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Your voice at committee: OpenMedia testifies before Senate on Bill C-11

We spoke for nearly 82,000 community members. Now, will the Senate act?

On September 14, 2022, OpenMedia testified before the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications on the potential impact of Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act. 

We urged the Senate to carefully consider the irreparable harm the unamended Bill could do; subjecting the posts of ordinary Canadians to outdated broadcasting regulations, and giving the CRTC the authority to artificially manipulate your feeds.  We stressed that respecting the freedom of expression and protecting the experiences of Canadians should be their top priority.  You can read our full testimony here. 

Our message to the Transport and Communications Committee was clear. Too much of Bill C-11 is written with little regard for our user choice and expression. The Internet is not broadcasting; we have far more choice on it than through traditional media. The scale of government intervention proposed by the Bill is unjustifiable and must be reigned in by the Senate before it becomes law in Canada.

In our testimony, we emphasized that Bill C-11 is all-encompassing legislation that would give the CRTC complete control to regulate nearly every video, podcast, and TikTok short online. We asked the Senate to carefully consider the impact this would have on ordinary Internet users like YOU. We demanded they clearly and definitively remove your user-generated content from regulation. Ordinary Internet users should never be at risk of having our content regulated like formal broadcasting by the CRTC. Keeping Section 4.1 and 4.2(2) as is gives the CRTC free rein to do so. 

We also stressed the importance of respecting our user choice. Every user should be able to freely watch the content we like and want, instead of being bombarded with CanCon we may not everywhere we go. Our feeds are already curated to reflect the content that you want, the government has no business dictating what we should be watching in them. Any attempt to promote CanCon should be through an opt-in system where users have a choice between watching CanCon or keeping their feeds suited to their results. You can read more about these and other issues we’ve flagged about Bill C-11 here.

All of this couldn't be done without you. With your support, our community has sent nearly 82,000 messages to the government on both Bill C-11, and its predecessor, Bill C-10. That’s what got us a hearing at the Senate, and it is what gives us the strength to change the conversation on this and other dangerous proposals. Your hard work and commitment to keeping the Internet open and protecting freedom of expression will help shape the Senate’s decision, hopefully for the better.

The Senate will be considering Bill C-11 until November, meaning we have a short window to amplify our message and keep up the momentum. If you haven't already, will you email the Senate to demand they fix Bill C-11? 

Already taken action? You can keep up the fight by sharing our message on Facebook or Twitter

You can also read our full opening remarks to the committee below:

The PDF cannot be displayed. Click on the link to download.

Image credit: "Photo of Beige and Green Castle", by Tetyana Kovyrina licensed under Pexels License

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