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Canada Allocates $146.6M for New Censorship Commission to Enforce Online Harms Act

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

Canada’s government has decided to spend some $146.6 million (CAD 200 million) and employ, full-time, 330 more people to be able to implement the Online Harms Act (Bill C-63).

That is the monetary cost of bureaucratic red tape necessary to make this bill, which has moved for a second reading in Canada’s House of Commons, eventually happen.

At the same time, the cost to the country’s democracy could be immeasurable – given some of this sweeping censorship legislation’s more draconian provisions, primarily focused on what the authorities choose to consider to be “hate speech.”

Some of those provisions could land people under house arrest, and have their internet access cut simply for “fear” they could, going forward, commit “hate crime” or “hate propaganda.”

If these are found to be committed in conjunction with other crimes, the envisaged punishment could be life in prison. Meanwhile, money fines go up to $51,080. And, to make matters even more controversial, the proposed law appears to apply to statements retroactively, namely, those made before Bill C-63’s possible passage and enactment as law.

The new body, the Digital Safety Commission, Ombudsperson, and Office will be in charge, and this is where the money will go and where the staff amount to 330 people. The spending estimate that has recently come to light covers the five years until 2029.

The office’s task – if the bill passes – will be to monitor, regulate, and censor online platforms, as per the Online Harms Act.

Critics of the law are making a point of the distorted sense of priorities among Canada’s currently ruling regime, where a large amount of money is to be spent here, while vital sectors – such as combating actual, real-life serious crimes face funding restrictions.

Some of the purely pragmatic opposition to the bill has to do with the belief that it will – while violating citizens’ freedoms and rights – actually, prove to be unable to tackle what it is supposedly designed to do – various forms of online harassment.

And that’s not all. “Canadian taxpayers will likely be stuck footing the bill for a massive bureaucracy that will allow Big Tech companies to negotiate favorable terms with non-elected regulators behind closed doors,” is how MP Michelle Rempel Garner articulated it.

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.

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