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Liberals Defeat Child Protection Amendments

July 07, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Barrhead, AB — During the Heritage Committee Study on Bill C-11, Online Streaming Act in June, Peace River – Westlock MP Arnold Viersen proposed amendments to protect youth and women online through amendments to the policy objectives of the Broadcasting Act. These amendments were strongly supported by Canadian child protection organizations and survivors of exploitation.

“To be clear, I am opposed to Bill C-11 and voted against it at every stage. It is a clear Liberal attempt to police Canadian’ social media rather than tackle online sexual exploitation,” said MP Viersen. “Under Bill C-11, the Liberals will only regulate pornography to ensure it is ‘Canadian enough’ instead of protecting children and stopping online sexual violence.”

“I believe there are some areas of the Internet that should have oversight. Porn companies shouldn’t have unlimited access to our kids online – but they do and there is no requirement to make sure those accessing their sites are actually over eighteen. Porn companies should not be able to post content that is racist, sexist or involves coercion – but they do and make billions from it.”

MP Viersen’s amendments to Bill C-11 sought to update the policy objectives of the Broadcasting Act to include a focus on:

  • Protecting children from exposure to sexually explicit content
  • Safeguarding rights of women by prohibiting the broadcasting of pornographic material that is violent, racist, sexist, degrading or produced through coercion.

During the debate on the amendments, MP Viersen highlighted Montreal-based pornography company MindGeek and it’s 4.5 trillion visits to their websites a month.

“This company, MindGeek, and its subsidiary, Pornhub, have recently been in the news as being extremely exploitative of both youth and women… One of those things would be to ensure that sexually explicit content isn’t falling into the hands of children… The CRTC is already managing this when it comes to television. We should not allow online platforms to have unlimited access to our children when it comes to pornographic material.”

MP Viersen also noted the importance of protecting women by prohibiting “sexually explicit material that is specifically violent, specifically racist, specifically sexist, specifically degrading and specifically torture.”

Officials from the Department of Heritage confirmed that MP Viersen’s amendments were not a form of censorship and would only extend existing regulations applied to traditional media like cable tv to online media.

While the amendments received support from the one NDP MP on the Committee, the Liberals joined with the Bloc Québécois to defeat the amendments.

“Protecting kids online and fighting violence against women should have the support of all parties. I am disappointed that the government shot down these important online protection policies,” said MP Viersen.

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The full discussion at Heritage Committee on MP Viersen’s amendments can be viewed here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07Meb48W1h8