Draconian “online hate speech” law proposed in Canada


Published 28 February 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Prime minister of Canada Justin Trudeau.

Canada’s Parliament is poised to vote on a bill that would further restrict freedom of expression on the Internet. The proposal includes a new crime of “incitement to genocide”, which could lead to life imprisonment.

The Liberal proposal, Bill C-63, not only targets “hate and harmful content” but also aims to “strengthen the protection of children online. The proposal includes increased penalties for hate crimes and the creation of the Digital Safety Commission to monitor online platforms.

Officials say the main aim is to combat child pornography, with social media platforms expected to delete inappropriate material within 24 hours and introduce parental controls, according to several news outlets.

Tucked away in the proposal are tougher measures against those who use offensive and “hateful” language online. The government wants to increase the maximum penalty for “hate speech” and introduce a new crime of “incitement to genocide”, which could lead to life imprisonment.

In its current form, the bill defines harmful content as: incitement to violence, spreading hatred, supporting violent extremism and terrorism, and also addresses child bullying and sexually exploitative content.

“Authoritarian woke agenda”

Law minister Arif Virani stresses the dangers for children on the Internet and its impact on society. He stresses that the bill also seeks to ban “serious counterfeiting”.

As an example, he cites the recent viral images of Taylor Swift’s head on a naked woman’s body. Private messages sent between individuals would not be covered by the bill’s provisions, he added.

Conservative critics, such as party leader Pierre Poilievre, are strongly opposed to prime minister Justin Trudeau’s “authoritarian woke agenda”.

C-63 will first be considered by a parliamentary committee and the senate – both of which may introduce amendments to the final bill. Other countries, including the UK, Australia and France, have recently introduced new laws aimed at “curbing hate content” on the internet.

The new bill comes amid tensions between the Canadian government and social media companies over a law forcing the companies to pay for content from Canadian news publishers.

TNT is truly independent!

We don’t have a billionaire owner, and our unique reader-funded model keeps us free from political or corporate influence. This means we can fearlessly report the facts and shine a light on the misdeeds of those in power.

Consider a donation to keep our independent journalism running…