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CANADA

Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage


NUMBER 023 
l
2nd SESSION 
l
39th PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1535)  

[English]

     Welcome to this 23rd meeting of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, pursuant to the order of reference of Tuesday, October 16, 2007, Bill C-327, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act in regard to reduction of violence in television broadcasts.
    We welcome today Mr. René Caron.
    Sir, I'm glad we could make it available that you could be here today. I understand that you didn't trust the train today; you brought a bus, because the train went backwards the last time.
    We're going to try to hold this part of the meeting to about 45 minutes. You have about 10 minutes to make your address. I'm sorry for the shortness of time, but we do have eight young Canadians coming in following you, sir, and we have to make some time for them also.
    Welcome to our committee, and please bring your words forward.
    Mr. Chairman, let me inform you that if I don't give you my speech in English, it's because when I was a little boy, the old brothers taught me only 800 basic words in English, so I don't know where to put them in the right place at the right time. So I will speak in French for you and your colleagues.
    That's great. Thank you.

[Translation]

    Before you is a signatory of a petition by over a million Canadians who have reacted to the terrible tragedy that took place at the École Polytechnique de Montréal on December 6, 1989. Fourteen young women students were murdered and ten others wounded by an insane shooter.
     Like so many other Canadians, I wondered what I should do to make sure that this kind of massacre never happened again in our society, which we thought of at the time as tolerant and non-violent. When I learned that young Virginie Larivière had started a petition to have broadcasters and the CRTC commit to taking the necessary steps to impose stringent regulations requiring that the monstrous violent films, and the programs where people kill one another instead of helping one another, be shown on television after 9 p.m., I knew that something serious and positive had to be done.
    In Quebec City in March 1990, I organized a meeting of Optimist clubs and teachers, and we decided to form a non-profit association to make sure that follow-up action was taken on the petition signed by a million Canadians. Virginie Larivière had a meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada, who said he was impressed by her initiative and assured her that it would not be ignored.
    We all know that acts of violence have risen by 432% since 2001 on Quebec's private networks, and that, at present, over 80% of acts of violence are broadcast before 9 p.m. That is why Association T.R.O.P.-P.E.A.C.E has worked in the schools and with parents for the last 18 years in a public education campaign, to get them to think about what they are absorbing from their screens, whether on television, in video games or on the Internet.
    We have formed a partnership devoted to this important and necessary mission: the Optimist clubs of Quebec and eastern Ontario, the Knights of Columbus and the CSQ in Quebec.
    Nothing tangible was done by the appropriate authorities, and so we had to make our own efforts to achieve a better society. You know, as do we, that our young people are the most vulnerable victims, and that massacres like what happened at the Polytechnique have been almost everyday occurrences in our neighbour to the south, and even here in Canada.
    Association T.R.O.P.-PEACE—T stands for Travail, R for Réflexion, O for Ondes, P for Pacifiques, P for Positive, E for Entertainment, A for Alternatives, C for Children and E for Everywhere—understands the clear negative effects of violence on television, and endorses the brief filed with the United States Congress in June 2000, in which those effects are identified and proved by physicians, pediatricians, psychologists and psychiatrists.

  (1540)  

    They joined forces to say that violence on television leads to an increase in youth violence. Over a thousand studies have established the cause and effect relationship between exposure to violence on television and aggression in some children.
    We are not specialists, but like thousands of parents and educators we have met over the last 18 years, we believe that television violence invades children's imaginations, heightens their fears, interferes with their academic learning and contributes to higher crime rates later. Violence on television contributes to desensitizing children to real violence and the suffering of victims.
    Regulating violence on television does nothing to hinder the artistic expression of the creative community. This is not censorship. But we believe that the existing legislation should be amended to regulate the times at which violent programming may be broadcast, to protect our children.
    With all due respect to certain producers and broadcasters, we believe what the healthcare professionals have to say about this. Violence on television has an undeniable influence on all children. It does not transform every child into a criminal and it is not the only thing that influences children. But the studies that have been done all lead to the same conclusion: the risks it creates for a growing number of children will some day have consequences for our entire society's quality of life and feelings of safety.
    I would like to thank the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage for giving me the opportunity to convey the opinion of thousands of Canadian parents and teachers who care about taking non-violence and respect seriously and doing something about them today, and who hope to inspire the best in our young people.
    In fact, Optimist International, the umbrella group for hundreds of thousands of members, the real friends of youth, is preparing to give official recognition to our campaign to raise awareness for non-violence and respect, as the YMCA Canada has already done.
    We have to remain clear-eyed if we are to be able to make important decisions. The time for this has come. When the choice is between the broadcasters' freedom and children's safety, it is children's safety that should take priority. That is not the case now. Broadcasters refuse to acknowledge that priority. Like thousands of others who think as we do, we believe that the government has the responsibility of regulating the times at which violent programming may be broadcast, to protect our children.
    As I conclude my presentation, I add an important observation. Amending the legislation on broadcast times would, seriously and unequivocally, be much more than reasonable.
    Thank you.

  (1545)  

[English]

     Thank you for that.
    Our first questioner is Mr. Scarpaleggia.

[Translation]

    Welcome, Mr. Caron. I was not fully aware of the history of your campaign. I remember Ms. Larivière because I saw her on television at the time. She met with the Prime Minister. Your role right at the start of the campaign was not clear in my mind. Ms. Larivière was the one who made the passionate appeal for something to be done. Was it she who started the petition, or was it you who contacted her to tell her that you wanted to gather signatures?
    That is an excellent question that brings back fond memories.
    Ms. Larivière was sponsored by the Optimist club near her home. When she set about gathering signatures for her petition across Canada, she needed people to distribute it for her. She did not knock on doors from here to Vancouver to get a more than a million people to sign. Getting those million signatures and more took help from, among others, the Optimist clubs, the Knights of Columbus and other service club organizations. Then the Prime Minister met with her in Parliament.
    That was where my involvement began. I saw that nothing was being done afterwards. I said to myself that what needed to be done then was a concerted attempt to convince children, who are perfectly intelligent, to think about what they were consuming.

  (1550)  

    So your organization goes to visit schools. Do you do that all over Canada?
    Our guide is on our web site in English. You can see it at www.trop-peace.com.
    You also go to schools in Quebec. Does that mean mostly elementary schools?
    No, we go to secondary schools too. Let me give you an example: next week, I will be in Val-Barrette in Mont-Laurier. Instead of visiting all the little schools with 75 to 125 students, the students will come to the church in Val-Barrette in the afternoon, and, in the evening, I will met the parents in the same church. Then I will take the bus—I have become a real bus person—to Rivière-du-Loup where I will go to the secondary schools, not just in Rivière-du-Loup, but also in Cacouna, Trois-Pistoles, and so on.
    What you do is amazing.
    It is not just me, sir.
    But travelling all across...
    At 82, I have still got what it takes to do it.
    And the conviction to go with it.
    I believe in it to the extent that, if one day my health were to deteriorate, I would have the satisfaction of having done my best, before ending my journey, to improve our society today.
    The fact that you are out in the field means that this is no theoretical matter for you.
    I call it educating the people.
    You are educating the people. You meet young people and their parents. Are you finding that your involvement with children and their parents has an effect on their reactions to the programs they watch? When all is said and done, do you feel that your efforts are bearing fruit?
    One thing is for sure: activities take place in all the communities we visit. These activities are in an intervention guide that we distribute. It is revised and republished each year. A good number of clubs formed by other participants use other approaches. For example, there is a walk for peace each year in Saint-Eustache. Young people walk five kilometres to raise awareness about the importance of peace. Parents can see their children's commitment to the cause from their balconies. That is one kind of awareness.
    There is another kind of awareness that I think is wonderful. Last year, in a school of 500 students, we printed a kind of identity card bearing each student's name. It listed various forms of violence that the child could become involved in—verbal or physical violence—in class, in the bus, at home, while playing a game, and so on. On another part of the card, the child could write behaviours that he was proud to have corrected that week; the next week, he would deal with something else. They have to look into their conscience, not just for three days or for three weeks, but for three months.

  (1555)  

    The kids...
    They are very serious about it.
    They follow through with it and an adult...

[English]

     Excuse me. Great dialogue is going on, but Ms. Mourani is really waiting to ask a question.
    Thank you.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Thank you for being here today, Mr. Caron. Listening to you really gladdens my heart. Since we began this study, several witnesses have come through here. Most of them have said that the present system of "regulation" works very well, that there was no need for a new way of doing things, that the bill was censorship and that, when all is said and done, there was no use creating a problem where none exists.
    I mentioned that one and a half million people signed the petition, showing that the public is concerned about it. One witness particularly, who shall remain nameless, dismissed that out of hand. He said that, a million and a half signatures or not, there was no problem.
    What do you think? Is there a problem, or are we just deluding ourselves?
    If all a child sees are situations where people have no respect for each other and kill each other, if all he watches are violent films where everyone uses guns or knives to solve problems, he is going to believe that that is how problems are solved in real life. I think this is an insidious, unhealthy and anti-social influence. I think educating people would be a lot easier if things like that were broadcast at a time when kids are usually in bed, say 10 or 11 at night or later.
    So you think that regulation is necessary. Currently, any regulation is voluntary, which is not effective. You said earlier that about 80% of these broadcasts occurred before 9:00 p.m.
    That is correct.
    Can we say that regulation is needed and that this bill deserves to be heard?
    In my opinion, it is needed. I did not come to give anyone orders, but if my suggestions were seriously considered, there would be no one happier than me. We are not asking for censorship, we are just asking that our children are less exposed to things that have an insidious and unhealthy effect on them.
    Do you think that the CRTC should be responsible for regulating this?
    In this case, I think that the CRTC should operate using formal legislation.
    So the CRTC should amend the legislation.
    The present complaint system is solely based on complaints from members of the public. Does it work?
    In my opinion, the system works slower than slow motion. You have to wonder whether they just ignore it, given what you see on television.
    OK. So you think that the complaint system is not very effective.
    It is not enough. I think the recommendations that we are discussing today, and that will soon be made public, will be a lot more effective than any complaint from Joe Public.
    Do you think that Joe Public and his wife, or any parents in fact, are ready, or rather, able to file complaints? The figures show about a hundred complaints. Is that a realistic number?
    Madam, I tend to think that parents today...When a kid has trouble in school, I have noticed that, more frequently than before, the parents did too.
    I have enough to do already persuading kids to think about what they are consuming without having to deal with the parents' problems too. If parents no longer send letters, it is because they really have given up. But if they see that some serious legislation has been put in place and broadcasters are being forced to comply, I think that that may give them hope again and let them go after visible and tangible results.

  (1600)  

    Results that would be closer to reality.
    I think so.
    You think that this famous hundred or so people are those who have had the strength to take on the system.
    Exactly. Absolutely.
    Right. Thank you, Mr. Caron.
    No, thank you; that helps me to clarify my position.

[English]

     Thank you.
    Mr. Siksay, please.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Thank you for being here this afternoon, Monsieur Caron. I was also glad to hear before the meeting started that you received a warm welcome on the Hill today from your many fans who recognized you from your television career. I'm glad the day started out well for you here on the Hill.
    I appreciate the presentation you made. I have visited the website and looked at the English document that's there for folks to take a look at. It's a very helpful document. There's sort of an elucidation of your comments around the concern that you don't see this as a question of censorship, but a question of regulating the time violent programming is available on television.
    Is that the only kind of regulation you would support--when violent television is broadcast? Are you talking about other kinds of regulations around television programming?

[Translation]

    I think that if we improved the regulations governing the time when broadcasters can show those horrible things that are disturbing for everyone, not just children...Terrible things are happening in our society, that we did not see 25 years ago. There are street gangs attacking elderly people. It is unbelievable.
    If we could stop terrible things like this being shown at dinner time to adults and children alike, it would be a very sensible, significant and obvious improvement in regulation, not just for children but for the public as a whole. Perhaps what I have just said may appear to some people to be very naive, but I say things simply and directly, even if that means some people do not take me seriously. I have plenty of respect. My life is based on respect, in fact, and I hope that they too will respect my opinions.

[English]

    Monsieur Caron, right now there is what the broadcasters call a watershed period between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. when it's more open. Before that period, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., is there supposed to be some limitation on the kind of violent programming and sexual content offered? Do you not see that existing watershed period functioning at the present time?

[Translation]

    At that point, there is no doubt that it would essentially amount to censorship. If we take too strong a position and we ban the broadcasting of violent programs even during the night, that would definitely be censorship. If that were the case, it would frighten me.
    My main goal is to protect children. At 2:00 a.m., children are normally in bed so that they can get up for school the next morning. Unless they live in a completely abnormal household, they would not be subjected to that. My concern is for the child.

[English]

     Your organization is known for its popular education program, and I guess that's the major focus of your work. You've had support from the CSQ, the Optimists Club, and the Knights of Columbus.
    Have you had support from broadcasters for doing this kind of popular education or media literacy work that you do?

[Translation]

    My friend, you remind me that there are times when discretion is the better part of valour. No broadcaster is going to invite me to come and lambaste its programming. They will tell me that I can stay home if that is what I have to say. Anyway, they do not invite me. But community television does. For example, when I go to the Gaspé, the community television station often records me for an hour in the cathedral in Gaspé itself, and then broadcasts what I have to say at different times of day, sometimes for two months, so that it reaches the greatest possible number of people. That is local television, of course, the community channel. It is wonderful, and the same thing happens in other places, whether it is Lac Saint-Jean, elsewhere in Quebec or even in the east of Ontario.

  (1605)  

[English]

    Make it a very short question, please.
    Do you think there should be an obligation on the part of private broadcasters to give the same kind of access to media literacy on their own airwaves, as part of their own programming, that the community broadcasters do?

[Translation]

    You mention radio stations. I started doing radio when I was 14, about 70 years ago. Radio was better then than it is today. I regret that and I find it unfortunate to see radio stations allowing, for example, so-called comedians swearing and saying terrible things on the air. Kids have their headsets these days and they hear those things. I feel the same way about the stories on television or video games. There are good video games, just like there are good things on the Internet.
    The other day, a young girl told me that she had learned five languages, including Russian. I asked her where she had learned Russian. She said that she had learned it on the Internet. She had even learned how to pronounce it. You cannot tell kids that you forbid them to do something. You have to say "suggest", because the moment you forbid children to do something, they will go and do it. But if you make a suggestion, you are engaging them and getting them on your side. Perhaps you are getting somewhere with them.
    I always come back to the identity card I mentioned. I went to congratulate the students after the three months. Well, if this big fifteen-year-old guy did not get up and use an expression that I have not heard for a long time. He said that he was the kind of guy who could easily freak out. He meant that he had a terrible attitude and got angry for any little reason. He went on to say that, thanks to some people, whom he mentioned by name, he had managed to improve and that he really wanted to thank them. Some girls were so surprised that they went over to give him a kiss. It was not staged, it had not been prepared. But the improvement had still been recognized in an official way.

[English]

    Thank you.
    That was a short and long question.
    Mr. Abbott, please.
    Mr. Caron, I want to congratulate you. I'm sure there are some other things that might be of interest to you at 82 years of age. I really commend you for your commitment to this.
     I also commend the people you represent. I think bringing this forward to Parliament is exactly the right thing to be doing. I note the number of organizations you represent.
    The objective of this committee, however, is to determine if this bill will achieve its objective. I'd like to say, certainly on behalf of the government, that the government and the government members here share your concern, but that isn't the issue. The issue is whether this particular bill will actually achieve the objective that you're out to achieve.
    In order to help us come to that conclusion, since you named off a few facts, I would like our researchers to know what those sources were. You said 80% of violence is before 9 p.m. The second thing you said, amongst many others, is that thousands of studies show cause and effect.
    Can you help our researchers with the background for those two assertions that you've made?

  (1610)  

[Translation]

    Sir, these results have been published in newspapers. At any time, you can read in the papers that...I read an enormous amount, all the papers, and I discovered, for example, because I just wanted you to...For sure, the figures that I have given you have been published in newspapers all over the world. For example, I read a few days ago that Belgium was going to spend six million Canadian dollars—they gave the figure in euros as well—to combat violence in the media.
    The day before yesterday, there was an article in the paper that said that no private Canadian network was immune to the violence in American films. I did not make that up, it was in the papers. If I had anticipated your kind question, I would have brought newspaper clippings and I would have been able to show you. I did not expect to have to prove things that have already been said or reports that have already been written. I have followed your discussions and I think that those reports have already been mentioned. Their authenticity is no figment of my imagination.

[English]

    Okay. Well, if you can help us by getting any of this background to our researchers, that would be very helpful.
    There's a bit of a problem that we're running into in terms of technology now, and that is with satellite--Bell ExpressVu and Star Choice--and the other part of the cable programming. I happen to live a two-hour time zone from Ottawa. In fact, most of the province I come from is three hours' time difference from Ottawa. It's four hours' time difference from Halifax and four and a half hours from St. John's.
    With that, children in British Columbia can easily go onto their satellite or their cable, and if we shut down the violent programming that we're aiming at here in Halifax at 9 p.m., that becomes 5 p.m. in Vancouver. Do you have any suggestions for how we would get around this time shifting? Obviously, the children have access to this kind of violent programming at a time that's four to four and a half hours different from the other side of our great country.

[Translation]

    That is when you realize how big our country is. It is clearly a problem. I do not claim to be an expert who is able to solve these problems. I am, like the government and a number of other people, a little out of my depth there. Nevertheless, I thought that if we were to encourage a change in behaviour, whatever time it is in Vancouver and Halifax, our children would perhaps be able to live in a better world and have a better future.
    The question that you sprung on me is clearly an excellent one. I would like to be able to answer it, but I do not see how I could do so.

  (1615)  

[English]

     Make it very short, Mr. Abbott.
    Okay.
    In trying to hit this target of violence on television, you also mentioned video games, Internet, obviously DVDs, and other things that children can bring home. If this hits the television, and if we just apply the number of 20%, say, just for the sake of having this discussion, in terms of what the children would be subjected to--other than video games, the Internet, DVDs, and other forms of entertainment--do you think it would be worthwhile going ahead with this legislation when it has the outside potential of possibly hitting about 20% of the problem?

[Translation]

    If we cannot control the liberties that broadcasters take, how do we imagine that, one day, we will be able to control the abuse that is happening on the Internet, like the fraudsters and pedophiles who are running wild on an international scale?
    When I was young, I would never have thought that, one day, someone could provoke a real fight between some young people, capture it on a cellphone, post it on the Internet and then brag about having done so. Perhaps you may say that these are strong words, but I think that the advent of all these technologies has made our society sick and deranged.
    We could start by focusing on what broadcasters are showing to our young people, by making sure that the regulations are observed and that they are clear, not just for legislators, but for the public in general.

[English]

    Thank you.
    Thank you for that. This round has gone very quickly.
    I thank you very much for your testimony here today and for coming before the committee. It's quite an amazing day when we have one of our oldest witnesses before our committee on the same day we have probably some of our youngest witnesses.
    Again, thank you very much, sir, for your presentation.
    Right now we are going to take a short recess.

    


    

  (1625)  

    I'm going to call on everyone to please take your seats if you can.
    I'd like to welcome our young witnesses. You don't have to be nervous today. I'm a grandpa, so you don't have to worry about me. I have grandchildren not quite as old as some of the oldest here, but as old as some of the younger.
    I would like to welcome all the young witnesses who have joined us today. I will start our session by sharing a few things with you to help inform our discussion.
    As you may already know, the committee has been looking at Bill C-327, which proposes new regulations to limit the amount of violent content available on television.
    We are here today to learn from you, since you know best what you like to watch and why. Many of our meetings so far have focused on young people and the extent to which television programming made for young people needs to have greater oversight. We have also heard that youth are watching more and more violent content on the Internet, on websites such as YouTube. Because of this, it has been suggested that it is more important that young people learn for themselves how to make good choices about what they watch rather than having us attempt to determine the choices for you.
    We have invited you here today because we want to learn directly from you about your experiences and your understanding of the programming that you like to watch. We would like to hear what you think about the need for rules to protect you from unsuitable content, particularly that which contains violence. We would also like to hear from you about the people who have helped you to make choices about the programs you watch.
    Our hope today is for a productive and informative conversation among us all.
    Thank you very much for coming today.
    One thing I'd just like to let you know is that at 5:15 we are going to have bells because there's a vote at 5:30, but don't let the bells bother you; we'll carry on. We hope to carry on very close to 5:30 because we only have to go down the hall, and we want to make the most of your presence here with us today.
    One thing I am going to ask is that as we go around with our questions, I would ask the witnesses--you young people here today--to put your hand up, just like in school, if you have an answer, and I'll try to get to you. Try to keep your answers as short as you can. I'm going to ask the people around the table to keep the questions as concise as we can.
    First of all, I'll ask you to introduce yourselves. Just say who you are and your age if you could, please.

[Translation]

    My name is Noémie Fiset-Tremblay and I am 13 years old.

[English]

    Thank you.
     Myriam Bernard, and I'm--
    You can stay seated; it's okay.
    I'm Myriam Bernard and I'm 12 years old.
    I'm Max Bernard and I'm 10.
    I'm Jordan Ruby and I'm 11.
     I'm Jacqueline Sékula and I'm 15.
    I'm Patrick Sékula and I'm 13.
     I'm Victoria Hurrell and I'm 15.
    Thank you very much for that.
    We'll go straight to the questions and we'll start off with Mr. Bélanger. It was his idea that we ask you folks here today. Please go ahead, Mr. Bélanger.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thanks to the committee members for accepting the suggestion.

  (1630)  

[Translation]

    Thank you to Maxime, Myriam, Jordan, Victoria, Jacqueline, Patrick and Noémie for being here today. Thank you also to their parents for agreeing to be part of this exercise.

[English]

    You can speak English or French and you can follow here.

[Translation]

    We have to study a bill that asks for less violence on television before 9:00 p.m. After 9:00 p.m., no one sees any problem. We have heard from teachers, from parents and from people that make television programs, and we thought that it would also be interesting to hear from you.

[English]

     What I want to know is, what are your habits? I've talked to one of you.

[Translation]

    I spoke to Patrick. He told me—and I hope this is not going to get you into trouble with your father—that he watches Trailer Park Boys that airs after 9:00 p.m.
    Patrick, can you tell us how you watch Trailer Park Boys?
    You go onto the TV station's web site and you can see programs that they have broadcast, any time, on the Internet.
    On your computer?
    Yes.
    When do you do that?
    Any time.
    On what site?
    It is showcase.ca.
    So, you go on the showcase.ca site and you can look for the shows you want.
    Yes.
    Are you limited in what you can watch?
    No.
    OK.
    What do you watch most, television, television on the computer or shows or sites like YouTube?

[English]

    What do you watch the most?
    Most of the shows I watch, I watch on the computer, because I watch mostly MTV. A lot of the shows, they play once a day, so I can just go and get them on mtv.ca whenever I want, pretty much.

[Translation]

    What about you guys?

[English]

    I watch most of the TV shows on the actual television. I don't use the computer, just because my computer runs pretty slowly. The computer doesn't work as well as the TV.
    You should talk to Santa.
    Does anyone else wish to respond?
    Noémie.

[Translation]

    I mostly watch TV. I do not really go on the computer.
    Do your parents supervise what you are watching on television?

[English]

    Not to get my parents in trouble or anything, but not really. I can pretty much watch whatever I want.

[Translation]

    How about the rest of you?

[English]

    Jordan, what do you watch?
    I watch the TV.
    When?
    Before school, sometimes at the sports centre, and then after school.
    Let me switch gears quickly, Mr. Chairman.
    Do you play games either on PlayStation or on the computer, and what kinds of games? Are they violent games or non-violent games?
    Maxime.
    I play on PS2, PlayStation 2, and I play Desert Storm. I play a war game.
    A war game. So there's lots of killing. Are your parents okay with that?
    Yes. There's no blood.
    No blood, okay.
    Jordan.
    I play Xbox and PS2. Sometimes I play Halo and Call of Duty, and stuff.

[Translation]

    Patrick has his hand up.

[English]

    I play games on the computer. I have a PS3 and a PS2. I usually play violent games, because I think there's more of a variety of violent games than the rest of the kinds of games, so usually they're the best.
    Victoria.
    I don't play any video games. I don't have a video game box at my house. I usually just play computer games online that aren't really violent at all.
    Thank you.

[Translation]

    The games I play are Guitar Hero and Dance Dance. They are not really violent.

[English]

    That's it for my time?
    Merci, monsieur le président.
    Thank you.
    Ms. Mourani.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Hi, guys. Thank you for coming. I am going to talk to you in French, but you can answer me in English; it is no problem at all.
    Patrick, Victoria, Jacqueline and Noémie, you said that you watch movies or play violent games, but that your parents do not really supervise what you are doing. Patrick, you go on the Internet to watch shows that are on television after 9:00 p.m. Do you think that, because you are older now, you can choose your own television programs, games and so on? You are teenagers, after all.

  (1635)  

    I would say yes. When I was younger, they were more strict, but I am going to be 16 soon. I think that I can decide what I am comfortable watching and what not.
    Thank you.
    My parents do not let me watch everything, but there are limits to what they can do. They do not watch me all the time when I am on the computer, so I can pretty much watch anything.
    Do you think that it was harder to watch what you wanted when you were younger?
    Yes.
    When I was younger, I was not allowed to watch some programs. When I was nine, my mother said that I could not watch The Simpsons and shows like Family Guy
    About how old were you when you started having a bit more freedom in choosing television shows. Were you 12?
    It started when I was 12 or 13.
    I have a question for Myriam, Maxime and Jordan.
    Right now, can you watch anything on television, even after 9:00 p.m? Do your parents supervise what you are watching?

[English]

     We usually go to bed around 9:30, so not really, but we watch some things, but not too

[Translation]

    violent and not meant for adults. We watch shows like The Simpsons and shows for kids. That is about all.
    I am not allowed to watch Family Guy because it is Editorial Note : inaudible]. I go to bed at 9:30 p.m., like my sister.

[English]

    Yes. I can't watch Family Guy or Futurama or stuff like that, because I go to bed at around nine.

[Translation]

    This is a question for everyone. What do you guys think a violent movie or game is? What is violence for you? When does a movie, a cartoon or a game become violent?
    When there is too much blood.
    If there is no blood, it is not violent. Not really.
    Mr. Maxime Bernard: Not too much.
    Mrs. Maria Mourani: How about if a guy gets shot?
    That is getting a bit violent.
    That is getting a bit violent. OK.
    When do you think a game is violent?
    It can be violent even if there is no blood. If a movie gets sad at the same time, I find that it gets more violent. You think about it more. If it is not sad, and they are just killing each other, that does not bother me.
    Can you give me an example of a violent film? What film would you say is too violent and that you should not watch it, even at 16 years old?
    Take The Last Samurai, for example. It is not extremely violent. A lot of movies are more violent than that, but people consider it really violent because it is sad at the same time. When a character dies, you really see the life going out of him.
    You think that that is pretty violent?
    Yes.
    Jacqueline, what would be a violent film for you?
    I do not know. Even though I am almost 16, I still get really scared. As soon as there is blood and stuff like that, I do not watch any more.
    You think that is violent, eh?
    Yes, and I think it is disgusting.
    OK.

[English]

     It's the same as Jacqueline. Usually when there's a really violent scene or something in a movie, I'll just look away and not really watch it. I find it kind of disturbing when there is a lot of blood and gore, like, for example, in the Saw movies. I haven't seen any of them, because they are too scary for me, and I really don't like the blood and gore. I think they're too violent.
    Thank you.

  (1640)  

    Okay. Thank you.
    We'll go to Mr. Siksay.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    It's funny listening to you talk about the kinds of programs you watch, because I'm still the guy who hides when the flying monkeys take off in The Wizard of Oz. That's about the level of violence I can cope with in my own television watching. It seems to have progressed a little since the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz, which was a program I watched a lot as a young person.
    I wanted to know if any of you had a family meeting to talk about what you should watch on television. Have you ever sat down with your parents or your brothers and sisters and talked about what's good to watch on television, what's not, and why you might watch some things and not watch other things?
    I have never really had that discussion with my parents. Maybe once or twice my mom or my dad has walked in and asked, “What on earth are you watching?” But I've never really been told, “No, you're not allowed to watch this show”, or that kind of thing.
    Has anybody else had...?
    Victoria.
    It's the same sort of thing. I've never had an actual formal discussion, but if I'm watching something on TV or am about to put a movie in, my mom will ask what the rating is or what kind of content is in it. Then she might say no or yes to it, depending on what movie it is.
    Myriam.
    It's the same thing with me. I'm not allowed to watch movies with too much violence or blood. I wanted to go to see the new Johnny Depp movie and I wasn't allowed to watch it because it was too bloody.
    Sometimes when we're going to rent a movie, my parents will ask me first what we're renting. We can tell them, and then they'll say, “What's it about?”
    Yes, Patrick.
    I've never had a formal discussion or anything like that, but if we're going to rent a movie and it's rated 18 and higher, sometimes on the back it says why. Sometimes, if my mom were in, she'd prefer I wouldn't watch it. But if it's just for violence or coarse language or something, she won't mind as much as if there's other content that's inappropriate.
    So your parents actually look at the rating classifications on some movies or TV programs? That's something you've seen them refer to or that they have asked you about when they see you watching something?
    Not really that much; it's just usually when I'm with my mom, and if she's renting a movie and wants to watch it with me, then she'll check it. But if it's just me and my friends, she doesn't really mind.
    Victoria.
    My mom definitely checks the rating on the back of the movies. For example, a couple of weekends ago I wanted to watch a movie with my friend, and she was like, “Oh, what's it rated at?” I said, “I think it might be 14A or rated R”, and she said, “I don't want you watching that”, so I wasn't allowed to have my friend over.
    Have any of you had a discussion about violence on television, for instance, at school as part of a classroom discussion? Have you ever had that kind of conversation or done any work about the kinds of programs that are on television and how you might think about their content or what they're about? Have you ever had that as part of your classroom discussion?
    Myriam.
    No, we only talk about violence in real life, such as bullies and stuff.
    None of you has had that kind of experience?
    Victoria.
    Well, I go to a Catholic school, so we have to take a mandatory religion class. Part of it is all about culture. We had a class discussion about violence on TV and in movies and whether it affects youth culture. We discussed whether or not we think violence on TV will make teenagers more violent in real life.
    What did your classmates think of that type of argument?
    Most of them thought it didn't really have an effect, but if there was too much of watching violence and stuff, people might get more ideas of how to become violent or might just become immune to the violence and not really notice it as much.
    Do folks think that TV is more violent than video games, or than the Internet? If you had to compare those three—the Internet and video games and television—which do you think is the most violent?
    I've watched my little brother play some video games with some of my friends. I know that a lot of those can be really violent. But I'd say that on TV I've never really seen that much violence. In movies I've seen a lot also, but not so much on TV, or on the Internet either.

[Translation]

    I think that video games are more violent too. They are all about war. On television, a lot of people like other kinds. I think video games are more violent than television.

  (1645)  

[English]

    Compared with what I watch on TV—on TV I don't really watch violence in movies—a lot of times, I'll say, it's mostly video games that have a lot of violence. They're mostly about war. Even if they're fictional, they'll have violence too.
    Patrick.
    I think video games or the Internet. There are a lot of violent video games, but you might not have access to them because you have to pay for it. But with the Internet you can go whenever you want.
    I don't think as much on TV, because there aren't that many channels that play violent stuff. Also, on some channels they play violent movies or something, but if there are parts that are too violent, they'll take them out.
    Do any of your families have the blocking thing on the TV that stops you from watching programs that aren't rated for children, or anything like that? Or have you even heard about that?
    I see some of you don't appear to have seen it, but....
    Jordan, does your family use that thing on the TV?
     No, but I've heard about it on shows and stuff like that.
    Victoria.
     My TV is capable of doing it, but we don't have it on. You can turn it off and on, and we don't have it on. We just decide whether we want to watch something, depending on whether it's too violent or not.
    Thank you for those great questions and answers.
    Mr. Chong, please.
    My name is Michael. Just to give you a bit of background, I live on a farm just outside of Toronto. Believe it or not, we can't get cable or high-speed Internet access, so if any of you don't have high-speed Internet access you shouldn't be embarrassed either, because we can't get it. And we've chosen not to get satellite TV, so we have what my wife calls “cow cable”, which is a big stickly antennae sticking up the side of the house.
    I wanted to ask you all whether or not you have high-speed Internet access at home.
    Maybe we could just start with Victoria and continue.
     Yes, I do have high-speed Internet access.
    I have high-speed Internet access.
    High-speed, yes.
    High-speed, yes.
    It's kind of slow.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    I'm his sister, so it's the same thing.

[Translation]

    I have high speed too.

[English]

     I think increasingly most people in Canada have access to high-speed Internet.
    My other question is, do any of you have a computer in your bedroom? If anybody does, maybe just raise your hand and answer the question that way.
     I see that three of you have computers in your bedroom, which I'm assuming are yours to use, and all of you have high-speed Internet access.
    Do all of you have cable or satellite? Because you have high-speed Internet access, I'm assuming that you probably also have cable and satellite in your home.
    Does anybody here not have cable or satellite in your home?
    I don't have it at my mom's, but I do have it at my dad's.
    Okay. I see.
    Yes, Jordan.
    I have cable, like channel 48 and all of those channels, but I don't have satellite.
    But you have cable, though? Interesting.
    We have cable too, but we don't have high-speed Internet.
     Oh, so you have regular dial-up Internet. So you're more advanced than we are, because we don't even have that.
    The other question I have for all of you is what do you spend more hours per week in front of, the computer or the television set?
    It's definitely the computer. I talk a lot on MSN and go on Facebook, and stuff like that, and I probably only watch a couple of hours of television, mostly movies.
    Interesting.
    Thank you.
    The computer by far.
    I prefer the computer, because I can talk to my friends and watch TV at the same time.
    I watch more TV.
    It's TV, because we have a rule for our computer that it's just for an hour. So it's TV.
    For me, I don't bother going on the computer; I prefer watching television.

[Translation]

    I watch television more because we cannot use the computer during the week unless it is for homework.

[English]

    Okay. Merci.
    Those are all the questions I have, Mr. Chair.
    It's very interesting to know that most people have high-speed Internet access, and half of them spend more time in front of the computer than they do in front of the television.

  (1650)  

    Okay.
    There are a couple of minutes left.
    Mr. Abbott.
    I just have a quick question, particularly for those who watch more television. Give me a percentage for the things you would watch live, for things you would record, or things you would use the television as a theatre for, where you would be bringing home a DVD or VHS. How much live television do you watch, as a percentage?
    By live, do you mean shows, like normal shows?
    Yes. I'm an old guy, so I have an old VHS at home and I record programs and watch what I want to watch later. That's the kind of thing I'm thinking of, the difference between watching it live and watching it taped.
    On a normal day, it's mostly or 100% live. I just watch shows; I don't record anything.
    Jordan.
    I don't record anything.
    You don't record anything.

[Translation]

    It is really rare for me to record anything. I watch almost everything live.

[English]

    Can we make a difference between watching TV when you're watching something that is a DVD or a VHS tape and watching something that's coming across to you on the television live? Do you watch many tapes or DVDs?
    Go ahead.
    I watch a lot of DVDs. I don't really watch a whole lot of normal live TV, but I definitely watch a lot of DVDs. I have a big DVD collection.
    Thank you.
    Jordan.
    I like lots of movies on VHS, but I don't really watch them. I watch some DVDs and lots of TV.
    Myriam.
    I watch movies sometimes on the weekend or when we have a day off school, but I mostly watch TV because my favourite shows are on.
    Okay.

[Translation]

    For me, it varies. I like watching movies and television. I watch both.

[English]

    The only time I really watch a DVD is when I'm hanging out with friends or whatever. On weekends or just on normal weekdays or weeknights, I won't really watch a movie or anything.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.
    Ms. Fry, please.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
    Before I begin, I would like to move that we all donate to a satellite dish for Michael.
    Voices: Oh, oh!
    Hon. Hedy Fry: I want to thank you so much for coming, because I think you can give us a perspective and a look at television from a very different point of view, and that is your own point of view.
    Can I ask you a couple of questions?
    Do any of you have limits? Do your parents say you can only watch x hours of T. on a school night and x hours of TV on a weekend?
    Patrick.
    We don't have exactly a precise time, but if they see I'm doing too much of it, then they'll suggest I do something else.
    Do any of you--Maxime, Jordan--have any limits on how much TV you can watch?
    Myriam.
    We're pretty much like Patrick. We watch a lot of TV, but I wouldn't say too much. I don't know--maybe ask my parents. We watch a bit after school, at supper, and then a bit after, and then we go to bed.
    You said that most of you who have computers have them in your room. Do any of you have a television in your room? Put up your hands. Patrick and Maxime.
    Does that mean then that you can watch television in your room and no one knows how much or what you are watching, or is there some kind of thing that your parents do to keep an eye on you?
    Yes, Maxime.
    For me, on my TV, I can't watch any shows. It's just for my PlayStation 2.
    Patrick.
    My parents rarely come in my room.
    I think at 15 that's pretty reasonable.

  (1655)  

    I'm 13.
    I wanted to ask you a couple of questions. I know it sounds like a silly question, but it's an important one. Do you watch the news? Yes, good.
    Go ahead.
    I do a bit because my dad watches it a lot, but when he's watching it sometimes I rarely watch it. It's hard to admit, but I kind of like it a bit sometimes, because I just like to know what's going on around the world.
    Noémie.

[Translation]

    Me too. I like knowing what is going on, but I do not make a point of watching the television news at a certain time. If I am watching television and the news is on, I will watch it for a bit.

[English]

    Maxime.
    I watch question period.
    Voices: Oh, oh!
    For those of you who watch the news--and I'm going to ask Maxime this first--do you find question period too violent?
    What I want to know is, when you watch the news and you see violence in the news--there's a war somewhere, and you see people being killed, or you see things happening--and then you watch a movie that has violence in it, if it's a war movie, are you able to tell the difference between what goes on in the news and what goes on in the movie? Do you think they are the same? Do you think they are specifically different? Do you think one is fantasy and one is real?
    Jordan.
     I like the news violence because it's, like, real and it's interesting.
    Myriam, would you comment?
    On the news it's more like war violence that I see. I see mostly wars like in Afghanistan or other places. If I watch movies and it's violence, it's probably mostly monster-killing--an old Narnia or something like that--but it doesn't seem the same; it's more ironic.
    Patrick, do you want to say something?
    I changed my mind.
    You've changed your mind.
    You know why we're asking you these questions. We're asking you these questions because it is suggested that there's too much violence on television, and that in fact there shouldn't be so much violence.
    What I want to know is if you, from the youngest of you to the oldest of you, are capable of understanding the difference between violence in reality on the news and violence in a film. If so, do you think there is too much violence? If you think so, what do you think we should do about it? Why don't I ask everyone to give me a quick answer on it?
    Would you comment, Victoria?
    I think there might be a little too much violence, but there's also stuff out there that's not violent, such as other movies and other shows that have nothing to do with violence. I think if you wanted to solve the problem of violence on TV, you would just put more of those warnings, like “viewer discretion is advised” warnings, and let people continue to make their own choices when they watch TV.
    What do you think, Patrick?
    I think there is a certain amount of violence on TV, but I don't think taking it off or moving it would change it a lot, because there are so many other places that you're exposed to violence.
    I think it should mainly be up to the parents to control it for the younger children. When you're a little bit older, you can decide what you want to watch yourself. Even in my own case there is some stuff that I'll be watching that makes me think, “This is awful. I don't want to watch this.”
    I think there's too much violence on TV, yes, and I have no idea what they should do about it.
    I have to admit there is violence on TV movies, but if they take it off, they will make the movie boring.
    I think that sometimes there might be too much violence.
    When I'm watching TV, I don't watch so much violence. As I said, I mostly watch my favourite shows, but when I'm watching, I think there's a lot of violence in most of them. Some of them are just comedies, so I can watch those.
    So you don't think somebody should control.... Do you think it's fine as it is now? You don't think there should be more control?

  (1700)  

    I think there's too much, but I don't know really, because I don't watch a lot. I watch a lot of TV, but not on adult channels, and then movies--I don't watch a lot of movies.

[Translation]

    I think that there is too much violence too, except sometimes there is lesson about life in the violence. But sometimes, it is too much, just violence for the sake of violence. But you should leave some because it teaches kids about life and the things they should do and not do.

[English]

    Thank you.
    You answered my questions very well. Thank you very much.
    I gave you a little extra time because that's a very excellent question, and we had great answers again from our witnesses.
    I just wanted to thank them, Mr. Chair, because I think they were very honest in their answers.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.
    Go ahead, Mr. Malo.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Hello, and thank you for coming to be with us today.
    Has this ever happened to you? After watching a television show late at night and it is time to go to your room and go to sleep, have you ever checked your closet, or looked under your bed, or left a light on because what you were watching made you think about what could happen in your house?
    When I was a bit younger, I did. I always had to look under my bed or jump to get onto it because otherwise I could not fall asleep.
    What had you been watching?
    I do not remember any more. It was something about children being kidnapped. I was really scared about what could happen in the house. Now I can get to sleep, though I still get a little bit scared.

[English]

     When I was younger, if I watched a scary movie I would, like, jump over to my bed. I wouldn't dare look, just in case. But now I only get scared during the movie. Like, I still remember the movie, but it's while I'm upstairs in bed, so....

[Translation]

    How about you, Maxime?
    I always look under my bed because I do not want to take any chances.

[English]

    When I was younger--four years old, I guess--I wouldn't go downstairs alone or anything. I would have to, like, jump away from my bed.

[Translation]

    I do not know if you know this show, but when I was younger, I watched Goosebumps. One of the characters was called Chucky who was a china doll. Since then, I cannot sleep in a room with china dolls. I have a friend who has a lot of them, and when I go over to her house, I just cannot...
    You are scarred for life.
    It does not happen to me often because I do not watch a lot of scary movies because I get frightened. I only watch them with my friends, just to look cool.

[English]

    I remember when I watched CSI for the first time. It was some episode that I don't remember now. When I was done watching, I went upstairs to go to bed and I was really freaked out. I kind of looked around the corners really fast and stuff, to see if anybody was there. It seems so real when it's on TV.
    But then I brushed my teeth, got in bed, and just kept telling myself that it wasn't real, that it was just on TV, stuff like that. Then I fell asleep.

[Translation]

    Mr. Chair. I would like to go round the table once last time. I would like to know what your favourite television show is, and why.
    You can start, Noémie.
    I like Les Frères Scott, which is One Tree Hill in English. I do not know why I like it. It is about older kids and I just like that.

[English]

    I don't really have a favourite show, but in general I mostly like comedy. I can give you the example of Hannah Montana or something like that. Those shows make me laugh, so I just watch them.

  (1705)  

[Translation]

    My favourite shows are The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and The Simpsons, because they are comedies. I like them because they are funny.

[English]

    I don't really have a favourite show. I just watch whatever is on. I sometimes watch The Ultimate Fighter and stuff.
     My favourite show would have to be The OC. It's funny but there's a whole lot of drama in it too. It's just a bunch of really rich people, so I get to look at all the nice cars and everything.

[Translation]

    For me, it changes a lot. At the moment, it is Trailer Park Boys. I think that it is good and it is funny. It is realistic too and you can watch it any time.

[English]

    My favourite show on TV right now is Grey's Anatomy. It's been off because of the writers' strike or something, but I like it because it's drama and stuff. I also watch a couple of comedies on Monday night.
    My favourite show ever is Friends, but it doesn't play regularly any more.

[Translation]

    I have a question about that. Do you think that Grey's Anatomy is a violent show because you get to see operations?

[English]

    It can be a little graphic sometimes, with the intestines or whatever they're showing, but usually they don't actually show the surgeries or the bodies head-on. They just show you the people doing the surgeries. So it's not that violent or gory.

[Translation]

    Thank you very much for appearing.

[English]

     Thank you very much.
    Mr. Fast.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you to each one of you for coming today and sharing with us how you feel about violence and violence on television. It would also be interesting to hear what your parents have to say, because some of them are in attendance. I'd love to hear their perspective on TV violence.
    The reason you're here is because there is a law before us right now that we're considering, which would give government new powers to keep you from watching certain violent programs before 9 o'clock. There are some people who believe there is still too much violence in the time period before 9 o'clock.
    My question to each one of you—and maybe you could answer just yes or no—is, do you feel that there are programs that should be removed from the viewing slot before 9 p.m., or are you comfortable already with the kinds of restrictions and the kinds of programs shown during that time period?
    Perhaps we could start with Noémie.

[Translation]

    It is OK like it is because anyway, anyone can record a show even though it is not on at a time when you are allowed to watch. Even if the time when it is on changes, you can always record it. So you can watch it anyway. But if people do not like it because it is too violent, it can be replaced by shows that are better for their age, and that would be good.

[English]

    Thank you.
    Myriam.
     I can't think of any shows now, but I think some shows are too bad. So, yes.
    I don't really know, because I don't know if I have seen a violent show. I don't remember.
    All right.
    Jordan.
    I don't really know what the question was.
    I just want to know, are there any shows before 9 o'clock that you think are too violent for you to watch?
    I don't know any of them.
    Jacqueline.
     In my opinion, it's okay as it is. Most of the shows that I would say should be played after 9 o'clock mostly are already played after 9 o'clock.
    Patrick.
    I'm not really sure. I don't watch TV before 9 o'clock, because it's kind of boring.
    You said it's kind of boring.
     Victoria.
     I think it's fine as it is. As Jacqueline said, most of the shows that are violent are played after 9 o'clock.
    I'd like another one-word answer, if I could, to this question: do you think parents should be the ones who tell you what to watch on television, or should it be the government?

[Translation]

    I do not think so. Parents can always say something, but maybe not going as far as to tell us what we can watch. I think that we should always sort of be able to watch what we like.

  (1710)  

[English]

    Myriam.
     I think parents should too, because some of their kids might be more mature than others. So maybe some can be allowed, because their parents are not too strict and they let them watch some things.
    Maxime.
    I think it's our parents who should say what we should watch, because they know what we like, and they wouldn't say, at a show you like, “Oh, no, that's too bad for you” and make us change channels.
    Jordan.
    I think our parents should be able to say what we watch, because the government wouldn't know what we want to watch and they would block channels and stuff.
    Like UFC?
    Yes.
    Jacqueline.
     I'd have to agree with what Myriam said. I think it should be the parents who control it, because different children have different levels of maturity, and what might be appropriate for some 13-year-olds might not be appropriate for others. So I think the parents should be able to decide that.
    Thank you.
    Patrick.
    I agree with Jacqueline.
    Victoria.
     I think the parents should be able to decide.
    I have one final question. This question has been put to some of you before, but I'd like an answer from all of you.
    How many of you believe the violence you view on television makes you more violent in real life?
    We'll start with Noémie.

[Translation]

    I do not think that it makes me more violent because I am not really a violent person anyway.

[English]

     For me, it depends on the violence. I wouldn't see something really bad, but if it is just hitting lightly but not beating up, I don't think it really changes for me, because I'm not violent.
    Maybe I could just clarify the question.
    Are you more violent because of what you're watching on television?
    No.
    Not really, because my friends and I usually just play fight. We don't punch each other or stuff like that.
    I'm glad to hear that.
    Jordan.
    It would affect little kids.
    Do you think you, yourself, are more violent because of the shows you watch? Do you ever see violence?
    No.
    Jacqueline.
    I don't think, personally, that I'm more violent because of it, and I don't think it could make a person more violent. But it could change what you think is acceptable. If you see people hitting each other all the time on TV, you might think it is not that uncommon.
    Personally, I don't think it will make me more violent directly, but it already gave me some pretty dumb ideas that didn't work out too well.
    No, I don't think it makes me more violent. It's the same sort of thing as what Jacqueline said.
    Thank you. Thank you to all of you.
    Thank you.
    We still have a little bit of time.
    A voice: We were told that you had questions.
    The Chair: Grandpa should ask a question.
    Do you know what grandpa got for Christmas? He got PlayStation 2. Do you know what he plays? He plays golf with grandma, and grandma has been practising more than grandpa and she beats him.
    I must say that I watch my children--they're mothers and fathers--with our grandkids. They are a little bit restrictive in what they can watch and when they can watch it.
     I am very pleased that we have been able to have you here today. I do understand where you are and where parents have a place in our families. I applaud your parents for their tenacity and for the way they have brought you all up. You've been tremendous witnesses here today.
    I must thank Mr. Bélanger. This is his last meeting at Heritage. He's going to take a little hiatus from this committee, but I thank him very much for the suggestion.
    I thank you very much, and your parents, for allowing you to come today to be such great witnesses. You have been very honest with this committee.
     Thank you again.
    As the chair, I invite you to have some cookies or juice or whatever. Please enjoy.
    We are going to slide down the hall and have a vote here as we go forward.
    Thanks again. You've been great people to be in front of our committee today.
    [Applause]
    The Chair: The meeting is adjourned.