Is state censorship on the way?
Like many other Canadians I was alarmed, although not entirely surprised, to see that the federal government is dedicating $7 million to an initiative known as the “Critical Election Incident Public Protocol.” Perhaps a better and more easily remembered title would be the “Ministry of Truth.”
The job of this new state agency will be to monitor and “fact check” online communications having to do with the upcoming federal election to prevent “fake news.” Two ironic and suspicious facts stand out here. Mainstream media outlets will not be checked, and, as we all know, they can hardly be described as unbiased these days. In fact, since Prime Minister Trudeau recently bailed them out to the tune of $598 million, one wonders how welcome large scale criticism of the Liberal Party of Canada will be in mainstream media precincts.
Secondly, considering the “hijab hoax” and a host of other inaccurate, knee jerk and partisan statements the government and mainstream media have made, perhaps they should be the ones who are fact checked, and not earnest citizens trying to express their opinions by going around a biased and inaccurate media.
It is hard to imagine how this could be described as anything other than state censorship. When we also take into account that it is symbolically headed by a prime minister who has been cited for ethics violations four times, the only P.M. in history so chastised, the almost comic nature of this attempt at “impartiality” becomes even more amusing.
However, this isn’t really humorous. Since the advent of the current federal government our freedoms have been diminishing at an astonishingly rapid rate, so much so that we have actually gone down several points on the internationally monitored “Freedom index.”
We have a choice here. We can continue with a government that regularly legislates away our freedoms, ignores serious security risks, damages our economic welfare, destroys our resource sector, embarrasses us internationally and regularly insults us, or we can vote for a change in 2019. The choice hardly seems to be a difficult one.
Oh…and let us hope, as the months prior to the October election while away, that we will not be fined, incarcerated, silenced or otherwise suppressed for engaging in that most fundamental of freedoms: the ability to express our opinions as citizens of a free and democratic nation.