Senate Hearings on Bill C-11 – A Look at Hearing 16 (First Segment)

We are continuing out special coverage of the Bill C-11 hearings. This covers the first segment of hearing 16.

We are continuing our special coverage of the Bill C-11 senate hearings. This covers the first segment of hearing 16. This analysis has been delayed considerably due to the video being seemingly pulled from the Senate website. However, we were finally able to obtain another source, so we can finally get to the business of covering this “missing” hearing.

For those who are curious, here is the coverage of the previous hearings:

Hearing 1 – Privacy Commissioner and Global Affairs/Justice Department
Hearing 2 – Digital rights organizations and lobby groups (1)
Hearing 3 – Lobby groups (2) and platforms (1)
Hearing 4 – Lobby groups (3) and lobby groups (4)
Hearing 5 – Lobby groups (5) and lobby groups (6)
Hearing 6 – Music Canada / platforms (2) and lobby groups (7)
Hearing 7 – Scholars/researchers (1) and digital first creators (1)
Hearing 8 – Digital first creators (2) / lobby groups (8)
Hearing 9 – Digital first creator (3) / lobby group (9) / platform (3) / Lobby group (10)
Hearing 10 – Record Label / Lobby Groups (11) and Scholars/Researchers (2)
Hearing 11 – Scholars/Researchers (3) and Lobby Groups (12)
Hearing 12 – Scholars/Researchers (3) / Digital First Creators (4)
Hearing 13 – Statistician / Lobbyist (13) / Canada Media Fund / Lobby Groups (14)
Hearing 14 – CNIB / H264 / Lobbyist (15) and Lobby Groups (16)
Hearing 15 – Lobby Groups (17) / Lobby Groups (18)

So, with respect to this hearing, you might be wondering about the status of the video. Well, if you go to the link to the video, it is still not available (and might never be made available). So, why is this video not available despite everything else being up? We can only speculate, but our best guess is that it has something to do with an unfortunate interpretation error. A witness, speaking in French, commented that a particular genre of music contributes to Canadian culture. The problem? The English interpreter translated that to the genre does not contribute to Canadian culture. Yeah, that was pretty bad, but it’s live, so mistakes are probably bound to happen sooner or later. Was it the actual reason? We may never know, but that would be a pretty good guess because that was a mistake on the Senate staff side of things.

This puts us in a bind. No video, no analysis, right? Well, we did take a look through the site today and finally found an official transcript. So, we do now have something to work with. We’ll quote things from the transcript that we think is interesting and offer analysis from there wherever possible. It’s going to be a little different this time around, but it’s better than nothing.

Opening Statements

Gabriel Pelletier of the Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec opened with his statement. He called for all businesses, foreign or domestic, to be on equal footing under the Act. He also calls for changes to In paragraph 3(1)(f).

Mylène Cyr of the Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec also spoke. She called for the withdrawal of Section 31.1. She called for public hearings to be made at the CRTC. She then closed by saying that they support Bill C-11.

Luc Thériault of the Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma then opened with his statement. He says that his organization supports Bill C-11. He calls for the withdrawal of subsections 7(7), 10(1.2) and 34.995. He also calls for the withdrawal of section 31.1.

Jay Goldberg of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation then opened with his statement. His statement is pretty much entirely relevant to our interests, so here it is:

I first want to thank this committee for giving Bill C-11 a thorough examination. I am very pleased to see that this bill is being properly scrutinized in the Senate in a way it was not in the House of Commons.

I’m grateful to be here today to speak on behalf of tens of thousands of Canadians. In fact, well over 100,000 Canadians have signed our petition calling on the government not to move forward with Bill C-11.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is concerned by this bill for three key reasons. First, the government’s “empower the CRTC now, give guidance later approach” raises major concerns about accountability. There are many Canadians — and I’ve spoken to many — who are asking why the government is trying to give such unprecedented power to an entity like the CRTC without first sharing with Canadians exactly how much power and exactly on what basis it plans to do so.

The government has said repeatedly that instructions and guidance will come later, but in our view, that’s a backward approach when it comes to accountability. The government should release the regulations it plans to implement and instructions with regard to the CRTC’s full mandate before and not after Bill C-11 is considered and approved.

Second, contrary to the government’s assertions, the CRTC has determined that user-generated content will be regulated by the CRTC under Bill C-11 through broadcast regulation. Professor Michael Geist has said that “. . . no other country in the world seeks to regulate content in this way . . .” and to do so is a major threat to individual freedom. Again, there are many Canadians asking why the government wants to give the CRTC the power to regulate user-generated content while at the same time telling Canadians that it is not doing that very thing.

Let me point out as well, before I get to the third point, that Mr. Scott, the chair of the CRTC, told the House of Commons committee that “. . . section 4.2 allows the CRTC to prescribe by regulation user-uploaded content subject to very explicit criteria.”

I believe the very fact that user-generated content would be on the table demonstrates that this bill is not just, as the minister and others have suggested, all about Canadian culture.

Third, we think this would set a dangerous precedent for the future. Today, this new government regulatory machine is being built to filter content based on what the government considers to be Canadian, but this could be repurposed in the future for other means. Not being able to hold the CRTC accountable in determining what is or is not Canadian content may concern some, but not being able to hold it accountable on future issues, such as social cohesion, as Minister Mendicino alluded to in the online harms conversation, is even more concerning. If the government gives bureaucrats the power to filter what we can see online for one reason, mission creep on other issues is very easy to foresee.

There are also deep concerns about the process of this legislation, the lack of debate in the House of Commons and the government failing to genuinely listen to Canadians. We saw well over 100 amendments voted on within a single day without politicians having a chance to even fully understand them. Our right to free speech and free expression has to be sacred, and we should not be in a situation in which a bill like this is pushed through the House of Commons as it was, with such limited debate and opportunity for thorough consideration of amendments. I’m grateful we’re seeing that here.

Finally, let me speak about the intention of the bill itself. The government claims that Bill C-11 is necessary to protect and promote the interests of Canadian content creators, but there are dozens of groups that represent content creators, including over 400 through Digital First Canada, which have said that this bill would be detrimental to their interests. YouTube, when they were before this very committee, warned that audiences outside of Canada will see Canadian content less, which is the complete opposite of what the government says its intent is. If 90% of Canadian content creators’ audiences are outside of Canada on platforms like YouTube, as they’ve told us, this makes the foreign market less accessible and will be detrimental to some careers.

The bottom line is the government doesn’t really have a legitimate leg to stand on here. The bill promotes censorship and government control without actually delivering on the very thing that the bill’s creators are supposedly trying to address here. Given that reality, I would implore senators not to move forward with this bill. Bill C-11 is dangerous, it threatens our ability to hold the government to account over the long term and it could allow for a big expansion of bureaucratic power to regulation going forward.

(All of this hits on a number of major issues with Bill C-11. He went straight to the heart of the problem which is that Bill C-11 sees online content as broadcasting and ends up regulating everything under this bill. It confuses TV broadcast undertakings and smaller creators online. So, a lot of reading, but highly relevant.)

Questioning the Witnesses

Goldberg was asked the first question, continuing where the above left off:

The Chair: Thank you, sir.

My question is for Mr. Goldberg, and you have expressed concerns echoing those of several other witnesses that have come before this committee in regard to user-generated content and specifically section 4.1(2), and it has been an ongoing debate. The government continues to insist that this bill does not touch user-generated content, and we’ve had people arguing that there will not be attempts to manipulate algorithms, but yet, as you stated in your testimony, we’ve had the chair of the CRTC himself who had a very different interpretation of the issue. We’ve also seen on the House side, when it was time to amend the bill, an unwillingness on the part of the government to deal with section 4.1(2), or really put an end to this debate by putting in a clause that clearly excludes user-generated content, and then we move on to other subject matter.

Why do you think that the government simply does not want to be clearer on this issue? Do they think that nobody will notice? That’s my first question. Second, what do you think is the relationship between Bill C-11 and Bill C-18 that’s right now before the House and the online harm bill, which is certainly coming down the pipe. I have some concerns, and I’d like to know what your perspective is.

Mr. Goldberg: Thank you for those questions.

Fundamentally, we have to listen to the very person who will be empowered by this bill if it gets through. The government is repeatedly saying that user-generated content won’t be regulated, but if Mr. Scott is the one leading the organization that will be regulating that very content, we have to take his word very seriously. Ultimately, the government repeatedly refusing to acknowledge this, despite the fact that Mr. Scott says it will be regulated, indicates that the government wants to regulate user-generated content. It could very simply and very easily, as you said, make an amendment and take that section out, should it choose to do so at any time. The government has been insistent on leaving that in. It has been a concern about government control.

As you have noted, Bill C-11 is part of a broad swath of bills that the government is introducing, Bill C-18 with the online news act, and we’ll see the online harm bill. I think there’s a long track record here of the government introducing legislation that is not properly thought out, that doesn’t properly tend to the concerns that Canadians have about making sure we have autonomy online and about making sure that the government doesn’t interfere with our ability to access things online and doesn’t filter what we can and cannot see. We think this is all very concerning. Bill C-18 is also very concerning.

I would say this is the first bill of a pattern of bills that we’re going to see, and it’s just a clear demonstration of a big rush on the part of the government, a failure to consider properly how individuals and how Canadians want to freely access and see what we can see online without the government influencing that, and I think these concerns have to be taken very seriously.

(Indeed, when Scott confirmed that the bill regulates user generated content, the debate ultimately ended over whether or not Bill C-11 regulates user generated content. When the very person in charge of the regulator that would be tasked with administering the powers granted in the bill confirms that they would be able to regulate user generated content, there really is nothing more to debate on this matter. Denying that Bill C-11 regulates user generated content is just that, denial.)

A little while later, we see this:

Senator Miville-Dechêne: My question is for both the Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec and the Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma. I won’t discuss your requests for amendments or your demands, because we’ve heard them several times. We’re well aware of them, as the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and a number of organizations have told us about them over and over again. There is obviously a great deal of consensus among francophone players on this issue.

I’d like to discuss something a little more touchy with you. You are united in your demands. However, there are two divides when it comes to Bill C-11: there’s a generational divide — some of you are younger than I am, while others are around my age. We’re seeing that this idea of clearly choosing not to have recommended content is very popular with young people. It’s a generational thing, but I’m even noticing it in Quebec, there seems to be a generational divide on this issue.

There’s also a divide in Canada, that is, there’s a great deal more support for Bill C-11 in Quebec and among francophones than in the rest of Canada. It’s not scientifically proven, but that’s what we’re seeing. I’d like to hear what you have to say about these two phenomena, over and above your demands, which are clear. I want to know how you see this from your perspective.

Mr. Pelletier: In my opinion, the generational divide speaks to a misunderstanding to some extent of the Broadcasting Act. If there’s a generational divide, it’s because people don’t understand the benefits this law has given us so far. The fact that we have a thriving industry today with 255,000 workers and artists in broadcasting and we’re able to have an industry that creates Canadian programming with so much talent and creativity, that’s because the Broadcasting Act has brought adequate recurring funding and has helped our creative industry flourish. What we’re doing today is prolonging that effect and including new players in the legislation.

We’re not making any big changes in terms of the intent of the law. If young people don’t get it, it’s because they haven’t experienced it. I don’t feel it will hurt young people’s creativity on YouTube and other platforms. On the contrary, again, it’s about fostering Canadian content.

(The only misunderstanding seems to come from Pelletier. This is yet another attempt to propose the false assumption that the internet works just like broadcast TV in every way. This is wrong for so many obvious reasons including the fact that the internet is a two way medium and is not linear. What’s more, traditional sources were built up in a past era of scarcity where there was only so much space to go around. The internet, however, is built up in an era of abundance where everything is on demand and can be accessed without really affecting the availability of other content. To simply suggest that simply moving broadcast regulation over to internet will not hurt anyone is completely false.)

(What’s more, Bill C-11 does not benefit Canadian creators equally by any means. It simply favours the legacy players and pushes out smaller creators like us. What lobbyists are seeking is to turn back the hands of time and go back to the bad old days where everyone was basically a captive audience and there was little choice for video content to watch. We live in a very different environment today and this push to try and push all benefits to the legacy players under the false pretense that it’s for the benefit of Canadian culture is infuriating for Canadians.)

The questioning continued with this exchange:

Senator Miville-Dechêne: Does anyone else have anything to add?

Ms. Halpern: We agree with Mr. Pelletier’s and his association’s remarks. I’d just like to ask you to clarify your question. Are you talking about user-generated content or recommended content on platforms?

Senator Miville-Dechêne: I’m talking about both. I really didn’t specify, but yes, the ones who came out against the bill the most were YouTube creators, and to them, the idea of being recommended could hurt them on the international stage. That’s why I brought up the divide. Clearly, we heard from a lot more anglophone YouTubers. I wanted to know if you had any thoughts about that.

Mr. Pelletier: I heard some of that testimony. Those individuals are working together with YouTube. They share the profits. Platforms like YouTube really don’t want any rules imposed on them. Their partners, those who consider themselves business partners but are sharing revenue directly with them, will side with YouTube and other platforms.

I believe those creators, for YouTube, are going to be favoured in a system that fosters Canadian content. The fears — because they’re only fears — of having rules imposed and thinking that it will infringe upon freedom of expression are unfounded, in the same way that YouTube, with its algorithms, is going to recommend a certain type of production or creator and is going to continue to recommend them in the same way.

They want users, consumers, to be there on the other side of the screen and stay there. So quite simply, they’re going to recommend offering a more diverse selection of Canadian YouTubers or the same types of productions, the kinds of shows that are already being watched.

(So, here we see Pelletier relying on more false assumptions. First, Pelletier is partially perpetuating the lie that digital first creators are merely plants or props that are there for the benefit of large platforms. The truth is that they are there trying to defend their livelihoods because they rightfully see a government that is poised to basically take all of their success away. This for the reason that the “wrong” people won out on platforms and that success is being handed over to the legacy media.)

(For a large portion of creators, they see a platform like YouTube and TikTok as a tool to help aid in their success. For us, it’s no different. We started a YouTube channel with the thinking that this would be another asset to help grow Freezenet. Adding in more dynamic content like video or audio content would be very difficult for Freezenet otherwise. We could publish material on file-sharing networks like BitTorrent, however, this increases the barrier to entry to experience our content. What’s more, we would be much more reliant on donation money whereas a platform like YouTube offers the potential for an added revenue stream. At any rate, this idea that we are somehow employees of these platforms has always been a really bad mischaracterization of the relationship between platforms and creators.)

(The second false assumption here is that Canadian creators are going to benefit. As mentioned before, the legislation favours the large legacy players. Smaller digital first creators are going to get downranked because their content in Canada does not qualify under cancon rules. What’s more, many will have the incentive not to be captured in cancon rules simply because they could very easily get downranked on the international stage. Basic math wins out because you’d rather be popular on the international stage rather than on the Canadian national stage. Still, it will hurt Canadian’s chances of being seen in Canada which is always going to be harmful to Canadian creators.)

(Third, the claims that threats to freedom of expression are unfounded is, in and of itself, unfounded. By this bills very nature, you are ghettoizing the speech of Canadian’s. This is absolutely a freedom of expression issue. When the government is preventing speech by a Canadian from being heard on a broad scale, that is inherently going to be a violation of freedom of expression. The only way to avoid these issues is if every Canadian protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms will have their content promoted by default. However, cancon rules are going to apply. So, thanks to at least one Canadian’s speech being suppressed, this bill is, by default, unconstitutional.)

(If you don’t believe me, just ask Emily Laidlaw, Dwayne Winseck, or Vivek Krishnamurthy to name three. They all know that there are free speech issues associated with this bill. It’s not just coming from some random internet guy, it’s criticism that has considerable company.)

We then see this in the hearing:

Senator Manning: The main thing is that we’re all advocating for creators to be paid for their work. Thank you.

My next question is for Mr. Goldberg of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Several witnesses have raised the spectre of retaliation as a result of the potential cross-border impact of this legislation. Konrad von Finckenstein noted, for example, that requiring foreign platforms to pay into Canadian programs from which they themselves don’t benefit will be a likely violation of the Canada-U.S.-Mexico free trade agreement, or CUSMA. I wonder if you share that concern. Do you have a sense in which Canadian sectors U.S. retaliation is most likely to fall on if Bill C-11 is passed as it is today?

Mr. Goldberg: Thank you for the question. I definitely share those concerns. We’ve already seen the Americans — representatives of the Biden administration and others — who have indicated they believe this legislation is dangerous and could have very negative consequences for the relationship between Canada and the United States, that we very well could see sanctions and that those sanctions could hit the creating sector as well.

(This is a huge problem with Bill C-11. As we’ve pointed out previously, Bill C-11 is a very obvious violation of CUSMA/USMCA. Specifically, Section 19.4 which prohibits a lot of the activity Bill C-11 seeks to do. It’s yet another angle that this bill will get challenged.)

(Probably one of the big legal questions in all of this is what order the legal challenges will get executed. Will platforms wait for the constitutional challenges about free speech? Will they simply attack this bill at all angles at the same time and challenge every aspect at the same time? With respect to CUSMA, will this be the final ace up the platforms sleeve to put a stop to this madness or will the US government push for retaliatory tariffs right off the bat? The threats of all of the above are there, the real question revolves around timing and order. At this point, I doubt that even those South of the border who are following this closely and would execute such plans knows at this stage.)

Later on, we see this:

Senator Wallin: The other issue — and you’ve just touched on it briefly — is that this would take the decisions made by the CRTC, or by cabinet via the CRTC, out of the appeals process and therefore undermine accountability. We’ve heard that the appeals process for a CRTC decision is already very expensive and very complicated. You actually have to be prepared to go to court, hire lawyers and spend a lot of money. There’s that side of it, but there’s also public accountability. Other than elections every four or five years, how would you say we disagree with the kinds of decisions you’re making here? The whole point of having public hearings and people being able to participate seems to be a more direct form of accountability than having cabinet make decisions.

Mr. Armstrong: Yes, I agree. I think that public hearings are a very important instrument for the CRTC in its decision making, and it makes the whole decision-making process much more open. At the same time, the CRTC can make mistakes from time to time — every agency does — and there has to be an appeal process.

At the present time, there are two appeals processes. One is through the courts on a matter of administrative law. If a decision of the CRTC is deemed by somebody to infringe administrative law, then it goes the way of the Federal Court. If it’s more of a policy disagreement over the decision, then that decision can only be appealed to the federal cabinet, and that’s the way the system works. For instance, the appeal by a number of associations and unions of the CBC decision was an appeal to cabinet, and cabinet accepted and endorsed the appeal and referred the CBC licence renewal decision back to the CRTC for a rehearing.

Senator Wallin: But that’s not a route that’s particularly open to user-generated content producers, people who create for YouTube or other platforms that are small, independent operations.

Mr. Armstrong: In a formal way, it is open to anyone. Of course, the government cabinet doesn’t want to be dealing with decisions on a day-to-day basis, doesn’t want to be accepted. So they very rarely accept appeals and there’s actually a list of all the appeals available on I think it’s Canadian Heritage’s website. The vast majority of them are refused by the cabinet, and I can understand why. It’s just not feasible.

(The accountability question of the CRTC and access to the decision making process has been an underlying theme throughout the hearings. It’s a big issue because one of the seeming objectives for C-11 supporters is to get C-11 out of the public spotlight and out of public scrutiny. Many have said in the past that these hearings isn’t even a real debate. For them, the real debate kicks in when it is locked up tight behind the closed doors of the CRTC where they have much more control over what goes on.)

(Indeed, a major problem with this, leaving aside how unfair the process is inevitably going to be for smaller players like digital first creators, there is the huge cost of representation even if you know what you are doing in this arena. The idea of having to hire lawyers and partake in a highly expensive process really works against the smaller players chances for success. Most don’t even have their own personal lawyer in tow, let alone have a team specifically tuned to trying to influence a process that is generally geared towards looking out for the interests of the biggest players in the industry – ala Rogers, CBC, Telus, CTV, Bell, etc.)

From there, we see this:

Senator Clement: Thank you to the witnesses. I have a quick question for Mr. Pelletier. In response to a question from Senator Miville-Dechêne, I believe, you said that a lack of understanding of the current act has led to a false debate, one that does not represent the reality that emerged thanks to the act. How did we get to that point? What do we have to do to improve that understanding?

Mr. Pelletier: The first thing to do, I think, is to educate people to foster an understanding of the act, plain and simple.

Certainly, some disinformation was floating around. The purpose of the bill is not to restrict freedom of expression, on the contrary. The purpose is to support Canadian voices and expression. That includes not just the creators we represent, whether it be screenwriters or directors, but also YouTubers. They, too, represent Canadian voices and expression that will benefit under the bill.

Those creators seem to be afraid, but their fears are unfounded. The only way to change that thinking is through education, in other words, an understanding of how the system works. We are here to discuss the bill, and even we need to have certain provisions explained to us. Imagine, then, what it’s like for regular folks; it’s hard to understand.

The act has been around since 1968, and was meant precisely to encourage Canadian creative expression, our culture and our cultural sovereignty, in the face of the giants of the day, ABC, CBS and others. Today, there are new players, but it’s still the same game more or less.

(While this covers very similar ground to some comments made above, what this highlights is that Bill C-11 supporters repeatedly continue to say that anything that critics have to say about the bill is disinformation. As a result, for supporters, you either support their position on Bill C-11 or you are pushing disinformation. This despite the mountains of evidence brought forward by critics that backs up their claims. Supporters, on the other hand, often bring little to no evidence to support their claims, only accusations that their opponents in this debate are spreading disinformation. This further plays into the idea that C-11 supporters don’t have any real counter-arguments in this debate, only table pounding.)

(Further, it’s comments like this that mane someone like me nervous about the forthcoming online harms bill. What is considered “harmful” us not defined. The problem here is that if we report on something that goes against the government narrative, I fear that I would be the target of such legislation under the false guise of publishing misinformation. Any government would have motivation to control a narrative they have a stake in – be it legislation or otherwise. So, if my site publishes truthful information that counters a government narrative, I could be flagged as posting harmful content subject to multi-million dollar fines regardless of the information I present. It would mark a further erosion of democracy because it would become impossible to hold the government to account with such threats looming over me. In short, I fear the eradication of press freedom in this country.)

We then get to this:

The Chair: Mr. Pelletier, among the many witnesses the committee has heard from are content producers who are very concerned. In fact, a lot of content producers in Canada are very concerned — Canadian content producers.

You said earlier that what YouTube and the other platforms were concerned about was profits. However, everyone is concerned about profits, because, without money, artists, producers, actors and singers can’t survive. To produce and promote Canadian content, you need profits.

At the end of the year, platforms like YouTube make money when their customers make money, and all their customers who are very concerned right now are producers of Canadian content. Currently, the platform is working from the premise that consumers decide on the future of the product.

You’re saying that someone else should decide how the algorithms are used, a group of bureaucrats, associations or people at the CRTC. At the end of the day, I’m quite comfortable with consumers driving the algorithms, but not so much when it’s the chair of the CRTC.

How do you respond to that?

Mr. Pelletier: I’m like you, Mr. Chair. I, too, believe in profits, and I think that businesses should make a profit so they can survive and that people who work with those businesses should also make a profit.

However, it’s not about manipulating the algorithms; it’s about an obligation to produce results. In the end, all we want is to give the Canadian public more choice and more Canadian choice. That’s all it’s about.

Consumers can still pick what they like. As producers of Canadian content, we simply want that content to be showcased, so that consumers can have the choice, so that consumers can have a wide array of choice depending on the type of programming they want to watch. That’s it.

The idea is to offer more choice, so consumers can see what’s available to them and still choose the type of program they want to watch.

(At this point, Pelletier might as well slap the table and shout “Bingo!” because he really pushed every possible false talking point about this legislation that I can think of at the moment. This one is about algorithms and hilariously proclaimed that manipulation of algorithms and manipulation of results of algorithms is not the same. The truth in the matter is that this is the same thing. It’s like arguing that he isn’t choking someone, he is wrapping his hands around someones neck and restricting air flow in the process. It’s the same thing. Algorithms are automated code processes that deliver a result. Demanding a change to how it works and demanding it respond with different results is functionally no different. Pelletier is trying to argue around semantics where there is none.)

With that, the hearing adjourned.

Concluding Thoughts

Generally speaking, what I saw in the transcript is the standard level of irony. Bill C-11 supporters shout “misinformation” to any criticism towards the bill only to push misinformation about what the bill does. I think we circled around pretty much all false talking points by C-11 supporters with this hearing. In the process, we see, yet again, that Bill C-11 supporters really don’t have any response to the criticisms of the bill. They just want to push it through so that they can avoid public scrutiny. In the mean time, they just shotgun blast bad arguments hoping something sticks – and none of them have stuck so far.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation, for their part, do hit on a number of issues with Bill C-11. The international trade issue with this legislation is, in fact, one major area of concern that gets surprisingly little attention. As I’ve pointed our previously, this is truly one of the big elephants in the room when it comes to the legality of this legislation. Ignoring such an issue isn’t going to magically make it go away. It’s just going to make the flames go higher, making it more difficult to deal with down the road.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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