It’s not censorship.
It’s not censorship to want to use the law to prohibit, and punish, those who make and distribute child pornography.
It’s not censorship to object to hate propaganda, or to sanction those who promote genocide against those they hate.
It’s not censorship to believe that we shouldn’t make it easy for lunatics to access detailed instructions online about how to make bombs or chemical weapons.
It’s not censorship, it’s showing good judgment. In a civil society, it’s the obligation we owe each other. It keeps us safe, among other things.
But Justin Trudeau’s Bill C-10 isn’t about censoring things that we all agree are harmful, it’s about censoring you, and what you say online — in a tweet, a Facebook post, on a blog. It’s about limiting your ability to express yourself in a democracy.
It’s a constitutional abomination. It needs to be stopped.
So why haven’t the Opposition parties stopped it?
The Opposition, as on most days during the pandemic, are completely irrelevant. They didn’t see the political opportunity presented by C-10 until a few days ago.
The Bloc Quebecois are all for the Bill, naturally. No surprise there. They come from a province that has a long history of controlling political speech. It’s in their DNA.
The NDP, meanwhile, is for it too. The New Democrats like to persuade themselves that C-10 will control “hate speech,” but that’s just a lie they tell themselves to justify their ongoing role as Trudeau’s Parliamentary eunuchs. They’re irrelevant, numerically and philosophically.
The Conservatives, naturally, never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. They didn’t see the outrage that is C-10 until their grassroots demanded that they wake up.
That’s the Opposition. They don’t matter, much. Not yet. But what about the government? That’s what this writer doesn’t get.
Now, as readers of this newspaper know, Justin Trudeau is a deeply dishonest man. He is the most inauthentic politician in generations, and that’s saying something.
But he knows he lacks his father’s intellectual depth — or Stephen Harper or Jean Chretien’s strategic skill. What he does possess, in abundance however, is a finely-honed sense of self-preservation. He’d kill his dog to win. (Anyone seen the dog, recently, BTW?)
So why would he do something like C-10 on the eve of an election — likely if not in June then in October? Why would he do that? Why would he risk losing over this? Because he could.
It’s not a piece of legislation. It’s a political suicide note. It’s self-immolating madness.
That’s what some of us just don’t get: you could run an entire national election campaign on C-10 because the Internet is the only thing that connects pandemic-bound people to the world right now.
The Internet – and its bastard children Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok – are the only way many of us can connect with each other during this pandemic without end.
And Trudeau wants to be seen as censoring that? Has he lost his mind?
Now, never discount the possibility that powerful people make powerfully stupid choices, I always say. But this? This is historically stupid. It is epically stupid.
It is stupid on steroids.
The Conservatives, who have been on a downward trajectory in the Erin O’Toole era, have been handed a way to actually win the election. Personally, I doubt they’re intelligent enough to recognize it. And the Liberal Party, as it turns out, isn’t intelligent enough to figure that out, either.
But – improbably and unexpectedly, things just got interesting.
Because this is really, truly censorship.
— Warren Kinsella is a lawyer and adjunct professor at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law