▇▇▇▇ [1113] by Brian J. Matis (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/bfa2dF

▇▇▇▇ [1113] by Brian J. Matis (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/bfa2dF


Guilbeault’s Gag Order: Government Plans Motion to Stop Bill C-10 Debate

Earlier this week, Bloc leader Yves-François Blanchet called for a “gag order” on Bill C-10, which would limit debate on the bill using a process known as time allocation. The irony of calling for a gag order on debate over a bill with profound implications for freedom of expression is likely not lost on many Canadians. But worse than a regional, separatist party with 32 MPs calling for a gag order is the Minister of Canadian Heritage doing so. That is precisely what happened last night, as Steven Guilbeault announced that the government would be introducing a motion to cut off debate on Bill C-10.

Guilbeault’s statement in support of the gag order is riddled with inaccuracies and omissions:

  • He claims that lengthy bill study has been the product of “systematic obstruction”, but anyone following committee debate will fairly note the genuine questions and concerns about the proposed legislation, which Guilbeault himself has failed to coherently address in repeated media interviews.
  • He argues that there has been many witnesses, yet does not acknowledge that digital-first Canadian creators were never asked to appear before committee.
  • He makes no mention of the fact that the hearings over the past month have been focused on the implications of changes that the government itself made by moving to regulate user generated content, thereby opening the door to concerns about speech regulation and violations of net neutrality.
  • He does not acknowledge the remarkable uncertainty in the bill with core terms not defined, thresholds not identified, and massive power delegated to the CRTC, which has proven itself unsuitable for such responsibility.
  • He suggests that the bill means lost support of $70 million per month, when the reality is that foreign services are among the largest supporters of film production in Canada and any new revenues from the bill will ultimately be paid by Canadian consumers.
  • His $70 million per month claim is particularly absurd given that the bill envisions months of hearings before the CRTC before anything is finalized. To suggest that debating dozens of amendments – many raised by the government or Liberal MPs – is delaying any payments is plainly false.
  • He speaks of the opposition supporting web giants when Guilbeault’s own department has advised that the bill could regulate everything from podcast apps to home workout videos to audiobook platforms.

For the Minister of Canadian Heritage to respond to legitimate, widely held concerns about the freedom of expression impact of legislation by seeking to cut off debate makes a mockery of our Canadian heritage.

The appropriate response is for the creator lobby groups who claimed to be ardent supporters of free speech to speak out against a legislative gag order, for opposition parties to say no to a process unworthy of a government that proclaimed that better is always possible, and for the government to live up to those ideals by withdrawing the bill and hitting the reset button.


  1. Sok Puppette says:

    Any idea why they’re so attached to railroading through this particular bill? It doesn’t seem like the issue should be worth their investing a lot of political capital in it.

    • Gurpreet says:

      To stop the remaining tiny fraction of Canadians from creating their own opinions about those in charge of them

      • I HAVE A SMALL YOUTUBE CHANNEL THAT COULD GROW …..im disabled and use the unreal engine to do some pretty fancy stuff

        2 things i need going forward, hardware to do even mroe fancy stuff in faster time frames, and a govt that wobnt cost me money doing all this which this bill plainly says it will force a yearly braodcast lisence.

        if your liberal maybe seeing me succeed would be nice fuzzy wizzy, if your conservative then if you need to give me less tax money to support myself , then wooo. the ndp are a disgusting bunch now that might as well rename the party to the musican and actor party….they dont give a rats butt about anyone butt the paychecks they get like liberals

    • dont forget in a singel day the cbc’s own webpage comments on this bill were 100% negative
      with over 7000 posts before they shut it down and started story hopping to push it off the front page…they know no one wants this but are bribbed to bring it for hollywood and the rich and musicans

      if a party wants to sweep ottawa
      start putting copyright back to 50 years, removing all this bill does and take a 10 percent pay cut

      you WIN

    • Fortinbras says:

      “If it rains, we might want to open our umbrellas,” said the Treasury secretary. “Oh my God, she’s predicting a torrential downpour,” shouted panicked pundits. (Paul Krugman, New York Times, 6 May 2021)

      There are no particular implications for freedom of expression in Bill C-10, as Janet Yale and Pierre Trudel have said to the parliamentary committee: https://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/Harmony/fr/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20210517/-1/35475?Language=French&Stream=Video. Freedom of expression is protected by Section 2(3) of the Broadcasting Act which declares that “this Act shall be construed and applied in a manner that is consistent with the freedom of expression and journalistic, creative and programming independence enjoyed by broadcasting undertakings”, and confirmed by a declaration by the Justice Ministry in regard to the changes proposed by Bill C-10 (https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/pl/charter-charte/c10.html).

      Michael Geist’s blog in opposition to the gag order is riddled with inaccuracies and omissions. Here are three:

      • Of course, thresholds have not been identified in Bill C-10 because, like the Telecommunications Act, the Broadcasting Act is an objectives-based statute with an opening statement of policy declared by Parliament. The Act requires the Commission to implement policies that put into effect its objectives and does not set out specific thresholds any more than any other law of this nature. There are no thresholds identified anywhere in the current Act. Thresholds are the task of regulations pursuant to the Act.
      • Foreign services are not supporters of certified Canadian production and that is what Bill C-10 seeks to rectify. Bill C-10 aims to encourage non Canadian services operating within our borders to contribute to Canadian national identity and cultural sovereignty from our point of view. In all likelihood, such giants would find the necessary financing within their existing programming budgets. In 2019, for example, Netflix claimed to have spent over $500 million in Canada over two years, and committed to continuing at this rate, (https://playbackonline.ca/2019/09/26/netflix-says-it-has-spent-500m-in-canada-in-two-years/). So it should not be too difficult for Netflix to reach a reasonable level of spending on certified Canadian production once the Bill comes into effect. The same is true of Amazon Prime (soon to own MGM) and Disney. The smaller services would be exempted from regulation…
      • Michael Geist mischaracterizes the facts in his campaign against Bill C-10 and promoting Internet exceptionalism. The Canadian Heritage deputy minister’s memo of 8 December 2021 does not indicate that the Bill targets a broad range of Internet websites. As the deputy minister says clearly in her memo, according to Bill C-10, services that do not contribute materially to the implementation of the Broadcasting Act should not be regulated and the Act would not apply to social media services. Furthermore, she admits, whether the Act as amended by the Bill would apply to specific types of services, and if so whether those services would be subject to regulatory requirements, is “speculative”.

      The government should go forward with this badly needed legislation.

      • “enjoyed by broadcast undertakings” to be defined by the crtc and thus you could have censorship and all manner a stuff YOU CANT do that maybe just maybe content creators and youtubers and twitch streamers do that main stream and friends are not

        go fuuck yourself man
        have you even read the amended law? NO REALLY cause its plain as day to the rest ofus and disclose whom you work for please cause my bet is a BIG hollywood shit head outfit that wont be the least bit concerned about me the disabled guy that wants to create but every time i start trying assholes get in way LIKE this law and you

      • so if epic games a foreign service gives me free assets does that no longer qualify as canadian conent if me the canadian creates it?
        VAGUE law means who knows.
        Does hostingit on youtube a non canadian service mean its no longer canadian conent
        VAGUE law means who knows
        THIS isnt just michael geist pal this is me the youtuber telling you we had enough bullshit form yanky govts and there rules ….now you want to cut us off of 30% of my traffic, and be forced to start subbign to jerks and sjws i do not want anyhting to do with?
        again GO FUUCK YOUR SELF.
        where is htis 500 million going i htink we cold stop giving anyone that and have a cheaper netflix to watch
        your incesant need to pander and baby musicans and actors and prop up old ways of media is a tax and waste of tax payers dollars, that would be better spent on getting yourtube to pay more to more people ergo 800 subs and 3000 watch hours might be a neat way to start. OR better yet you could have them stop putting ads on channels and not paying people

        that is slave labour and the liberals are making it worse.
        I AM NOT A SLAVE

      • actually thresholds were defined
        your only exempt if your not an affiliate
        so if im not paid by youtube or twitch ( a slave then) i can upload without your bull
        sec i am i am a broad caster like cbc ctv etc. ALSO i might fall under it as the unreal engine does really professional cinematics so how does that work
        you gonna make me pay , ill take it to supreme court that your violated the charter on this law and ill go wide on this, you dont knwo everyone i do.

        this is my threat to the govt of canada and liberal party a disabled person will sue your party and the govt over this law, cause you knowingly know this is not charter safe.

      • Man, I wonder how much money Fortinbras is getting paid to spread that false information.

      • 4freespeach says:

        Perhaps you should put on a tin hat to go with your tin bra

    • cause the big hollywood houses are feeling threatened that lil fry like me with all the freebies and cheap tech can now do really neat stuff

      have a lil look and be inspired i updated this to 1080p

      now imagine i didnt get hoodwinked and got that 50000 investment in 2012 before it broke that warner brothers was using slave labour at under min wage to do stuff i wanted to do…yes peterborough had a program that would have put me and 8 others with 3 established business people for a year …those other 8 doing other stuff my fancy pants would have helped them and allow me to show off too ….and be paid for it.

      push forward to 2 years back when epic started giving out 4-10 free dev packs a year and gave out tons …there was 45000 devs , now there is 750000 world wide….
      its never been cheaper to make a video game and cinematics with unreal is royalty free …until my pro work gets SMACKED by bill c-10
      ill be done


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  4. I honestly suspect this sort of thing isn’t going to be stopped until we are all using a captive curated portal a la 90’s AOL. I wonder how long before someone comes up with the bright idea of a certain % of full screen ads for every minute spent online despite the fact we already pay through the teeth for access.

  5. The biggest problem with this Bill is that it’s inherently discriminatory. Official Canadian content is the upper class, while all other content, including unofficial Canadian content, is the lower class. Proponents of the Bill justify this discrimination by claiming it is needed to protect cultural sovereignty.

    Culture does not exist in a vacuum. Culture is influenced by both internal and external forces. Where the content is created does not determine if the influence with be beneficial or harmful. Are Canadian values better represented by Gerry Dee from Family Feud Canada or Alex Trebek? Who is the better role model Pamela Anderson of Michelle Obama? Have the songs of that born-again brat from Stratford had a better influence on Canadian culture than the songs of Springsteen?

    So to all you supporters of Bill C 10, go back to your entitled bubbles and leave the rest of us alone.

    • Indeed. And since it is the Canadian government that is deciding which content should be promoted and which content does not, it’s straight up government censorship. There are mountains of caselaw in Canada that backs up the idea that what the government is doing is unconstitutional: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/rfc-dlc/ccrf-ccdl/check/art2b.html

      Whoever is going to litigate the government over this legislation is going to have an absolute field day. If I were those litigants, I would be putting together the lawsuit quietly behind the scenes, looking up ever inch of caselaw that points out that C-10 is unconstitutional, and, after this law receives royal assent, file that pallet worth of documents to make sure as little damage to the Internet is done as possible all the while ensuring that not only is this law going to be dead, but gagged with garlic and with nails in the coffin to ensure this monster never sees the light of day again.

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  7. chas white says:

    This bill must be scrapped before it ever becomes law. I think trudeau has made this law to please his chinese masters and its a one way street to see it done. Canadians will be doing lots of hand wringing when its realized the double cross. the internet is for everyone and there is not supposed to be a censoring board.

  8. David Gray says:


    Canada has finally matured into becoming the left-wing, anti-majority democratic, pro-francophone minority toilet that foreign observers have predicted for the last couple of decades.

    NATO and 5_Is need to immediately stop sharing intelligence information with Canada, which is now a pro-China rogue state outside the band of British Commonwealth countries.

    Never again can sane Canadian democrats have any pride in this country.

    • It’s interesting that all the loony Qanon conspiracy – Maxime Bernie supporters – racist wackos are on only one side of this debate. Everyone else, I guess, is an elitist socialist.

      • Maxime BERNIER, not to be confused with “Beernie.”

        • BERNIE, not to be confused with “Beernie.”

          I really should look at what I’ve typed before submitting . . .

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