Thank you, and good afternoon. My name is Irene Tsepnopoulos-Elhaimer from the WAVAW—that's Women Against Violence Against Women—Rape Crisis Centre. I would like to thank you all for the opportunity to provide input to your deliberations and tell you how thrilled we are to be invited to the House of Commons to share with you some of the knowledge we have gained from doing anti-violence work at Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre in Vancouver for the past 25 years.
We're not here to engage in a discussion about censorship. When we have material that needs to be censored because it is deemed violent, we've already crossed a boundary. Instead of looking at censorship and boycotts as a means of creating social change, we need to examine the source of the violent imagery and not the media through which it is disseminated.
It is difficult to determine whether media violence helps to create violence or if it is a representation of the values and the very real violence in our society. In addition, it is a very difficult task to determine what messages are portrayed by the depiction of violent acts, as the context in which they are presented changes their impact, nor is it a given that reducing the depiction of violent acts actually addresses the real root causes of violence.
We do know that open dialogue can change attitudes and minds, and the media can be used to great effect to generate this kind of dialogue if the will and the support are there. What we need are more messages that promote a positive, empowered view of women and the relationships we have, as well as messages that provoke questions and dialogue about what we as a society continue to allow as acceptable behaviour. Many of the most insidious gender stereotypes that can lead to violence seem innocent and even desirable to many. There is plenty of room in the advertising world to provide a contrast to violence as usual, but those who would create and distribute those messages are competing with the corporate dollars that pay for sexy and sexist ads to sell anything, and with ad standards—in the case of our public broadcaster, CBC—that are stricter and more limiting toward advocacy advertising than they are toward product ads.
We must remember that we are having this conversation while Canada and the U.S. are waging war and killing other human beings. We are here with a firm grasp of the climate in which Canadians are living and the reality of violence against women in Canada.
What is violence against women? Violence against women is defined as any act that results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering—including threats of such acts—as well as coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether in public or private life.
Why does violence against women happen? Violence against women could be attributed to a number of socio-cultural factors, including historically unequal power relationships between men and women; differentiated socializations of boys and girls; women's unequal access to the political, economic, and legal sectors of society; unequal symbolization of women's and men's bodies; and the use of violent means to solve interpersonal conflict.
Violence in Canada looks like this. In 2002, 69 women were killed by a current or former spouse or boyfriend. That's one to two women per week. A minimum of one million Canadian children have witnessed violence against their mothers by their fathers or father figures. In 52% of these cases the mother feared for her life, and in 61% the mother sustained physical injuries. Children who witness violence against their mothers often exhibit signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, and their social skills and school achievement are adversely affected. One-half of all Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of sexual or physical violence.
In 2002, 27,100 sexual assaults were reported to police. That number represents approximately 10% of all sexual assaults that year. One in six women are abused during pregnancy. Between April 1, 2003, and March 31, 2004, more than 95,000 women and children were admitted to 473 shelters across Canada. Forty percent of women in Canada have been sexually assaulted. Aboriginal women aged 25 to 44 are five times more likely than non-aboriginal women of the same age to die of violence, and more than 500 aboriginal women have gone missing or have been murdered over the past 30 years.
The estimated cost of violence against women in British Columbia, including policing, incarceration, health care, transition houses, sexual assault centres, lost work time, child services, and court proceedings is approximately $1 billion. In Canada, the cost is over $4 billion per year.
Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary General, said:
||Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation. And, it is perhaps the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace.
Violence against women is the barometer of the status in which women are held in our world, indeed our country. While Canada has implemented some formal equality measures, we've clearly not achieved substantive equality.
What this committee and all levels of government should be focusing on is how to change social attitudes and power-based structures of oppression that perpetuate this violence. Instead, we've seen all levels of government entrenching inequality for women, people of colour, and the poor.
In the words of Zara Suleman, a gender equity equality activist lawyer:
||In Canada we have the language of equality. We're signatories to conventions, declarations and treaties that promote equality. We have the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, whose purpose is to protect and enshrine our equality rights. Our leaders speak freely and proudly of our equality in a way that assures the world that we've figured it out.
Or as the website on Foreign Affairs says and highlights, “We are the world leaders on gender equality.”
In Canada we say one thing and we do another. Last year we saw 12 of the 16 Status of Women Canada regional offices closed, including the one in Vancouver. We also saw the word “equality” removed from the mandate for funding for Status of Women Canada grants. In Vancouver we can invite the world to Canada for the Olympics and build within very tight deadlines expensive accommodations and facilities, but within the downtown east side of Vancouver the poorest and most vulnerable of our communities are left homeless, with disregard from our federal, provincial and municipal governments.
In B.C. we saw drastic cuts to legal aid funding in poverty law, immigration, and family legal aid services, mostly used by women, people with disabilities, poor and working class communities, people of colour, and aboriginal communities.
In 2005 and 2006, Stephen Harper committed to support women's human rights by taking concrete steps to uphold Canada's commitments, recommended under the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women. One of these recommendations was to make resources available for equality test case litigation in all jurisdictions. In September 2006 the Harper government announced it would end all funding to the court challenges program of Canada, which had its mandate to provide resources for test case litigation regarding equality rights.
Without the court challenges program of Canada, key cases that have argued women's equality rights, sex discrimination cases, pay equity, and a host of other cases involving human rights would not have been able to go forward.
Women in Canada continue to make less money than men. If women were indeed equal, we would not be dealing with real-life or TV violence and we'd certainly not be here discussing this bill.
It's of no use to control images of violence on television without eliminating inequality of women and marginalized groups in reality.
As I said earlier, what we need more of is messages that break the spell of “violence as usual”, and to this end WAVAW is currently launching a youth-driven, web-based awareness campaign to end violence against women by busting gender myths and stereotypes.
Through our superpower project, we recognize that the medium of television is not the only influential broadcast avenue with which we can address the issues of violence, especially with youth. When youth are engaged and educated, they become leaders in social change. They become active agents in shifting paradigms that will contribute to ending violence. We're starting to see this happen both with the multicultural youth in Vancouver and aboriginal youth in Kitimat village who are collaborating on this project.
We'd like to see similar programming on television in support of an integrated strategy to end real-life violence.
My name is Cathy Wing. I'm the co-executive director of the Media Awareness Network, Réseau Éducation-Médias.
I'm very pleased to be here today to present this submission to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage as it debates Bill .
We laud the motivation behind this bill protecting the health and the well-being of Canadian children. And we welcome this opportunity to illustrate the critical role that media education plays in supporting the healthy development of children, and in giving Canadian citizens—adults and children—the tools they need to effectively manage media content issues.
Media violence is an issue that educators, broadcasters, parents, and academics have been debating for many years in this country. Throughout this long-standing debate, media education and the fostering of media literacy skills in young people have always been recognized as key elements in any effective strategy to address the issue.
Indeed, the CRTC's 1996 public notice on TV violence stated that although industry codes, classification systems, and technology would play a role, public awareness and media literacy programs represented most of the solution to the issue.
Our organization was born out of a CRTC round table on TV violence in 1995. It was initially formed under the auspices of the National Film Board of Canada. Since that time this national, bilingual, not-for-profit education organization has firmly established itself nationally and internationally as a leading centre in media education. Since our inception we've been fortunate to have had the long-standing support of Canadian media industries and the Government of Canada, both through financial contributions and participation on our board of directors.
Our vision is to ensure that Canadian children and youth possess the necessary critical thinking skills and tools to understand and actively engage with media.
Belief in the importance of media literacy in the education of young people is growing in this country. It is now a mandated area of curriculum in every province and territory, and our resources and programs are used in every jurisdiction in Canada by school boards, faculties of education, libraries, and community organizations.
Young people today often are spending more time interacting with media than they are in school. When they're using media—watching television, listening to music on their iPods, surfing the web—they're absorbing a large part of their knowledge about the world and themselves and others. And this informal learning is generally taking place without critical reflection or guidance.
For this reason, it is essential that young people are taught critical thinking skills in order to be thoughtful and engaged users of all media. A media-literate individual has the critical thinking skills to interpret and value media content and to understand media's cultural, political, commercial, and social implications.
One of the primary lessons of media education is that media productions are not reality, but they are deliberate constructions and the result of a series of choices. Media education encourages young people to consider the role of violence in media. Is it essential to the plot of a movie? Is it factored in just for drama or excitement? What are the differences between real-world violence and media violence? Is the violence shown to have realistic consequences or does it trivialize the psychological and physical trauma of real-life violence? How is it used to sell films to international audiences? What is the role of violence in news programming? What are the impacts on society? And how do factors such as age, gender, race, religion, and cultural background affect how we interpret violent media?
The media education curriculum also teaches students that they have a voice and a role to play as active media consumers who can talk to the entertainment industries and express their opinions through the mechanisms we have in place in Canada to address media content issues.
There is a body of research emerging that is examining media literacy as a health promotion strategy. Several studies point to its effectiveness in mitigating potential negative media influences on the physical and mental well-being of children and youth. For example, research has indicated that media literacy lessons incorporated into standard curriculum can help reduce potentially harmful effects of TV violence on very young viewers.
One U.S. study of third and fourth graders who were given a course in media literacy decreased their time spent watching TV, playing video games, and reduced their use of verbal and physical aggression as judged by their peers.
Another study of a year-long media literacy curriculum found children in early grades watched less violent TV and identified less with aggressive characters after the intervention.
Other studies have concluded that media literacy can help high-risk youth develop more responsible decision-making skills. An evaluation of a media literacy intervention program implemented by the Massachusetts juvenile justice system showed that learning to deconstruct media messages helped juvenile offenders think critically about the consequences of risky behaviours and helped them develop strategies to resist these impulses.
Helping to support the healthy development of children and youth through the acquisition of media literacy skills has become more critical than ever as our young people turn to the Internet as their main source of entertainment, information, and communications.
Our media environment has changed considerably since Canada's broadcasting initiatives were introduced to address TV violence. The convergence of media platforms and the availability of wireless communications technologies mean that rating and classification systems and legislation and industry codes and guidelines are no longer enough to protect children, particularly as they increasingly use the Internet to access video games, television, movies, and music.
We were born at the same time as the World Wide Web and we've grown with the Internet. We've watched its potential being realized and we've monitored the risks and concerns associated with its use. It was clear from the start that the Internet would bring new challenges to many of the media issues of concern we were dealing with, particularly media violence.
In 2005 we conducted a national survey of more than 5,200 Canadian students about their Internet use. One-third of kids' favourite websites contained violent content, and 34% of Grade 9 boys said they had visited a violent gore site on purpose. New research from anti-racism organizations shows that violent and hateful content is growing in interactive web environments such as social networking sites and user-generated video sites.
In this new media landscape where our young people are moving beyond geographic and regulatory borders to access media content, responsibility for protecting children is shifting to individual households, schools, and communities. There is no question that media violence is and will continue to be an area of concern to Canadians, as evidenced by the proposed legislation from the honourable member for . As media violence continues to be debated in our public institutions, Media Awareness Network encourages all Canadians to support the practice of media literacy as a key response to media content issues of concern.
I want to thank both groups for coming and sharing your experience and some of your knowledge with us. My first question is directed to WAVAW. I gather either Irene or Dalya could answer it.
You talked a lot about the need to change social attitudes to the power imbalance that creates that violence in society, in spite of the laws we have. Have you been able to do any research, or do you think that research on the impact of the increasing amount of gratuitous “sex” and the very young prepubescent girls who sell things on the media has made a difference to violence against women, in younger and younger women? Have you done that research? Do you think that research is necessary? How have you been impacted by the lack of money for research due to the closing down of the research arm of Status of Women Canada?
That's for you, and then I will ask Cathy one question, if you don't mind, Cathy.
You made a very important point that Internet use is obviously.... If we talk about violence in television, it may be useless if we don't look at the other platforms, because those platforms could be there for people to watch just as well as television. You're suggesting that if we did some education and media awareness and gave media literacy skills to young people, it would help them deconstruct the violence they see on TV. How do you propose to go about doing that? Does that mean if they have the skills to deconstruct, it doesn't matter what they see, that they would be able to filter it and understand it and put it into perspective?
The other piece that attaches to that is that we talk about it in terms of fantasy TV, movies, film, etc., but then the news shows us violence against women and young people, especially in war zones, and the inability to differentiate between the two becomes increasingly difficult for young people.
If you could answer those questions for me, I would be pleased. Thank you.
First of all, we'd like to have money to be able to do advocacy. Advocacy is forbidden. It's dangerous for the survival of organizations. We can't do that. And it's impossible to do social change without advocating for change. So that's a conundrum.
Our organization has been around for 25 years, and we don't even think about being able to have a spot on TV to do any educational awareness or any kind of commercial, any access. It's not even in the realm of the imaginary at this point.
So what we do is work with male and female youth. We work with them not only for awareness and education, but actually to get them to make and create stories. With this particular superpower project, they get to put out their own commercial, their own talk show. So they really get to be actors. We've seen how that changes them. Once those male youth, those female youth, get an idea of what that looks like, creating their reality instead of passively accepting what's on TV, they're ingrained for life and they have a new sense of being actors in the world. And they're actors who then go on to make social change.
We'd like a national strategy, a strategy to end the violence against women. We have an idea of using a feminist gender budgeting framework that supports full human rights and equality for all women and peoples in Canada. So we need to be really focused on a comprehensive strategy for how to do this work, including youth and media.
Thank you to the witnesses for appearing here today.
We're studying a bill here today called Bill , whose purpose is to reduce violence on TV. So this obviously touches on the issue of censorship and the like. On the other hand, we also live in a liberal democracy in which a fundamental principle is that citizens are free to act as they so wish and are free to express themselves as they so wish, provided that this expression or those acts do not harm others or harm others in a way that's unacceptable to society at large.
So we have free expression in this country. That being said, this free expression is limited by libel and slander laws, by the potential harm this expression could cause to others, and so on. There is a lot of jurisprudence around this regarding books and film. Over the years, the Supreme Court's interpretation of this area of law has evolved from one of meeting a community standard involving public decency and public morality to one involving harm--the harm test--whereby what is acceptable or not acceptable is decided on the basis of whether the materials cause harm to others. My question concerns this harm test.
Now, we're studying the issue of television in this bill. Television is satellite, cable; it's not the same as books and film. Books and film are in the private domain, and television and cable and satellite are in the public domain, but I think there are parallels between the jurisprudence that has been developed in the Supreme Court's rulings on books and film and what goes on in television.
So my question for the panellists is whether you can point this committee to any empirically based studies that have been undertaken that make definitive links between violence on TV and harm to others in society.
Mr. Chair, through you, could we start with Madam Wing and hear her response on that?
Thank you. It's been very enlightening.
It seems to me that what we're discussing is whether or not the best approach to dealing with something that we all would like to do something about is to be prohibitive or more proactive in the context of education and media awareness and so on. For instance, is anybody here aware of what currently exists on the prohibition side—what the restrictions are, how you would access them? Have you ever filed a complaint? Has anyone here been aware on the limitations side and the restrictive side? I'd like to know if anyone has ever used it. Or do you know anybody who's ever used it?
So there's an awareness feature in terms of what the prohibitions are now. That's what I'm getting. Let the record show there's some head nodding going on that I'm sure is going to be difficult to put in the transcript. You can answer that question verbally in a second.
Secondly, is there a developmental issue here? I hear particularly from WAVAW that there's a broader issue. So I take the point that it's one thing to say whether or not television is causing the kid to go out and do something that's obvious and immediate and physical, perhaps, or verbal, but it's quite another...just generally what they're growing up with. Maybe the better response in terms of a strategy is to deal with the developmental issues, to deal with the socialization issues, and maybe restrictions would even stunt some of the developmental issues. If you said, “No, we don't want anybody to be exposed to that”, and then all of a sudden at some point they are...there's been no discernment, no critical thinking, no one has ever talked about it. I think these are legitimate questions as to how you approach solving this problem.
: Merci, monsieur le président.
Thank you very much, everyone.
My name is Ronald Cohen. I'm the national chair of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. With me today is John MacNab, the executive director of the CBSC.
I thank the committee for inviting us to express our views on the bill. We are also grateful that we have been accorded the opportunity to speak at the end of these deliberations. It gives us the opportunity to respond to issues raised during the appearance of other witnesses. And we will of course look forward to the additional questions you will have for us.
Let us begin by making our position utterly clear: we do not believe that Bill C-327 is either necessary or even moderately useful in dealing with the issue of violence on television.
We have filed a written presentation with the committee clerk that will hopefully provide a useful tour d'horizon of the issue. I will try to limit this oral presentation to the clarification of matters raised by witnesses and members of this committee.
The first issue is the nature and extent of the problem of exposure of our children to violence in the media. Is problematic violent content increasing or decreasing? The answer is that it is decreasing. The best evidence of this, as mentioned by Cathy Wing a few moments ago, is the level of complaints filed with the CBSC and the CRTC. Between 2000 and the end of February 2008, the level of complaints about violence on television fell by 22%. The statistics cited by Monsieur Bigras are neither recent nor appropriate. They do not extend beyond 2002, and even then they do not disclose what they cover or represent.
It is essential to acknowledge that not all violence is created equal. The original study of Mr. De Guise and Mr. Paquette, covering the period 1993 to 1998, made no distinction between appropriate and inappropriate violence. Monsieur Bigras referred to the eminent authority in the area, Professor George Gerbner, with great respect this past Tuesday. But what he did not acknowledge to you was that the Laval study did not follow Professor Gerbner's methodology.
The authors of the Laval study said:
||Unlike Gerbner, who considers sequences of violence, we decided to count violent acts, such that, in this study, each separate gesture, action and event is considered as a separate act of violence.
Those are their words. They underscore that the numbers they report are exaggerated. Moreover, they make no distinction between our common goal of protecting children, on the one hand, and violence that may not be problematic or inappropriate at all, on the other. The bottom line is that there is simply no evidence that there is, in 2008, any problem that needs parliamentary intervention of any kind.
Second, the system is actually working.
When Mr. Scott observed on Tuesday that he knew that Mr. Bigras believed that the present system was failing, he added that he had not understood Mr. Bigras' explanation as to why he thought the system was failing.
Nor will the committee members have missed the response to the question put by Mr. Abbott regarding the absence of complaints about children's programming subsequent to the CBSC's Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers decision.
Monsieur Bigras was either unable or unwilling to cite a single example of problematic children's programming since the 1994 CBSC decision. It's because there hasn't been one.
Third, much justification for has been placed on the fact that the violence code is voluntary. The only aspect, members of this committee, of the violence code that is voluntary is its title. As the CRTC chairman said on Tuesday, the code is obligatory: it is a condition of licence for every television broadcaster in this country. It could not be more involuntary.
Moreover, the statement by Monsieur Bigras that the adjudication is undertaken by industry peers, les pairs qu'li a mentionnés, is totally wrong. The adjudicating panels are all composed of at least 50% members of the public, including former CRTC commissioners, former members of Parliament and cabinet ministers, a former provincial premier, a former lieutenant governor, communications professors, the former head of the Vanier Institute of the Family, the head of the Centre de recherche-action sur les relations raciales of Montreal, the former head of Media Watch, and many other highly credible and committed Canadians who are devoted to public service.
Fourth, much emphasis has been placed on the fact that the violence code is a creation of the private broadcasters. I will not dwell on the notion that because broadcasters had something to do with its creation, they would have done so only to serve their own self-interest. That concept is outrageous.
Any one of you will readily confirm, on the basis of your own constituency experience, that local broadcasters devote considerable time, energy, resources, and promotional benefits to telethons and other local community initiatives. In good times and in bad, in ice storms, fires, and floods, broadcasters are there for the good of the public.
Leaving that aside, do not forget for an instant that as the CRTC chairman pointed out Tuesday, the commission vetted every word of the violence code before it was approved. Having participated in that process in 1993, I can tell you on an anecdotal basis that the wording went back and forth several times before all the CRTC's issues were resolved.
Moreover, the consultation process with stakeholders was substantial. During the development of the code, comments were invited from many public representatives, a list of which is appended to the CBSC's written presentation that the clerk has distributed to all of you.
The public organizations included Media Watch, Owl Centre for Children's Film and Television, the Alliance for Children and Television, l'Association nationale des téléspectateurs et des téléspectatrices, le Groupe de recherche sur les jeunes et les médias pour la coalition contre la violence dans les émissions pour enfants, le Conseil du statut de la femme, Canadians Concerned About Violence in Entertainment, and the Animal Alliance of Canada, among others.
Fifth, Monsieur Bigras is not satisfied by the present complaints-driven system. He proposes a monitoring system of some unspecified description. I fully expect that Monsieur Bigras was surprised, if not shocked, to learn that both the CRTC and the CBSC operate on the basis of complaints made to them by members of the public. That was unequivocally confirmed by the CRTC chairman on Tuesday, and that is as it should be, for two reasons.
First, censorship is anathema to Canadians. When Mr. Abbott asked Monsieur Bigras whether the bill's proposer was not talking about censorship, Monsieur Bigras was at pains to avoid such a characterization, understandably. He admitted that he did not favour censorship, yet that is essentially the effect of Bill . Let us not mince words. That is exactly what a monitoring system not based on public complaints is: censorship, nothing more or less.
Second is the cost issue. I won't go into that in detail. You have it in my.... Well, you don't have it in my oral presentation, but you can.
Any system, as Mr. von Finckenstein said, would be very expensive and intrusive. I should add, of course, that the present system is paid for by the private broadcaster, so not a bad way to go. It's not the general public.
Sixth, is the system really tough enough? There is not the slightest doubt. It is, thanks to the CBSC all by itself. The Power Rangers left Canadian airwaves, so too did Howard Stern, Laura Schlessinger, Stéphane Gendron, and Doc Maillioux. In the children's television area, no inappropriate violent programming has ever replaced the Power Rangers in the last 14 years.
Mr. Bigras also suggested that the American system is superior.
In fact, it's a curious conclusion, since the Americans have no code, since the FCC does not deal with violence on television, and there is no equivalent body to the CBSC that deals with violence on television.
In conclusion, the question for the standing committee is whether there is any need for a regulatory rather than self-regulatory framework, a statutory amendment or a government regulation rather than an industry code. If there were a problem that the present system could not deal with, of course there would be. But there is not a shred of evidence that the present system does not work.
Thanks to the private broadcasters and the CRTC, Canadians have the best codified protections for children's programming in the world, and thanks to the CBSC, those standards are rigorously enforced.
Thank you for the little bit of extra time as well, monsieur le président. We will be pleased, of course, to answer your questions.
Of course, at the heart of all of this is the concern of where censorship starts and freedom of expression ends. This is a very difficult bill, in that you don't know where to draw this fine line. However, I do have some concerns with something that the CRTC told us at the last meeting, and that you are saying. So I'm going to ask the question again, and hopefully I can find an answer.
If complaints are the only indicators you use to decide whether there is too much violence, it could be--and I think my colleague Mr. Scarpaleggia asked it--that maybe the public is so inured to violence now that they don't notice it. It could be that people feel that they possibly don't get the kind of response they want and that they stop writing. I don't know. It could be those reasons; it may not be those reasons. But surely to goodness there are other indicators that we could use, or that a self-regulatory body like yours could use, to define whether or not violence is unacceptable or violence is escalating. I mean, there are the Criminal Code definitions that we could look at.
But is there any other way you think than simply...because for me, complaints are such a poor indicator. It's very nebulous, at best. I just don't know whether there is something else that will not become censorship, but will find a way of tracking, find a way of giving us the data we want, find a way of giving us the information we want. Could you suggest something else? I'm really struggling with this issue as to what are the other indicators we could use that would allow for self-regulation and make it effective.
I thank the witnesses for appearing in front of committee today.
First of all, I will say that we too are opposed to this bill, but I do share some of the concerns that some of the other members of the committee have brought up.
I don't think you can make a valid argument that just because complaints have declined, it necessarily means that children's health has not been negatively impacted over the last eight years. I make that point because the CRTC's policy framework on this issue is, as you mention in your submission here, not framed as a moral one but rather as one that is based on the harm test--in other words, harm to children's health. When we're talking about violence on TV, we have to make the connection between the two, violence on TV and whether or not it has a negative impact on children's health. I don't think it necessarily follows that because there's been a decline in complaints, there's not been a negative impact on children's health over that period.
Furthermore, I'd also add that I believe that television-viewing audiences in the last number of years have also declined, so that may in part account for the declining complaints, because of increased usage of the Internet and other recreational activities that people are now increasingly turning to.
It's just a comment I make. I don't have a question, Mr. Chair.