The Conservative Party of Canada demanded that the House of Commons hold an emergency debate on the pro-censorship Bill C-11 over concerns that the Liberal government might use it to force platforms to take down “misinformation” and offensive content.
The request was shot down.
Conservative MP Rachel Thomas wrote a letter to House Speaker Anthony Rota asking for the emergency debate.
Thomas posted the letter on Twitter, writing that the government is, “pressuring social media platforms to remove news stories they don’t want ppl to see.”
“Bill C-11 will make this type of gov censorship legal,” she added.
Thomas’ letter referenced how the government responded to a March Inquiry of the Ministry, which said that several federal agencies and departments have previously asked social media platforms to remove content and accounts for reasons such as impersonation, offensive language, and hate speech.
One of the examples given was the Immigrations and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) director of communications requesting that Twitter and Facebook remove an article by the Toronto Sun.
In the letter, Thomas further argued that the bill would “greatly diminish the ability of media companies and social media platforms to ignore government commands concerning what information can and cannot be made available to the Canadian public.”
“News and cultural content will be at the mercy of government oversight and approvals,” she wrote.
The Liberal government insists that the purpose of the bill is to make sure streaming platforms like Netflix and YouTube prioritize Canadian content.