BPC Bulletin: Bill C-36 Summer News Roundup

News Reports and Commentary Selected by Franklin Carter of the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee.


This past summer, Justice Minister David Lametti introduced Bill C-36 in the Canadian House of Commons to better define and combat hate propaganda and hate speech, especially on the Internet.

After the first reading on June 23, 2021, the bill stalled. Parliament immediately adjourned for the summer. A federal election campaign began in mid-August, and Canadians re-elected a Liberal minority government on September 20.

But throughout the summer and early autumn, Canadian journalists, lawyers and others continued to write about Bill C-36.

The federal government is expected to act on the bill after November 22, when Parliament resumes business.


An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act and to make related amendments to another Act (hate propaganda, hate crimes and hate speech)


In the National Post, Anja Karadeglija reports:

Impact of online harms bill includes 'spectre of censorship,' library group warns in submission | National Post
In the St. Thomas Times Journal, Anja Karadeglija reports:

Ditch 'fundamentally flawed' online harms bill, experts say in submissions to Heritage Canada | St. Thomas Times-Journal (stthomastimesjournal.com)

In the National, the journal of the Canadian Bar Association, Dale Smith reports:

National | Flagging harmful content (nationalmagazine.ca)

Rachel Aiello of CTV News reports:

Feds eye new powers to block platforms that fail to combat harmful content online | CTV News

Amanda Connolly of Global News reports:

Ottawa lays out proposal for digital safety watchdogs to crack down on hate online - National | Globalnews.ca

In the National Post, Anja Karadeglija reports:

Federal online harms bill would allow secret hearings and raises Charter concerns: critics | National Post

Rachel Emmanuel of iPolitics reports:


In the Welland Tribune, Kieran Leavitt reports:

Canada lays out major plans to target illegal content on Facebook, YouTube, Pornhub and other platforms | wellandtribune.ca

The Canadian Press reports:

Singh says government must regulate online hate – Vernon Morning Star


October 2021

At the CBC, Ilan Kogan comments:
Canadian government's proposed online harms legislation threatens our human rights | CBC News

September 2021

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association comments:

CCLA's Submission on Canada’s Proposed Approach to Addressing Harmful Content Online - CCLA

The National Post editorializes:

NP View: Justin Trudeau Liberals pose a direct threat to free speech in Canada | National Post

August 2021

In The Clarion, Peter Menzies comments:

Democracy dies if free speech is regulated by government - Kindersley Clarion (theclarion.ca)

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association comments:

Five Things to Know About Canada’s Online Harms “Consultation” - CCLA

July 2021

In The Peterborough Examiner, Cara Zwibel and Evan Balgord debate:

The Saturday Debate: Does the proposed new hate speech law go too far? | ThePeterboroughExaminer.com

The Canadian Race Relations Foundation and YWCA Canada comment:

#BlockHate campaign highlights the perils of inaction on online hate speech as politicians debate hate speech legislation in Ottawa (newswire.ca)

In St. Albert Today, Chris Nelson comments:

In the Toronto Sun, Lorne Gunter comments:

GUNTER: The dangerous doublethink of the Liberal government's online censorship | Toronto Sun


The Book and Periodical Council was formed in 1975 as the Book and Periodical Development Council to provide a venue for members to discuss industry issues, address mutual concerns and undertake projects for the benefit of Canadian writing and publishing.