Rebel News strikes a big blow for freedom of the press, freedom of speech and for putting politicians in their place

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As you may know, I sued the Government of Canada, in particular Steven Guilbeault, who at the time was the Heritage Minister, for blocking me on Twitter. You can see our lawsuit here.

And my co-plaintiff at the time was our very own Chief Reporter Sheila Gunn Reid, who sued Catherine McKenna, who at the time was the Liberals' environment minister, for blocking her on Twitter.

You might say, why are you suing over being blocked on Twitter? I mean, who cares? Well, I'm not talking about their personal Twitter pages or personal Facebook pages. I'm talking about the government ministries that they ran.

These are not normal Twitter accounts that you and I might have. It's not a normal Facebook account like you and I might have. These are accounts where the government has dozens of workers pumping out official government announcements.

You need to have access to that announcement like you would any other sort of government information.

And for them to ban us from receiving it by blocking us just because they don't like our politics. Well, what other services would they try and ban?

Here's what caught me by surprise. Look, I knew we were going to settle because they had said they wanted to settle. They had fought us for two and a half years in court. We actually had a hearing in Toronto and two of our lawyers schlepped in from Calgary.

For two and a half years they battled us and then they came to us and said, ‘fine, we'll unblock you.’ And this is what caught me by surprise. It was issued in what's called a consent order, which, as you saw, is the actual court judge issuing an order.

The only difference between that and a judgment is that both sides agreed to it and he just gave his imprimatur. But it looked so official, and it really was a court order and it really is binding. And he really will be paying us $20,000 in costs. And so, I think it became sort of the perfect storm for a media story, because you had Steven Guilbeault, who's a controversial cabinet minister, always in trouble.

You had me and Rebel News, who some people would say are controversial. You had Twitter, which all journalists are obsessed with. You had blocking, which all journalists know about. You had a court order and a $20,000 cost award. This was like catnip to the media, and it had an enormous amount of media coverage.

You could see the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the National Post, and most importantly, the Canadian Press, which, as you may know, is a newswire service. They write one story and almost every newspaper in Canada subscribes to the Canadian Press' wire service. So, they all ran that story. I think it must have run in a hundred different newspapers and news websites.

And by the way, I have to say that most of the reporting was neutral or even positive. I mean, I don't know how you could spin this story.

Steven Guilbeault capitulated. He agreed to unblock me. He agreed to pay $20,000. I don't really know how you spin that as bad news for me. I like the fact that the Media Party generally didn't say all right or controversial.

He must unblock me. I thought that was quite a muscular order anyway. So not only did we get a lot of general media coverage, but a few civil liberties law experts weighed in too.

Here's Professor Michael Geist of the University of Ottawa, who's a well-known, very moderate, very learned scholar in issues just like this. And he covered
the issue in detail and said that he believes that it was pretty obvious that the government settled with us and agreed to the consent order because they knew they were going to lose.

And I guess what I'm saying is, I sensed even from half a world away that the mood in Canada is changing. In fact, the only voice of any size — and I give her too much credit — who was sort of against this settlement was Catherine McKenna.

Do you remember her? A footnote in history? She used to be the environment minister until Trudeau got tired of her, and then she sort of skulked off to the United Nations where I don't even know what she does there.

But she got some, you know, fake job, patronage job. But here's what she said on Twitter. She was outraged. She said the idea that politicians can't block trolling people and organization to harass them for profit is absurd and frankly, dangerous. There is no constitutional right to harass and spread lies and hate. But let me tell you, it has real life consequences for politicians and their families.

What is she talking about? I didn't harass Steven Guilbeault. I tagged him in three criticisms tonight. You know, of course I criticized him. But, you know, that's dangerous. The real-life consequences for politicians and their families.

You know, that reminds me of Justin Trudeau saying, oh, you don't know how hard it is being a politician these days.

When she says to spread lies and hate is illegal — no, it's not actually, because it's a matter of opinion if someone is lying or not. Here's Catherine McKenna, drunk in a bar in Newfoundland, laughing on camera about how she regularly lies. This is Catherine McKenna boasting about lying for a living. Remember this video? Yeah. You know, I hate that.

Why should we end this now? It was an enormous success. We don't have a legally binding precedent because it wasn't the result of a full trial and a judgment. But as Michael Geist said, that it's pretty clear that we were going to win in court. And we do have a constitutional right to equal access to government services.

We've already incurred the legal fees to develop the lawsuit and do all the research and draft the pleadings. So, to sue more politicians who block people is easy or easier. We spent $95,000 all together suing Steven Guilbeault and Catherine McKenna.

But the point is, politicians are elected to serve us. We are their bosses. They don't tell us to shut up. They don't tell us we're blocked. If anything, we tell them to shut up, we block them.

What I want to do is I want to crowdfund more litigation and crowdsource the names and proof that politicians around this country are blackballing people like Steven Guilbeault.

If you know of any other government Twitter account or Facebook account or Instagram account or other social media account that is banning people for reasons of personal vendettas or political vendettas, let me now go to and tell us the info. 

Let's go get 10 more. And by the way, if you're a New Democrat, if you're a Bloc Quebecois, and if you are a Conservative in this country, you better start unblocking people right now because we're going to come for you.

And by the way, while you're there, sign our petition to tell politicians that it's not their place to silence the public.

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  • By Ezra Levant

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