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'Woke authoritarian agenda': Trudeau Liberals propose life sentences for online 'hate speech'
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'Woke authoritarian agenda': Trudeau Liberals propose life sentences for online 'hate speech'

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre suggested Trudeau is simply trying to ban "the speech he hates."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's deeply unpopular regime rolled out new legislation Monday that threatens to radically transform the Canadian legal landscape and equip activists with new means of clamping down on speech they perceive to be hateful.

On its face, Bill C-63, the so-called "Online Harms Act," contains various uncontroversial elements such as the promise to tackle child pornography online. While Justice Minister Arif Virani and other Liberal officials have emphasized these elements when promoting the bill, the child protections appear only to be the vehicle for the transformative substance of C-63.

C-63 would enable Trudeau's leftist government to define "hate speech" online; create a stand-alone "hate crime"; set "strict penalties" for perceived offenses; and allow concern-mongers to file complaints without facing the accused.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre stressed the bill is an "attack on freedom of expression."

'Online Harms Act'

According to the Trudeau government, the bill would "create stronger online protection for children and better safeguard everyone in Canada from online hate and other types of harmful content."

To this end, C-63, would hold online platforms, including streaming sites and pornographic websites, "accountable for the design choices made that lead to the dissemination and amplification of harmful content on their platforms."

Legislation has recently been enacted in the United Kingdom with a similar aim.

Extra to holding organizations like Facebook, PornHub, and Twitch responsible for content on their platforms and threatening penalties of up to $25 million, C-63 would:

  • establish an entirely new legislative and regulatory framework;
  • create a brand-new "digital safety" czar;
  • put a definition for "hatred" in the Criminal Code;
  • provide increased penalties for existing "hate propaganda offenses"; and
  • establish a "standalone hate crime offense and creating an additional set of remedies for online hate speech in the Canadian Human Rights Act."

The legislation defines hatred thusly: "the emotion that involves detestation or vilification and that is stronger than disdain or dislike."

Content that foments hatred is defined as that which "expresses detestation or vilification of an individual or group of individuals on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination ... and that, given the context in which it is communicated, is likely to foment detestation or vilification of an individual or group of individuals on the basis of such a prohibited ground."

Hate crime offenses, including those related to "sexual orientation or gender identity or expression," would carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

So-called "hate propaganda" offenses would land offenders anywhere from a few years in prison to life, the maximum sentence being reserved for those advocating for genocide against an identifiable group.

C-63 would afford anybody including grievance groups the ability to file complaints with the Canadian Human Rights Commission against users who have supposedly posted hate speech online. According to the Trudeau government, the bill would also outline procedures to "protect the confidentiality of complainants and witnesses as appropriate."

True North News indicated that those the CHRC finds guilty can be hit with fines up to $70,000 — $20,000 for so-called victims and $50,000 for the government "if the member panel considers it appropriate" — as well as take-down orders for content.

'Woke authoritarian agenda'

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, presently poised to defeat Trudeau in the next federal election, told Canadian state media ahead of the bill's reveal that he will not accept "Justin Trudeau's woke authoritarian agenda," adding that the Liberal regime should not be deciding what constitutes "hate speech."

"Justin Trudeau said anyone who criticized him during the pandemic was engaging in hate speech," said Poilievre.

Around the time in 2022 his Liberal cabinet members contemplated deploying tanks against peaceful protesters, Trudeau called the Freedom Convoy truckers a "small fringe minority of people who are on their way to Ottawa, who are holding unacceptable views that are expressing."

"What does Justin Trudeau mean when he says the words 'hate speech'? He means the speech he hates," continued Poilievre. "You can assume he will ban all of that."

The Conservative leader stressed that Trudeau is the last person in Canada who ought to be defining hatred.

"I point out the irony that someone who spent the first half of his adult life as a practicing racist, who dressed up in hideous racist costumes so many times he says he can't remember them all, should then be the arbiter of what constitutes hate," said Poilievre. "What he should actually do is look into his own heart and ask himself why he was such a hateful racist."

When asked about the bill last week, Trudeau suggested that criticism of C-63 and the notion that it is censorious amounted to more "misinformation" from the right.

Liberal Justice Minister Virani maintains that C-63 is not another effort by the Liberal regime to clamp down on free speech.

"I want to be crystal clear about what the Online Harms Act does not do," said Virani. "It does not undermine freedom of speech. It enhances free expression by empowering all people to safely participate in online debate."

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Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
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