One consistent theme from the Trudeau Liberal government has been their relentless and incremental attacks on free speech. There is nothing an authoritarian state hates more than having people communicate ideas without the hand of government controlling it. Whether gagging election discourse through regulation or their attempts to battle “fake news”, the Liberals have dedicated a great deal of effort and time to trying to control discourse in Canada this last few years.
Yes, there are countless cranks and kooks out there on the internet who are pushing conspiracy theories and fake cures. Yes, some of these nuts are causing real damage.
Do you trust the government to sort between who the cranks are are and who aren’t though?
Do you trust the state to use these powers only to protect the interest of the citizens and not for the interest of the government?
That is what it always comes down to and no, I don’t trust the damn government and do not want to empower them further.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a fluid situation and things which were considered accurate last week are often not considered accurate today.
The pandemic modelling of a few weeks ago has proven to be hopelessly wrong and inaccurate. Would a person be charged for posting an out of date model showing those shitty infection curves?
Remember just a few weeks ago when Dr. Theresa Tam was saying that wearing masks would not help citizens reduce the spread of the virus? She has done a total flip-flop on that now. Could she conceivably be retroactively charged with spreading false information which put people at risk?
What about chloroquine as a potential treatment? It is considered as being controversial due to Trump mentioning it but it is considered promising enough that countries around the world are conducting trials on it. If the trials do indeed indicate that the drug is of no value in this application, will it then become illegal for people to mention it?
The consequences of this pandemic will last for generations. We can’t let government take advantage of this pandemic in order to erode our fundamental rights.
Once rights are given away, governments are always loathe to give them back no matter who is in power. Once free speech is gone, we lose our strongest tool in order to fight for every other right.
We need to be vigilant and never forget that the state almost always puts its own interests ahead of the citizens. We can’t let this legislation pass during this crisis.