Canada’s Bill C-10 seeks to protect Canadian values, not enforce an authoritarian regime or promote French culture

The US is exporting its culture thanks to Netflix, Google, Facebook and Snap. Is that all right to Canadian anglophone MP’s ?

From The Globe and Mail to The Star and The Logic, articles on Steven Guilbeault’s Bill C-10 focus on it as a way to as a way to apply authoritarian rule to content creation or protect French Canadian culture against the anglophone tidal wave brought about by Big Tech. Is it because its sponsor is Quebec-born ?

Bill C-10 is simply meant to level the playing field between Netflix, You Tube and home-grown broadcasters like the Canadian CBC by submitting digital media to the same laws and taxes as existing Canadian publishers. Isn’t it about time Canadian MPs recognize this new industry should abide by national rules to deliver services in Canada?

Canadian Conservatives are opposing the bill on the gounds it impedes “ freedom of speech”, a typical American argument used by Big Tech to defend what really is “ freedom of reach” for anyone and everyone, to the detriment of our democracies and rights to privacy. US platforms like Facebook and Google are enabling outsider, extreme theories to flourish by promoting their reach on their platforms- because outraged users spend more time online and that increases profits.

Antivax conspirationist video pushed by the YouTube algorithm

They’re also allowing advertisers, whether Russian or extremist US groups like QAnon, to micro target individuals with different messaging so as to oppose citizens to each other more than they would otherwise. Is allowing this to continue unfettered a desirable outcome for a country, be it Canada or any other ? US senators are actively fighting Big Tech themselves. But Canadian anglophones MPs apparently believe it is preserving the French culture that drives Minister Guilbeault and that they should naturally oppose that.

Canada’s understated character

Canada has a unique culture, different from the American one, that goes further than its trademark modest and understated character. It has a much stronger heritage of trying to protect individual’s privacy, thanks to a law that, even though its enforcement is lacking, was enacted in 2 000, well before any US state passed theirs, called PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act). It had a privacy-by-design champion that inspired the European privacy legislation GDPR, Ann Cavoukian, who was a long time head of the Ontario privacy comissionner’s office.

It believes in freedom, but that freedom stops at the right to bear arms.

Canadian Ann Cavoukian, author of privacy-by-design
Canadian Ann Cavoukian, author of privacy-by-design

It is also a Francophone and anglophone, bilingual country, which brings a more diverse and European flavour to it. This is a positive differentiator on the world stage, not a detriment, as it attracts francophone immigrants in addition to anglophone ones to develop its economy.

Opposing Bill C-10, on the grounds creators will not be able to produce videos on YouTube, is ill-founded. Canadian anglophones may wish to think about whether they value their own culture and democracy. Quebecers already know its not only a language issue but a cultural one to impose the same rules on foreign media as on local ones.

> See this too from the Cigi think tank: American Internet, American platforms, American values.

From Digital Marketing to Digital Well Being. Tech for Good. / Pro du marketing digital passée à la Tech4Good. TechforGoodCanada.com