X (formally Twitter) owner Elon Musk has made claims that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is “trying to crush free speech in Canada” in relation to new Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regulations.
This past week, the CRTC announced plans to introduce new regulatory framework to “modernize Canada’s broadcasting framework.” The first order of business is ensuring that online streaming services need to “provide information about their activities in Canada.”
Following the announcement, Musk posted that Trudeau’s government is “trying to crush free speech in Canada” and that the broadcasting act update is “shameful.”
Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada. Shameful. https://t.co/oHFFvyBGxu
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 1, 2023
Unbeknownst Musk, the new policy isn’t a direct attack on free speech. Instead, as part of CRTC’s ongoing consultation to modernize the broadcasting act, the regulations collect “basic information” about streaming services: podcasts, live streams, etc., to make “meaningful contributions to Canadian and Indigenous content.” Additionally, social media services must register.
Individuals who use social media or listen to and share podcasts do not need to register. Moreover, online services that provide only video game services or audiobooks are not required to register. None of these regulatory changes will likely affect consumers of online content in a notable way.
The new plan continues the roadmap related to Bill C-11, which was first launched by the CRTC in May. The latest regulation closes the gap on two of the three public consultations and is far from the free speech attack that Musk believes is being waged by the Trudeau government.