Billionaire tycoon Elon Musk recently torched Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s liberal-controlled government for going after free speech.
“Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada,” Musk wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Shameful.”
Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada. Shameful. https://t.co/oHFFvyBGxu
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 1, 2023
Musk’s comments were a response to a post by American journalist Glenn Greenwald, who wrote, “The Canadian government, armed with one of the world’s most repressive online censorship schemes, announces that all ‘online streaming services that offer podcasts’ must formally register with the government to permit regulatory controls.”
In his post, Greenwald included a link to a Canadian government website that talks about a so-called “regulatory plan to modernize Canada’s broadcasting framework.
The website states that Canada’s broadcast system will “ensure online streaming services make a meaningful contribution to Canadian and Indigenous content,” according to The Post Millennial.
Canada’s “regulatory plan” to control what citizens may or may not see on broadcasts came about through the Online Streaming Act, which was introduced on April 27, 2023. The legislation was then signed into law by Trudeau.
As one can imagine, this broadcasting law will provide the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) with the power to control what Canadians can see and hear.
CRTC will also be able to penalize those who do not comply with the law’s standards and, given how broad such standards are, it seems there is a very fine line between compliance and non-compliance.
According to Canada’s government, the Online Streaming Act “Contributes to a broadcasting system that is more inclusive of persons with disabilities, ethno-cultural groups, racialized communities, and 2SLGBTQI+ communities.”
The Online Streaming Act modified Canada’s Broadcasting Act, requiring online streaming platforms such as Netflix and Spotify to pay to support Canadian media content. The law states that “online undertakings shall clearly promote and recommend Canadian programming, in both official languages as well as Indigenous languages.”
Conservatives in the Parliament of Canada denounced the Online Streaming Act, calling it an “archaic system of censorship.”
“Under this archaic system of censorship, government gatekeepers will now have the power to control which videos, posts and other content Canadians can see online,” the conservatives said, according to CBC News.