On Friday, September 29, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced a new “regulatory plan” for streaming services that operate in Canada, that earn $10,000,000 annually or more and offer broadcast content (podcasts).
According to the CRTC, this is a new way to “modernize” media regulation in Canada so that, in the future, streaming platforms, such as Netflix or social media, “make meaningful contributions to Canadian and Indigenous content.”
However, critics say this new measure actually seeks to restrict freedom of expression and silence the few remaining dissident voices in Canada.
“Governments hide things by announcing them on Friday afternoons. Last night, Trudeau announced he now requires YouTubers, livestreamers & podcasters (including those streaming on X/Twitter) to 'register' with the government. It’s part of his Internet censorship strategy,” renowned conservative journalist Ezra Levant, editor of Rebel News, wrote on Saturday.
1. Governments hide things by announcing them on Friday afternoons.
Last night, Trudeau announced he now requires YouTubers, livestreamers & podcasters (including those streaming on X/Twitter) to “register” with the government.
It’s part of his Internet censorship strategy. https://t.co/UQUSAU4Nng
— Ezra Levant 🍁🚛 (@ezralevant) September 30, 2023
According to Levant, this decree will seek to limit Canadian independent media, the only free press in the North American country, since traditional media receive multi-million dollar subsidies from the Trudeau Government.
In an extensive thread on X (formerly Twitter), Levant claimed that "CRTC is immensely political," he remembered that in 2015, they canceled the television network Sun News Network, luckily for Fox News Canada.
“Sun News wanted the same regulatory treatment as the two left-wing all-news channels, and the CRTC denied it,” Levant wrote. “I used to work at Sun News; out of its ashes we built Rebel News. We were rebelling against three things — Media Party groupthink; expensive TV infrastructure; and CRTC regulation. On the Internet we were free. Within a few years we had a much larger reach than Sun News had."
The now editor of Rebel News, one of the most recognized independent media outlets in Canada, said that this last provision is, ultimately, one more measure to control speech by the Trudeau Administration which joins legislation C-11, C-18 or C-36, aimed at regulating content on the internet and media.
Other important Canadian voices, such as psychologist, professor and author Jordan Peterson, also reacted against the CRTC announcement.
— Dr Jordan B Peterson (@jordanbpeterson) September 30, 2023
The tycoon Elon Musk, owner of X (Twitter), also left a harsh message on his social media: “Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada. Shameful.”
Musk cited American journalist Glenn Greenwald, who accused the Canadian government of being “armed with one of the world's most repressive online censorship schemes.”
Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada. Shameful. https://t.co/oHFFvyBGxu
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 1, 2023