‘Orwellian’: New Canadian Law Could Throw Citizens In Jail For Life Over Speech Crimes

(Photo by Dave Chan / AFP) (Photo by DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is backing a new bill that could send Canadians away to prison for lengthy sentences for speech crimes, according to an analysis.

The Online Harms Act (Bill C-63) introduced under Trudeau’s government is written in such a way that it sets a “baseline standard” for how Canadians are allowed to communicate online. On the surface it seems like a reasonable law. It seeks to target content related to child sexual victimization, child bullying. But there are huge issues the more you dig into this legislation.

An analysis of the bill shared on Canada’s official government website states that the bill will also target content that “foments hatred,” “incites violence,” and “incites violent extremism or terrorism.” While it is extremely easy to get behind anything that seeks to end the production and distribution of child sexual content, the latter details of this bill could have soaring implications for all Canadians.

One analysis argued that the criminal code written into the law would come with a “maximum penalty of life imprisonment” if you violate the new definition of what is a hate crime. These include “crimes motivated by hatred on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, language, color, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”

Those who share “hate propaganda” will see a maximum of five years imprisonment, while those advocating or promoting genocide could be sent to prison for life for their words, under this analysis. But the language of the bill is so unclear, it reads like pretty much anyone could be fined and imprisoned for saying anything the government doesn’t like. (RELATED: Justin Trudeau Reaches Peak Stupidity By Blaming Muslim LBGTQ Protests On ‘American Right Wing’)

Margaret Atwood, author of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a story about the normalized oppression of women in a dystopian society, called the bill “Orwellian.” She noted that “If this account of the bill is true, it’s Lettres de Cachet all over again. The possibilities for revenge false accusations + thoughtcrime stuff are sooo inviting! Trudeau’s Orwellian online harms bill,” she wrote on Twitter.

Is it just me, or does it feel pretty disgusting that Trudeau’s government is trying to silence his citizens under the guise of protecting children from harm? There are ways to tackle online child pornography without destroying free speech at the same time. So why hasn’t Trudeau done this?