EDMONTON, Alberta (LifeSiteNews) – The government of Alberta is partnering with Elon Musk’s SpaceX’s Starlink to bring internet to certain areas of the province to test the viability of the technology that Premier Danielle Smith said last year could be used as a firewall to bypass federal internet censorship laws.
Last Thursday, United Conservative Party (UCP) Minister of Technology and Innovation Nate Glubish announced that “advancing satellite internet technology in Alberta is an important milestone and an innovative way to achieve our goal of universal connectivity by 2027.”
Glubish said that connecting rural Albertans via Starlink is another way to “eliminate the connectivity gap.”
As a result, the Alberta government in a limited-time pilot is working with SpaceX’s Starlink to avoid “federal government delays launching projects and allocating funding” for internet access.
In June 2022 while was running for leadership of the UCP, Smith said that she would create a provincial internet firewall to bypass federal internet censorship laws with the possible help of Starlink.
“Hey @elonmusk I’m running to be the Premier of Alberta. We still value free speech here. Could Alberta set up an independent ISP using @starlink to bypass the new @justintrudeau internet censorship law,” Smith wrote.
Smith also included in her tweet last week a reminder of her message last year that said: “Did you know @JustinTrudeau’s new internet censorship law will mean Liberal partisans can pick and choose what Albertans can say and express on the Internet.”
“As Premier, I will protect the right of every Albertan to express their opinion – left, right and everything in between – without fear of Ottawa’s censorship.”
Musk’s Starlink is a satellite-operated internet provider that offers fast service from virtually anywhere in the world and is free from censorship.
Smith made the comments in light of the federal government’s internet censorship Bill C-11, the Online Streaming Act, which at the time was blasted by many as allowing the government more control of free speech through potential new draconian web regulations.
As for the Alberta Starlink pilot, it will see the government contribute $1,000 to each eligible household in the County of Forty Mile, County of Warner No. 5 and Cardston County.
The government says that the pilot will provide “feedback” for future programs regarding Alberta’s access to the internet.
Since 2019, SpaceX has launched 12,000 satellites over 60 countries to provide internet access.
As for the Trudeau government’s Bill C-11, it was passed last year. It mandates that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) oversee regulating online content on platforms such as YouTube and Netflix to ensure that such platforms are promoting content in accordance with a variety of its guidelines.
In October, after the CRTC said that certain podcasters must “register” with the government by November 28. In response, Musk said that “Trudeau is trying to crush free speech in Canada.”
Another Trudeau internet censorship law, Bill C-18, the Online News Act, became law in June despite warnings that it will end free speech in Canada. This new law forces social media companies to pay Canadian legacy media for news content shared on their platforms.
Smith has been in a prolonged battle with the Trudeau government over its extreme green energy policies that target Alberta, and no doubt should the Starlink trial go well, the government might look at ways to further shield Albertans from federal government overreach.
Smith’s political style leans toward libertarianism. She strongly opposed COVID mandates of all kinds, and after winning Alberta’s provincial election earlier this year, she promised to stand up for parental rights as well as to cut government bloat by taking away powers from unelected health officials.