Canadian constitutional expert: Trudeau’s Online Harms Act threatens free speech
03/05/2024 // Laura Harris // Views

A top Canadian constitutional lawyer has warned the public that a new bill that claims to protect children from online sexual abuse, cyberbullying and self-harm is actually an attack on free speech.

The Online Harms Act, known as Bill C-63 and introduced by Justice Minister Arif Virani, also includes amendments to the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act. The new law and additional amendments could reinstate Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, a "hate speech" provision that was abolished by conservative former Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2013.

Bill C-63 will not only reinstate Section 13 but will also enable the government to target specific content on the internet for removal. The government claims this bill will only be used to target child sexual abuse and pornography.

The bill proposes the establishment of a digital safety commission, a digital safety ombudsperson and a digital safety office to handle public complaints about online content. The committee will also form a regulatory function with a five-person panel of government appointees to monitor internet platform behaviors. In other words, the bill will give the committee the power to hold "secret commission hearings" against those who break the rules. (Related: Justin Trudeau TERRIFIED of independent media winning information war, calls for aggressive new CENSORSHIP to protect mainstream media propagandists.)

However, critics argue that it could lead to more severe penalties for "hate crimes" and fines for posts defined as "hate speech" based on gender, race or other categories.

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Marty Moore, litigation director for Charter Advocates Canada, which is funded by the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms, argued that this will also "open doors for government regulation to target undefined psychological harm."

"The use of the term 'safety' is misleading, when the government, through Bill C-63, is clearly seeking to censor expression simply based on its content and not on its actual effect," he said.

Moore warned the public about the broad reach of the commission. He stated that it could regulate anyone operating a social media service, regardless of the number of users. He argued that the bill gives the commission significant powers, including the ability to seek secret warrants, enter people's homes and impose massive fines. Moore explained that it will “likely coerce those operating social media services to exceed the Commission’s requirements of censorship on Canadians' expression."

Furthermore, Moore highlighted concerns about the bill allowing secret commission hearings, citing the discretion to consider secrecy "in the public interest." He warned that the bill could make the commission an "order of the Federal Court," potentially resulting in fines and imprisonment for contempt.

"While people cannot be imprisoned under section 124 of Bill C-63 for refusing to pay a Commission-imposed fine, it is possible that having a Commission order reissued by the Federal Court could result in imprisonment of a person for refusing to impose government censorship on their social media service," he said.

Poilievre: Hate speech for Trudeau means "speech he hates"

In response to Moore's claims, the government argues that the bill aims to protect children from online harm.

However, Conservative Party of Canada leader Pierre Poilievre stated that the federal government is only searching for clever ways to implement laws for internet censorship.

In the House of Commons on Feb. 27, Poilievre opposed the Online Harms Act, stating that enforcing criminal laws, rather than censoring opinions, is crucial for protecting children online. Meanwhile, in a press conference, Poilievre questioned Trudeau's definition of "hate speech."

"What does Justin Trudeau mean when he says the word 'hate speech?' He means speech he hates," he said.

Two prominent Canadian civil liberties organizations, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) and the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF), are also against Bill C-63. The CCLA and CCF argue that the provisions in Bill C-63 that prevent hate speech are draconian, vaguely worded and could infringe upon constitutional rights.

CCF Executive Director Joanna Baron expressed skepticism about the government's intentions.

"Justice Minister Virani has tied these speech restrictions to defensible measures like removing images of child sexual exploitation material and revenge porn. But don't be fooled. Most of the bill is aimed at restricting freedom of expression. This heavy-handed bill needs to be severely pared down to comply with the constitution," Baron said.

Visit for more stories of government censorship of online speech.

Watch this episode of "The Fascist New World Order Podcast" which touches on hate speech.

This video is from the Puretrauma357 channel on

More related stories:

European Union adopts resolution that criminalizes "hate speech" … which can mean almost anything.

"Hate speech" bill passes the Michigan House, conservatives warn it threatens First Amendment rights.

Polish socialist deputy justice minister announces amendments to penal code targeting so-called "hate speech."

"Hate speech" censorship group partnered with White House funded by these 9 "dark money" sources.

Ireland passes controversial hate speech law: Those caught "misgendering" someone will face five years in prison.

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