April 12th, 2024

Online harms bill coming next week, PM says; promises focus on kids, not censorship

By Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press on February 21, 2024.

Justice Minister Arif Virani during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024. The federal government's evolving plan to help protect Canadians from harm online could include a new ombudsperson to field public concerns and a regulator that would oversee the conduct of internet platforms. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his long-promised legislation to protect Canadians against online harms is coming next week.

Trudeau announced the timeline at a news conference in Edmonton, saying the bill will be focused on protecting children.

He says kids are vulnerable to hatred, violence and bullying online, and society needs to do a better job protecting them.

He also pushed back against Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, who says the bill will only amount to the Liberals policing speech online.

He has accused the Liberals of promoting censorship through previous laws that sought to regulate social media giants.

Trudeau says the legislation, which has been years in the making, will be focused on protecting youth, not censoring the internet.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2024.

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