Liberals Want To “Limit Publication” Only To Those With Traceable Sources

The Liberal Party of Canada spelled out a host of issues it plans to act upon as the ruling party barrels towards election season, including putting forth a resolution which aims to combat disinformation through censorship.

As their three-day policy convention concluded Saturday in Ottawa, the federal Liberal party endorsed the development of affordable housing, the construction of high-speed rail between Ontario and Quebec, and a basic guaranteed income.

There are 24 new policies to steer the party ahead of the next election, but none are legally binding on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Liberals re-embraced the idea of revamping the voting system itself, in addition to cheap housing and a basic livable income. Trudeau committed to do so in 2015, but then broke his promise by saying political parties couldn’t agree on which system to employ.

One of the resolutions tackled combatting disinformation in Canada, citing the United Nations Secretary-General recognizing disinformation as an “existential risk to humanity.” As its resolve, the party wants to “request the Government… to limit publication only to material whose sources can be traced.”

In the same line, the party also aims to lobby that the government “explore options to hold on-line information services accountable for the veracity of material published on their platforms.”

In leading to the resolution, the party cited a recent poll that said “44% Canadians believe much of the information from news organizations is false and 71% believe official government accounts of events are untrustworthy.”

The party also plans to request the federal government to “provide additional public funds to support advertisement-free news and information reporting by Canadian media.”

Observers have been taking the specific resolution tantamount to censorship and violating freedom of speech.

Law Professor & Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law Michael Geist did not hold back in his Substack, calling on the Liberal Party to stop “speech regulation.”

“Indeed, these resolutions are only the latest in a series of legislative and policy measures in which the government and the governing party have become increasingly comfortable with speech regulation that raises serious constitutional concerns,” he wrote. “The days of being careful are long gone: from the Labour Journalism tax credit to Bill C-18’s mandatory payments for links and CRTC media codes of conduct, the government no longer hesitates to intervene in the media sector.”

Media censorship has been a murky topic for Trudeau, most especially after a number of news reports exposed the recent issues he’s facing, including Chinese interference in elections. In March, the Liberal government shut down debate on Trudeau’s controversial online censorship bill, in an effort to expedite the Online Streaming Act into law.

If passed, Bill C-11 would regulate digital streaming platforms by prompting them to financially contribute towards the creation and promotion of Canadian content.

It was also recently reported that a federal government department requested that Facebook and Twitter delete a newspaper article that it believed included mistakes — but both social media firms refused.

According to material supplied by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, the request to remove social media posts that linked to an undisclosed Toronto Sun article came from a director of communications on September 27, 2021.

Per the documents, staff at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, which reports to Parliament through the immigration minister but is otherwise independent, thought the article contained “serious errors of fact risking (and) undermining public confidence in the independence of the board as well as the integrity of the refugee determination system.”

The social media companies eventually stated that they were denying the request since the article was not their own.

The Liberals are not alone in this side of the issue. Earlier this year, Jagmeet Singh, head of the New Democratic Party (NDP), says his party would advocate for government control of social media sites to combat “hate and misinformation,” adding that private corporations should not be solely responsible for content moderation on their platforms.

All of the 25 NDP members of Parliament, reportedly according to Singh, will put pressure on cabinet to pass laws to control legal internet content, including censorship of “misinformation.” Currently, there are 338 seats in the House of Commons.

The policy resolutions are non-binding and Trudeau won’t be required to implement all, but the party’s resolutions have continuously guided the Liberal government in crafting the country’s strategic priorities.

Information for this briefing was found via the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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