Kingston MP Mark Gerretsen has spoken out in support of a controversial bill currently undergoing debate in the House of Commons.
Initially, the intent of the bill was to bring new streaming platforms such as Netflix, Crave, Spotify, and Amazon Prime Video under the Canadian Radio-television and telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
However, the proposed bill expanded into the realm of social media, sparking concerns among opposition parties and free speech advocates. Critics argue that the bill can be used to censor user generated content.
“In Canada there is a bill in front of parliament there is a bill that is probably going to pass because of Justin Trudeau that would stop you from being able to post on social media, that’s bill C-10,” said Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner recently.
Gerretsen responded to these assertions claiming that this is not true and that the bill has been politicized. “Bill C-10 was never intended for this purpose and quite frankly has been hijacked by anti-free speech movement promoted by hyper partisan politicians like [Conservative MP Michelle] Rempel.”
Additionally, Gerretsen says that language has been added to the bill that will clarify the intent of the bill. “Just for absolute certainty in an attempt to appease these concerns,further language will be inserted into the bill to provide maximum clarity around the issue,” said Gerretson.
Despite the MP’s attempts to ease concerns about the bill, confusion about its proposed intent continues to ensue.
Recently, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault recently said in an interview that the regulations may be applied to uploaders with large followings, and by extension considered broadcasters.
“What we want to do, this law should apply to people who are broadcasters, or act like broadcasters. So if you have a YouTube channel with millions of viewers, and you’re deriving revenues from that, then at some point the CRTC will be asked to put a threshold. But we’re talking about broadcasters here, we’re not talking about everyday citizens posting stuff on their YouTube channel,” Guilbeault said.
Shortly after his statement, Guibeault backtracked his statement, asserting that uploaders will never be considered broadcasters. “If a social media platform contracts an individual to produce content for broadcast, it will still be the social media platform that faces regulation,” he said.
The bill even attracted the attention of former former MP Jodie Wilson Raybould, who said. “When does internet following and therefore content uploaded by an individual make someone a ‘broadcaster’ to be regulated by CRTC?” said Wilson Raybould.
The hearings for the bill are still in progress and continue on Monday.