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CRTC vs Netflix or Thanks For All The Fish

Net neutrality is dead.

By Aesh M. Daeva

So the CRTC tried to commit a hostile takeover of Netflix. Who's next? Me? You? That's what happens when we become just a little too successful for the comfort of the bureaucrats that rule over us.

The curtain has been drawn and the wizard exposed. The government of Canada has now in essence admitted that it views all business activity in Canada as THEIR business activity. Private enterprise in this country is in danger of becoming nothing more than a government program. Designed to socially engineer future entrepreneurs into developing their ideas while knowing full well that ultimately, if the business goes anywhere, some arcane legal spell will be cast compelling the business to do its bidding.

Netflix is an internet content provider no different than any other website or cloud platform. It is notable only by its success in capturing most internet users, and what is the CRTC's response to this amazing service loved the world over? To shake it down for money like any other common thug. To threaten it with a Canadian distribution ban is extortion; a crude attempt to blackmail a private interest that has committed no criminal act, and has only brought more value to the internet we all enjoy.

If we allow this to continue, if we allow the CRTC and the government of Canada to dictate to us what we see and hear, and from who, then we are not a free country and we are no longer citizens; we are livestock. No better than cows producing milk and Ottawa owns all the the farms. If the CRTC is willing to try these shenanigans on a world famous brand like Netflix, to what level of interference are they willing to reach for on home soil. Every Canadian internet company should be afraid of this precedent, what few of us bother to stay here that is.

For many years our voting rights have been diluted, our bureaucracy extended as much as possible to reduce the potential power of any one person. As our ability to individually effect our governance erodes, we find ourselves with only one other option: vote with our dollar. Yet, now Captain Canuck wants to take away our right to choose where we spend our money and why. The very definition of overreach.

Regulation in Canada as it applies to the internet is in serious jeopardy of undermining regulation generally. I believe in regulating where it makes sense, where harm might come to others if basic safety and anti-fraud measures aren't taken. However the CRTC's recent actions call into question the legitimacy of all regulations.

If the government can overreach on something as visible as media, then what else is it already doing? How long until we have no say at all in anything beyond the most trivial concerns. As though being able to safely watch Corner Gas on CBC for free makes up for all the lost potential of a truly empowered society.

We have no leaders in this country anymore because there is nothing to lead. We are the most scientifically literate population on earth and we've only SHARED 4 Nobel prizes in the last 25 years. Our government has become a multi-headed hydra bent on controlling every aspect of Canadian culture, happy to concede all greatness to others while we maintain a "civilized" Mosaic and a hockey team.

The one thing the heads agree on are keep it friendly, no one would ever believe such polite people could be so self-serving. And we just take it. We plod along as our distant handlers profit off our hard work. Meanwhile prices on goods and services have kept going up and now we pay more for virtually every product/service when compared to our cousins the Americans and the Brits; from broadband to cell phones, to television, to housing, to bank fees.

We pay insane tax on everything. Recently we learned that the average Canadian pays more in tax every year than all other expenses, personal or professional combined. Is this the society we think we're building when we punch our ticket each morning squirreling away what meager savings we can.

Enough is enough. I'm tired of all the talent leaving my province for greener pastures down south. I'm tired of watching this great nation crawl on its belly, afraid to stand up and be counted. We can do so much better. If we could only look inside ourselves and rediscover the courage and the vision that tamed this vast land in the first place.

I have to believe its possible to change things. The CRTC can't be allowed to act this way, its bad for Canadians. So I say its time to look forward not backwards, upwards not sideways, and of course thanks for all the fish!

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Aesh M. Daeva
Looking for the frayed edge of the Universe.

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