The opposition has a slim majority of 10 seats in the Lower House, but has been accused of being too narrow to form a government after a weekend of turmoil.
It’s been accused by Liberals of taking a “soft” line on the issue and has said it will not vote for the bill to be debated in the Upper House.
The Liberals’ coalition partners, the New Democrats, are also in a tight contest for the second-most seats in Parliament.
While the Liberals are still the most popular party in Quebec, the NDP has not fared well in the province’s northern ridings, which the Liberals hold by a slim margin.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference in Quebec City, Canada, June 6, 2021.
(Photo: Justin Tang/Associated Press)A recent opinion poll suggested that the Liberal minority government could be in trouble if it did not come to terms with the bill, which would make it a criminal offence to post a selfie on social media.
Liberal Leader Justin Lisi said Monday that the bill will allow law enforcement to crack down on “slanderous” or “disrespectful” posts on social platforms, and he said it would create a “bigger, better, more fair society.”
“The Liberals know that it’s not only their job to protect our society, but that they can also take action against those who try to undermine the way we live,” Lisi told reporters.
“We are prepared to go forward with the legislation and get the legislation passed.”
The bill also would impose harsher penalties on those who do not use social media responsibly, including a maximum five years in prison for those who “disseminate” “false, defamatory, obscene, indecent, hateful, discriminatory, or threatening messages.”
It would also outlaw the use of Twitter and Facebook by people who are not “official employees of a public body” or those who are “not registered in the electoral register.”
A Liberal Party official said it is also concerned about the impact the bill could have on the province.
“We have a real problem right now with the number of social media accounts that are popping up on our system,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
“If we don’t make it easier to use social networks responsibly, we’re going to see more and more people just shut down.”
But Liberals said they are also concerned the bill is not enough and they want to make changes to the bill that will ensure the law is applied fairly.
A majority of Quebecers support the bill’s passage, according to a recent poll.
The provincial Liberal Party said Monday it is planning to send out a new ad on social networks on June 12 urging Canadians to sign up for its online service.
As the Liberals prepare for their June 8 vote, a new poll released Monday by Public Policy Forum Quebec found that only 20 per cent of Quebec’s population would support the legislation.
In a poll released on Sunday by the Forum for Quebec Social Development, only 33 per cent said they support the law.