Trudeau’s ‘Online Harms’ censorship regime slated to cost Canadians $200 million – LifeSite

Canadians: Send an urgent message to legislators urging them to stop Trudeau’s ‘Online Harms Act’

OTTAWA, Ontario (LifeSiteNews) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s latest censorship bill is estimated to cost Canadians $200 million over the next five years, if it is passed and implemented.  

According to a July 4 report from the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), the Trudeau government will spend $201 million to create a Digital Safety Commission, Ombudsperson and Office to enforce the Online Harms Act if it is passed. Critics have called the bill “totalitarian” for its desire to retroactively punish Canadians for vaguely defined internet “hate” infractions as well as preemptively punish those the government is worried may commit an act of “hate” in the future. 

“Preliminary estimates from the Department of Canadian Heritage indicate that the Digital Safety Commission, Ombudsperson and Office will have 330 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees at full capacity,” the report states. 

“The PBO estimates that from 2024-2025 to 2028-2029 the total operating costs will be $201 million, minus any possible administrative monetary penalties, fines and/or regulatory charges collected by the Commission, Ombudsperson and Office,” it continues.   

If passed, Bill C-63, introduced in March, will create the Online Harms Act and modify existing laws, amending the Criminal Code as well as the Canadian Human Rights Act, in what the Liberals claim will target certain cases involving already illegal internet content, such as child pornography.

However, the bill also seeks to punish vaguely “hate speech” infractions while increasing the punishments for existing hate propaganda offenses in a substantial manner. 

Penalties for violations of the proposed law include $20,000 fines and jail time, including life in prison for what it deems the most serious offenses. 

According to the proposed legislation, the bill would not only punish those who committed a “hate crime” but also those suspected of committing one in the future.  

These latter provision against “hate,” being lumped in with noble goals such as the elimination of child exploitation online, has led some critics to warn the bill is effectively a Trojan horse being used to usher in a censorship regime under the guise of protecting kids.

Shortly after the estimated cost was made public, Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre repeated his promise that a Conservative government would repeal the bill.  

“Common sense Conservatives oppose Justin Trudeau’s three-headed censorship monster and new $200 million bureaucracy,” his office told the National Post, referring to the yet-to-be-passed Online Harms Act as well as Trudeau’s other internet censorship bills, C-11 and C-18, which were passed into law in 2023.  

“Should his Liberal-NDP coalition government pass this new censorship law, a Pierre Poilievre common sense Conservative government will repeal it,” said Sebastian Skamski, director of media relations.   

Poilievre is hardly alone in his condemnation of the censorship bill. Increasingly, prominent Canadians and even Americans have begun commenting on Trudeau’s authoritarian rule over Canada, particularly his restricting of internet speech.  

In late February, prominent Canadian anti-woke psychologist Jordan Peterson warned the new bill would undoubtedly lead to his criminalization under the broad definition of hate based on gender, sexuality and other ideological categories.

In March, tech mogul Elon Musk called the proposed legislation “insane.”

Similarly, a top constitutional lawyer warned LifeSiteNews that the legislation will allow a yet-to-be-formed digital safety commission to conduct “secret commission hearings” against those found to have violated the law, raising “serious concerns for the freedom of expression” of Canadians online.  

Additionally, Campaign Life Coalition recently warned that Bill C-63 will stifle free speech and crush pro-life activism. 

Canadians: Send an urgent message to legislators urging them to stop Trudeau’s ‘Online Harms Act’

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