Last year, Steven Guilbeault (rightfully) took a lot of criticism for the recommendation that media outlets be forced to obtain licenses. He later backtracked somewhat, claiming that news outlets would be exempt. Now, he’s back, pushing hate speech laws.
A disclaimer: it’s entirely possible (likely), that there are groups pushing for these laws that are not listed publicly. However, all that is listed is documented information.
Worth noting: the original intent of the bill was on “hate speech”. Sending pornography, or lewd images was just an afterthought. Still, this does raise privacy concerns, not just ones for free speech.
See Part 1 for Guilbeault’s ties to the eco-movement.
1. Free Speech Is Under Constant Threat
Check here for the series free speech. It’s a crucial topic, and is typically intertwined with other categories. Topic include: Digital Cooperation; the IGF, or Internet Governance Forum; ex-Liberal Candidate Richard Lee; the Digital Charter; Dominic LeBlanc’s proposal. There is also collusion, done by UNESCO, more UNESCO, Facebook, Google, and Twitter lobbying.
2. The Media Is Not Loyal To The Public
Truth is essential in society, but the situation in Canada is worse than people imagine. MSM in Canada (and elsewhere), has been largely obedient to the official stories since they are subsidized to do so, though they deny it. Post Media controls most outlets in Canada, and many “independents” have ties to Koch/Atlas. Real investigative journalism is needed, and some pointers are provided.
3. Important Links
Office Of The Lobbying Commissioner Of Canada
Canadian Parliament Discusses Online Hate
(Audio) Testimony Into Online Hate
Toronto Sun On Hate Crime Hoax
National Post Shrugs Off Hate Crime Hoax
National Council Of Canadian Muslims Lobbying
Centre For Israel And Jewish Affairs Lobbying
Friends Of Canadian Broadcasting Lobbying
YWCA Receives $760,000 Anti-Hate Grant
Various Initiatives/Grants From Ottawa In Recent Years
Bill C-30, Vic Toews, Online Privacy, Pornography
4. The Downside To “Hate Speech” Laws
To begin with, let’s address the elephant in the room: hate speech laws can, and often are used to silence legitimate concerns and criticisms. Worse, they are applied unevenly. When very different groups with different cultures and value are brought together, how it operates is fair discussion. What will be expected, what compromises will be made, and how to settle differences must be addressed.
Regardless of whether a person prefers a more assimilationist approach, or is more libertarian, hard questions have to be asked. When such questions cannot be asked — because of hate speech laws — it doesn’t erase the concerns, but simply erodes public trust.
Banning valid discussion with false accusations of racism, or false claims of violence, does nothing to advance open discourse. Instead, it’s used to gaslight and prevent necessary discussion.
Is this a call to violence, or to condone violence? Certainly not. But all too often, ideas and violence are wrongly conflated.
5. Hate Crime Hoaxes Undermine Public Trust
Another valid question must be asked. Before passing censorship laws to combat hate speech and related crimes, how many incidents actually happened, and how many are hoaxes? Before considering such laws, it’s important to know the full scale of the problem. However, some outlets continue with the narrative, even when hoaxes are exposed.
6. Canadian Parliament On Online Hate
Check this page for information on a Parliamentary study in Canada concerning online hate. Witnesses were called to give more insight into the topic. While there was a lot of reasonable discussion, one problem remains: it’s far too easy to demonize people by CLAIMING that certain topics are hate and violence.
7. National Council Of Canadian Muslims
One of the groups lobbying Guilbeault is the National Council of Canadian Muslims. They claim that “white supremacists” are causing a hateful environment, and that more diversity and inclusion is needed. Of course, ask how THEY accommodate minorities, and that’s hate speech.
Also noteworthy: Walied Soliman, Erin O’Toole’s Chief of Staff, is a member of the NCCM. He’s on record as supporting their activities.
8. CIJA, Centre For Israel And Jewish Affairs
The page on lobbying information is very long, but well worth a read. A lot of effort has clearly gone into writing and updating this.
9. Friends Of Canadian Broadcasting
This lobbying actually covers a number of topics, but online hate is one of them.
10. YWCA, Others Get Federal Grants
One also has to ask how such hate speech regulations would be enforced? What information would internet providers, or cell phone companies have to provide? What would the process and limits for that be? What privacy protections would be in place?
11. Vic Toews, Online Privacy, Bill C-30
Since the proposal did mention punishing of sharing images (even as an afterthought), let’s address this. It was in 2012 that “Conservative” Public Safety Minister Vic Toews tried to bring in Bill C-30, which could force online providers to hand over private information without a warrant. Toews gaslighted privacy concerns as people “siding with the child pornographers”. While the Bill died in 1st Reading, could something like this happen again?
12. What Are Impacts On Free Speech? Privacy?
What will this bill look like, and what are the impacts? Until the legislation is tabled, we won’t know for sure. Even then, amendments are quite likely, as are court challenges.
This shouldn’t have to be repeated, but it is. Being critical of “hate speech” for being overreaching does not equate to supporting hate or violence. All too often, false accusations of racism, hate and bigotry are used to silence legitimate concerns and questions.
Vic Toews vilified critics of warrantless searches as “pedophile sympathizers”. Could this iteration lead to critics being smeared as “Nazi supporters”? Will a provision for warrantless searches be slipped in?
It’s also possible that such legislation will be scrapped altogether. After all, Guilbeault supported mandatory media licensing only last year, but backed down under heavy pressure. This is an important story to keep an eye on.