Updated: Mar 12, 2022
While the world is thinking about the Ukraine-Russia crisis, national governments are still active. Whether they are creating legislation or voting on legislation, there are serious matters that demand our attention too. One country, in particular, is facing the possibility of some outrageously progressive laws… Canada.
Recently, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed his true colors when he issued the “Emergencies Act” in response to truckers peacefully protesting vaccine mandates. However, it seems the preference for government overreach doesn’t end with him as other politicians are revealing similar colors.
It’s important to note what happens in Canada will surely impact the United States. Here are 3 bills that Canadians (and Americans) should pay attention to:
1. Bill C-10/C-11—Online Censorship
Bill C-10 was an internet regulation bill that received significant backlash from lawmakers across the political spectrum. Under the guise of “An Act to Modernize the Broadcasting Act,” the Bill posed a clear infringement on free speech and even gave the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) the power to regulate what people post online. Although the Bill was suspended, it has now been re-introduced as Bill C-11, “The Online Streaming Act.” This Bill seeks to regulate online streaming platforms as well as any form of audio-visual content that falls under the government’s definition of a “program.” Critics argue the vagueness of Bill C-11—like that of the following excerpt—will lead to limitless censorship:
"A broadcasting system [or program] should (i) serve the needs and interests of all Canadians, including Canadians from racialized communities and Canadians of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds, socio-economic statuses, abilities and disabilities, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and ages…”
2. Bill C-36—Hate Speech
Introduced by Canadian Liberals, Bill C-36 supposedly intends to combat ‘online hate,’ yet aims to achieve this through dangerously vague language and vast assumptions. To quote section 810.012 of the Bill:
“A person may, with the Attorney General’s consent, lay an information before a provincial court judge if the person fears on reasonable grounds that another person will commit…an offence motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other similar factor.”
This Bill had its first reading in June 2021 but died when the federal election was called. Lawmakers now plan to introduce a new version of Bill C-36 with hopes to address hate propaganda, hate crimes and hate speech. This piece of legislation may sound harmless, but it could be detrimental to freedom of expression and could mean grave consequences for people who haven't actually carried out a crime. Notably, the Canadian Constitution Foundation, whose mission is to defend the constitutional rights and freedoms of Canadians, said in a statement that Bill C-36 “will impact the ability of Canadians to engage in debate on subjects that are unsettled.”
3. Bill S-233—Guaranteed Basic Income
Yes, you read that right. This specific bill could not be any more communist in its nature as it would essentially implement welfare for all. Supporters of Bill S-233 are advocating for health, social and economic 'equity,' and view universal income as the catalyst. This may seem appealing at first, but history has shown that policy like this hurts innovation, work ethic, societal morale and the list goes on. Additionally, a key component of Bill S-233 is that of health requirements aka this Bill could trounce on precious freedoms. Straight from the legislation are these words:
"The framework must include measures... to create national standards for health and social supports that complement a guaranteed basic income program and guide the implementation of such a program in every province."
Thus, in order to participate in this system, Canadians will be forced to abide by "health and social supports," which could have numerous, not-so-pleasant implications. One requirement that would likely be included? The Covid-19 vaccine.
With these extreme bills in mind, it is up to every Canadian to ask themselves these questions: "What will Canada look like if these are passed?" and "Will I like a radically different Canada?"
What about Americans? They must pay attention and make their voices heard because the U.S. might not be far behind.