The Canadian law passed by Trudeau could jail people for speech crimes

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A Canadian law aimed at making social media platforms safer is under fire for what some criticize as government overreach.

The Online Harms Act, or Bill C-63, was introduced late last month, which allows judges to jail adults for life if they advocate genocide.

The law also allows a district judge to impose house arrest and a fine if there are reasonable grounds to believe the defendant “will commit” a crime — a provision that Wall Street Journal columnist Michael Taub likened to the 2002 movie “Minority Report.”

Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale, criticized the bill as “Orwellian.”

“If this bill's narrative is true, it's Lettres de Cachet all over again. The possibilities of retaliation for false accusations + thoughtcrime stuff are very attractive! Trudeau's Orwellian online harms bill,” Atwood wrote on Twitter.

The Online Harms Act, or Bill C-63, was introduced late last month, which allows judges to jail adults for life if they advocate genocide. Reuters

Writing in public placesConservative author Stephen Moore called it “the most shocking of all the totalitarian, illiberal, anti-Enlightenment legislation introduced in the Western world in decades.”

Citing a government spokesperson, the bill would specifically increase the maximum penalty for calling for genocide from 5 years to life imprisonment and from 2 to 5 years, when charged, for intentionally promoting hatred.

Justice Minister Arif Virani, who introduced the bill, said that, as a father, he was “terrified by the dangers that lie online for our children.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government supports the bill. Reuters
The bill aims to make social media safer, but people call it government overreach. Getty Images

He said that there are laws regulating the safety of the toys his children play with, but not “the screen in our children’s faces.”

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Fox News Digital has reached out to Virani's office for additional comment and will update this story accordingly.





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