Senate Does Not Pass Bill C-10, Move Applauded by Conservatives

In a tweet Saturday, Pierre Poilievre, Conservative Member of Parliament for Carleton, Ontario, congratulated the Canadians on the fact highly controversial Bill C-10 did not pass in the Senate.

The Liberal government-proposed amendment to the Broadcasting Act did not pass in the upper chamber despite the government’s pleas to fast-track the controversial legislation.

On the surface, Bill C-10 is meant to make digital streaming services like Netflix, Spotify, and Apple TV+ operating in Canada subject to regulation by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), forcing them to contribute financially to the creation, production, and promotion of Canadian content.

However, a number of grave concerns regarding the bill’s impact on the average Canadian’s freedom of speech and freedom of expression have come to light since it was tabled.

The bill received significant backlash when it was amended to include YouTube uploads and iTunes podcasts, and became the subject of unprecedented contention in both the Parliament and in the public when Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault admitted it would also apply to what Canadians post on social media.

A slip-up from a Liberal MP revealed that Bill C-10 was even aiming to regulate mobile apps.

The bill has garnered mounting opposition in Parliament, with many MPs concerned about the bill’s far-reaching language and vagueness as to exactly what aspects of the internet it would add to the Liberal-appointed CRTC’s dominion.

“The core problem with this bill is that it takes the regulatory tools designated for a small, fixed number of licensed TV and radio stations in the 1990s and attempts to apply it to the vast universe of the internet in the 2020s,” said Conservative Senator Leo Housakos, who on Monday guaranteed that Bill C-10 would not be rushed through parliament without thorough examination.

“This lack of clear limits on what can be regulated is a fundamental problem with this bill,” he added.

After its final session on Tuesday, the Senate went on break for the summer, leaving Bill C-10 in limbo after it had already passed in the House of Commons.

“It is not the law today,” said Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre. “If Trudeau calls that early election he’s been warning about, then the bill will die. Even if he wins that election, he’d have to reintroduce the bill from the very first stage and start all over again,” he added.

Provided that an early election doesn’t take place, the Senate and its committees are expected to return sometime during the week of Sept. 21.