As Britain enacts laws forcing Internet companies to block access to adult content unless customers opt in, a fledgling movement is under way to bring similar laws to Canada.
If we can get a man on the moon, certainly we can figure out a way to protect children from unwanted porn, said Winnipeg Conservative MP Joy Smith, who is formulating a private member's bill that would automatically block access to online
pornography. Anyone wanting to access porn would have to contact their ISPs.
Smith hosted a recent meeting for parliamentarians and other stakeholders in Ottawa, with speakers including PC extremist Gail Dines who founded the Stop Porn Culture group, and Julia Beazley, policy analyst at the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.
They warned about the increasingly violent nature of modern pornography and its effects on young users, which Dines described in an interview as a public health emergency situation.
A little-publicized bill that is making its way through Quebec's legislative process will put an end to the concept of a free and open Internet.
Bill 74 includes a provision that seeks to force Internet service providers to block Quebecers' access to online gambling sites that aren't approved by the government.
The province's finance minister claims the bill is necessary to protect the health and safety of Quebecers because illegal sites don't apply the same responsible gaming rules as sites run by the government and pose a risk to the population.
Critics explain that the Internet-censoring legislation is a way for Quebec's state-owned gambling authority to block competition and could lead to governments across the country deciding what citizens can and can't view online. Law experts say the
legislation violates freedom of expression, contradicts federal telecommunications law and will likely be challenged in court by Internet companies and civil rights groups.
Quebec's government-run gambling authority, Loto-Quebec, has been losing money to online gaming competitors, according to the 2015-16 budget documents.