In the province of Quebec, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission is currently disputing a bill that passed recently that will block citizens of the region from having access to unlicensed online gambling websites. The measure, Quebec Bill 74, passed in May but has not been enforced as of yet.
The CRTC wants to see the measure rescinded before it is enforced by the Quebec government. The group claims the measure is unlawful and should be immediately reconsidered. The group sent out a positioning letter which read that compliance with other legal or juridical requirements, be it municipal, provincial or foreign, and does not justify the blocking of specific websites by carriers in Canada in the absence of Commission approval under the Act.
The Supreme Court is currently reviewing if the CRTC has the jurisdiction to be able to determine the legality of the measure. If the court were to rule in favor of the Commission and that they must approve the bill first before it could be passed, then the law will not be enforced.
Experts in digital law believe that QB 74 would threaten the citizens of Quebec’s right to a free and open internet. Individuals who are in favor of the measure believe that the bill will protect residents from being taken advantage of by sites that offer illegal gambling as some gaming sites are not regulated like others are, but still operate openly in Canada.
There are others who feel that the bill is an attempt by the government to take away freedoms. As for now, the law is being reviewed and is not scheduled to take effect until 2018. Citizens can still access all gaming sites that have been available, including those that are not specifically legalized.