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Guilbeault says Bill C-10 won’t breach free speech, citing Justice Department study

Guilbeault says Bill C-10 won’t breach free speech, citing Justice Department study
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OTTAWA - Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault is doubling down on his controversial new broadcasting bill at a parliamentary committee hearing, citing a Justice Department analysis to reiterate the legislation would not affect free speech online.

A charter impact statement from Justice officials this week found that the would-be law, known as Bill C-10, would not encroach on social-media users’ freedom of expression.

Work of the heritage committee has been stalled since Liberal MPs on the panel moved to cut a section of the legislation that expressly excluded user-generated content from regulation.

That move quickly stirred angry protests and media commentary, with critics arguing that the change may infringe on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Guilbeault has said the protests against the bill are unwarranted and threaten to delay Bill C-10, which he says intends to give the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission power to regulate some activities of large social media platforms when they act like broadcasters.

The minister says the legislation has strong support from Canadian cultural industries that want big platforms to showcase Canadian content and pay a share of their revenue to fund programming, as conventional broadcasters do.
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