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Majority of Canadians opposed to Liberals controlling internet speech

The poll is in direct contrast to claims by Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault “a very high proportion of Canadians” want regulation.

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A clear majority of Canadians are against Liberal regulation of speech on the internet, their own government polling shows.

Blacklock’s Reporter said the Privy Council research is in direct contrast to claims by Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault “a very high proportion of Canadians” want regulation.

When asked: “Please give your opinion on the following statement: The government should restrict access to the internet and social media to combat the spread of misinformation about COVID-19,” a total 58 per cent disagreed, including 46 percent who “strongly disagreed.”

Opposition ranged from 63 percent of Atlantic Canadians to 62 percent of British Columbians, 61 percent of Albertans, 59 percent in Ontario, 56 percent in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and 51 percent in Québec.

Only four percent of people surveyed said they “strongly agreed” Parliament should regulate internet speech. 

Findings were drawn from a series of questionnaires with 16,829 people by Léger, which cost the government $248,343.

People also replied they had very little trust of the mainstream media, including the CBC.

Asked: “How much do you trust the following sources of information in their reporting about COVID-19?” a tenth of Canadians said they had little or “very little trust” in the CBC. 

The rate was 15 percent in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has said he will introduce legislation, the first of its kind, to regulate non-criminal content on the internet including Facebook and Twitter. 

“A very high proportion of Canadians are asking the government to step in,” said Guilbeault said in January.

“It is very clear we will act, and we will soon table a bill.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Rainer Rohr

    March 19, 2021 at 6:48 am

    The state is way too big. Government at all levels intrudes into our lives like never before in Canada.

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News

Farkas pledges to freeze taxes for four years

Farkas said every year Calgarians are told they have to accept increased taxes or face cuts to services.

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Calgary mayoral candidate Jeromy Farkas released the first plank of his platform Monday, pledging to freeze taxes for four years.

“Over the past 10 years, Calgarians have struggled with lack of opportunity. We’ve witnessed the economy crumble, the tax burden increase, and the city hall establishment become increasingly out of touch. It’s time for that to change,” said Farkas in a release.

“If elected as mayor, I will champion a four-year property tax freeze for homes and businesses. Now more than ever, Calgarians need a strong and growing economy. This four-year tax freeze will throw a lifeline to struggling families, seniors, and small business owners, and give them the certainty that they need to get back on their feet.”

Farkas said economist Jack Mintz reviewed the promise and found it to be an achievable goal, with the millions the city has stashed aside in various reserve funds.

“Implementing a four-year residential and non-residential tax freeze is undoubtedly achievable,” said Mintz,

“The best part is this plan can be implemented without reductions to city services given the excess reserves available and reasonable growth forecasts.”

Farkas said every year Calgarians are told they have to accept increased taxes or face cuts to services.

“It’s time to put this false choice to rest with common-sense financial management,” said the Farkas campaign, adding the tax bill for the typical home has doubled over the last decade while basic city services have remained stagnant or even declined.

“This election is about change versus more of the same. As councillor, I’ve consistently opposed needless budget increases. I have a record of following through on my promises. Change starts now, with a four-year tax freeze,” Farkas said.

Calgarians go to the polls October 18.

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News

Poll shows Canadians trust the Internet and know what’s fake news

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department has proposed “concrete action” to police news and information on the internet.

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Despite Liberal attempts to censor the Internet, the vast majority of Canadians think online information is reliable and people can tell when its not, says the feds own internal polling.

Blacklock’s Reporter said Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department has proposed “concrete action” to police news and information on the Internet.

“A majority, 80%, believe the online content they consume is factual and truthful,” said a pollsters’ report.

“Two-thirds of Canadians, 66%, feel confident in their ability to tell if online content is fair and balanced.”

The Heritage department paid Ipsos Public Affairs $164,621 to conduct online focus groups and questionnaires with 5,207 people.

“Almost all Canadians are frequently consuming some form of information online,” wrote researchers.

“Canadians largely believe having access to different sources of information with different points of view is important for people to participate in a democracy.

“Most participants were confident in their abilities to consider various sources and ensure they are being presented with ‘the full picture.’”

Guilbeault last July 2 issued a report to instruct the media on how to report the news.

“We can no longer ignore the challenges and opportunities that come with an increasingly digital world,” said Guilbeault.

“We have to act now to ensure a healthy ecosystem online for all citizens.”

Reporters, editors and commentators must “foster greater exposure to diverse cultural content, information and news” and “contribute to a healthier public discourse, greater social inclusion within society, bolster resilience to disinformation and misinformation and increase our citizens’ ability to participate in democratic processes,” said the report.

The guide defined misinformation as “false or misleading content shared without harmful intent though the effects can still be harmful, e.g. when people share false information with friends and family in good faith.”

The document doesn’t say who within the Heritage department would monitor news deemed to be harmful.

“Ethical journalistic standards should be upheld and encouraged,” said the guide, adding: “Information about media ownership and funding sources should be made accessible to the public and transparent to safeguard a diverse and pluralistic media ecosystem.”

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News

Twenty percent of Canadians bet pro sports is fixed

Only 6% said they were “very confident” major league hockey, football, baseball and basketball players were not doping.

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One-fifth of all Canadians think pro sports is rigged, says the feds’ own research.

Blacklock’s Reporter noted cabinet legalized bookmaking August 27.

Asked: “Do you think there is match manipulation in the NHL, Major League Baseball, the NBA or CFL?” 21% said yes, according to the Survey On Ethics, Equity And Safety In Sport 2021.

Only 6% said they were “very confident” major league hockey, football, baseball and basketball players were not doping.

A total of 19% of Canadians said they were convinced there is match-fixing in college sports, with 18% saying junior hockey is crooked.

A larger number, 24%, said the Olympics are fixed and 37% agreed “there is corruption within Canadian sport organizations” at the Olympic level.

Cabinet on August 27 brought into force Bill C-218 that repealed an 1892 ban on single-event sports betting.

The bill sponsored by Conservative MP Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon-Grasswood) set no limits on sports wagering through provincial gaming monopolies.

Provinces have said Vegas-style bookmaking will be fully introduced by the year’s end.

The Department of Canadian Heritage commissioned the survey using questionnaires with 10,932 people nationwide. The department paid Advanis Incorporated $78,563 for the research.

“The survey gauges awareness, perceptions and understanding of key issues related to ethics,” said the report.

Questions of honest play were “fueled by negative media and public attention,” it said.

The Centre for Ethics in Sport in June 4 testimony at the Senate Banking, tTade and Commerce Committee cautioned legal bookmaking could see corrupt practices spread to “university sport, college sport or the Canada Games.”

Match-fixing “is already occurring in Canada,” testified Paul Melia, CEO.

“Importantly, it is not an issue that only impacts professional sport In fact, match manipulation is often targeted directly at lower-level sport where athletes are not paid or not well paid and are therefore far more vulnerable.”

“Match manipulation is linked to organized crime. It takes advantage of vulnerable athletes, officials, coaches and other support staff in order to fix the outcome of a sporting competition.”

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