back to article Pas de problème ... Quebec just passed a website blocking law

Canada's second largest province, Quebec, has passed a law that obliges ISPs to block gambling websites. Bill 74 has passed almost without notice (the casino industry being the notable exception) and will see the government agency in charge of lotteries in the province, Loto-Québec, draw up a list of online gambling sites that …

  1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Ban them all

    See how the gov reacts if the ISPs just decided to add the state monopoly to the list "to protect the young".

    And add the political web sites of those who voted for it as well. There is no legal right to have an ISP provide access to any web site is there?

    1. WatAWorld

      Re: Ban them all

      That is actually a brilliant suggestion. The law here says you have to do what the government tells you to do. It doesn't say you can't go further.

    2. veti Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Ban them all

      Given a choice between an ISP that blocks websites they're legally obliged to - as passed by an, I presume, elected legislature - and an ISP that blocks, not only those websites, but a bunch of others as well, which would you choose?

      Which do you think Quebecois punters will choose?

      So which of those ISPs would you rather be invested in?

      1. Oengus Silver badge

        Re: Ban them all

        "blocks websites they're legally obliged to - as passed by an, I presume, elected legislature" Nope as stated in the article just those that Loto-Québec doesn't like

        I don't think that anyone elected the representatives of Loto-Québec they are probably petty bureaucrats.

        1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

          Re: Ban them all

          Petit bureaucrates surely.

  2. Youngone Silver badge

    Who are these people?

    It seems to me that every Government that makes an attempt to regulate the Internet is doomed to ridicule, (with the possible exception of the Chinese Communist Party, but they're happy to shoot real bullets).

    Where I live there have been no calls to ban this or that, or if there have been they've gone nowhere.

    I'd like to think that's because we have a better breed of politician here, but I'm probably being a bit optimistic.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Who are these people?

      I'd like to think that's because we have a better breed of politician here, but I'm probably being a bit optimistic.

      Give it time. It may be that they think the Internet is some new fad and will go away soon.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who are these people?

      The lapdog politicians that have been called to heel by the mob paymasters.

      1. Montreal Sean

        Re: Who are these people?

        I wish it was the Mob, they at least have a heart.

        Espacejeu is part of the provincially owned and operated lottery, so good luck in the fight.

        Lotto Quebec controls all lotteries in the province, right down to the elementary school fund raising ones.

        Also, the federal government has a history of backing down if Quebec pushes hard enough.

        1. WatAWorld

          Re: Who are these people?

          Question:

          What about the 'aboriginal sponsored' casinos? I assume they have them in Quebec just like the other provinces. Those are pretty much exempt from government control.

          How are those casinos affected?

          1. Montreal Sean

            Re: Who are these people?

            Very good question.

            I have no idea if the First Nations casinos have an online gambling presence, not being a gambler myself.

            I believe that they profit share with the province so would probably be on the approved list.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Who are these people?

              First nation casinos aren't allowed in Quebec - when Qb do a monopoly they don't mess about

            2. Florida1920 Silver badge

              Re: Who are these people?

              I have no idea if the First Nations casinos have an online gambling presence, not being a gambler myself.

              According to http://500nations.com/Quebec_Casinos.asp

              There are no First Nation casinos in Quebec, but there are two poker rooms located in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake and licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission: Four Aces Poker and Snakes Poker Club. The Kahnawake Mohawk Territory is a reserve of the Mohawk people located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, Canada across from Montreal.

        2. beep54
          Devil

          Re: Who are these people?

          @Montreal Sean: The Mob probably doesn't have a heart; it's just that they aren't raving loons that makes it seem that they might.

        3. Darryl

          Re: Who are these people?

          "Also, the federal government has a history of backing down bending over if Quebec pushes hard enough clears their throat in a meaningful way."

          There, FTFY

    3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Who are these people?

      "It seems to me that every Government that makes an attempt to regulate the Internet is doomed to ridicule, (with the possible exception of the Chinese Communist Party, but they're happy to shoot real bullets)."

      That's exactly right. Every government that attempts to use some kind of technical fix to regulate the internet ends up looking ridiculous. Any government that uses real bullets to regulate the internet ends up getting what they want. There *are* no technical fixes. Your alternatives are to make it illegal and enforce that law, or give up. The Chinese have gone one way, for now, more or less successfully. Everyone else is just hand-wringing (and grand-standing). In the long term, it may turn out that the Chinese can't keep it up, in which case *everyone* will have ended up looking ridiculous except for those who just shrugged and got on with Real Life.

  3. John Savard Silver badge

    Free Trade Agreement

    Although the United States has strict laws which forbid Americans from gambling on foreign web sites, they have also used trade agreements to stop other countries from restricting their nationals from gambling on American web sites. So Quebec may get challenges from the United States because of the many trade agreements we have with that country.

    1. MrDamage

      Re: Free Trade Agreement

      Don't forget that Trinidad and Tobago got an exemption from the WTO in regards to US copyright because of the USAs blocking of gambling websites based in those islands.

      I wonder what Quebec has that T&T can claim an exemption from.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. WatAWorld

    We usually can't buy wine or beer made in another province.

    Will Canada follow China and Australia? Is this the start of the Great Wall of Canada?

    No.

    It is more Canadian-style government mandated trade protection to protect local vested interests and local mega millionaires from competition based outside the province.

    To protect local trade unions and industry, we usually can't buy wine or beer made in another province.

    Canada is in some respects a looser confederation than the EU.

    1. Montreal Sean

      Re: We usually can't buy wine or beer made in another province.

      That's odd, I can buy Ontario wines and beers in my local grocery stores here in Montreal.

      I had thought the law had changed and provincial borders had opened up in the last couple of years.

      1. Ken 16 Silver badge
        Pint

        Why would you want to?

        The Unibroue beers are nicer than anything else produced in North America.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We usually can't buy wine or beer made in another province.

        Those laws changed a long time ago and as a result jobs were taken from many provinces to concentrate brewing in Eastern Canada. For example today Molson has only 5 major breweries, all but one in the East. BTW for people outside of Canada more people live in the West than East of Ontario.

        If you want to support local jobs you have to buy from the many micro and small breweries. The fact that they also have better beer has resulted in an increase of such breweries and a call to start protecting those jobs. Of course the beer industry, like most Canadian industries is largely foreign owned and controlled so if more trade restrictions between provinces can make them more money they will support such changes.

        If changes happen it won't be to protect jobs in most provinces, it will be to increase profits, as all such changes seem to be these days.

  5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Pas de Probleme

    The ban will only apply to online gambling sites in French because the Quebec government won't accept the existence of any that are in English

    1. krivine

      Re: Pas de Probleme

      Vive le Québec libre! (Or something.)

  6. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

    Hmm

    Well around here any online gambling site that isn't licensed localy is blocked - though I don't believe there is much effort put into it.

    But it's basically the national lottery and other gambling taxes are put into sports and handicap funds so that kinda makes some sense...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quebec has never been known to be pro-freedom.

    Quebec has a long history of thuggery and political control of all aspects of society so I wouldn't be too surprised if the people support such restrictions. They currently support extreme language and cultural laws that openly violate the Canadian Constitution and Bill of Rights. I'm sure internet concerns or any freedom to access information is pretty far down their list of concerns. More money to support such programs always seem to trump any concerns about the programs themselves.

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