(OTTAWA) Bill C-11 to modernize the broadcasting act to include platforms like YouTube and Spotify will likely be sent to the Senate after a vote by MPs on Thursday night.
The Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party (NDP) have confirmed that they will vote in favor of the response Justin Trudeau’s government wants to send to the Senate on the amendments proposed by the House last December.
Earlier this month, the Liberals indicated they wanted to introduce several changes, including one that would limit what type of content the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) can or cannot regulate at its discretion.
The senators wanted to specifically respond to content creators who fear being limited or bullied in what they can share. The Upper House wanted to confirm several witnesses heard during the examination of the bill, indicating that the power of the CRTC, if exercised, could only target professional content and not amateur content, for example.
“We saw a way to clarify a few sentences so that the people who read the bill are confirmed. That also thinks” said independent Quebec senator Julie Miville-Dechêne three weeks ago, who wrote one of the rejected amendments with Alberta colleague Paula Simons.
Ms. Miville-Dechêne had confirmed in the interview that he supported the piece of legislation and did not believe it would have the effect of “censoring” or preventing freedom of speech. From his point of view, this did not prevent the need for “declarations” in the legislative text.
Conservatives who fiercely oppose Bill C-11 do not hesitate to do so to fight for “freedom of speech”.
On Thursday, outraged Liberals rushed to vote to send a response to the Senate.
Justin Trudeau’s forces have passed a “shutdown motion” to limit debate on the issue, in favor of the New Democrats.
“Today the government took unprecedented action to debate censorship in a bill that Canadians can say and see on the Internet,” Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre said in Question Time. He accused liberals of taking George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 as an “instruction manual”.
Leader of the House of Government Mark Holland has countered that it is clear that freedom of speech allows “MPs to go all over the country and talk all kinds of rubbish”.
The government has maintained for months that the Conservatives have been pouring out misinformation, arguing that C-11 only aims to improve the “discovery” of Canadian content on platforms like YouTube, Spotify and Disney+.
“Conservatives have thrown wacky conspiracy theories on the floor in the House of Commons for hours and hours,” added NDP Leader Peter Julian during a debate on the motion to close.
The Bloc, which is pushing for the adoption of C-11, while the bill is eagerly awaited in the cultural community, is not so far as to support the Liberals in its scheme.
“It’s too bad that you still have to run this joke on such a serious bill,” dropped his deputy Martin Champoux.
However, he criticized the Conservatives for obstructing “because they were absolutely adamant about their position”.
It remains to be seen how the Senate will respond to the House of Commons. The master of Holland had presided, before this month, that the senators might stand as delegates.
“I am very confident that the Senate will accept our decision,” he said.
Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez argued that the government had found “a good compromise” by accepting some amendments, but rejecting “those that could create a transition through some”.