Trudeau tables a draconian censorship bill that criminalizes dissenting views

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On Monday, the Trudeau Liberals tabled Bill C-63, An Act to enact the Online Harms Act, in Parliament to protect Canadians from accessing harmful content online.

According to a government briefing, Canadian users are "exposed to harmful content at increasing rates." However, the briefing did not define harmful content.

Tonight, Ezra Levant breaks down Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's most draconian censorship bill yet.

Before the winter parliamentary recess, the Trudeau Liberals quietly reviewed the "international best practices" on internet censorship. But Justice Minister Arif Virani did not provide examples at the time of legal content they would censor.

"We are working on it very, very diligently in terms of aspects that relate to the Criminal Code, and the Canadian Human Rights Act," he said at the time.

A similar piece of legislation, Bill C-36, An Act To Amend The Criminal Code, identified 'hate speech' as a category of harm that later died on the order paper.

Virani later claimed their Online Harms Act does not undermine freedom of speech. "It enhances free expression by empowering all people to safely participate in online debate," he told reporters Monday.

Yet briefing documents say the law will "better address and denounce hate propaganda” by proposing several amendments to the Criminal Code and adding a definition of "hatred" to section 319 of the Criminal Code. 

Though it remains unclear how Ottawa will define 'hate speech,' the Official Opposition leader suggests Trudeau considers any "speech he hates" as 'hate speech.' Among the examples cited are COVID pandemic critics and parental rights advocates.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre left an ominous warning for proponents of Bill C-63, claiming they will likely face censure should they express "unacceptable views."

The legislation will also amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to stipulate that online 'hate speech' is discrimination and empower people to file complaints. It permits confidential complaints if the Commission thinks the individual(s) might be subjected to "intimidation."

"We've got the pressure to ensure that when people are communicating online, they're not actually targeting groups, they're not promoting or vilifying groups, promoting hatred or violence against them," added Virani.

According to the censorship law, victims of 'hate speech' could be compensated up to $20,000, with stand-alone hate crimes being added to the Criminal Code. The federal government would be owed an additional $50,000.

Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act is back, and likely to be weaponized against dissenting Canadian expression.

GUEST: Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms lawyer Marty Moore.

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