Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada

COLUMN: Conservatives call on Liberals to withdraw internet bill

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison writes about Bill C-10

by Rob Morrison

Kootenay-Columbia MP

I am very happy to see that we have a re-opening plan for British Columbians. It has been a long road over the past 16 months and I want to thank each of you for your patience and resolve.

We are nearing the end of the health crisis and can now see places around the world re-opening. I have heard from so many who are looking forward to a return to large gatherings for concerts and worship services or a night out with the family at the movies. As health orders recede, I encourage you to consider supporting those local businesses who have been hardest hit by the health crisis.

As we prepare to re-open and return to normal I want to draw your attention to an important issue in Ottawa that impacts the vast majority of Kootenay-Columbians. Bill C-10, An Act to Amend the Broadcasting Act, is currently being debated and amended in the Heritage Committee. A few weeks ago, the Liberals voted against the section of their own bill that would have at least partially exempted individual users who upload videos to social media sites like YouTube and Facebook from CRTC regulation under the bill. The Hon. Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Heritage, mentioned recently that the CRTC could impose discoverability regulations on individuals who have a large-enough following online.

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” When George Orwell wrote those words in the original preface to Animal Farm in the 1940s, the internet did not yet exist. But his powerful message continues to resonate decades later because corrupt and authoritarian regimes have proven his writing was sadly never fantasy. And in the internet age, there are even more opportunities for regimes to monitor and control information, and quiet the voices of the people.

In a democratic society, abuses of power and authority can and should be called out without fear of retribution. Social media has rapidly become the platform for this purpose, from cellphone videos of interactions with police to social media posts from inside protests. Regulating social media, therefore, directly jeopardizes our ability to continue exercising this critical democratic freedom of expression.

While Canadians are stuck at home and relying on social media for information, connectivity, and entertainment more than ever before, the Liberal government is quietly moving to radically change how Canadians use the internet. In a society that values freedom of speech and expression, Bill C-10 leaves the door open for a significant abuse of power on the rights of Canadians. Canada’s Conservatives asked for a Charter review of Bill C-10. The government denied our request and appear ready to make deals with the NDP and Bloc to drive it through.

I support creating a level playing field between large foreign streaming services and Canadian broadcasters and championing Canadian arts and culture. However, that must be done without compromising your fundamental rights and freedoms. Conservatives continue to call on Justin Trudeau to withdraw Bill C-10. If this is not done, a Conservative government will stand up for Canadians and repeal this flawed legislation.

While the NDP and the Bloc may look the other way on the freedom of expression, Canada’s Conservatives will not.

That leads to my question this column: What are your thoughts on government regulating your social media accounts?

I can be reached at Rob.Morrison@parl.gc.ca or call toll free 800-668-5522.

Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Men in a work camp at Mile 46 on the Big Bend Highway. 
(Revelstoke Museum and Archives Photo 2259)
Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for June 17

Bumper strawberry crop, Mt. Logan climbers and unemployment relief

(File)
‘It’s not going to work here’: Revelstoke mayor to meet province over ambulance changes

There is a new system being introduced across the province called Scheduled On-Call (SOC)

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

The crosswalk is at Third Street and Mackenzie and was installed on June 17. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
Painting a rainbow: First Pride crosswalk installed in Revelstoke

‘It signals to the community that this city is inclusive,’ Mayor Gary Sulz

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

Most Read