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Canada Plans To Re-Introduce Its Online Censorship Law This Year

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The Canadian government has confirmed that it will bring back a bill aimed at regulating speech on the internet by the end of the year.

A previous bill, Bill C-36, which was introduced in June 2021, expired before it was passed. The bill aimed to broaden the definition of “hate speech” to ban content “likely to foment detestation or vilification,” and offenders would have been fined $70,000.

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez was questioned in parliament about a bill to regulate the internet.

“We have worked a good deal on this issue and we will have more to announce shortly,” Rodriguez said.

“The committee has been working for years on possible legislation to counter such hateful activity online,” said New Democrat MP Peter Julian. “What can we expect in this regard? What sort of bill are we looking at?”

“We are coming up with something very shortly,” replied Rodriguez.

“When? In a couple of weeks?” asked Julian.

“I can’t tell you,” replied Rodriguez.

“Will it be in the fall?” asked Julian.

“It’s not going to be longer than the fall, of course, but I can’t give you a specific date,” replied Rodriguez.

“Online hate, as you know, doesn’t stay online,” he continued.

“It makes its way into the street. It makes its way into real behavior. We have seen that here, we have seen that in Washington. Online hate is real hate. That’s real behavior. We are coming up with something very shortly.”

Bill C-36 was widely opposed. In a report, the Heritage Department acknowledged the unpopularity of the bill.

“Many cautioned against opening categories of harmful content to speech that, although harmful, would nevertheless be lawful,” the report stated.

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