Uncommons with Nate Erskine-Smith

Free speech and Bill C-10 with Michael Geist

May 04, 2021 Season 2 Episode 21
Uncommons with Nate Erskine-Smith
Free speech and Bill C-10 with Michael Geist
Show Notes
What is the intent of Bill C-10 and can we deliver on that intent without limiting free speech?

On this episode, Nate is joined by Michael Geist to discuss free speech issues around Bill C-10, why he has been opposed to the bill on other grounds as well, and how we should think about addressing illegal speech online in future legislation. 

Michael is a law professor and Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, and is a member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society. He has written extensively about his objections to Bill C-10 on his blog here.

On the issue of free speech, the government has repeatedly, albeit clumsily, said from the outset that it does not intend to regulate user generated content, and that the focus of the bill is to require Netflix, Spotify and other online undertakings to pay into the system of Canadian content creation as traditional broadcasters are required to do.

What needs to happen is for the government to correct its misstep in communication and clarify the law through an amendment to properly exclude user generated content. Thankfully, the Minister has said recently that this is exactly his intention: we “want to make sure that the content that people upload on social media won’t be considered as programming under the Act and that it won’t be regulated by the CRTC. And that’s why we will be bringing forward another amendment that will make this crystal clear.”