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Musk's attack on the Justin Trudeau-led government comes in the backdrop of the strained relations between Canada and India in recent times. File photo

'Shameful': Musk slams Justin Trudeau for 'crushing free speech'

This attack on Justin Trudeau by the maverick entrepreneur comes in the wake of a recent order passed by the Canadian government clamping down on online streaming services

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Amid the strained relations between Canada and India, Space X founder and CEO Elon Musk hit out at the Justin Trudeau government for ‘crushing free speech’ in the country.

This attack from the maverick entrepreneur comes in the wake of a recent order passed by the Canadian government clamping down on online streaming services. On September 29, the Canadian government, in its efforts "to modernise its broadcasting framework and ensure that online streaming services make meaningful contributions", has initiated a new rule for all social media companies to register with the authorities.

It said that “online streaming services that offer podcasts” must formally register with the government to permit regulatory controls.

Elon Musk slammed Trudeau while responding to a post by journalist and author Glenn Greenwald who had commented on the ruling. Greenwald said in his post that the Canadian government, “armed with one of the world's most repressive online censorship schemes”, had announced that all "online streaming services that offer podcasts" must formally register with the government to permit regulatory controls."

Replying to this post, Musk said that it was “shameful” how Trudeau was trying to crush free speech in Canada.

Not the first time

Earlier too, the Trudeau government was attacked for curbing free speech. Last year, in February 2022, Trudeau had invoked emergency powers for the first time in the country’s history to arm his government with more power to respond to the trucker protests, who were opposing the vaccine mandates at that time.

Three days later he brought in the War Measures Act, the predecessor to the Emergencies Act, and sent troops into Quebec and other provinces. The crisis ended, but only after the separatist group had killed the cabinet minister.

Diplomatic row

A major diplomatic row broke out between Canada and India, over the allegation of India’s role in the killing of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India has rejected the Canadian PM Justin Trudeau's claims, calling it ‘absurd’ and ‘motivated’.

Notably, Canada has yet to provide any public evidence to support the claim about Nijjar’s killing. However, India suspended its visa services in Canada, while demanding Ottawa reduce its diplomatic staffing in India on grounds of interference in domestic affairs in India.

India also issued an advisory for its citizens and those who are travelling to Canada to exercise "utmost caution in view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence" in the country. The move is expected to curtail Indian travel for Canadians, even if they apply in third countries. This temporary suspension will involve all visas, including e-visas.

Sikh separatist

Sikh separatist Nijjar was allegedly helping to organise an unofficial global referendum among the Sikh diaspora, when he was shot down on June 18 by two masked gunmen in the parking lot of the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, the Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia.

New Delhi had labeled him a terrorist in 2020, accusing him of plotting multiple targeted murders through the years. Nijjar had denied these charges. He had settled in suburban Vancouver and ran a plumbing business after apparently first migrating from India in the 1990s and gaining citizenship in March 2015.

Canada is home to about 770,000 Sikhs, which probably is the highest population of Sikhs outside India's Punjab.

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