In The Once and Future Canadian Democracy, Canadian scholar Janet Ajzenstat writes, “It follows that true Canadians will favour gun control as a matter of course. It’s in keeping with our identity. But think! What about those opposed? Are we supposed to regard them as less than fully Canadian?”According to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, the answer is yes. When Ajzenstat writes, “It’s one thing to lose a debate in the legislative arena. It happens all the time. It’s part of living in a liberal democracy – but it’s another thing to have one’s national identity called in question,” Justin’s Liberals shrug.
Bill C-10 and Our Democratic Rights
This is the way things have been for decades. Take our current situation with Bill C-10. The federal government wants control over your social media feed. They want to decide what media you see. They want to pick and choose content creators and grant them funding and special privileges. This is how things work in this country. Through the power of the CRTC, the government tells television and radio stations what to play and when to play it. They protect a corporate cartel from competition, foreign and domestic. The idea is to promote Canadian content. Steer us away from “bad” foreign content, particularly from the United States.
They call it CanCon
It’s the government deciding what is sufficiently Canadian. It’s based on an arbitrary point system. It can be conned to your advantage. Or disadvantage. It’s merely a bureaucratic form of allocating resources. In this sense, media success. The free Internet relies on the consensual behaviours and actions of billions of people.
Bill C-10 says Internet content will rely on what Ottawa thinks
Justin’s Liberals want social media and streaming services under the CanCon system. Why? Because the government worries about the kind of content you consume. It’s the same excuse they use with cannabis. Meanwhile, individual Canadians are no better off. But CEOs welcome the change. Look at large licensed producers created by Stephen Harper’s now unconstitutional medical cannabis laws. They profited big from legalization. And when Bill C-10 was introduced, Bell’s CEO Mirko Bibic tweeted positively. It’s almost as if the government doesn’t represent us…
Why should the government worry about what we watch? And what rules will they create if Bill C-10 passes?
Parliament’s bills are purposefully broad. Interpretations left to the bureaucracy. Executive agents tasked with enforcing details they themselves create. Unbridled power. The Cannabis Act took time in Parliament. Due to its historic nature, the MPs hammered out many details. But C-10 isn’t getting this same treatment. First Justin’s Liberals shut down the debate. Now they’re asking you to trust them. They don’t deserve it.
Look at what Justin’s Liberals did to the legal cannabis market
Retail storefronts push corporate weed. BC Bud dances the regulatory shuffle. People still go to jail. No advertising whatsoever. All packaging is plain and unappealing. Warnings of – alleged – negative health effects from consuming the product. There is an overabundance of plastic and waste. It’s like economist Milton Friedman said, if you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert in five years they’d run out of sand. And indeed, provincial governments have lost money selling cannabis. Let that sink in. They lose money selling weed.
Impact on internet
Imagine if Netflix pulled out of Canada. Maybe that’ll finally oust Justin from the throne. If they’re required to stream, say, 40% CanCon, they could simply reduce the total number of movies and shows on their Canadian servers. Whatever keeps the regulators happy. Your YouTube front page may no longer represent your preferences. Imagine a bland display of whatever values the government of the day is pushing. This being Justin’s Liberals, Bill C-10 emphasizes, “Canadians from racialized [sic] communities and Canadians of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds.” Just as the government destroyed the cannabis market, they are now attempting to destroy the Internet. Attempting to. The underground cannabis market still exists, and so will virtual private networks (VPNs). Even the Soviets had their samizdat.
Why? Are the human beings in the federal government really that morally superior? Who are they to decide what Canadians en masse should be watching or avoiding? What excuse is it this time? Public health and safety? National security? Combating ‘hate’ and counter-narrative information? Why should they decide who in the media is more deserving of success? Is it advantageous they do so? Would they prefer if Canadians listened to George Stroumboulopoulos than Joe Rogan or Lex Fridman? If media shapes our worldview, then who sets the narrative? An unelected government body accountable only to the mess that is Parliament? Or a spontaneous order of individuals? People acting in concert by pursuing their own preferences.
“Canada’s f—-d… They’re so locked down and I don’t understand why they think that’s good.” – Joe RoganSource: The Joe Rogan Experience, Episode #1641
The Internet is free. It transcends borders. It allows people to engage with their niche hobby groups.
Regardless of ethnic backgrounds, nation, or state. It allows people to see themselves as individuals in a world with other individuals. And sure, it allows people to come together as groups to hate on other groups. But we already have laws against violence and threats thereof. With the Internet, we can freely explore the world outside our borders. But like his favourite “basic dictatorship,” Justin and his Liberals want to wall us off. They want to restrict our liberty based on their shallow conception of what media should be. What being a Canadian is all about. Justin’s Liberals offer cultural fascism with an apology.
There is no absolute right to free speech in Canada. Historically, the United States’ first amendment hasn’t been much of a guarantee either. We’re on our own here. The cultural preference of millions may be to oppose cannabis. To relegate it alongside alcohol and tobacco. Or worse, heroin and cocaine. And then oppose free speech on top of all else. If this is the cultural norm, then this is the end of cannabis content. C-10 and future legislation like it will make it harder to find cannabis content. Cannabis Life Network, Pot.TV, Cannabis Culture, or High Times. Why stop at social media? Why not apply pressure to the website’s physical servers? Eventually, voices not approved by the corporate state can disappear outright. We can dial the media clock back to before the Internet.
Liberal MP Julie Dabrusin outlined her theory behind Bill C-10
It is to prevent the “chipping away at the credibility of our institutions, at the fundamental trust in Canada’s public service and the institutions that support the very important work that is being done in our country.” But is blind obedience to the institutions really a sign of liberal democracy? I don’t “chip away” at Canada’s cannabis regime for the sake of it. We need criticism of the institutions when they’ve lost touch with their purpose. In a liberal democracy, everything is up for debate. Including the merits of liberal democracy itself. This doesn’t make one any less Canadian any more than opposing gun control does. Or promoting a laissez-faire cannabis market. But soon we may lose the freedom to easily communicate this idea.