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NDP Breaks with Liberals, Demands Controversial Bill C-10 Put on Hold

In light of the controversial Bill C-10, a proposal which would include sweeping changes that put “unapproved” speech under threat over the Internet, NDP Critic and Deputy Critic for Canadian Heritage, Alexandre Boulerice and Heather McPherson, issued a statement this morning noting their concerns with Minister Guibeault's proposal to curb Internet freedom.

“The NDP is proud to have a long history of defending freedom of expression on the internet and protecting net neutrality," begins the statement.

"With Bill C-10, New Democrats will take every precaution to ensure that freedom of expression is protected. It’s possible to both ensure freedom of expression is protected while creating a level playing field between web giants and Canadian companies."

"It’s imperative to get this right and to understand the potential impact of this Bill on regular Canadians and content creators before we move forward. It's clear Minister Guibeault will not do the necessary review before moving forward."

"That is why on Monday, we will be voting in favour of a motion that puts Bill C-10 on hold while the Department of Justice conducts a new Charter compliance analysis and calls on the Minister to appear in committee. The NDP plans to table a sub-amendment that puts a timeline on the motion to make sure the conservatives are not using this as an opportunity to delay the advancement of the bill indefinitely. The modernization of this law is necessary for our cultural ecosystem. New Democrats strongly believe that we need to get this right. The government has the responsibility to come up with a solution.”

Recent events have even seen tech giants like YouTube come out against the legislation. Lauren Skelly, a spokesperson for YouTube, noted concerns about Canadians’ rights to free expression. “Like many, we were surprised to see the Heritage Committee expand Bill C-10 to include social media and user-upload services and apps,” she said recently. “This potentially extends CRTC regulation to all audio and audio-visual content on the internet, which has profound implications for not just social media, but virtually all websites, podcasting, online hosting and much more.”

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