Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s foreign affairs minister Melanie Joly wants Canadians to believe her job is to make sure Canadians only see government approved content.
According to Blacklock’s, which first reported this story Monday morning: Joly made the remarks during a Commons foreign affairs committee meeting. They were in answer to a question from Liberal MP Randeep Sarai about how Canada was combating Russian disinformation online in relation to Ukraine’s invasion.
“We’ve banned Russia Today and Sputnik on the broadcasting side. We’ve pushed digital platforms to also ban them but we need to do more,” said Joly. “My mandate as foreign minister is really to counter propaganda online.”
Contrary to Joly’s claim there is no mention in the mandate letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking her to combating disinformation or propaganda online
The only mention of online content in the letter was for Joly to work with the Minister of Canadian Heritage to “take steps to build an international coalition to develop a new UNESCO convention on the diversity of content online.”
But if this were true, would Joly be pushing to censor CBC? Recently it has become common knowledge the CBC has to print a correction — sometimes severe — or clarification nearly every week to combat their own misinformation. It’s highly doubtful CBC will be censored considering it is the federally (taxpayer) funded PR media arm for Trudeau and the Liberals in recent years.
“Can you discuss the work led by Canada to fight disinformation in this context, whether it’s propaganda within Russia or propaganda outside, and how the West can fight?” asked Sarai.
“In every war information is key because it justified why you start war. What we’ve seen since the beginning of this war, before the war, there was a big propaganda campaign,” elaborated Joly. “Since then they’ve been engaging in more and more of their propaganda. Meanwhile we know that it is happening in Ukraine and in Russia but at the same time it’s happening in our democracies.”
“Social media companies need to do more. They need to make sure they recognize states have jurisdiction over them and that they’re not technology platforms but they’re content producers. It is our way collectively to make sure that we can really be able to have strong democracies in the future because this war is being fought with 21st century tools including social media,” she continued.
However wanting to censor broadcasting and Internet is not new to the Liberals. They introduced Bill C-10 to the table a few years ago which got shot down. More recently they have reintroduced the same bill now under Bill C-11.
Bill C-11 would limit what Canadians see online to only be able to consume government approved media from all platforms including social media and user generate sites, such as Facebook, YouTube, Tiktok, much in the same way Internet is censored in communist countries like China and North Korea.