’t a whole lot of time to add stuff, but we did update the current ongoing shows to have the latest episodes.  Those shows being, of course, Group Therapy, Future Sound of Egypt, Fables, Resonation, the V Recordings Podcast, the Random Movement Podcast, and Synth City.  A smaller patch this month, but a patch was released, nevertheless.

If you’d like to get your hands on some behind the scenes stuff, exclusive content, and early access material, you can check out our Patreon page at  Through this, you can help make Freezenet just that much better all the while getting some pretty cool stuff in the process.  That’s!

Alternatively, you can simply buy us a coffee via!

…and that’s this months episode for November, 2022.  I’m Drew Wilson for Freezenet.  Be sure to check out our website at for all the latest in news and reviews.  You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Mastodon.  Thank you for listening and see you next month.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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