Liberals create new $200M online censorship bureaucracy

The new virtual hate crime unit further balloons the public sector under serial spender Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, ignoring the chronically underfunded and under-resourced Canadian military as real-life violent crime waves sweep the nation.

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Amid plummeting poll numbers and a recent embarrassing defeat in a byelection the party had held since 1993, the Justin Trudeau Liberals are now allocating $200 million in taxpayer funds to create a new 330-person bureaucracy aimed at regulating — or censoring — social media platforms.

Alberta-based MP Michelle Rempel Garner inquired with the Parliamentary Budget Officer on the cost of Bill C-63, known as the Online Harms Act, citing its stunning inability to prevent online harassment and the concerning likelihood that it would intrude on the rights and freedoms of Canadians.

The PBO has now published a report finding that the total operating cost will be approximately $201 million.

The newly formed “Digital Safety Commission, Ombudsperson and Office will have 330 full-time equivalent employees at full capacity.”

It estimates that from 2024–2029 the “total operating costs will be $201 million, minus any possible administrative monetary penalties, fines and/or regulatory charges collected.” Yet this doesn’t cover all potential expenses.

The report further explains “the costs may be higher if the Digital Safety Commission, Ombudsperson or Office decides to employ significant external legal, IT or consulting services after reaching their full capacity.”

It states that the Digital Safety Commission may bring in revenue for the government through fines and penalties. However, the actual amount of revenue isn’t clear, which depends on whether “outside enterprises” comply with the Commission's requirements and the Online Harms Act, especially since the details surrounding cost recovery have not been made public by the government.

As MP Garner put it, the lack of structure to recover administrative expenses means “Canadian taxpayers will likely be stuck footing the bill for a massive bureaucracy that will allow Big Tech companies to negotiate favourable terms with non-elected regulators behind closed doors.”

It’s important to remember this new legislation stipulates that victims of supposed “hate speech” could be compensated up to $20,000 with a new standalone hate crime offence added to the existing Criminal Code that allows for penalties of up to life in person.

Since the bill enables increased complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Commission, there is no cost analysis in this estimate of how much added workload the policing of online speech would bring.

“It’s reasonable to assume today’s $200M PBO analysis is just the tip of Bill C-63’s spending iceberg,” furthers Garner.

After breaking down some cost comparisons, Garner found this new bureaucracy will cost roughly the equivalent of 204 police officers’ salaries. It dwarfs the Transportation Safety Board of Canada in size and overshadows essential public safety priorities like the chronically under-resourced and under-funded Canadian military.

The excessive financial burden this places on Canadian taxpayers is more fuel to the fire of a public sector that bloated three times faster than the private sector in the last few years.

This bill's lack of clarity and justification in its mission to protect Canadians from online harassment while actual, real-life violent crime waves sweep the nation since Trudeau took office in 2015 shows how this mammoth bureaucracy epitomizes the government's unchecked spending spree.

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  • By Ezra Levant

Stop Bill C-36

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