Quebec’s Bill 74

Bill 74 is a little publicized bill slowly making it’s way through the Quebec legislative circus. In typical Quebec political fashion this will become law as the Liberals hold a strong majority in the National Assembly. The bill 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 stench of this reaks so bad that I can’t even begin to explain the multitude of smells coming from the Premiers office. 

The province’s finance minister says 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.” Responsible gaming rules ? Risk to the population ? Are you joking ? The same government that places gaming machines in every hole in the wall restaurant, bar , or cafe they can find. The same government that owns and operates the Montreal Casino, where too many to mention familes have been ruined. The same government that runs it’s own online gambling site. Please Mr. Leitao, enlighten us and tell us how exactly you will implement your responsible gaming rules. 

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. Allow me to explain what exactly “Net Neutrality” is to our finance minister:

“Net neutrality” is understood to mean that Internet companies should be neutral carriers of content and not favour some sites over others or block access to certain sites. 

Perhaps Mr Leitao should have read up on the 1993 Telecommunications Act, which states “Except where the Commission (the CRTC) approves otherwise, a Canadian carrier shall not control the content or influence the meaning or purpose of telecommunications carried by it for the public.”

I’m having difficulty deciding if we live in a Socialistic or communist Province. Or is it that we live in a province that is just not good at running a business. Loto-Quebec has been losing money to online gaming competitors, according to the 2015-16 budget documents. I guess I can understand the temptation of wiping out your competitor when you’re the one making the rules. I can also understand wanting to control the three biggest money making vices known to mankind: alcohol (SAQ), gambling (coming soon) and pornography (look out Brazzers and Pornhub).

 I’m no gambler but if I were I’d rather give my money to a privately owned conglomerate. I gamble every pay day when I give this fuckin miserable province half of my pay checks and get nothing in return. I might as well gamble it away and be entertained while I’m getting in the ass. 

   

 

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