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Lethbridge Herald: The Government Aims to Control What you Watch

If you enjoy watching YouTube videos or prefer on-demand streaming services, like Netflix or Prime, over cable or radio, Bill C-11 will have a big impact on you!

Through this piece of legislation, the government is about to give itself the authority to control what you watch. Instead of giving you more of what you want, YouTube will be instructed to give you more of what the government wants for you.

The government claims this bill is about “supporting Canadian culture” and “leveling the playing field,” but that’s just not true. Let me explain…

Bill C-11 amends the Broadcasting Act by bringing the internet under its provisions. In the early 20th Century, this Act was put in place to regulate TV and radio to ensure Canada’s two official languages were both given airtime and cultural diversity was upheld. This was necessary because the number of TV and radio stations was limited, and these finite resources needed to be shared.

Unlike these two mediums, the internet is boundless. Anyone who wants to have a presence on the internet can have one. The government doesn’t need to regulate which content should be prioritized and which should be demoted. There’s space for all.

Today, in the Internet Age, when nearly everyone has access to smart devices and streaming services, it’s never been easier for Canadian content creators— from all linguistic and cultural backgrounds—to reach a global audience with the content they wish to showcase. The gatekeepers, such as Bell Media, Rogers, the CBC, or Corus Entertainment, have been removed. The internet is infinite, and the opportunities are endless.

But this is all about to change.

The Liberal Government, under Justin Trudeau, is determined to control what Canadians watch and post online.

Bill C-11 will have 2 massive consequences:

1. Censorship of what you see: This piece of legislation will effectively place the government as a content regulator, meaning it will determine what you can see online. This legislation will break your search bar. Instead of directing you to the things you want to view, it will direct you to the things the government wants you to view.

2. Censorship of what you say: Home-grown talent and creative content here in Canada will no longer succeed based on merit. Content will be subject to a set of criteria that bureaucrats in Ottawa will use to determine its level of “Canadian-ness.” This will favour traditional art forms over new creative content. Cultural minority groups will largely be cut out.

In summary, Bill C-11 will not only hinder consumers’ ability to view and listen to what they want, it will also harm digital first creators in their ability to succeed and reach global audiences.

Content creators from across Canada, along with consumer groups have been speaking out about the dangers of this bill. Legal experts have called it a grotesque overreach of government.

When speaking about the bill, Margaret Atwood didn’t mince her words when she called it “creeping totalitarianism.”

Bill C-11 is in its final hours of debate, but its not too late to fight back. Help us kill it!

If you’re worried about the government controlling what you watch, take a moment to reach out to the Minister of Heritage, Pablo Rodriguez, and tell him to keep the YOU in YouTube.

It only takes one minute to send a one-line email and it could make a huge difference!

Please email:

Together, let’s #KillBillC11!

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