Bill C- 11 commonly referred to as Trudeau’s censorship law went through its final stage of votes in the senate on Thursday evening receiving royal assent and becoming law.
Bill C-11, titled “online streaming act” will pull digital content creators into the legacy framework of the Broadcasting Act making them subject to regulations by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
Senators voted 52-16 in support of the bill becoming law.
The house of commons committee and senators heard fierce push back from critics arguing it allows the government interfere with what content users see by dictating algorithms produce the desired outcomes of the CRTC.
The government claims the bill will not target individual users and user generated content. However a recent amendment to protect user generated content was rejected by senators on Wednesday.
“Today, we are standing up for our stories, our artists, our producers and our creators. We’re standing up so that Canadians have even more opportunities to see themselves in what they watch and listen to,” Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said Thursday in a statement.
The fact that we’ve spent so much time and deliberation on this legislation isn’t justification to now pack it in after one round,” said Conservative Senator Leo Housakos.
“All that the Senate did was to take the government up on its claim and to test its commitment. But when put to the test, the government failed. It effectively declared that it would continue to reserve the right to permit the CRTC to regulate user-generated content if required,” said Senator Don Plett.
Senators voted 47-17 against insisting the amendment be included in the bill.
The CRTC is now task with creating regulations for the Internet like it has for done for radio and television.
The lobby group called Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CDCE) praised the censorship law and immediately showed support for the CRTC to regulate social media content.
“In the coming months, the government will issue a policy direction to the CRTC, which will then have the important responsibility of developing the rules that will apply to each of the new services that are now clearly under its jurisdiction, i.e. audiovisual and audio streaming services and social media.”
Earlier this month documents obtained by the Canadian Press from the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada revealed the agency pressured Facebook and Twitter to delete a Toronto Sun article that criticized the refugee determination system.
Documents tabled in parliament detailed 214 incidences where government requested social media companies to delete content between January 2020 and February 2023.
The NDP and Bloc Quebecois supported the Liberals, running defense to help push the bill into law.