About that ’cyber-bullying’ bill

The hashing out of C-13
Canada’s National Defence Minister Peter MacKay in his office on Parliament Hill in Ottawa February 12, 2013. Photo by Blair Gable for Maclean’s Magazine

A week ago, the Harper government introduced, in its own words, “legislation to address criminal behaviour associated with cyberbullying.”

That seems basically to be true: C-13 does, indeed, deal with the issue of cyber-bullying. It’s just that it would seem to also address other matters.

The Chronicle-Herald’s Paul McLeod here and here, the CBC’s Andre Mayer here, Postmedia’s Tobi Cohen here and the Canadian Press here all review the contents of the bill. Parts of C-13 harken somewhat to C-30, the lawful access legislation that went away after Vic Toews said that unfortunate thing he said.

University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist offers his thoughts on C-13 here, here and here. The editorial boards of the Globe, Star and Chronicle-Herald explain their concerns.

The bill will come before the House for its first day of debate this afternoon after Question Period. Here presumably is where a committee study should be valuable. A review from the privacy commissioner might also provide some objective consideration.