Members of the Canadian Liberal Party have proposed a new bill that would enhance hate speech laws, introducing new draconian punishments up to and including lifetime prison sentences.

The bill, named “C-63” or “the Online Harms Act,” contains provisions to amend the criminal code, the Canadian Human Rights Act, and rules regarding child pornography.

While the bill is being advertised in Canadian media as an anti-child porn bill, it contains numerous elements to allow the Trudeau administration to redefine “hate speech” online, create more legally recognized crimes regarding hate speech, and to allow people to file accusations without needing to appear in court. In a section called “Amendments to the Act,” the lawmakers write, “Every person who advocates or promotes genocide is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.”

The Canadian Liberal Party has proposed a bill to enhance hate speech laws, introducing new draconian punishments up to and including lifetime prison sentences.

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The bill officially intends to “create stronger online protection for children and better safeguard everyone in Canada from online hate and other types of harmful content.” In order to do this, the bill aims to give the government powers to restrict speech and to hold platforms “accountable for the design choices made that lead to the dissemination and amplification of harmful content on their platforms.”

Conservative opposition leader Pierre Poilievre said the new bill is part of “Justin Trudeau’s woke authoritarian agenda” to “attack on freedom of expression.”

Trudeau shot back at Poilievre over his comments, accusing him of “spreading lies” about the administration’s plans.

“Instead of stepping up to stand for protecting our kids through responsible, serious legislation, he’s proposing that adults should instead give their ID and personal information to sketchy websites, or create a digital ID for adults to be able to browse the web the way they want to,” he said. “That’s something we stand against and disagree with.”

His defense of the bill revolves around downplaying its hate speech aspects and dialing up focus on the child safety aspects. “We keep kids safe in the school yard. We keep kids safe in our communities. We need to do a better job as a society keeping kids safe online,” he said. “So I think this is yet another example of Pierre Poilievre being irresponsible and not serious and choosing to play politics instead of actually focusing on what matters, which is how to keep our kids safe.”

Shane Devine is a writer covering politics, economics, and culture for Valuetainment. Follow Shane on X (Twitter).

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