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Freedom: Ideal vs Real

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True freedom is a very complex issue to deal with when it comes to humanity and its views on how life should be governed. Most of the human life is encapsulated in one system or another that in many ways monitors and restricts what can be viewed as freedom. Parents restricts some freedoms of their children, bosses own the time of their employees and governments sets the rules for all citizens big and small. 


Freedom and its interpretation is therefore relative to the individual and can vary in degrees of perceptions. There are freedoms that can be easily observed such as the right to make career choices but some freedoms are elusive such as the freedom to gamble at casinos.  Take for example Maple casino a true Canadian gem, has been reviewing multitudes of online casinos that can are available for Canadians but it is only recently that people have felt confident in online casinos since the Gaming Commission of Ontario certified 17 iGaming sites. 


This does not mean that online casinos were bad before that but the influential voice of the government have for some time provided a narrative that dissuaded people from exercising these freedoms without the supervision of the authorities. This is just one of many example where the role of government in reducing freedoms is subtle and not easily recognised. 

Let us look at some ways in which rights and freedoms can be restricted without proper justification. 


Provincial Language Law


The recent Bill C-13 which was introduced by the government sought to restrict businesses in some municipalities in Quebec from being able to use English when serving customers. The justification for this is that the bill seeks to protect French as a language. This law sought to do this especially in areas where there are low populations of naturally born English speakers. 


The language office basically gave municipalities an ultimatum whereby they needed to choose to either drop the minority language or to maintain their bilingual statuses. There has been a pushback against these proposed regulations with many of the municipalities who are affected choosing to stay bilingual.  Looking at this objectively , it is easy to accept this as a government responsibility to preserve and protect the French language for the Quebec population. What is not obvious is the governments attempt to strip individuals to conduct business in the language of their choice. 


Regular language being a primary tool of expression means that any attempts to subject it to place restrictions upon it has a direct result of restricting freedoms of expression. 


The Currency Control


The Bank of Canada has of late initiated a kind of survey to determine from the public whether Canada needs a digital currency or not. There has been no official word on the creation of a central bank backed digital currency but these consultations can serve as a preview for what is to come. 


There has already been opposition to this by some politicians most notably, the leader of the opposition Pierre Poilievre. Once again from a citizen stand-point it is fairly simple to believe that surely a decision needs to be made and one has to choose one side over the other. 

Hidden in plain sight is another reality that either choice has within it elements of a restrictive nature. Currency has as one of its fundamental characteristics an attribute represented as a medium of exchange. This means that any two people can decide what this medium represents.  


The delicate way in which those in power convince the populace to be swayed in one direction or the other restricts the freedom of people creating and transacting in other innovative or even traditional ways. 


In Comes Bill-11


Again here it can be seen how the authorities cleverly use the protection of culture in a crafty way to increase their reach on individual freedoms. The new law requires big streaming companies to use 30 % of their revenue made in Canada to support Canadian content. 


Law makers feel that it is necessary to impose the same rules on these giant streaming facilities like YouTube and TikTok as they do on big broadcasters. This to the ordinary person as something that is debatable but certainly worth a look at as it protects Canadian culture from the dominant culture of the neighbours from the south of the border.

  

This unfortunately when seen from a point of view favouring freedom illustrates how vulnerable the individual is. If the government can enforce such restrictions on big companies for their content, then it could potentially be much easier to impose rules on the content that is allowed to be created by the general public. 


Reading Between the Line


There are many other ways in which situations such as these can be observed and in most cases people tend to look at the headings written in bold and miss the smaller print which contain the pivotal information for the reader.  It is easy to miss or to disregard such information and those in charge are able to use this to their advantage.


It is therefore important that a person leans towards critical thinking which often requires adopting unordinary patterns of thinking that seek to answer critical questions such as what freedom really means to them.  





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