An open letter from experts the government convened last year to provide advice on legislating against online harms is urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to table legislation.
The letter published Thursday (Nov. 30) calls on the federal government to urgently bring forward a bill to address “harms posed by digital platforms,” especially behaviour and content that can affect children.
Emily Laidlaw, a law professor at the University of Calgary who was a co-chair of the government’s advisory group, helped organize the letter, and says it is “time to push” for the bill.
The letter, signed by more than 50 experts and advocates as of this morning, says two years of federal consultations produced “wide-ranging consensus” that platforms should be held responsible for their services and any harms that result.
Calls for action have increased as the Israel-Hamas war leads to more antisemitism and Islamophobia online, and as police highlight online safety after a 12-year-old British Columbia boy who fell prey to online sextortion killed himself.
Justice Minister Arif Virani has pledged to bring forward a bill as soon as he can, but underscored that determining how to regulate online platforms is difficult.
The Canadian Press