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Canada to appoint a Chief Censor

Guilbeault in a March 31 podcast said censors should prohibit hurtful comments about public officeholders.

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The Liberals will appoint Canada’s first Chief Internet Censor who will be able to shut down websites, investigate anonymous complaints and conduct closed-door hearings into legal but hurtful content deemed a threat to “democratic institutions.”

Blacklock’s Reporter says technical papers released by Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department on Thursday said cabinet would determine “the threshold for what constitutes potentially illegal content.”

“Social media is being used to spread potentially illegal and abusive content,” Guilbeault said in a statement.

First-ever regulation of the internet in Canada is required, he said adding “we need consistent and transparent rules.”

The heritage department in a paper and discussion guide outlined the scope of a censorship bill to be introduced in Parliament this fall.

“It would prioritize a safe, open and inclusive Internet where Canadians feel they can express themselves without being victimized or targeted by certain kinds of harmful content,” wrote staff.

Cabinet would appoint a chief censor, called the Digital Safety Commissioner, to provide “advice on content moderation” and issue compliance orders on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other service providers under threat of $25 million fines.

Censored content was not defined but anonymous complainants could trigger an investigation over websites deemed to “distort the free exchange of ideas by discrediting or silencing targeted voices” or “threaten national security, the rule of law and democratic institutions,” wrote staff.

The Safety Commissioner would be empowered to block websites or “make the content inaccessible” in Canada.

“The government intends to introduce a bill in the fall of 2021,” said the guide.

“This consultation is an important step.”

Documents stressed new censorship regulations would target online content not already prohibited. Parliament since 1970 has banned hate speech under the Criminal Code. and all provinces have libel laws.

“Definitions would draw upon existing law including current offences and definitions in the Criminal Code, but they would be modified in order to tailor them to a regulatory as opposed to criminal context,” wrote staff.

“The government recognizes there are other online harms that could also be examined and possibly addressed through future programming activities or legislative action.”

Guilbeault in a March 31 podcast said censors should prohibit hurtful comments about public officeholders.

“We have seen too many examples of public officials retreating from public service due to the hateful online content targeted towards themselves or even their families,” said Guilbeault.

“I have seen firsthand alongside other Canadians the damaging effects harmful content has on our families, our values and our institutions.”

Guilbeault in January 29 testimony at the Commons heritage committee went further in suggesting prohibited content should include hurtful criticism of federal institutions.

“Canada has a world-renowned public service and it’s integral that we don’t attack them,” he said.

“I think everybody in this country, and especially elected officials, have I think a responsibility, a duty to ensure that we protect our institutions and that the last thing we should try to do is to somehow diminish them just in the hope we can score points.

“I think there are other ways we can score political points. Of course, we’re political adversaries, I understand that, but certainly not at the expense of our institutions.”

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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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Chyna Fan

    August 5, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    Heil Guilbeault!

  2. SaskFreedom

    August 3, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    This guy is the epitome of a loser. Just look at him. His face, his being, begs to be punched. And he’s telling Canadians what they can and cannot say? This is a classic case of “Revenge of the losers”.

  3. Left Coast

    August 1, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”
    Joseph Goebbels

    We enter parliament in order to supply ourselves, in the arsenal of democracy, with its own weapons. If democracy is so stupid as to give us free tickets and salaries for this bear’s work, that is its affair. We do not come as friends, nor even as neutrals. We come as enemies. As the wolf bursts into the flock, so we come.
    Joseph Goebbels

    Goebbels would be very proud of his disciple Guilbeault . . .

  4. Deb

    August 1, 2021 at 1:09 am

    In the late 1930 ‘s books were burnt in the streets of Germany by the Nazi’s who determined they contained illegal content. Censorship is a dangerous slippery slope. One that shouldn’t be touched by a Federal Party
    seeking re- election. It tips the scales toward Communism.

  5. Penny4YourThouhts

    July 31, 2021 at 8:54 am

    Every day we move closer to a fascist regime. Oh Canada – the true north strong and …….gee…not sure what word should be here……certainly NOT free anymore. It’s time for the people to really stand up and choose what they want. Total government control or freedom because you can’t have both.

  6. Bryan

    July 30, 2021 at 1:21 pm

    Yet another reason for Alberta independence. Go WIPA!

    Ceterum autem censeo Justinius True-dope-us esse delendam

  7. CodexCoder

    July 30, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Would you buy a used car from Stephan Guilbeault? If not, why would you accept his opinion on anything? And how about that orange jumpsuit?

  8. Steven

    July 30, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    This is getting more stupid everyday. What’s next? A Federal Minister of Censorship? Minister Guilbeault, what ever is wrong with you is no small thing.

    Communisms are what the Federal Liberal Party are about. Smooth talking Guilbeault paints a scary scenario for Canada under his view of what censorship will be.

    Western Canada needs separation at the Manitoba/Ontario border. Central & Easter Canada can turn to communism while Western Canada and the Territories will remain free.

  9. GonadTheRuffian

    July 30, 2021 at 11:31 am

    So from here on I can’t call Turdeau The Village Idiot, or Mr. Mohammad Castro, or the Fool On The Hill?
    So the Ministry of Truth has blocked truth; luckily the Canadian Sheeple don’t care.

  10. Left Coast

    July 30, 2021 at 10:17 am

    Guilbeault is an f’en Fascist ! ! !

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News

Vaccine passports now mandatory in Alberta

In place of a vaccine passport, a negative test result from a privately-paid rapid test within 72 hours of service will be adequate or a person will need to show a valid medical exemption.

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The Alberta government’s new vaccine mandates for businesses, entities and events are in effect.

Each organization must follow one of two options: implement the Restriction Exemption Program (REP) requiring proof of vaccination or negative test result, plus mandatory masking, to continue operating as usual, or comply with all public health restrictions as outlined in Order 42-2021.

In place of a vaccine passport, a negative test result from a privately-paid rapid test within 72 hours of service will be adequate or a person will need to show a valid medical exemption.

The REP allows operators to avoid the majority of public health restrictions with the implementation of a proof of vaccination program, although vaccine requirements for staff are at the employer’s discretion. Face mask mandates are still required in all indoor spaces.

The program doesn’t apply to those under 12 years of age and businesses that need to be accessed by the public for daily living purposes, including all retail locations. As well, employees, contractors, repair or delivery workers, volunteers or inspectors will be permitted access to spaces without requiring a vaccine passport.

To enter spaces participating in the REP, adults need to provide valid photo identification that matches their paper or digital vaccine record showing name, vaccine type and date of administration. From now until October 25, proof of partial vaccination (one dose) will suffice, however after that date, proof of full vaccination (two doses) will be required. Those under 12 will only need to show vaccination paperwork.

Indoor entertainment, event and recreation facilities that don’t implement the REP will be limited to one-third capacity of their fire code occupancy and attendees must be in household cohorts or with up to two close contacts if they live alone.

Outdoor events and facilities have no capacity restrictions, but attendees must maintain a two-metre distancing between households.  

Restaurants that don’t follow the REP cannot offer indoor dining, and outdoor dining will be limited to six people per table from one household, and liquor sales will have to end by 10 p.m. with consumption cut off by 11 p.m.

Retail, shopping malls and food courts aren’t eligible for the REP, therefore will be reduced to one-third capacity of fire code occupancy and are required to stop all in-person dining, switching to take out only.

Indoor private social gatherings will be permitted for those that are vaccinated to a maximum of two households up to 10 (vaccine eligible) vaccinated people. There are no restrictions for children under 12. For those who are unvaccinated, indoor social gatherings are not permitted.

Private outdoor social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 200 people who are socially distanced.  

Churches will be limited to one-third of fire code capacity and masks and social distancing are still mandatory in places of worship.

Employees are mandated to work from home unless their physical presence is required for their duties.

Proof of vaccination will not be required to enter a polling place for Monday’s federal election although physical distancing, masking and other transmission reducing measures will be in place.

For more information on the Restriction Exemption Program, click here.   

Risdon is a reporter at the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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News

Hockey arena backs down on banning unvaccinated kids

Within hours of the Western Standard posting the exclusive story, Oaten was contacted by the SLSFSC and advised of an update to their policy.

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Public pressure has brought minor hockey out of the penalty box in Cochrane.

Following an exclusive story by the Western Standard on Saturday, along with mounting pressure from the community, a Cochrane sports facility has revamped its vaccine passport policy.  

The Cochrane Minor Hockey Association (CMHA) and Hockey Alberta were not mandating a vaccine passport system, but Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre (SLSFSC) announced it would be requiring proof of vaccine status for anyone 12 and up.

Within hours of the story being posted, CMHS President Cory Oaten was contacted by the SLSFSC and advised of an update to their policy with this statement: “Youth between the ages of 12 (vaccine eligible) to 18 years of age are exempt from the REP vaccination requirement to enter the facility for the purpose of participating in a youth organized sport organization. Examples include (but not limited to) Cochrane Minor Hockey, Ringette, Cochrane Minor Soccer, Lacrosse, Cochrane Figure Skating Club, Comets, Junior Lifeguard Club, etc.”

Although youth may access the facility without being vaccinated, all adult spectators, coaches, volunteers and organizers of any youth activity “must show proof of vaccination, proof of a negative test, or medical exemption to gain entry to SLSFSC premises.”

“Although this helps our kids get on the ice in Cochrane, it’s still an issue at lots of other facilities, especially in larger facilities in Calgary and Airdrie,” Oaten said.

Oaten, who works in the insurance industry, points out the “huge liability issue” this poses to his and other sports organizations.

“Originally, Spray Lakes pushed us to collect this medical documentation from our members,” he said.

The CMHA board consists of 18 volunteer members.

“They can’t put those expectations on a board of volunteers. It’s a big legal issue for us,” Oaten said, adding he and his board refuse to take responsibility for requiring proof of vaccine or the collection of their members’ private medical information.

Oaten was informed the SLSFSC will now have its own security checkpoints set up in the facility and will take responsibility for checking the vaccine status of anyone 18-plus entering the building.

Oaten anticipates families will still pull their kids from hockey and other sports programs as those who remain unvaccinated will not be permitted in the facility to accompany their child.

Hockey Alberta stated on their Facebook page they are working with the Alberta government on how last Wednesday’s announcement will affect hockey for Alberta players. Oaten has asked his members to hold off on making a decision to pull their child from the program until Hockey Alberta comes forward with their updated season plan.

The Western Standard reached out to the SLSFSC for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Risdon is a reporter for the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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Nearly $400 million in commemorative holiday events planned for fed employees only

The Department of Canadian Heritage promises “large-scale commemoration events” for a September 30 holiday for federally regulated employees only.

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It’ll cost hundreds of millions of dollars with federally regulated employees getting ready to party like it’s 2021, all on the public teat.

The Department of Canadian Heritage promises “large-scale commemoration events” for a September 30 holiday for federally regulated employees only.

Blacklock’s Reporter says the holiday will cost $388.9 million, by official estimate.

“The department will collaborate with national organizations for large-scale commemorative events on September 30,” staff wrote in a briefing note. It is the first federal observance of its kind.

The Senate on June 3 passed Bill C-5 An Act To Amend The Bills Of Exchange Act that designates September 30 as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The paid holiday applies only to federal employees including the RCMP and Canadian Armed Forces, and federally-regulated private sector workers at job sites like airports, banks, grain mills, marine shippers, radio stations and railways.

“This new annual statutory holiday on September 30 will ensure public commemoration of the tragic history and legacy of Residential Schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process,” said the briefing note National Day For Truth And Reconciliation. Costs of planned events were estimated at $2.7 million.

Parliament passed the holiday bill without a dissenting vote though senators in final debate questioned its usefulness. “What could long-term, dedicated and stable funding mean for food security, for closing the infrastructure gap which is huge, for finally ending boiled water advisories, for dealing with acute housing shortfalls in Indigenous communities?” asked Senator Dennis Patterson (Nunavut).

“It is hard for me to hear about the hundreds of millions of dollars that will go to provide federal employees a paid day off when I think about how an ongoing commitment of what we have heard today would be $388.9 million per annum for this holiday,” said Patterson.

“It would be an insult to my family members, to my friends and to the memories of those survivors I have lost along the way if this day were to become yet another paid day at the cottage for federal workers,” said Patterson. “It needs to truly be a day of remembrance and learning.”

The Treasury Board said direct costs were $165.9 million in the federal public service. “Most of that is in lost productivity,” Stephen Diotte, executive director of human resources, told the Senate June 3.

“The balance of it is payments required for employees in 24/7 work environments like corrections or Canada Border Services or ships’ crews and officers in the Department of National Defence and Department of Fisheries,” said Diotte.

The $165.9 million figure did not include holiday pay or overtime for Crown corporation employees. “I don’t have those figures,” said Diotte.

The labour department said airlines, marine shippers and other federally-regulated private sector companies would pay another $223 million annually.

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