Justin Trudeau invokes Elon Musk's wrath as Canada threatens to toss free speech out the window
It seems there's no respite for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the moment! After riling administrators of a 1.4 billion-strong nation with allegations of murder, the lawmaker has now managed to anger billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, who lashed out at the politician on social media. But why is Trudeau on the Tesla CEO's radar?
It is because Canada, under the leadership of the 51-year-old, is trying to clamp down on free speech.
The development comes after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission issued a press release with new rules, in an attempt to "modernize Canada’s broadcasting framework".
According to the document, the North American country has made two decisions after "thoroughly examining all the evidence on the public record, including over 200 interventions". It added that
"Online streaming services that operate in Canada, offer broadcasting content, and earn $10 million or more in annual revenues will need to complete a registration form by November 28, 2023. Registration collects basic information, is only required once and can be completed in just a few steps.
"Second, the CRTC is setting conditions for online streaming services to operate in Canada. These conditions take effect today and require certain online streaming services to provide the CRTC with information related to their content and subscribership. The decision also requires those services to make content available in a way that is not tied to a specific mobile or Internet service," the release added.
Not surprisingly, many have started seeing red, including US journalist Glenn Greenwald, who came down hard on the decision.
Tweeting about it, Greenwald publicly berated the Canadian government for having the "world's most repressive online censorship schemes".
Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada. Shameful. https://t.co/oHFFvyBGxu— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 1, 2023
Reacting to the post, Musk shared his perspective. "Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada. Shameful," he tweeted. This is consistent with Elon Musk's free speech stance, which ultimately led to him buying Twitter and later rebranding the company as X.
Meanwhile, this censorship development comes just weeks after Trudeau accused India of sending agents to kill Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Khalistan leader who was designated a terrorist in his home country a few years ago.
Nijjar was carrying his pro Khalistani activities from Canada, which has in the last decade emerged as a haven for separatists, before he was killed on 18 June 2023 in British Columbia's Surrey.
This triggered a diplomatic row between New Delhi and Ottawa, resulting in the expulsion of one diplomat each from one another's country. While Canada has received tacit support from the USA, who had urged Indian to co-operate in investigations, Sri Lanka has heavily backed the Modi regime, accusing Canada of making outrageous allegations.
India, however, has been unequivocal in its stance and has rejected claims from the Trudeau government, which has been embroiled in controversies for a long time now.
In fact, this is not the first time Justin Trudeau and his cabinet have tried to curb free speech in the country.
The government had used its emergency powers in early 2022 to end the trucker protests, which opposed the COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
It now remains to be seen how the international community reacts to new changes from CRTC.