This petition has attained in excess of 1,000 signatures over the course of a mere week but many more are required if we are to turn the heads of our elected and non-elected political leaders. They need to understand that you feel Bill S-202 is a biased piece of legislation flush with false assumptions and pseudo-science. If you haven’t signed, consider doing so now. If you have, consider spreading the petition far and wide so that others might as well.
Canadian media frets over free speech – after theirs is threatened
Arguably, the Canadian MSM has been reluctant to notice and comment on the diminishment of free speech both globally and at home. Accordingly, Canadians are, for the most part, blissfully unaware of the tacit acceptance of blasphemy laws in Europe or the compulsion of politically correct speech in Canada. The Canadian MSM took notice of the file last week, however, when their own freedom of expression was threatened by a report issued by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. This report, “Canada’s Communications Future: Time to Act”, was mandated by the federal government to make recommendations on updating Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications legislation. It hit a number of nerves in the MSM universe as it prescribed wide-ranging powers for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to regulate and control domestic and foreign news services across all platforms – even as it was given authority to make determinations on just who were “accurate, reliable, and trusted news content” providers. Talk about placing the cat amongst the pigeons!
The Minister explains – sort of
The Minister responsible for actioning the report, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault, was taken to task by an MSM talking head whereupon he gave his best “deer caught in the headlights” impression. He was remiss to explain just who would select “accurate, reliable, and trusted news content” providers or even how it would be defined. Would Canadians be allowed to view Breitbart news from abroad or Rebel Media offerings domestically? Given the government’s headstrong efforts to influence the national media landscape through the:
disbursement of $600 million to subsidize “qualified news organizations”;
is it any wonder that MSM and political players on the wrong side of the government-of-the-day would worry about their ability to access their right to freedom of expression? After all, the report calls for “an appropriate balance” between providing a “free and open space for the exchange of ideas and information” and the need to protect “collective rights and freedoms”. Just as concerning as the need to “balance away” freedom of expression is the stated need to “address existing and emerging social harms stemming from the dissemination and intensification of harmful content”. Forget about the dubious concept of “hate speech”, one needs to take care that “harmful” information, whatever that is, is not disseminated. For his part, The Minister was hard-pressed to justify such excessive and worrisome powers and was reduced to explaining that the report was not yet legislation and, anyway, such laws were already in place in some European jurisdictions. Does he think that makes it OK for Canada and Canadians? Just who is he representing?
Globalism, Canada and free speech – monkey see, monkey do?
The Minister’s observation that Canada was simply following other world democracies in dealing with “emerging social harms” is in line with national policies that have come to the fore since Election 2015 – as can related efforts to control contrary speech. Fact is and since the advent of the Trudeau government coming to power, Canada has been religiously following the lead of globalist authorities in balancing speech against harming the sensibilities of collectives. The report just makes this connection clear when, in recommendation #94, it notes that the federal government needs to continue participating actively “in international fora and activities to develop international cooperative regulatory practices on harmful content”. Isn’t this recommendation simply a call to repeat the practises of the recent past? Consider the following:
Motion M-103 (Islamophobia) can be seen to be an offshoot of the European Union’s efforts to accommodate “harmful” criticism of certain ideologies through its Council Directive 2000/78/EC - an initiative that introduced the concepts of “indirect discrimination” and “harassment” as forms of prejudice;
Canada’s signing of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and its affirmation of the pre-eminence of international laws in areas of migration and related discrimination;
Canada taking the lead of France and New Zealand to join the “Christchurch Call” to control “hate speech” and misinformation on the internet. Then moving on to implement its own “Digital Charter” while initiating the resurrection Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Code; and
Supreme Court of Canada using a concept of proportionality borrowed from the German Constitutional Court to justify “balancing away” free speech in favour of other social priorities. Unfortunately, our Supreme Court is not subject to any representative check or balance, save for a “Notwithstanding Clause” that strikes fear in the hearts of politicians, to keep it from so diluting the “fundamental” rights of individual Canadians.
Monkey see, monkey do?
Why are Canadian political leaders so enthralled with the globalist agenda?
It is interesting to note the report’s mention of the London School of Economics (LSE) in its latter sections. The school is highlighted as a forward leaning enterprise chock full of ideas worth considering. The LSE is credited with formulating the notion of a “new Independent Platform Agency” capable of monitoring social media companies and ensuring their compliance with mandated standards and protocols. Such an organization would certainly assume a prominent position within the overall scheme of things and would most certainly become a centralized authority endowed with make-or-break powers. Powers that could be seen as oligarchical, even Marxist, in nature and reflective of the school’s long history of promoting such centralized governance systems over the years.
The long and storied history of the LSE is accompanied by an equally long line of accomplished graduates. Many of these were Canadians who went on to have a great impact on their home nation – including Pierre Elliot Trudeau. P.E. Trudeau would not only go on to be the Prime Minister of Canada but he would rebuild the Liberal Party and transition it from its “reciprocity-minded” outlook to one that was much more collective in nature. One that was in line with the Fabian Socialist teachings of the LSE. Accordingly, the country moved away from a Lincolnian understanding that saw nations acting as sovereigns in a world of sovereigns to an imperial model that saw outposts reporting to a centralized bureaucracy. The “continentalists” that worked so effectively with their American counterparts to bring unprecedented innovation and economic benefit to Canada in the immediate post WWII era were whisked away and replaced by “Oligarchical Collectivists” in the form of LSE graduates and Rhodes scholars – types amenable to global modes of governance and the pursuit of power for its own sake. Think “Laurentide Elites”.
Seen in this “globalist” light, it is fair to ask just who the Canadian government is trying to please – a global agenda or the good citizens of a sovereign state. If it be the former, it would be safe to say that the “fundamental” Charter Rights that prop up all others in the Canadian Charter; the right to freedom of speech, religion, conscience , association and assembly, will need to be eroded to accommodate a globalist mandate that calls for a growing number of “identifiable groups” (tribes?) to be safe from “social harm”. If it be the latter, it is past time to let your political elites know they are on the wrong path.
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Major Russ Cooper (Ret’d) Co-Chair C3RF