Quebec’s edge of the wedge.

You have got to watch those guys! There is nobody slipperier than a Quebec provincial politician. If they cannot get you coming, they get you going. They have the God complex. They are so sure of themselves. They even think they can control the Internet. They already know they can control free speech—all that is left is a minor jurisdictional dispute with Ottawa.

Since the Internet is provided by companies controlled by the federal government, Quebec might have a few problems with this fight. The province wants to block all web sites offering on-line gambling other than the web-site owned by Lotto-Quèbec. It is alright for them to rip off Quebec citizens but everyone else is verboten.

They actually think they can keep the interlopers out and enable Lotto-Quèbec to make another $10 million to $20 million per year of profits for the Quebec treasury. What some of the Quebec politicians might be thinking is that if it is easy to bar certain web sites why not start making lists of web sites that oppose Quebec’s separatists. Maybe it is easier to just ban any web site that is not in an acceptable language? There are so many possibilities.

But start with the easy targets. These first sites to be barred are just interlopers. No one cares about their rights.

But is that not where it always starts? And there had better be those who care. The very strength of the Internet is the borders it breaches. It is worrisome though when you realize that Quebec has never had a strong ethos of rights and freedoms. Last year’s Charter of Values was a good example of the problem. It was just one more example of how Quebec politicians were willing to take away freedoms from their own.

It suits the tribalism—the overriding emphasis on language and insularity. It encourages the petty would-be tyrants such as Pierre-Karl Pèladeau. Quebec is not an island. It is not an entity by itself. It has a vital role to play in the future of Canada. To isolate and build barriers is to attempt to deny destiny.

Nobody who understands the Internet will disagree that it lacks discipline. It is that very lack of discipline that enables it to work. It shouts of freedom. And it must remain free. It is for all who would want to use it.

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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