Who polices free speech online?

The prospect for unprecedented government control over life online should be of grave concern for anyone who cares about free speech in a democratic society.

Current proposals for new legislation and regulations on digital content will have an enormous impact on our ability to contribute to and benefit from all digital, broadcast, and social media. Canada’s government needs to get this right.

Critics are concerned that if Ottawa has its way, trivial matters of personal disagreement could be elevated to the scornful review of activist bureaucrats. And they fear that Bill C-10, legislation amending Canada’s Broadcasting Act, would provide the CRTC with the power to rule over the entirety of the online world, including – should it choose to do so – news, magazines, and religious commentary.

We should also consider, what is the greater harm: objectionable comments online, or the cancelling and deplatforming we often see of anyone with views outside the speech approved by the Internet hordes?

MLI has a proud tradition of promoting free speech, recognizing it as an essential element of democracy. To this end, MLI will convene a panel of diverse voices to discuss these questions and generate positive proposals for a flourishing cultural sector, particularly in relation to broadcasting, Internet access, and social media platforms.

Join us for what promises to be a lively, engaging, and informative conversation.

Adrienne Batra, Editor in Chief at the Toronto Sun will moderate the discussion of our panelists:

  • Jen Gerson, Writer, TV Panelist, and Podcaster
  • Jamil Jivani, Senior Fellow, Macdonald-Laurier Institute
  • Peter Menzies, Senior Fellow, Macdonald-Laurier Institute
  • Philip Palmer, Vice-Chair of the Internet Society Canada Chapter
  • Sonia Orlu, PhD student in Political Science, Simon Fraser University

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