Canada Free Expression

Bill C-11 is still broken and dangerous legislation

C-11 requires scrutiny from Senate after passing in the House of Commons

June 21, 2022 — Today the House of Commons voted to pass Bill C-11, “An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act.” Despite strong concerns and pushback from critics, witnesses, and experts, Bill C-11 received few substantial amendments at Parliamentary committee. It continues to give unprecedented power to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to regulate and manipulate public audiovisual content on online platforms. Like 2021’s Bill C-10, Bill C-11’s passage through Parliament has been marred by unusual restrictions on debate and rushed Parliamentary review. Bill C-11 will now move to the Senate for consideration, where it is already being pre-studied.

“Today our leaders had a chance to make crucial fixes to an out-of-control bill, and they refused to do it,” said OpenMedia Campaigns Director Matthew Hatfield. “Bill C-11 continues to give the CRTC the power to regulate the pictures, podcasts and videos every Canadian posts online as ‘broadcasting’ content, which is absurd. It sets no revenue threshold on who it will target, meaning every streaming platform in the world could soon be asked to somehow make ‘CanCon’ contributions. And it will worsen our everyday online experience by requiring our searches and feeds contain CRTC-designated ‘CanCon’ over the content we actually want. This is a dark day for Canadian Internet users, who must hope the Senate will step in and insist on fixes that respect our choices and freedom of expression.” 

With the House slated to go on summer recess June 23rd, the Federal government has abandoned normal parliamentary procedures to push this bill through, though significant concerns about the rights of users remain. 

Section 4.1 of Bill C-11 nominally excludes user posts from CRTC regulation, but an extremely broad set of exceptions in 4.2(2) mean the vast majority of user content may be regulated, including all content on popular platforms like Youtube, Spotify, and Tik Tok. 

Since December 2020, OpenMedia has delivered over 79,000 messages from our community members to MPs and the Department of Canadian Heritage calling for major changes to Bill C-11, and its predecessor Bill C-10. A new campaign aimed at the Senate on Bill C-11 will launch shortly.

OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet. Take action now

View all campaigns
Take action now! Sign up to be in the loop Donate to support our work