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37th PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION

Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage


EVIDENCE

CONTENTS

Thursday, June 5, 2003




¿ 0910
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick (Simcoe—Grey, Lib.))
V         Ms. Wendy Lill (Dartmouth, NDP)
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Ms. Carole-Marie Allard (Laval East, Lib.)
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Ms. Madeleine Lefebvre (Vice-President, Canadian Library Association)
V         Mr. Louis Cabral (Chief Executive Officer, Association pour l'avancement des sciences et des techniques de documentation)
V         Ms. Joyce C. Garnet (President, Canadian Association of Research Libraries)
V         Ms. Madeleine Lefebvre

¿ 0915
V         Ms. Joyce Garnet
V         Mr. Louis Cabral

¿ 0920
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, Canadian Alliance)
V         Ms. Joyce Garnet
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl
V         Ms. Joyce Garnet
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl

¿ 0925
V         Mr. Louis Cabral
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl
V         Ms. Joyce Garnet
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl
V         Mr. Louis Cabral
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold (Jonquière, BQ)
V         Mr. Louis Cabral

¿ 0930
V         Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
V         Mr. Louis Cabral
V         Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
V         Mr. Louis Cabral
V         Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
V         Ms. Joyce Garnet
V         Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
V         Mr. Louis Cabral
V         Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
V         Mr. Louis Cabral

¿ 0935
V         Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
V         Mr. Louis Cabral
V         Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
V         Mr. Louis Cabral
V         Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Ms. Liza Frulla (Verdun—Saint-Henri—Saint-Paul—Pointe Saint-Charles, Lib.)
V         Ms. Madeleine Lefebvre
V         Ms. Liza Frulla
V         Ms. Madeleine Lefebvre
V         Ms. Liza Frulla
V         Mr. Louis Cabral
V         Ms. Liza Frulla
V         Mr. Louis Cabral

À 1005
V         Ms. Liza Frulla
V         Mr. Louis Cabral
V         Ms. Liza Frulla
V         Mr. Louis Cabral
V         Ms. Liza Frulla
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Mr. Louis Cabral
V         Ms. Liza Frulla
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Ms. Carole-Marie Allard

À 1010
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Ms. Carole-Marie Allard
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Ms. Wanda Noel (Expert Consultant, Copyright Law, As Individual)
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Ms. Carole-Marie Allard
V         Mr. Louis Cabral
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Mr. Terry Cook (Special Advisor to the President on National Legislation and Spokesperson for the Canadian History Association, Association of Canadian Archivists)
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Ms. Wanda Noel

À 1015

À 1020
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Mr. Terry Cook

À 1025

À 1030
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Ms. Laura Murray (Associate Professor, English Department, Queen's University, As Individual)

À 1035

À 1040
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl
V         Mr. Terry Cook
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl
V         Mr. Terry Cook
V         Mr. Chuck Strahl
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold

À 1045
V         Ms. Wanda Noel
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Ms. Laura Murray
V         Ms. Wanda Noel
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold
V         Mr. Terry Cook
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Ms. Carole-Marie Allard

À 1050
V         Ms. Laura Murray
V         Ms. Carole-Marie Allard
V         Ms. Wanda Noel
V         Ms. Laura Murray
V         Ms. Wanda Noel
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Ms. Liza Frulla
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)

À 1055
V         Ms. Wanda Noel
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)
V         Ms. Madeleine Lefebvre
V         The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick)










CANADA

Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage


NUMBER 043 
l
2nd SESSION 
l
37th PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Thursday, June 5, 2003

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

¿  +(0910)  

[English]

+

    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick (Simcoe—Grey, Lib.)): I call the meeting to order.

    Wendy.

+-

    Ms. Wendy Lill (Dartmouth, NDP): Just before we begin, I have a couple of questions about whether we have any motions to deal with as a committee before we deal with the witnesses. I'm only here, unfortunately, for about 25 minutes, so I don't want to miss any business we have to deal with. I also need to know about when our report is coming out. We all need to know that right away.

+-

    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): To your first question, there is a notice of motion that was provided to the clerk two days ago. We'll be dealing with that as soon as we have quorum. I've spoken to the whip's office and have asked them to get us the bodies as quickly as possible. I think we're at eight right now, as of the last count.

    We will have quorum. Mr. Abbott is in a taxi en route right now, so he should be here shortly. We'll deal with that as soon as we have quorum, Wendy.

    On the second point, I've been informed that the report should be ready for tabling this coming Wednesday, in six days.

+-

    Ms. Carole-Marie Allard (Laval East, Lib.): Not this week, but next week?

+-

    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): That's correct; Wednesday was yesterday.

    If we may start, I'll offer regrets on behalf of the chair, Mr. Lincoln. Unfortunately, he had other commitments today and has asked both me and Mr. Abbott to fill in for him for the purposes of today's meeting.

    We'll get underway. The first witnesses we have will be presenting as a panel. They've established an order of speaking among themselves. I'll take this opportunity to introduce all three. We have the Association pour l'avancement des sciences et des techniques de la documentation; we have the Canadian Library Association; and we have the Canadian Association of Research Libraries.

    Who's first? The Canadian Library Association, Madeleine Lefebvre, will go first.

+-

    Ms. Madeleine Lefebvre (Vice-President, Canadian Library Association): Mr. Chairman, committee members, on behalf of the library community of Canada, I want to thank you for the opportunity to comment on what for us is a very important piece of legislation. Bill C-36 is more than bureaucratic restructuring. It marks the recognition of the fundamental access, knowledge management, and stewardship roles played by libraries and archives in the life of this country.

    Before commenting in turn on different aspects of the bill, we would like to briefly introduce ourselves.

    My name is Madeleine Lefebvre. I'm university librarian at St. Mary's University and vice-president of the Canadian Library Association. CLA is Canada's national association of libraries and librarians. It has 2,700 personal and institutional members and represents 57,000 library workers across the country. It also speaks for the interests of 21 million Canadians who are members of libraries.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Louis Cabral (Chief Executive Officer, Association pour l'avancement des sciences et des techniques de documentation): Good morning. My name is Louis Cabral and I am the Chief Executive Officer for l'Association pour l'avancement des sciences et des techniques de documentation. I work for a professional, non-profit organization representing French-language information specialists in Canada, with a membership of more than 600 people and specialists who work in this country's libraries. They are the experts who ensure the quality of documentation and information services.

[English]

+-

    Ms. Joyce C. Garnet (President, Canadian Association of Research Libraries): Good morning. My name is Joyce Garnet. I'm the university librarian at the University of Western Ontario and president of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, affectionately known as CARL. CARL represents the 27 major academic research libraries across Canada plus the National Library of Canada and the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, CISTI. CARL members collectively hold a treasure chest of Canada's intellectual holdings in all disciplines, with an annual expenditure of over half a billion dollars, monograph holdings of over 75 million items, and nearly half a million journals.

+-

    Ms. Madeleine Lefebvre: We would like to begin by congratulating the government on the initiative. It is a transformation that is driven by more than economies of scale and greater efficiencies. It stems rather from a vision of how two treasured national institutions can refresh their mandate and make our current and heritage documents more accessible to Canadians everywhere, regardless of their circumstances.

    Information, whether it be from the past or the present, published or unpublished, from public bodies or private individuals, and in whatever medium, including the Internet, should become more available than ever. Subclause 8(2), which allows the new institution to preserve representative samples of information from the Internet of interest to Canada, will facilitate this contemporary facet of our work.

    In short, we find the preamble to the legislation a stirring and well-reasoned statement that captures well the mission of libraries across Canada. We appreciate the fact that the new institution will be receiving $7.5 million over three years to help realize this vision, and that the February budget allocated $15 million to fulfill short-term storage needs and to undertake studies to find the best solution to fulfill long-term preservation requirements.

    More funds will certainly be required, however, to move from the study stage to permanent physical accommodations. More funds will also be required if current ideas for enhancing the public's access to Canada's current and heritage documents are to bear fruit. The Library and Archives of Canada must have the means to play the essential leadership role in such core services as inter-library loans, literacy programs, and support for Canadians with print disabilities, as well as by means of Internet-based programs such as the Canadian Genealogy Centre and the future Virtual Reference Canada represent.

    Our one general criticism of the legislation is that the objects section of the bill does not live up to the preamble. The custodial part of the equation is well covered in the six objects listed. But only one of them, paragraph 7(b), can be interpreted as—to use the language of the preamble—“contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada as a free and democratic society” or to the “diffusion of knowledge”. It is essential that the objects section of the bill reflect the significance of current as well as retrospective information.

    This is not just about Canada's history, but about the role of information in innovation and learning for the future. From the library's perspective, this bill is of equal interest to your colleagues on the industry committee or on the human resources committee.

¿  +-(0915)  

+-

    Ms. Joyce Garnet: Furthermore, we would like to see one of the objects—paragraph 7(c), which deals with government records—expanded to include a phrase to the effect that the new Library and Archives of Canada would ensure that all Canadian citizens have free and equitable access to published government information, information that is essential to a democratic society.

    As many of you know, the Depository Services Program last year celebrated its 75th anniversary. Working in full partnership with a network of over 900 public and academic libraries in Canada and worldwide, the DSP has faithfully provided the public, including parliamentarians, access to government information. It was one of the very first government programs to recognize the full potential of the Internet.

    However, the program has been something of an orphan, moving from one temporary parent to another: from the Department of Supply and Services to Information Canada, then back to Supply and Services, then on to the special operating agency called Canada Communication Group.From there, it went to Public Works and Government Services Canada, and then on to Communications Canada. Now you as parliamentarians have the opportunity to bring the DSP home to its natural parent, the Library and Archives of Canada.

    Since last fall, when the DSP was amalgamated with Communications Canada's publishing operations without any consultation or discussion with the stakeholder community, there have been discussions within government at the urging of the library community on the most suitable organizational arrangements. Of the eight functions currently being carried out by the DSP—identification, negotiation, acquisition, description, notification, distribution, communication, and permanent access to electronic documents—the library community believes very strongly that all the longer-term aspects of these functions should find their permanent home in the new Library and Archives of Canada. These functions would then be appropriately inserted in the list of powers found in subclause 8(1), and in particular in paragraphs (g) through (i).

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Louis Cabral: With regard to the proposed amendments to the Copyright Act contained in Bill C-36, the library community would like to make two observations.

    First, we note that the term of protection issue is being resolved out of context, before the many short-term issues that have preoccupied stakeholders for the last two years.

    Second, we wish to make clear that the conditions spelled out in clauses 21 and 22 of the bill with respect to works not yet published, or performed in public, or communicated to the public by telecommunication, are not acceptable to the library community for the sake of future consultations on the term of protection issue. They are inconsistent with the public interest which lies in a balance between the rights of copyright holders and the rights of citizens, learners, and researchers who require information. The advent of new means of communication should result in an expanded public domain, not in a diminished one.

    In conclusion, the library associations here today, supported by many other national and provincial library organizations, are pleased to salute the government in taking this initiative to provide us with a truly 21st century mission: that of making our current and heritage documents, in whatever format they may have been produced, accessible to all Canadians.

    Nonetheless, we recommend adding wording to the objects and powers sections that will reflect paragraph (b) of the preamble. My colleague Madeleine Lefebvre emphasized that earlier, in order to make the act more consistent. This provision will recognize the activities performed by the Depository Services Program, activities that are essential if we are to maintain an enlightened citizenry and that will strengthen the outreach role of the new Library and Archives of Canada.

    Thank you for your attention. We look forward to answering any questions you may have.

¿  +-(0920)  

[English]

+-

    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Thank you very much.

    Mr. Strahl.

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl (Fraser Valley, Canadian Alliance): Thank you for your presentation. It was good.

    I had also written presentations from my local director of library services. You'll be happy to know that Kim Isaac is busy in Fraser Valley writing me letters and telling me to be sure to mention this Depository Services Program. So that part of your presentation wasn't entirely new to me, but it's nice to hear it reinforced here this morning.

    I have a couple of questions. Your suggestions are good ones, I think, but how important are they to you? The government may or may not be willing to make some amendment to this. The first question is, if amendments don't come, for example, to protect the Depository Services Program and enshrine it in the legislation, is that a deal-breaker for you?

    Do you just say that has to happen, or is it something about which you say, like witnesses we heard from the other day, that negotiations are ongoing, and because it's a program they'll adopt it as they see fit, but they're not considering it right now as a legislative mandate?

    How important do you think it is to be in the legislation, as opposed to just in a negotiated program that could be administered wherever? They're negotiating, and maybe it will go to the library and archives, or maybe it won't. But their argument is they don't put programs into legislation, so we should just let it go. What do you think?

+-

    Ms. Joyce Garnet: I think the most important consideration here is the act that's creating a new entity, the Library and Archives of Canada, which is so fundamental to the health of information access across the country and to all the libraries and archives in Canada.

    I personally would not consider it a deal-breaker, but I think we wanted to bring it to the attention of the committee to be aware how important access to federal government information is to members of our library communities in the public environment and the university environment, and the value this brings to the people of Canada. It seemed appropriate to bring it up in this particular context because of the general theme of preservation of the documentary heritage that is a core value in this particular bill.

    That's my own personal interpretation. My colleagues may feel somewhat differently, but I think it's very important to have this bill passed and that the Library and Archives of Canada come into being.

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl: Okay.

    Just on the DSP—I was jotting down clauses and what have you here as we went—exactly which clause do you think that would be added in? Is it under subclause 8(1) that you thought it should be added, or did you have a spot?

+-

    Ms. Joyce Garnet: Subclause 8(1).

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl: Just on your other ideas, you had several comments in which you felt the clause on the objects of the library and archives didn't live up to the preamble. Do you have suggested amendments for that clause? Do you have some things written out that you would like to have subclauses added, or whatever? Or do you just want a general shot across the bow?

¿  +-(0925)  

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Louis Cabral: I wanted to make that point clear because the mission was fairly straightforward. The preamble is quite comprehensive when it comes to problems relating to dissemination and to recognizing the National Library as an institution of knowledge.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl: It's very useful for us in the committee if you have specific recommendations for amendments. It would be useful if you could just add that we either change this word, or add another clause, or a paragraph 7(h) or (i) or (j), to make it more acceptable or clearer to you, or to make the preamble and the objects jive better together.

    This is just an example, but if you could send something to us, it would be useful. Then if we like it, one of us can perhaps put it forward as an amendment. It may or may not pass, but it would at least give us something that reflects your concerns, and it would be useful to us.

    If you want to do that, I would just suggest sending it to the clerk or to me, or whatever. It would be useful to us.

+-

    Ms. Joyce Garnet: If I might just comment on the focus of the change, one thing that doesn't come out in this particular document in the clause on the objects of the library and archives is the role of international leadership on the part of the National Library and Archives of Canada in providing direction to Canada and the rest of the world in developing standards, protocols, and in facilitating access.

    The English report commissioned by the minister pointed out the role the National Archives and the National Library have each played in their respective spheres. I think that's one aspect that the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, and I believe my colleagues as well, would like to see articulated in this.

    We can supply some language to that effect.

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl: That would be under the same clause 7.

    My last one was on the copyright provisions. Of course, that has been somewhat controversial.

    The trouble when you're jotting things down is that I wasn't sure if I caught it all. We were talking about a balance between the creators of information, or creators of archival information or products, and the users and those who have it copyrighted.

    Would you like to see those clauses amended, changed, deleted, or just strengthened? Or do you like them just the way they are? I didn't catch your view on them.

[Translation]

+-

    Mr. Louis Cabral: This has been considered by our community. The department is using the document to examine the copyright issue. Our fear is that, in adopting a bill that incorporates the term of protection and distribution limits, and which binds the organizations and libraries, consultation would be overlooked when the time comes to discuss the Copyright Act.

[English]

+-

    Mr. Chuck Strahl: That's consistent with what we heard from witnesses the other day, that we should do copyright revision in its entirety, as opposed to piecemeal.

    I thank you for that.

+-

    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Thank you very much, Mr. Strahl.

    We'll move on to Madame Girard-Bujold.

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold (Jonquière, BQ): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    I am very happy to be here to listen to your presentation. My colleague, Christiane Gagnon, is the party's critic on this issue. She told me that the library community, particularly the Association pour l'avancement des sciences et des techniques de documentation, is somewhat lukewarm to the idea of merging the two organizations. That is what she told me.

    You feel that the two organizations have very distinct missions. Do you feel that there might be an advantage to bringing both of these missions together, or do you think that each one will become isolated within a context that is very different from what we have today?

+-

    Mr. Louis Cabral: This was probably a reference to a brief that we submitted to the English commission in 1998; our organization had been consulted at that time. Our reaction was lukewarm because at the time, we felt it was inappropriate to bring together two cultures whose work involved gathering documents, namely, that of the archivist and the librarian. The evolution of technologies over the past few years has demonstrated what can result from convergence, or the dissemination of information. Will a citizen wanting access to an old map and then a monograph have to search through three or four files? We think it is now possible to get around the problems that we foresaw in 1998. We were lukewarm, but we have warmed up to the idea of having a 21st century institution with the means to ensure that every Canadian will have access to all of the resources.

    As my colleagues have said, we are gambling on the legislators to ensure that this new institution will allow us to take the lead in the dissemination of information in Canada. We are betting on that.

¿  +-(0930)  

+-

    Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold: I have another question for you.

    My colleague asked you some questions about copyright. The Bloc Québécois would like to see the bill split. We would like to change the fist part and deal with copyright in a different way. My colleague told me, as you said earlier, that there will be a bill dealing with copyright. We feel that any copyright provisions should not be part of this bill because we must fully discuss the copyright issue. So I would say that we are in agreement with you on that.

+-

    Mr. Louis Cabral: We have to determine whether or not we can have a new institution devoted essentially to the dissemination of information without affecting copyright. Some people have expressed doubts on that. There is an ongoing consultation on copyright. They are examining piecemeal issues relating to documents that have not been publicly circulated, as well as the possible extension or shortening of the term. These matters should not be dealt with in isolation, without seeing the big picture, and we don't want any decisions to be binding on us.

+-

    Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold: Then we should have started with the copyright bill rather than this one.

+-

    Mr. Louis Cabral: Possibly.

+-

    Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold: Do you have something to say, Ms. Garnet?

+-

    Ms. Joyce Garnet: I would like to respond to some of your questions.

[English]

    Since it's a question of convergence, I would like to give a local view on it. We're looking at it from the point of view of the Library and Archives of Canada, as my colleague has said, but this indeed is a movement, a change in the climate within the universities as well. The archives, the libraries, the records management are all converging. We're having common goals, a common mandate, and we are able to supply the information needs of our local communities. That's certainly true at my university, and it's true of many others. So we're a reflection, as you said, of a change of thought and a new way of looking at information access for the 21st century.

[Translation]

+-

    Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold: I have another question for you.

    The bill refers to the interpretation of Canada's history. Since you are experts in the field, can you tell us what the concept of interpretation means to you? When something is interpreted, is it an expression of a fact or something more personal? What does the concept of interpretation mean in your field?

+-

    Mr. Louis Cabral: I am not a historian, but I can tell you that there are various movements in historiography. History is considered to be an objective science, but when it is told, it reflects the cultural values of the historian. I won't go any further than that. I would simply answer that the historiographic movements are movements that, in time, describe certain aspects of history as interpreted by some historians.

+-

    Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold: The Bloc Québécois is rather put out when the history of Canada is interpreted. You know that historical events can be interpreted in various ways. They can be seen through a convex lens.

+-

    Mr. Louis Cabral: We deal in documents and recent interpretations of history are mainly based on documents. The documents do the talking. At the time of Lionel Groulx, history was more romantic. It could not be considered a true science at the time. Today, historians make use of facts as well as quantifiable and verifiable information. History is becoming more scientific. We let the historians deal with the interpretation.

¿  +-(0935)  

+-

    Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold: There is the history that has been handed down by storytellers and that which can be found in supporting documents.

    Will the concept of interpretation in the bill ensure that this new structure will convey history as it really is?

+-

    Mr. Louis Cabral: We must ensure that history is based on true facts that can be found in archives and libraries. That is what we are advocating because we are in favour of access to these documents.

+-

    Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold: That is why, even though you were originally lukewarm to the idea of having this type of bill, you are now saying that the two missions can converge and the two entities can come together in harmony.

+-

    Mr. Louis Cabral: Quite honestly, our association is in agreement with the opinion that has been expressed by members of our community throughout the country. We wondered whether or nor there would be an advantage to a community such as ours which is involved with the dissemination of information. That is what we have done this morning.

+-

    Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold: Thank you.

[English]

+-

    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Thank you very much, Madame Girard-Bujold.

    With the committee's blessing, we're going to suspend the meeting for a few moments. We have a motion we have to deal with in camera. It will take us only a few moments, and then we'll move over to the Liberal side of speakers, if that's fine.

    We have quorum right now, and I don't want to lose quorum, so we can deal with the motion. We have two speakers on the Liberal side, and we'll reconvene the meeting in a few moments.

    So I'll ask everybody to excuse themselves from the room.

    Thank you.

    [Proceedings continue in camera]

¿  +-(0937)  


À  +-(1000)  

+-

    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): We're back in public session.

    [Public proceedings resume]

    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): I believe next on the list was Madam Frulla.

    Madam Frulla, please.

+-

    Ms. Liza Frulla (Verdun—Saint-Henri—Saint-Paul—Pointe Saint-Charles, Lib.): Thank you, Mr. Chair.

    I'll ask a very simple question, and I would just like to have a very straightforward answer.

    This merger is costing $7.5 million, so it's not to reduce costs. It's really for a beneficial purpose. Is it worth it? That's the question I'm asking.

+-

    Ms. Madeleine Lefebvre: It's worth it because it takes a leadership role for the Library and Archives of Canada to the whole country of Canadians. It takes the Government of Canada into every Canadian community. It's not just to preserve the heritage; it also promotes the culture of our country to provide all Canadians with the information they need to move forward with the innovation agenda.

+-

    Ms. Liza Frulla: I'm being a devil's advocate. I just want to make sure I'm totally convinced.

    Don't you have the same objective now, with the National Archives on one side and the National Library on the other?

    There are also people coming in and saying they just hope they'll have the same services for the archives, for the researchers, for example. Sometimes, if you pull everything together, it could also mean fewer services, an orientation that is more diluted for either one or the other.

    Understand, I'm being the devil's advocate here, but I just want to make sure, because the cost is there. We're not changing buildings. It's only to do what you're saying. But aren't you--because you weren't that hot to start off with--perhaps worried that within time, you could have a reduction of services?

+-

    Ms. Madeleine Lefebvre: I think there's some worry that there needs to be a balance of the programs that are offered, so that a program on the museum side is not taking funds away from the much-needed dissemination-of-information side. But I think that's a balance that can be worked out.

    I think my colleague Louis was talking earlier about the convergence of information in the digital age. It's actually a much more practical way of presenting the information than to have two parallel tracks running. I think it provides much more quality of information for Canadians across the country.

[Translation]

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    Ms. Liza Frulla: Do you feel the same way, Mr. Cabral?

+-

    Mr. Louis Cabral: Yes, I agree with what Madeleine has said. Information technology is now widely available to us. We know how it works. I think it is a wonderful initiative. We want to provide knowledge and information. The concentration does exist, to the advantage of all Canadians.

+-

    Ms. Liza Frulla: You have no doubt about this concentration. Both organizations were each using these new technologies and had them well integrated.

    Some people expressed the fear that services would be affected. It is all well and good to merge the two institutions, but what will it look like a few years down the road?

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    Mr. Louis Cabral: That might be what some people think. They are used to one type of service and are afraid that they will not be able to adjust to a different way of doing things. But, as Madeleine said, the opposite will be true. There may have been a “duplication” of information and services.

    For example, I said earlier that someone who wants a map and a monograph will be able to obtain them. The new technologies are user-friendly, and people have an easier time finding the information they require. And that is a good thing.

À  +-(1005)  

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    Ms. Liza Frulla: You all appear to be convinced.

    I'd like to come back to copyright. As Jocelyne said, there is some reluctance when it comes to copyright and unrestricted use of material. Of course the Copyright Act will be used. However, there could be an amendment to ensure that in this act as well as the Copyright Act, the terms would be the same in order to properly define the concept of “unrestricted”. I say that because the Conference of Ministers of Education interprets “unrestricted” very differently from the interpretation given to that concept by this bill. Whereas you say that it is for the purposes of conservation, people in the field of education, for example, see the term “unrestricted” in a different way.

    Are you uncomfortable with that?

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    Mr. Louis Cabral: As we have said, we are against any legislation that would have a binding effect on our community in future discussions. I would not be opposed to harmonizing definitions as long as that does not change the final outcome of the Copyright Act. I think that both bills should be examined independently.

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    Ms. Liza Frulla: So we are all in agreement on harmonization. We want to define the concept of “unrestricted” in the Copyright Act, where it should be given some type of definition.

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    Mr. Louis Cabral: Yes, that is what I would like to see, in order to avoid discussing restrictions in Bill C-36. There is a different meaning to these terms in the Copyright Act.

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    Ms. Liza Frulla: Do you feel that this bill should be given a speedy passage?

    I will explain why I am asking this question. We absolutely want to pass the bill before the end of this session. However, is this a pressing issue? We need time to examine it. We don't want to give this bill the same treatment that we would give a technical bill. It involves more than that.

    We have to take the time to do our homework. That is why I am asking you whether or not you think there is any urgency here, or, without delaying the process, should we take the time to do it right?

[English]

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Excuse me, Mr. Cabral; please keep your answer very short.

[Translation]

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    Mr. Louis Cabral: We all feel that this bill is important and fundamental. There are certain things that we would like to include in the mission. We mentioned paragraph (b) of the preamble, etc. I think we should take the time to do it right.

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    Ms. Liza Frulla: Thank you, Mr. Cabral.

[English]

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): No, no, my apologies. We're just getting a little behind.

    Ms. Allard, the parliamentary secretary, has some questioning time now.

[Translation]

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    Ms. Carole-Marie Allard: Good morning and thank you for being here today. I was very interested in what you had to say.

    I have a question for Ms. Noel. You are an expert in copyright. The objective in clause 8(2) is to preserve Canada's cultural heritage. The clause reads as follows:

For the purpose of preservation, the Librarian and Archivist may take, at the times and in the manner that he or she considers appropriate, a representative sample of the documentary material of interest to Canada that is accessible to the public without restriction through the Internet or any similar medium.

    Do you agree with the objective as it is stated in this paragraph, which deals with preserving Canada's cultural heritage that can be accessed through the Internet? Even though this is a copyright exemption, do you feel that it is limited and relates only to preserving the elements of Canada's cultural heritage that can be found on the Internet?

À  +-(1010)  

[English]

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Just for clarification, Madam Allard, Madam Noel hasn't made a presentation yet. She was going to do so as soon as we were done the round of questioning with the first three panellists.

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    Ms. Carole-Marie Allard: I'm sorry.

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): That's okay. She may cover this off in her--

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    Ms. Wanda Noel (Expert Consultant, Copyright Law, As Individual): I will.

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Yes, I suspected as much.

    If we have any questions for the first three witnesses specifically, that will allow us to move on to the next three.

[Translation]

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    Ms. Carole-Marie Allard: My question is for Mr. Cabral.

    You agree that the copyright exception requested is strictly an exception for the conservation of material. I am certain that the Library and the Archives will do what they do with all their other collections: before making them available, they will negotiate copyrights. Does this reassure you?

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    Mr. Louis Cabral: I think so. This institution has a 50-year history. It has always ensured that material it made available respected copyright law. I do not see why the Canadian government would become delinquent overnight because of a new institution.

[English]

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Merci, Madame Allard.

    We're going to move on to the next three guests.

    To our first three witnesses, thank you very much for that wonderful presentation.

    What I would ask, as I introduce the witnesses, is if you could speak in a sequential manner, rather than us dealing with you on an individual basis back and forth. So we'll have all three speakers go, and then we'll deal with the questions at the end of that time in the same format we had the first time.

    First we have Terry Cook, from the Association of Canadian Archivists; as an individual, we have Wanda Noel, an expert consultant on copyright law; and we have Laura Murray, associate professor, English department at Queen's University.

    If there's any particular order you'd like to go in, that will be acceptable to the committee.

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    Mr. Terry Cook (Special Advisor to the President on National Legislation and Spokesperson for the Canadian History Association, Association of Canadian Archivists): Ms. Noel could set out the difficulties.

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Ms. Noel, perhaps you would begin, please.

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    Ms. Wanda Noel: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    I'm here this morning not to ask for amendments in the bill, but to provide some background information and some context to the copyright amendments that are contained in the bill, and particularly to speak about two issues.

    The first issue is the change in the term of protection for unpublished works. These are commonly referred to in the copyright community as the section 7 amendments. I'm going to explain why that particular change is in Bill C-36, and you're going to have to bear with me for a few minutes, because I have to recall some history in order to explain and to put those changes into context.

    In 1997 there was another copyright bill before this committee, and one of the provisions in that bill changed or effectively ended perpetual copyright protection in unpublished works. In Canada, for many years, if a work was unpublished and it was in an archival institution, even if it was 300 years old, it remained protected by copyright, with all the restrictions on use and access that were associated with that. The bill in 1997 proposed to change that perpetual term of copyright for unpublished works to a new term, which was the life of the author, plus 50 years. So you were going from a really long term to a relatively short term of copyright protection.

    When you're amending laws you can't go from one rule to another rule instantly. You have to provide transitional periods, so that if you think your work is protected forever, you're not going to go directly to life plus 50, but that's going to be extended for a short period of time. So it was to bridge the old law and the new law.

    Now, the bill proposed a transitional period, which, to the user community, primarily historians and archivists, was considered to be too long. So there was an enormous number of faxes, 300 a day. Some of the members around this table would have received the 300 faxes and e-mails a day on that issue. As a result, the committee shortened the bridging time from, at the outside, 100 years down to 50 years.

    That change was made in committee. It was made relatively late, and it had some unforeseen consequences, one of which was that certain authors, the Lucy Maud Montgomery authors of the world.... She was a good example of that category. Her works, because of the date she died, were going to fall into the public domain at the end of 2003.

    The bill we have before us today changes that period again. So we had a bill in 1997 that proposed one term, and the committee made it shorter. Now Bill C-36 changes those transitional rules yet again. But there's one very important difference in the changes in those transitional periods of time in Bill C-36, and that is that those changes have been worked out by the parties who are affected by them.

    So Marion Dingman Hebb, who is the legal counsel for Lucy Maud Montgomery's estate, together with the historical society and representatives of the three national archival associations, have worked out those changes. The reason I know that is because as a lawyer and a copyright consultant, I was the one who was responsible for the mediation. So we actually mediated those changes in a long series of meetings.

    The simple answer to the question of the timing, of why it is in Bill C-36, is that it's in there because it's time-sensitive. If those changes are not made by the end of 2003, an enormous amount of copyright material, Lucy Maud Montgomery's included, is going to fall into the public domain, and once it's in the public domain, it can't be taken back out. So on the argument that this has to go into another piece of legislation, it won't happen. Well, it could theoretically happen between now and December 31, but I don't think so.

    So that's the reason we have those section 7 amendments.

    Some of the other people on the panel and some of the testimony you heard a couple of days ago dealt with the broader-term question of whether you should deal with the term of copyright protection. I quite frankly admit that is another issue, whether or not the term of life plus 50 is going to go to life plus 70. That's an issue this committee will be dealing with in the section 92 review that's coming up in the fall. But that's a separate issue.

À  +-(1015)  

    This one was a small amendment that was proposed, and there was a lot of unhappiness with it, and these changes have been made. This time I think it's right, because it was the parties who have to live with it who worked out the compromise. It wasn't the government or the parliamentary committees making changes and adjustments. It was too big, too small, and now it's somewhere in the middle.

    Although I didn't follow my notes, that's basically what I had to say about the section 7 issues.

    Now I'd like to turn to the second copyright issue I'd like to talk about, and that is the infamous subclause 8.(2), which permits the national archivist to make a copy of material of historical significance on the Internet and preserve it for future research and study.

    This is the question, Madame Allard, that you asked. I'm very pleased you asked it, because it's a very important question in the overall context of both archival and copyright laws. What I'm going to try to do here is to provide a bigger picture, again, a context of the national legislation on these access issues for historians and researchers.

    Copyright laws all over the world are structured in exactly the same way: the laws provide creators with legal rights to control who uses their work, how they're used, and under what terms and conditions. Copyright laws all over the world also place limitations on the rights of creators, and they do so to serve a broader public interest. These limitations are called “exceptions”, and that word has been bandied around the room this morning. Parliamentarians or legislators, depending on what kind of system you have, legislate these exceptions because they define the public interest as requiring that this limitation be put on the rights of creators.

    Basically, in political terms, what a legislature does is decide that the public interest in providing an exception is greater than the private property rights of individual creators.

    Copyright laws in every country contain exceptions. So to define the public interest, let me tell you who the beneficiaries of these exceptions are. They include educational institutions, libraries, archives, museums, the perceptually disabled. These people or groups serve a broader public interest, so there are defined limitations put on rights. When one of these exceptions is put in the law, the creator loses the right to require that permission be asked for, prior to use, and that a royalty be paid. This is precisely what subclause 8.(2) of Bill C-36 is doing.

    Creators, under the copyright law, have an absolute right to control copying from any source, whether it's photocopying or the Internet. Subclause 8.(2) says that the national archivist can sample the Internet and make a preservation copy of that material. That's all it says. A user can't go into the archives and copy it and then publish it in a book. It is for research and private study purposes.

    Now, the public interest in collecting and preserving what Bill C-36 refers to as “documentary material of interest to Canada” is a limitation on the legal rights of creators--who were here the day before yesterday--to control copying. The bill is saying it's in the public interest to have the national archivist being able to do this to preserve it.

    The last point I want to make about that is that subclause 8.(2) is simply a continuation of a whole series of legislation that permits the National Archives and National Library to function. Here are four examples. First, section 8 of the current National Archives of Canada Act permits the national archivist to require copyright owners to deposit sound recordings and audio-visual material in the institution. Secondly, the National Library Act requires copies of Canadian publications and sound recordings to be deposited in the National Library. Thirdly, the Copyright Act permits the National Archives already to copy broadcasts. Fourthly, and finally, the Copyright Act also permits broadcasters, despite owners' rights, to copy works and deposit them in official archives across the country.

    The point I want to make here is that subclause 8.(2) is not a maverick clause at all. It's simply a continuation, a building into the Internet of the collecting and preserving practices of the National Archives.

À  +-(1020)  

    I did have more to say, but I get carried away with myself, so I'm going to say thank you very much.

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Thank you very much, Ms. Noel. My apologies, but we have three different witnesses, and we want to have time for questioning, because I can see you have excited some questions on the committee.

    We'll move to Mr. Terry Cook, who is the special adviser to the president on the national legislation and the spokesman for the Canadian History Association.

    Mr. Cook.

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    Mr. Terry Cook: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and honourable members. It's a great pleasure to speak officially today on behalf of the Canadian Historical Association and the Association of Canadian Archivists. We're pleased to be before your committee.

    Archivists and historians in Canada wish to applaud the Government of Canada for sponsoring this important legislation and to welcome the large measure of non-partisan support it has garnered. Combining original archival records and published library materials as the documentary heritage about Canada in a new institution, the Library and Archives of Canada, is a bold initiative. It is also a unique step among first-world nations not to have a separate national library and national archives.

    The imperatives of the computerized world are breaking down distinctions between published and unpublished information. To facilitate the knowledge to society, ready access to relevant information, as identified and contextualized by archivists and librarians, is important to Canadian well-being and competitiveness, alike, and to our sense of discovery, creativity, heritage, and culture.

    While our two associations want to thus indicate support for the general intent of Bill C-36, we're also here to help improve the bill. So we make four broad suggestions relating to the urgency of the legislation, some amendments on infrastructure and copyright.

    The transformation of the two institutions into the new Library and Archives of Canada has been proceeding since last fall in a planned, orderly way, with staff consultation and numerous transition teams. The two institutions have now reached an impasse, no longer in their old world, but unable to advance further into their new world without this authorizing legislation. Thus the institution's professionals are in a state of limbo. We therefore urge the ready and early passage of this legislation, appropriately amended, before Parliament ends the current session so that this important work, already well started, is brought to fruition and not left hanging in legislative limbo.

    Second, the new bill integrates the existing mandates of two foundational pieces of legislation for the National Archives and National Library, but modernized and strengthened to address certain gaps and to deal with new technologies, such as sampling the Internet as a Canadian cultural expression.

    We certainly support these changes, but we feel there are five areas that need to be further improved, leaving aside the copyright issue for later.

    The first of these areas is the protection of government records. We are concerned that the transfer of government records, those identified as having historical and archival value, to the care and control of the Library and Archives of Canada remain subject to negotiated agreements--that's clause 13--yet there is no compulsion on recalcitrant government institutions or officials to negotiate such an agreement. The new subclause 13.(3), whereby the librarian and archivist may require the transfer of valuable records that are at risk, is still too weak, in our view. It should be made compulsory so that the librarian and archivist, where she or he is aware of records being at risk, shall require their transfer. With the technological fragility of electronic records especially, delay in transfer amounts to de facto illegal destruction of the record.

    The second point is the appraisal of records. We are concerned that the bill does not authorize the most critical archival function of appraisal. Appraisal is often described as the most difficult and certainly the most controversial function that archivists undertake. Appraisal determines what is the 1% or 2% of all records that will be the surviving archive. The silence on this critical function in clause 7, marginal note “Objects” , clause 8, marginal note “Powers of Librarian and Archivist”, and clause 12, marginal note “Destruction and disposal”, should be amended and corrected.

    Thirdly, on private sector archival records--that is, those not from the Government of Canada--the only archival records specifically mentioned for which the library and archives are to be the permanent repository are government and ministerial records. Moreover, removing the qualifier of private sector records needing to be of national significance from the old National Archives of Canada Act, and replacing it with the phrase “records of interest to Canada”, we feel opens the door to conflict with provincial, municipal, church, university, and other archival institutions. We therefore believe that this qualifying phrase should be added: “private sector records having national prominence or representative significance”. And that should be included in the definitions and in the objects and powers and the repository clause section.

À  +-(1025)  

    Fourth is information management of the Government of Canada. While the library and archives under this bill retain the same power to facilitate the management of government information as in the previous legislation, experience has shown that this is inadequate. Repeated observations by the information commissioner, auditors, and others have asserted that the records management system of the Government of Canada has broken down. This results in ineffective government operations, poor service to Canadians, reduced accountability, and a poor archival record.

    We believe that the bill should strongly encourage the library and archives more explicitly to work with the Treasury Board Secretariat, as the responsible agency, to require all government institutions to create and then manage records that are reliable and trustworthy evidence of government policies, operations, and program delivery.

    Fifth, we believe that the advisory council should not deal only with accessibility and public programming issues, but also with all aspects of the mandate and programs of the new Library and Archives of Canada, and that in addition to independent prominent individuals who may be appointed to the council, council membership should include representatives from the archival and library communities, historians, and genealogists.

    The third broad issue is accessibility of the documentary heritage to Canadians versus the critical infrastructure needed to make it happen. Bill C-36 emphasizes making the library and archives of Canada's documentary heritage accessible to Canadians and adds new language, powers, and an advisory council to this end. But there are three levels of infrastructure required to make this more than wishful thinking, and they are the usual: money, accommodation, and staff.

    For the newer machine-readable audio-visual materials--I speak of film, radio, television, and sound recordings--and even more for the computer-generated records from databases, office systems, and websites, the library and archives of Canada will need a dramatic increase in its operational budget if it is to preserve and make accessible to Canadians such media.

    The library and archives of Canada also require a new major building. Our two associations favour a second Gatineau Preservation Centre built beside and linked to the present Gatineau Preservation Centre to house these specialized media, other records, and books, which are overflowing or are in poor environments, their necessary equipment and large numbers of staff soon to be orphaned when the condemned West Memorial Building is emptied, to be retrofitted as an office building.

    On staff and social infrastructure, our associations remain concerned that the subject media and functional research-based expertise of professional archivists, especially, will not be diluted into some new, bland information professional, skilled perhaps in process, but not in substance, and that the archival expertise will be more readily accessible to specialized researchers, especially historians, than it has been in the past, despite the new emphasis on web-based and remote access.

    My last point is on copyright. Other witnesses, especially Wanda Noel, are appearing before you to discuss technical clauses of amending the Copyright Act of 1997. We defer to their expertise, save to make one major point, and here I speak more for the historians than for the archivists, wearing these two hats today.

    We are concerned with the definition of the words “author” and “unpublished works” in the amendments. The seeming intent of Bill C-36 in clause 21, supported by comments made during the debate of the bill in the House of Commons, is that the author of unpublished works is a creative or artistic writer as author, such as the often-mentioned Lucy Maud Montgomery or Stephen Leacock, and that their unpublished works to be protected by these extended copyright clauses only include such artistic expressions as short stories, poems, plays, novels, songs, and so on, designed for publication, broadcast, or telecommunication. Yet that intent is not clear in Bill C-36, and we believe it should be amended and narrowed accordingly.

    “Author” more generally also can, and does, mean the writer of anything found in an archival collection, from letters to financial accounts to family photographs to house plans. The current bill would mean that the personal papers of Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden, for example, who died in 1937, would have his unpublished papers restricted from re-publication until January 2018.

À  +-(1030)  

    This is an unacceptable burden for historians and other researchers, who often need to republish whole letters as evidence in their texts. We strongly recommend that the terms “author” and “works” be narrowly restricted, as above, and limited to their artistic, creative intent.

    The CHA and the ACA thank you for receiving our views, and we hope they will be helpful in amending the legislation or in its implementation.

    Thank you.

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Thank you very much, Mr. Cook. There is absolutely no doubt they will be helpful.

    Our last witness is Ms. Laura Murray, an associate professor in the English Department at Queen's University.

    Ms. Murray.

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    Ms. Laura Murray (Associate Professor, English Department, Queen's University, As Individual): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    My name is Laura Murray. I'm associate professor of English at Queen's University. I write and teach in the areas of American literature, aboriginal literature, literary theory, and history of the book. My current research concerns the history and rhetoric of copyright and authorship in both the United States and Canada.

    I'd like to speak today only to one provision, and this is the part of the bill whereby the unpublished works of authors who died between 1930 and 1949 would be protected through the year 2017, or longer, indeed, if the estates choose to publish their work before that date.

    I'm concerned that the masking of this copyright extension in an otherwise unrelated piece of legislation will prevent full discussion of its implications. I only learned of it last Friday by accident, when most scholars in Canada were at their annual meetings in Halifax. This is an unfortunate coincidence, because this is now the worst time of year to mobilize scholarly associations to a discussion of this issue. They've just had their annual meeting or they're having it today or had it yesterday.

    I share the opinion of various other commentators, such as Monsieur Cabral, that this item belongs within a broader discussion of copyright, deserves discussion in that context. I don't feel at all confident that this provision of the bill is in the interest of the Canadian public, and colleagues I've managed to contact feel the same way.

    Consider the subhead in the National Post on the one occasion this provision has made it into the public eye. The subheading there is “Amendment to benefit small band of authors with unpublished works”. This is pretty accurate, except that the authors in question are dead. They died over 50 years ago, so the benefit goes to their heirs and estates. Whatever the authors may or may not have deserved from us, it's too late to give it to them.

    Let me remind you of the principle behind copyright: to encourage innovation and creativity and dissemination of ideas and expressions. We can't give incentives to dead authors, so there's no incentive justification behind this change. I don't have any of the inside story on this bill. I suppose the estates are arguing this extension will give them an incentive to seek publishers for unpublished material. But that material could be published anyway, cheaper, without their engineering, if it were in the public domain. If it's of interest, somebody will find it and publish it.

    The only rationale I can see behind this change is self-interest—that the estates want the money and the control for longer, maybe publishers too. There's certainly nothing in this provision for the public.

    What we end up doing is catching a lot of other authors in the net with Anne of Green Gables and L.M. Montgomery, it seems to me. Ms. Noel mentioned that this was negotiated by the parties who have to live with this agreement. We all have to live with it, is the point I want to make.

    As a scholar who has spent considerable time in archives—fortunately for me, working mostly on authors who died more than 200 years ago—it's the issue of academic freedom that I wish most to emphasize. The little discussion I've seen of this provision seems to be based on the assumption that we're talking about works that might be published in their entirety--say, the diaries of L.M. Montgomery. What I'm concerned about, though, is researchers' freedom to release or to use letters in the researcher's published work and other more ephemeral documents. As long as that unpublished material is under copyright, the estate may claim the right to prevent a scholar or researcher from using that material freely.

    What this provision essentially means is that full and open scholarship on any written documents of anybody who died between 1930 and 1950 has suddenly been put off by more than 15 years. I'm not just talking about academic research, but also television documentaries, plays, art, biographies—you name it. I'm not just talking about literary authors, but also public figures--architects, engineers, business leaders, and so on. This provision could really slow down our right to discuss and learn and disseminate information about our history and our country.

    Now, you might say it's only 15 years, it's only transitional. This is true, but I want to speak to the principle at stake here. We live in a climate of increasing desire to control intellectual property. The expansionist argument is that we need to motivate people to create by giving them a lot of control over what they make. But if we give creators too much control, we actually hamper other creators, because people don't make culture out of nothing, they make it by building on previous thinkers, by using the past as leverage and inspiration. If we lock up that past for longer, we're preventing the multi-dimensional development of our shared culture.

À  +-(1035)  

    This provision isn't good for authors in any abstract sense. What it does is take freedom away from living authors and give it to heirs of dead authors. For example, this provision may prevent a playwright or author or TV writer saying what they have to say about Stephen Leacock, L.M. Montgomery, Emily Carr, and so on, if the estate isn't happy about how they are using the archival materials.

    I should add, too, that I'm painting a worst-case scenario here about estates. I don't think estates are all bad, but we have to consider the possibility of this kind of censorship. It may be that while the goal of an estate is not censorship, it may demand fees that many students, scholars, and small publishing houses are hard-pressed to pay. Most scholarly publishing is non-profit or even self-funded. A fee of a few hundred dollars may actually make the difference in whether it sees the light of day.

    I believe the deepest respect we can pay to the illustrious authors of our past is to expose them to discussion. They aren't going to be hurt by what we say. If we converse with them, they'll continue to help us understand our world and theirs.

    I don't have any personal stake in research on authors affected by this provision; I don't work in this period of Canadian literature. But I'm concerned about it because it sends the wrong message about what history is for. Copyright should not just be about milking the past for money. It should be about facilitating innovative thought and reflection.

    I think the Government of Canada should be trying to encourage such discussion—even controversy—in a climate in which Canadian history and thought is frankly being drowned in a Hollywood tide. This provision would instead discourage the development of Canadian culture, and I urge you to drop it from the bill as quietly as you dropped it into the bill.

    Thank you.

À  +-(1040)  

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Thank you, Ms. Murray.

    With only approximately 17 minutes left, I'm wondering if we can keep it to five minutes or so per speaker.

    Mr. Strahl, would you begin, please?

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    Mr. Chuck Strahl: Thank you.

    And thank you to this second group of panellists. They were all very interesting presentations. I'm always impressed how to make archives in history so interesting every time. You're doing good work.

    I especially like the specific approach, Mr. Cook, you brought to it. If you have a report, I was going to say you could table it, but it has to be in both languages. Maybe we'll just go through the published evidence. But I appreciate the specificity; I think it's useful and that you had some very good suggestions there. I think some of them should be made in the form of amendments, and we'll look at doing that. I appreciated that.

    I would like to explore briefly the idea of expanding the definition or more clearly defining both the author and the works idea that you had there. You suggested that if we separated the idea of an “author of a creative work”, if I understood correctly, from that of a “former prime minister”—not that they're not creative, but different—you would be comfortable with this provision, the copyright provisions, staying in the act, would you?

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    Mr. Terry Cook: Yes, I would, as a representative of the Association of Canadian Archivists; they are part of the group Ms. Noel referred to. We would like this narrowing because we think it fits the intent, and the examples have been brought forward. Speaking from under the historian hat I have, historians share more the views of Ms. Murray and do not like the copyright at all. I was trying to move between the two.

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    Mr. Chuck Strahl: I've already mentioned on other occasions that I am really leaning toward the idea that this is the wrong place to amend the Copyright Act in general. I agree with Ms. Murray, although her concern that it's difficult to motivate professionals at this time of year to rally to her cause could be extended to Parliament Hill. I just thought I'd let you know this is a common problem in June.

    We'll be looking at this closely. I'm just not sure it can be fixed. Perhaps it can be fixed along the lines Mr. Cook brought up.

    The last point I had was about the advisory council specifically. The advisory council's always a red flag in these kinds of things, because we in the opposition immediately see there's going to be a parking spot for friends of the minister and all kinds of heinous things that we in opposition think might end up there.

    You suggested it should include historians, archivists, and other professionals. Do you want them actually named like that—people with professional credentials to hold those positions? It is probably a legitimate concern that somebody may be on there for the wrong reasons or won't understand the things that have already been brought up by all of you here this morning. Do you want them defined, named?

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    Mr. Terry Cook: We would like the communities explicitly named, but not the associations per se, because there are three or four archival associations between French and English Canada, and there may be several library groups as well. So at least one representative from the library, archival, and historian communities.

[Translation]

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    Mr. Chuck Strahl: It will certainly be necessary. I have no further questions.

[English]

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Thank you, Mr. Strahl.

    Madam Girard-Bujold.

[Translation]

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    Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold: I enjoyed all three of your presentations. There is really some controversy, and it is a good thing. This morning, it was very low profile, and the lady raised many copyright issues. This confirms the Bloc Québécois' position. This bill will have to be separated into two parts because, as Liza just said, we must take all the time that is needed to study this bill as best we can. If they want to pass it before the end of the session, it will have to be done soon. I think that we will not have enough time for a serious study.

    Ms. Noel, you said that copyright currently applies to property for 30 to 49 years. Could we not table, by the end of 2003, an amendment that would extend the term of that protection to give us a chance to really study the Copyright Act? Copyright is not the issue, because it is included in another bill. The issues raised by Ms. Murray are really food for thought. I would like to put many questions to Ms. Murray, but I think that we do not have the time for that this morning. What do you think, Ms. Noel?

À  +-(1045)  

[English]

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    Ms. Wanda Noel: I'm very pleased you asked that question, because Ms. Murray actually has a fundamental misunderstanding about the consequences of the legislation.

    If the amendments to the term are put through, it will not in any way impact upon research and study by scholars. Subsection 30.21(1) of the Copyright Act permits a researcher to make a copy of anything in an archival institution, regardless of whether or not the copyright protection exists. What this amendment does is directed to the commercial exploitation of a work that's in an archival institution and is unpublished.

    So you have to look not just at the change in the term, but at the other side of that, which is why the historical society and the archivists made the deal to extend the term of copyright protection. Because the exception that allows scholarly research in an archival institution was expanded and made much broader. There are no records that need to be kept; you don't need to get prior permission to make the copy, which is the case now.

    So there was a trade-off there, and in fact scholarly research is not inhibited at all under subsection 30.21(1) of the act. It specifically says that a copy of a work that's deposited in an archival institution can be made for research and private study purposes. You can't take something and publish it, but you can use it for scholarly research.

    The point of Lucy Maud Montgomery's people is if someone is going to be using something to make money, then they should in fact pay a royalty, but for research purposes they should not.

    That's the structure that exists as a result of that amendment.

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Very briefly, Ms. Murray, because we're going to move.

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    Ms. Laura Murray: You made the distinction that it can be seen but it can't be published, and that's very important for researchers, because we want to be able to publish what we find.

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    Ms. Wanda Noel: You have to get permission to do so, that's all.

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Thank you.

    Mr. Cook, did you--

[Translation]

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    Ms. Jocelyne Girard-Bujold: Mr. Cook, I do not know whether you are aware of the provisions of the Quebec National Library Act that deal with the appointment of members of the advisory committee. It was supposed to be done in the same way as it is done here by the federal government, but some stakeholders were against it. Currently, people from that milieu are appointed, after consultation. There is one person from the city of Montreal and one user. Do you not think that at the federal level, we should proceed in the same way? In your opinion, should the members of the advisory committee be appointed?

[English]

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    Mr. Terry Cook: Those are good observations, and those I think could also be some of the criteria; it could be regionally based, professionally based, as Quebec does.

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Thank you, Mr. Cook.

    We'll now move to Madame Allard.

[Translation]

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    Ms. Carole-Marie Allard: I thank Ms. Murray, Ms. Noel and Mr. Cook for their presentations. I am sensitive to your comments because I am an author myself. However I do not know whether we have the same understanding of the Copyright Act. I think that the Copyright Act cannot stop you from discussing someone in a book.

    As Ms. Noel said, if someone's work is published, I do not think that this provision of the act will get in the way of your research or your other activities. If we wanted to publish Stephen Leacock's work, then someone would have to pay him the copyrights. But this does not prevent historians from quoting Stephen Leacock in books, from talking about him or from working with his family.

    I think that there is a great deal of nonsense going on with the Copyright Act. In my case, I am very happy when somebody quotes excerpts from my book. All I receive each year is the $600 from the Public Lending Right Commission, and I am happy with that.

    I think it is to an author's advantage to have his name mentioned. You are right on that point. However, I think that too much stress is put on the impact of the section about copyright. It is meant for conservation purposes. Thus, I must disagree with you.

À  +-(1050)  

[English]

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    Ms. Laura Murray: As I understand it, a work would include say a letter by an author; that would be a work. If that were under copyright and unpublished, it would need the permission of the estate in order to reproduce that, in order to publish it. And the estate might not want that letter to get out. If the estate didn't think it was good for the reputation of their ancestor or whatever in this period, then it would not be allowed for a researcher to publish it if they found it.

[Translation]

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    Ms. Carole-Marie Allard: Ms. Noel, do you have an answer to that question?

[English]

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    Ms. Wanda Noel: There is a basic distinction in the act that says--an exception--that use without permission and without payment is all right for research and study purposes. So scholars can go into archival institutions, they can look at these letters, they can extract the information from them. But if they want to go beyond research and study, they want to publish them, then permission is required. That's where the line in the sand is drawn. So research is not stymied, study is not stymied, only publication. And think about what publication is. Publication in a book is something you pay money for. Copyright owners are saying that when you use a work to earn revenue, or enhance an academic reputation if you're a scholar, then payment is required.

    So the argument that research is going to be stymied by this extension of term protection is false. Research is not stymied at all. What's stymied is the act of publication and further use.

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    Ms. Laura Murray: Research without publication is not worth doing, so I can't see your concept here.

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    Ms. Wanda Noel: I want to make one point if I can. It's not stymied. You can get permission, but you have to ask.

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Ms. Noel, thank you.

    Ms. Frulla.

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    Ms. Liza Frulla: Thank you.

    You've nurtured my concern. I had said that there are groups who are very worried by the words “without restriction”, because it's defined perhaps differently in the educational milieu, but we can see now what the difference is. And I do agree that it's very hard to talk about the copyright law here while we are going to talk about the copyright law extensively elsewhere. As for the amendment, we can look at it because I know that there's a timeframe, a deadline. As for the rest, I'm not really comfortable in looking at it totally separately in this bill without looking at it extensively in the other. So we'll probably work this out.

    Mr. Cook, I had the same concern about the researchers, about the--what do you call it--means that would be either added or lacking because of the bill. So we'll look at your proposition. And that's why I asked if it's urgent, because we have to look at it closely and do a good job and not just take it and treat it as a technical bill.

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Before we close out--we have about two minutes left--I might share an observation and maybe get a short response.

    I have no difficulty personally with commercial endeavours having to remunerate a family or an estate. If a movie or a play is going to make some profit, if it were my writings, 50 years from now, I would like to see my grandchildren benefit because of that.

    However, Ms. Noel, I quite frankly have serious reservations about the fact that an academic like Ms. Murray, or one of her colleagues might do a tremendous amount of research on say Diefenbaker, and the Diefenbaker family, if they did not like what has been brought forward, might in turn not allow her to publish that research. Then the rest of Canada, and in my opinion the rest of the world, loses out, because it's nothing more than a tabled document in Ms. Murray's or Ms. Murray's colleagues' closet.

    I wonder if you might expand. I don't want my family to have the right of censorship by way of academia 50 years from now.

À  -(1055)  

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    Ms. Wanda Noel: I have a very brief response.

    We're talking about a 15-year extension here. In your example, Mr. Diefenbaker has been dead for more than 15 years. You have to keep the time periods clear. This is controversial. It was in a bill at 100 years, the committee did it to 50, and now the parties have worked out a different line in the sand. There is no clear time as to when it should or shouldn't be. It's a very difficult call you're being asked to make.

    Parliament tried to do it twice in legislation. This time it's based on a mediated period of time.

    That's the best answer I can give.

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Is there anything else?

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    Ms. Madeleine Lefebvre: We have very little time left, but I want to make a final comment. We have spent a lot of time talking about copyright today, but I don't want us to overlook the huge importance of the bill in terms of the transformation of two national institutions, the National Library and the National Archives. And they are not merely houses to preserve cultural history; they're repositories of current information that is of use for the innovation agenda for the whole of the country.

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    The Vice-Chair (Mr. Paul Bonwick): Thank you.

    I can't enter into a second round of questioning.

    Thank you very much to all of the witnesses who have brought their expert opinions forward this morning. I know the committee greatly appreciates it. I will close by saying that if you have specifics--Mr. Strahl touched on this--please take the time to write them down and submit them to the clerk, who will deal with the translation and get them out to us in a timely fashion.

    The meeting is adjourned.