During debate in the House of Commons, speaker Anthony Rota blasted leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Pierre Poilievre, for using George Orwell’s 1984 as a “prop.”
Poilievre was making a point that internet censorship Bill C-11 would give the government more control.
“Even Margaret Atwood, no conservative, has said that this bill represents ‘creeping totalitarianism.’ It gives the power to a woke agency, the CRTC, named by liberals, to manipulate social media algorithms in order to shut down voices it does not want people to hear,” Poilievre said.
“When will this government realize that Orwell’s 1984 was not an instruction manual?”
Parliamentary Secretary Greg Fergus responded: “We’re … making sure that Big Tech is going to be paying their fair share.”
Poilievre replied: “And therein lies the problem. The government will get to decide what is the right side of the debate and shut down everyone they consider to be on the wrong side. Let’s be clear: This bill doesn’t hurt big tech. They’ll still monopolize all of social media.
“Their platforms will still dominate. It’s just that government bureaucrats will be able to manipulate the algorithms to shut down the voices of individual Canadians … If the prime minister is not afraid of debate, why is he so determined to shut it down?”
Holding up a copy of Orwell’s 1984, Poilievre said, “Big Tech has no problem with this bill. They’ll keep making money hand over fist because of their oligopoly. The government doesn’t want to break up that oligopoly…Canadians want the freedom to express themselves without government control.”
Rota told him to, “put his prop down.”
“It’s a book, and it’s still legal, Mr. Speaker, at least for now. When will the government stop its attack on freedom of speech and freedom of expression?” Poilievre shot back.
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