OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) – On Thursday during debate in the House of Commons regarding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s internet censorship Bill C-11, Speaker of the House Anthony Rota took issue with Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) leader Pierre Poilievre’s displaying a copy of George Orwell’s dystopian classic, 1984, calling it a “prop.”
Poilievre was using 1984 to make a point about how C-11 will bring forth more government control of everyday Canadians’ lives, noting how the classic novel is not supposed to be “an instruction manual.”
Poilievre was debating Bill C-11 with Trudeau’s Parliamentary Secretary Greg Fergus, saying “Even Margaret Atwood, no conservative, has said that this bill represents ‘creeping totalitarianism,’ Creeping totalitarianism. It gives the power to a woke agency, the CRTC, named by liberals, to manipulate social media algorithms in order to shut down voices it does not want people to hear.”
“When will this government realize that Orwell’s 1984 was not an instruction manual,” Poilievre said.
In response, Fergus said, “We’re doing and making sure that big tech is going to be paying their fair share.”
Poilievre said in response, “And therein lies the problem. The government will get to decide what is the right side of the debate and shut down everyone they consider to be on the wrong side. Let’s be clear: This bill doesn’t hurt big tech. They’ll still monopolize all of social media.”
“Their platforms will still dominate. It’s just that government bureaucrats will be able to manipulate the algorithms to shut down the voices of individual Canadians … If the prime minister is not afraid of debate, why is he so determined to shut it down?”
Poilievre then held up a copy of Orwell’s 1984, saying, “big tech has no problem with this bill. They’ll keep making money hand over fist because of their oligopoly. The government doesn’t want to break up that oligopoly…Canadians want the freedom to express themselves without government control.”
Rota then told Poilievre to “put his prop down, please. I think he’s been around long enough to know what a prop is. I don’t have to explain it.”
Liberal MPs could be heard screaming, “prop, prop,” as well.
In response, Poilievre said, “It’s a book, and it’s still legal. Mr. Speaker, at least for now. When will the government stop its attack on freedom of speech and freedom of expression?”
Trudeau’s internet censorship Bill C-11 inched even closer to becoming law last night after MPs passed a motion with 212 votes for and 117 against adopting the bill but rejected many of the Senate’s recommended amendments.
As it stands now, C-11 will now go back to the Upper Chamber, where Senators can either accept it as is or demand changes be made.
Yesterday, the federal government shut down further debate on the bill.
The Liberal motion to stop debate on Bill C-11 was blasted by Poilievre, who while still in the House of Commons posted a video to Twitter on Thursday calling out Liberal “censorship.”
“The Liberals have just announced that they’re shutting down debate. They’re censoring debate on their censorship bill. We just got the notice right now,” Poilievre said.
The bill has faced immense criticism for its implications on freedom of speech, and even Big Tech giants YouTube and Apple, which both have a history of enacting their own forms of censorship on users, had urged the Senate to stall the bill.
In effect, Bill C-11, if given Royal Assent, would mandate that Canada’s telecommunications regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), oversee regulating online content from platforms such as YouTube and Netflix to ensure that such platforms are promoting content in accordance with a variety of CRTC guidelines.
Bill C-11 was initially introduced to the House of Commons by Rodriguez on February 2, 2022, and is just one of many similar pieces of legislation introduced by Trudeau’s Liberals since they took power in 2015.
Late last year, the Trudeau government decided to fast-track another content-regulation bill, C-18, titled the “Online News Act,” by rushing it through the House of Commons. This bill is also now before the Senate.