Tractor Assembly in Minnesota

What I want you to do is watch this video. Then imagine various races and ethnicities running this production line. Chinese, Malay, Japanese, white.

Then imagine American blacks doing this kind of work.  Average IQ 85.  Not going to happen. Ibram Kendi will not affect these realities.



On the pleasures of ‘Bullitt’

Bullitt poster.jpg



“Bullitt” is one of the finest action police movies ever made. Directed by Peter Yates and starring Steve McQueen, Bullitt depicts a police lieutenant (McQueen) charged with protecting a key witness in a Senatorial hearing run by the imperious politician played by Robert Vaughn. The witness unlocks the door of his protective custody hotel room  and is shot by the hit men from Chicago. Who were they and what is going on?

Watching it again after decades of not seeing it, many things struck me, including especially how well it was made. Let’s begin with the less important. San Francisco was still clean. People wore shirts and ties, even the hit men. McQueen’s boss is shown on the steps of a Catholic Church with his family, heading to Mass, when he is presented with a writ of habeas corpus by the Robert Vaughn character. We have come a long way down since then.

What struck me in particular was the density of detail in the film, its groundedness in place and time, and the innovations in film-making. Scenes that we now take for granted were shown for the first time, as near as I can tell.

  • the opening scene where Bullitt meets the senator at a political fundraiser attended chiefly by rich women, all chattering inconsequentially. The chat is audible. The gap between the world of privilege and that of the police is clearly established.
  • The scene where Frank Bullitt is first presented with his girlfriend, the actress  Jacqueline Bisset, who is shown calculating flow measurements and pipe capacities from data tables for her job in an engineering-architecture film. She clearly shows s brains and ambition, and an English accent. Cool cop, English immigrant girlfriend.
  • The scene in the operating room where surgeons and nurses engage in clipped, directed conversation over the body of the young policeman shot in the murder of the witness. A nurse swipes the surgeon’s brow of sweat. Instruments clatter into surgical trays.
  • The scene in the mortuary where the coroner is dictating loudly into the hanging microphone as he describes the wounds that killed the witness.
  • The scene at the airport where shots are exchanged between Bullitt and the murderer as huge jets taxi for take-off, engines screaming. Then the chase moves inside as crowds of passengers jostle to get on planes. (No security lineups in that more innocent era).
  • The car chase, which everyone remembers. There had been nothing like it before then. A good deal of San Francisco would have had to be closed off in order to film it.
  • The cool jazz musical sound track, which was very nineteen sixties.
  • And of course, there is the stoic and manly Steve McQueen, who seems to have about fifty line of dialogue in the movie. He speaks through actions, and very few words.

To my imperfect knowledge, many scenes in Bullitt were innovations that have since become cliches. They are now everywhere, but in 1968 they were new, like the backlit fan turning slowly in Blade Runner. Scene after scene unfolds in detailed depiction of the working environment of the policeman, always with the oily smarm of the Robert Vaughn character issuing threats and blandishments high and low, and the taciturn McQueen ignoring him as he gets on with the job.

Do yourself a favour and watch it again. Or for the first time. Watch it like it was an important movie, as if it had been directed by Hitchcock and you had to study it for an exam in film studies. Your pleasure will not be diminished, to the contrary, it will be increased. Everything in action movies has come to resemble Bullitt, which suggests that Peter Yates, the director, has been under-appreciated.



Woo would have thought it?


WASHINGTON, Aug 20 (Reuters) – The FBI has found scant evidence that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result, according to four current and former law enforcement officials.

Though federal officials have arrested more than 570 alleged participants, the FBI at this point believes the violence was not centrally coordinated by far-right groups or prominent supporters of then-President Donald Trump, according to the sources, who have been either directly involved in or briefed regularly on the wide-ranging investigations.

“Ninety to ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases,” said a former senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation. “Then you have five percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.”

Pro-Trump protesters storm into the U.S. Capitol during clashes with police, during a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Bill C10 in a nutshell

My friend Peter Menzies explains it all. My apologies for a straight lift from C2C Journal. 


There was considerable optimism when, three years ago, Mélanie Joly and Navdeep Bains announced that Canada’s pre-internet broadcasting and telecommunications legislation was to be washed, waxed and buffed up with a sparkling new 21st century shine. Joly, then the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, are no longer in charge of those portfolios. But their shared words of promise – the ones that spawned what critics denounce and insiders concede has become the catastrophe of Bill C-10 – hang over their successors like a broken wedding vow.

“The review will update and modernize the legislative framework in a balanced way that takes into account the realities of Canadian consumers and businesses, and our artists, artisans and broadcasters without increasing the cost of services to Canadians,” stated the June 5, 2018 news release. “The review will be guided by the principle of net neutrality and will explore opportunities to further enshrine in legislation the principles of net neutrality.”

The promise of a brighter future: The 2018 announcement by Navdeep Bains, federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (left) and Melanie Joly, federal Minister of Heritage (right), that Canada’s ancient broadcasting legislation would be refreshed was initially cause for optimism. (Source: Twitter/ @CDNScience)

Promising a future in which all would be contented and nothing would cost very much might have been overdoing things just a tad. Still, what could be wrong with recognizing that the internet had so irretrievably changed our world that it was time to create something more post-millennial than the #okboomer broadcasting and telecommunications acts of 1991 and 1993, respectively, controlled by an agency archaically entitled the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)?

On the face of it, the panel appointed to conduct the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislation Review (BTLR) was not unreasonable. Former Telus executive Janet Yale, as chair, was Liberal enough but not so Liberal as to impair perception. Monique Simard, Monica Song, Pierre Trudel and Marina Pavlovic all appeared to be people not too deeply vested in the status quo. The inclusion of Peter Grant – counsel and past chair of the technology, communications and intellectual property group at McCarthy Tétrault LLP – caught the eye of some critics as someone whose regulatory worldview was not only foundational but entrenched.

Those inclined to agnosticism regarding the actual content created or circulating on the internet pointed to the presence of Hank Intven, a former McCarthy Tétrault partner, professor at the University of Victoria and a past member of the 2006 telecommunications policy review panel. None of the panellists except Vancouver’s Intven lived beyond a half day’s drive from Ottawa, but that was not the sort of oversight to raise eyebrows on Parliament Hill.

Change of plans: Under the Harper government, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) became a world leader in promoting the concept of net neutrality; Bill C-10 has abandoned that concept in favour of centralized control. (Pictured left: CRTC headquarters in Gatineau, Quebec. Source: Wikipedia/ SimonP, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0)

They were building on a solid foundation – or they should have been. Under Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, the CRTC became a leader among the world’s regulators in terms of net neutrality (which, in its briefest and most simplified terms, refers to the non-discriminatory treatment of content). Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised likewise. “I am very concerned about the attacks on net neutrality,” Trudeau said in 2017. “Net neutrality is something that is essential for small businesses, for consumers, and it is essential to keep the freedom associated with the internet alive.”

Back then, the CRTC’s refusal to bow to those insisting it stop treating online content neutrally was bearing fruit. Thanks largely to foreign investment fuelled by streamers’ thirst for content, the film and television production industry was booming. According to the Canadian Media Producers Association, activity grew from $5 billion annually to more than $9 billion in the 10 years from 2010 through 2019. While the pandemic caused the overall industry to decline by 1.1 percent in 2020, it would have been down closer to 9 percent had it not been boosted by 8 percent growth in foreign investment.

This wasn’t just good for companies, it was great for individuals – and the things they wanted to say, show and do. For, in the online world beyond the regulators’ closed system, Canadians had at the same time become leaders in content creation. According to a 2019 Ryerson University study, YouTube facilitated the rise of 160,000 Canadian creators, 40,000 of whom had achieved audiences large enough to monetize their programming, while 25,000 full-time jobs had been created. In other words, a credible case was being made that Canadian creators could find success beyond the embrace of the CRTC, its certified “Cancon” (an aging term meaning “Canadian content”) co-dependents and the Canada Media Fund’s funding formulas.

The data showed that 2018 and 2019 were the best years ever for both certified Cancon and francophone output. Despite this, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions – a collective of producers, guilds and creative unions – continued to fret that this activity was taking place without the blessing and control of the CRTC. This was called “the Crisis in Cancon.”

Manufacturing a Cancon crisis: While Canadian content creators have reaped tremendous benefits from new investment in online content worldwide, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions sees only problems arising from an unregulated system.

In its 2018 report entitled Harnessing Change, the CRTC also expressed concern that prosperity was occurring without its permission. But still it seemed that it would take a problem greater than the regulator’s angst regarding its relevance to halt progress. That optimism didn’t last long. The first sign that matters might go off-track was Intven’s resignation from the BTLR panel in June 2019, effective only two days after its preliminary report was published. With him gone, the panel lost is strongest proponent for a telecom perspective on regulatory reform – a focus on building, maintaining and accessing the structures necessary to facilitate communications. Instead, the balance on the panel shifted in favour of those, such as Grant, who view the world through a broadcasting lens. This entails far greater concern over the content being distributed; in particular, cultural content. Defenders of an internet free from government content control began to worry.

They had good reason. The worst of their fears were realized in late January 2020, when the final BTLR report – which the government had promised would be “balanced” – unleashed a jaw-dropping smorgasbord of radical recommendations arming the CRTC with a breathtaking arsenal of regulatory weapons designed to force the global internet, including newspapers, to submit to its authority.

Over-reach in action: According to Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review’s final report recommended “unprecedented government and regulatory intervention.”

Among the most thorough evaluations of what this meant came from Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa. “The strengths of the telecommunications and consumer rights portions of the report are overshadowed by a stunning set of recommendations related to Internet content, some of which are unlikely to survive constitutional scrutiny, likely violate Canada’s emerging trade commitments, and rest on shaky policy grounds,” Geist wrote on his much-read blog. “If enacted, the Canadian Internet would be virtually unrecognizable with the CRTC empowered to licence or require registration from a myriad of Internet services, mandate what Canadians see on those services, and intervene in commercial negotiations. Geist summed it up thus: “The report envisions unprecedented government and regulatory intervention.”

Out of his depth? Rookie MP and new Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has become the sole cabinet spokesperson on broadcasting reform, leading to numerous clarifications and retractions. (Source: THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Adrian Wyld)

Adding to the confusion were the responses of rookie MP and new Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault, a former Greenpeace activist with a resumé not particularly well-designed for his portfolio. Among Guilbeault’s extremely disturbing views was his expressed support for federal registration of all news organizations. He almost immediately walked back those comments – a habit that would prove hard to shake.

Despite that muddle, Guilbeault remained the sole government spokesman for the BTLR – a sign the government was narrowing its focus to broadcasting issues. The more experienced Bains, who had been fading into the background since the 2019 election, was by now nowhere to be found. Other important panel recommendations, including telecom reform, consumer protections, the restructuring of the CRTC into a Canadian Communications Commission and the elimination of advertising on CBC/Radio Canada, all disappeared. The not-so-invisible hand of Grant, whose influence over the evolution of the Broadcasting Act cannot be underestimated, became dominant.

Timothy Denton, chair of the Internet Society Canada Chapter and a former CRTC Commissioner, describes Grant in an interview as the “principal ideologue behind the Broadcasting Act”. Denton recently used his blog to post a 1998 exchange between Grant and then CRTC Commissioner David McKendry to support his contention that “Grant’s ideas…have not deviated an inch in 40 years: everything is broadcasting and nothing should escape the CRTC’s jurisdiction.”

Conflicting views: Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislation Review panel member Hank Intven (left) offered a telecom-focused view of the future while Peter Grant, (right) promoted a broadcasting lens; when Intven resigned in 2019, the panel skewed sharply to Grant’s viewpoint.

Denton’s suspicions were confirmed in Bill C-10, tabled last November 3. All previous aspirations had been replaced by one: getting money from web giants for the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, aka Big Cancon. Entirely gone was Trudeau’s oft-promised protection of net neutrality. In its place were powers that, according to Geist and others, do just the opposite by empowering the CRTC to mandate preferential treatment of content under the guise of protecting Canadian culture.

Grant’s assertion that because video and audio appear on the internet, the internet must therefore be broadcasting, became the new gospel to Guilbeault, who seemed oblivious to the consequences of his actions. The internet would now be within the domain of the CRTC, which would have the power to define its own scope. Going forward, Canadians would communicate over the internet only with permission of the state through decisions made by nine cabinet-appointed CRTC commissioners.

If it includes video, then it must be broadcasting: By placing the internet within the domain of the CRTC, Bill C-10 effectively puts all modern communications under government control.

“For the narrow clique of broadcasters, CanCon producers, and their lobbyists, it is always all about broadcasting,” Denton wrote in the Financial Post in March. “For Canadians, however, it is about the right to use the internet to communicate. We do not need to have our freedom of speech squelched by a government determined to protect an obsolete industrial structure. Forget about ‘broadcasting’: C-10 is clearly intended to allow speech control at the government’s discretion. Ignore the turn signals, look at where the wheels are going. They are pointed at your right to communicate freely by means of the internet.”

Peter Stockland, a veteran newspaper columnist, editor and free speech advocate, currently editor of, described the government’s philosophical approach this way:

“In the specific case of Bill C-10, government politicians are convinced State control must be extended over the Internet. They might be right or wrong about that. Rather than make the case directly, however, they put forward the following legislative syllogism:

  1. The State must regulate the Internet despite facing significant opposition to State regulation of the Internet.
  2. The State now regulates broadcasting without facing previous significant opposition to State regulation of broadcasting.
  3. Therefore, the State must regulate the Internet by calling it broadcasting thus eliminating significant opposition to State regulation of the Internet because what’s being regulated is not the Internet but broadcasting, which is already regulated without significant opposition.

The fly in the wi-fi, of course, is this: The Internet is not broadcasting. Its meaning – what it is – has, from its origins, constituted an entirely physically distinct form of communication. The Internet is no more broadcasting than newspapers are broadcasting.”

The victory of Grant and the Cancon lobbyists, supported by the arguments of Canada’s vertically-integrated cable companies who bear the burden of funding the CRTC’s “system,” was complete. Even the Conservatives, it seemed, had fallen under their spell and expressed only the most cursory concerns about the myriad of definitions left to the CRTC, including Canadian content and the split between French and English funding. Still, all parties appeared to support Guilbeault’s proposition that the internet is broadcasting and the playing field must be “levelled” by forcing streaming companies such as Netflix, Disney+ and even Pornhub to financially support the production of certified Canadian content.

The Official Opposition’s initial supine acceptance of all this amid a deluge of industry lobbying appeared to abandon their Harperite forebears’ policy. Neutral treatment of legal content is still worth fighting for. And there remains a great deal to be concerned about in Trudeau’s about-face. Lawyer Philip Palmer, one of the authors of the 1991 Broadcasting Act, describes the Cancon system it created – the one Guilbeault seeks to entrench on the internet – as a “failure.” Speaking on a Macdonald-Laurier Institute panel, Palmer said that when he and his colleagues completed their work 30 years ago they assumed they had written Canada’s final broadcasting act. In the infinite content world they could see forming, he said, there would be no need for another one.

“Is regulation necessary?” According to Philip Palmer, vice chair of the Canadian branch of the Internet Society, the federal government never asked itself this crucial question; rather it began with the premise that regulation is always necessary.

“The government has not asked itself ‘is regulation necessary?’” noted Palmer, vice chair of the Canadian branch of the Internet Society. “It has said ‘regulation is necessary’ therefore we’ve got to bring in these (internet) people to prop up a system that is now totally outmoded technologically and philosophically.” The Liberals have failed, Palmer continued, to “encourage an audience-directed policy. Instead they want to prop up a system that has failed consumers continually throughout the history of the Canadian broadcasting system.”

Geist and a handful of others continued to outline the Cancon absurdities that C-10 was poised to create. The Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions members may view themselves as artistic warriors defending Canadian culture from foreign influences, but former CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein describes the Canadian content structure as “a thinly-disguised employment system for persons in the film production industry.”

The opposition was nowhere near enough. By April Guilbeault was not only in full stride but promising yet more legislation.  An “online harms” bill specifically directed at managing speech on the internet was just a week or two away, he said, and after that would come legislation designed to get the newspaper lobby the money from web giants Facebook and Google they had long demanded and that Guilbeault had promised.

Online harms is a huge topic in itself. It was foreshadowed by a report the Heritage department commissioned through the establishmentarian Public Policy Forum earlier this year. Chaired by Rick Anderson, a long time Liberal (though sometime Reform Party) political strategist and campaign manager, it called for the creation of a new regulator, moralistically entitled the “Guardians of the Public Good”, that would be empowered to issue massive fines on social media companies if they failed to remove content deemed objectionable by that same regulator. Outright website-blocking was another possible tool.

No shortage of goals: Beyond placing the internet under Cancon rules, Guilbeault is also eyeing new speech controls meant to ban hurtful content—an objective almost certain to conflict with Canadians’ freedom of speech rights.

The online harms provisions were promoted as necessary to suppress child pornography, hate speech, defamation and the distribution of terrorist propaganda. But all these matters are already against the law and/or blocked. Guilbeault, however, appeared interested in expanding the definition of online harm even further, and giving internet censors the power to delete hurtful content. This, he said in April, was because “we have seen too many examples of public officials retreating from public service due to the hateful online content targeted towards themselves.”

Guilbeault likely wasn’t thinking of former Alberta Treasurer and Alliance Party leader Stockwell Day, hounded out of public life and off corporate boards only last year for daring to say that Canada is not a fundamentally racist country. Rather, if he was thinking at all, it was more likely about the naked exercise of power by government. “There is this notion of a 24-hour takedown – this is something we want to do in Canada,” Blacklock’s Reporter quoted Guilbeault as saying in a Canada 2020 podcast. “I am confident we can get this adopted.”

The potential of expanding the definition of “hate” to include hurt feelings began to raise concerns that otherwise legal speech would be subject to state oversight. Cara Zwibel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association put it this way to Martin Patriquin in the Financial Post: “If the government is going to impose big financial penalties on platforms and give them raw definitions of what they have to take down, the platforms are going to err on the side of removal, and that is bad for freedom of expression.”

While civil libertarians braced for that battle, C-10 remained firmly on course. And then Guilbeault’s carriage turned into a pumpkin. In what appears to have been a response to an “oh, and one more thing” request from the music lobby, Guibeault removed a clause in C-10 that had excluded the regulation of user-generated content, such as posts on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Tik Tok. The CRTC was now going to get the power not just to regulate web giants but the social media posts of ordinary citizens. It was a spectacular own goal, and weeks of controversy ensued.

“Oh, and one more thing”: After Guilbeault clumsily attempted to amend Bill C-10 to include CRTC regulation over user-generated online content, possibly including cat videos, his proposal finally met with widespread resistance, with Conservative MP Rachel Harder (bottom) taking the lead in the House of Commons.

Incapable even of explaining his own motivations, Guilbeault lurched from one disastrous media interview to the next, further fuelling skepticism regarding his and the government’s willingness to violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ protections of free expression. Organizations such as OpenMedia rallied their troops. Librarians raised free speech concerns. Law professors such as Emily Laidlaw of the University of Calgary joined the fight publicly, former CRTC commissioners and von Finckenstein also spoke out, while Geist’s daily blogs continued to make Guilbeault’s life miserable.

The Conservatives, awakened from their lobbyist-induced narcolepsy, and with Lethbridge MP Rachael Harder taking the lead, now decided to vigorously champion the cause of free speech in Parliament. The NDP, pressured by their own base, began to hem and haw. Mainstream media commentators weighed in, and National Post and Globe and Mail editorials called for Bill C-10 to be abandoned.

Scott Benzie, a digital creator, spoke for YouTubers and others who prefer their creative success unlicensed. “This comes down to money and status,” he wrote on his Buffer Festival blog. “Those inside the system do not consider online Creators ‘real’ artists, have created a false narrative around what is ‘Canadian Culture’ and feel they need to be compensated for someone else’s success.”

WatchMojo, a Canadian video producer and publisher, doesn’t need Cancon rules to become successful; neither do Canadian YouTube personalities Molly Burke (bottom left) or King Bach (bottom right)—all they require is for regulators to get out of their way.

There has been a “sea change”, Benzie wrote, in how content is created, stories are told and conversations are held, all of it away from traditional media. WatchMojo, the phenomenally popular Canadian-based video producer and syndicator “might be the most successful export [in] Canadian content history”, says Benzie; it certainly dwarfs the audience for Cancon-darling Schitt’s Creek. Yet it wins no mainstream awards. Numerous other creators such as Molly Burke, Hitesh Sharma, Stef Sanjati, Julie Vu, King Bach, Shannon Boodram or Lily Singh have “smashed barriers”, says Benzie. Some have larger followings than pro sports teams and their stars. “What they all have in common,” Benzie concluded, “is they didn’t need the ‘Canadian Media Industry’ for discoverability, they just needed it to not get in the way. I fear we are starting to get in the way when we should be finding ways to enable more voices, more stories, more Canada.”

By this time, Guilbeault was drowning. And so was Bill C-10, as its critics were revealing its craven pandering to a small but deeply entitled lobby. Still, nothing is more popular along the banks of the St. Lawrence than policy cloaked in cultural preservation. As controversial as the issue became, C-10 remained fashionable in francophone Quebec where history suggests that any law purportedly aimed at the protection of its civilization will subordinate concerns over Charter freedoms every time. The federal government, aware that failure to pass C-10 might be exploited by the Bloc Québécois in an election campaign, dug in and C-10 lumbered on.

The Cancon lobby, which displayed an unsettling ruthlessness and surprising contempt for freedom of expression concerns, did likewise. Artists and creators who had long championed rights and progressive causes have remained mute even as the Liberals crassly limited debate on C-10 in early June and stuffed the bill with last-minute amendments concocted behind closed doors. “It is hard to think of a more secretive law-making process in a democracy than passing amendments to a bill that are not made available to the public prior to the vote nor open for any discussion or debate,” warned Geist. “How did it get to this point?”

How indeed. Maybe C-10 will make it through Parliament before it recesses for the summer on June 23. Maybe it won’t. If it doesn’t, maybe the Senate will deal with it in September. And maybe, if an election is called, it will die an unlamented death on the Order Paper and take its place in the graveyard of good intentions clearly gone very bad.

Peter Menzies is a past vice-chair of the CRTC and is a Senior Fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.



Bill C10 – Internet censorship coming to a site you read

For some time now I have been tweeting and organizing resistance to Bill C-10. This has kept me busy in my personal capacity, as it were, and Dalwhinnie has had to take back seat to my public-facing self.

I have learned or been reminded of several truths in the course of the past few weeks, but first let me tell you about the bill.

There are two modes of communications, legally speaking. On the one hand, there are speech and writing, film production, and others which occur without prior permission from the state. You write what you want and assume responsibility after publication for slander, criminal conspiracy, obscenity, and other legal liabilities. Then there is that creature of the twentieth century, called broadcasting, which requires a licence from the state. You broadcast under conditions established for a particular class of speaker, one who is assumed to be few in number talking to hundreds of thousands who are limited in their choice of “stations”. This was the original rationale for broadcasting regulation,  few-to-many, one way and which used airwaves that interfered with one another unless carefully assigned by central authority.

It will be readily understood that every advance of electronic communications has served to increase the number of stations, from three to seven to thirty to fifty, to the Internet. The internet has exploded the number of speakers into the millions, or tens of millions. With new forms of addressing, such as IPv6, the number of “stations” will be in the trillions.

Despite this, Canadian law still treats the Internet as a form of “broadcasting”, a licensable activity that for thirty years the government had the wisdom not to touch. Previous CRTC decisions had said that regulating the Internet as broadcasting was superfluous and unneeded. These decisions of the CRTC claimed jurisdiction over the Internet but did not exercise it.

Now that restraint has been overthrown. In a search for revenue from web giants, and egged on by the Canadian cultural organizations – the ones who feed on television productions subsidies – the government, led by the Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbault, has plunged recklessly into a gigantic extension of federal authority over communications.

Bill C10, which is a series of amendments to the Broadcasting Act, would treat

  • all websites
  • all user-generated uploads to social media sites

as “broadcasting”, that is, occasions where you could be regulated by the CRTC. The difference is that, in the case of user generated content uploaded to platforms, you would not be the broadcaster, the platform would be the broadcaster. This would outsource government control and censorship to the large platforms, who would act under CRTC or other government regulations.

This website, and all others, commercial, artistic, political, would be treated as broadcasting if they were “predominantly” -word undefined – audio-visual rather than printed in nature. It is not difficult to imagine that by bit count alone, and by inclusion of a few video inserts, a newspaper would become a “broadcaster”, in the same way that a podcaster is now, according to this Bill, a radio station.

It reaches the absurdity of a zoom call among church attendees being considered broadcasting, and subject to federal regulation. Will “balance” in religious programming be imposed on church services? Will the imam share time in the pulpit? If you think this is absurd, you don’t know the CRTC.


The authors of C10 are seeking to jam the internet into the form of broadcasting, rather than make  broadcasting conform to the Internet.

It is readily evident that a large number of issues will remain undecided by the bill itself and that years of hearings and lawsuits will ensue, including challenges to the constitutionality of the bill, on several grounds.

But back to the tweetstorm.

The public debate on this bill took a while to get started, for several reasons. The first is that members of Parliament are not clever lawyers on the whole, and it took them a while to scope out the extent of the government’s ambitions. Both the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP favour large public subsidies to their unionized buddies in the TV production industry. The Liberals favour their own guy and they are not averse to totalitarian controls on the Internet, it seems. That left the Conservatives to slowly appreciate that the Liberals had handed them a major electoral campaign issue if they wanted it. They finally realized what the bill meant to ordinary Canadians. And ordinary Canadians are waking up.

This state of affairs was changed only by professors of communications, like Michael Geist, members of the Internet Society of canada, and former CRTC commissioners such as Peter Menzies, Konrad von Finckensten and Timothy Denton to write op-eds in papers until the latter woke up to the notion that they would become “broadcasters” if this bill passed. Open Media got involed and that meant that the political left started to agitate against it. As one wit said of the left-right alliance on C10: “we want to be able to shout at each other without the state refereeing.”

The ignorance of the press on this issue has been astounding, if you were not already cynical about their capacity to understand issues. They had to be told in black and white what the Act said, and even then they still hesitated to get it.

The opinion battle among the elites has taken place principally on Twitter. Throughout, the motives of those opposed to the Bill have been questioned. Vast conspiracies have been imagined by the proponents of the bill, sponsored by the likes of Google and Facebook. It has not occured to them that people could actually freely spend time opposing the bill because of principled concerns for freedom of speech. If you speak only for money, it comes as a shock that people will speak and write for no money at all.

Not once have the arguments of the opponents of the bill ever been frontally addressed. Not once. The Minister has been reduced to blithering incoherence on several occasions by being asked factual questions about what the Bill plainly says. It is as if he had not read his own bill, or did not understand it. A reasoned defence of the Bill has been missing. It might have been attempted, but was not, largely because to address the issues would be to deal with some real concerns that the bill’s proponents would rather not discuss.

The TV production and other recipients of cultural largesse in Canada have only tweeted their unanimous support for C10. (Canada spens about as much money on cultural subsidies overall as we spend on the Candain navy). The French Canadians, it would appear, have no concerns for freedom of speech, and seem not to understand what English Canadians are going on about. Their confidence in a federal institution, the CRTC, to decide matters of cultural concern to them, appears to be unbounded. We are confidently told by those who feel they understand Quebec that even to raise these concerns with them is a provocation.

Normally a story has a two or three day run. The C10 issue has occupied weeks of media attention, and won’t go away because it constitutes an immense assault upon historic rights of free speech won by revolutions and bloodshed in the 17th and 18th centuries, revolutions that passed French Canada by. It remains to be seen whether the Liberals have handed the Conservatives a winning election issue or not. But if enough people say they will die on this hill, not even the federal Liberals can overcome the resolve of the nation.









Police State Ontario


Apparently, it’s only Rebel News these days that is actually reporting news. The Fake News Media ignores all this. Protesters outside City Hall, Hamilton, being ticketed by Ontario NKVD in the employ of Commissar Ford.

This is all way beyond public health now, it’s outright tyranny. No conservative or libertarian should ever vote for the Ontario Progressive Communist Party ever again.

Look at the medical evidence: lockdowns do not work[here] !


Rebel Yell