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Coat of Arms

Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage


NUMBER 135 
l
1st SESSION 
l
42nd PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1100)  

[Translation]

    We will begin the 135th meeting of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. Today we are continuing our study of remuneration models for artists in creative industries.

[English]

    Welcome, everyone.
     As witnesses today, we have with us Professor Ariel Katz from the University of Toronto, and from the House of Anansi Press we have Matt Williams and author Monia Mazigh.
    Thank you all for being here. We will start with Professor Katz, please.
    My name is Ariel Katz. I'm a law professor at the University of Toronto, where I hold the innovation chair in electronic commerce. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to appear before you today.
    In my comments, I would like to focus on some of the ways in which copyright contributes to or perhaps detracts from the ability of artists and creators to be remunerated for their works.
    The idea that copyright is necessary for allowing creators to reap financial rewards from their creations runs deep in our current legal thinking and policy-making since copyright arrived on the scene some 310 years ago. Since the first copyright act, the Statute of Anne in 1709, almost every major copyright reform was based on the notion and promise that copyright will guarantee authors the ability to be remunerated for their works.
    For 300 years, the benefit to authors has been the banner that publishers and producers have carried in their demands for ever-increasing powers to legally control creative works. Beloved authors and creators would appear before legislators, describe their economic hardship and support the publishers' demands for more rights and stronger tools to enforce them.
    This strategy has been enormously successful over the last 300 years. It even accelerated in the last decades. As a result, copyright has expanded in almost every direction. The subject matter has expanded, the term of copyright has been extended and the geographical reach of copyright has been extended. The type of activity that could constitute infringement has increased, and so have the enforcement tools and remedies available.
    However, the vast majority of artists and creators seem to be earning very little from their creations. Last Saturday, for example, Michael Enright, on CBC, cited a recent survey by the Writers' Union that found that the average Canadian writer makes only about $9,000 a year, and the incomes are falling fast. Once again, not-strong-enough copyright is to blame, and “make copyright great again” seems to be the proposed remedy.
    After 300 years of asking, “Are we there yet?” and finding that we aren't, maybe it's time to reflect back and acknowledge that the weakness of copyright may not necessarily be the problem and that stronger copyright may not be the solution. In fact, we should even start thinking whether the ever-expansion of copyright is part of the problem. That's counterintuitive, but that might be the case.
    Don't get me wrong: Copyright is a very effective legal tool for collecting grants from the use of creative works. The stronger, broader and longer copyright becomes, the more effective is the ability to extract even more rents from the users of creative works. Indeed, copyright does make some corporations—or their shareholders or senior executives—and a relatively few superstar artists very rich. That's why they lobby so hard to protect and enhance it. That's why they have the ability to out-lobby almost everyone else in this legislative process.
    If our goal is not to further enrich the rich but to ensure adequate remuneration for the average creator, then maybe it's time to acknowledge that a strategy of more copyright has been a spectacular failure.
    I note in brackets that from an economic perspective, it's better to think about the marginal creator, not the average creator. It's not that the person is marginal or that the work is unimportant; I mean a person for whom a change would make a difference. If we make a policy change, how would it affect someone that we want to be affected at the margin? Hence, I say “marginal”. I just wanted to clarify that.
    If copyright has not been successful in its stated purpose, why? One possible answer is that we are simply not there yet and that copyright is still not strong enough. We have to continuously strengthen it and eventually we'll get there. In some abstract, theoretical way, this is a plausible answer, but I don't think it's very likely that this is the correct one.
    Consider, for example, the recent findings from the Writers' Union survey. Access Copyright and the Writers' Union cite these or similar numbers to support their demands for, for example, preventing educational institutions from relying on fair dealing or in their efforts to make tariffs that are approved by the Copyright Board mandatory in educational institutions. They could basically impose these on educational institutions, despite the fact the Supreme Court held that such tariffs are not mandatary for the users.

  (1105)  

     Let's assume that our goal is to allow professional writers to make a living off their writing. According to Statistics Canada, the median household income is approximately $70,000 a year. Obviously an income of $9,000, as per the study, is far too low. What would we have to do in terms of copyright if we wanted to quadruple this $9,000 amount to make it half the median income? The writers could earn from copyright not even the median income—just half of the median income. We would need to quadruple the $9,000 figure.
    Suppose we go along with Access Copyright's proposal and we abolish fair dealing for education and make tariffs mandatory for educational institutions and so on. We don't need to spend time doing the exact calculation to figure out that if we want this instrument to significantly increase those authors' earnings from copyright, we would need to impose on educational institutions what is effectively an education tax, which would quickly bankrupt them. If that's our goal, if that's the tool we want to use....
    Moreover, even if doing that was sustainable, using this copyright mechanism would not only improve payment to low-earning authors whom we might care about, but would simultaneously provide a much greater remuneration to the ones who already make quite a lot of money. That's how copyright works. You don't get it according to your income; you get it according to your ownership. Those who own more, earn more, and tend to get even more.
    Here's a simple inconvenient truth: Using copyright to improve the earnings of the average or marginal creators would simultaneously enrich the already rich. Of course, the money would have to come from somewhere. Someone would have to pay for that. It could come from students or taxpayers, or from other expenses that would no longer be available. The money would have to shifted away from other resources. This points to the fact that using copyright to improve the earnings of marginal creators entails a massive transfer of money from the public to the already super-rich, with a tiny portion going to those we might really care about.
    I have tried to explain it briefly. I really encourage you to read chapter 2 from a new book by Professor Glynn Lunney, called Copyright's Excess. He makes the point and explains it much better than I did.
    I know that he would also be happy to appear before you. He is a U.S. law professor. He would be very happy to appear before you to talk about his new book.
    Why has copyright been such a failure for most creators? Why does the great wealth that it creates for some publishers, some producers and some media companies fail to trickle down to creators, even though the creators are the first owners and the supposed beneficiaries of copyright law?
    The answer is that while more copyright increases the ability of those who sell content to extract rents from the paying public, how much of those rents trickle down to authors is not a function of the strength of copyright. Rather, it is a function of the competitive structure of the industry and the relative bargaining power of creators vis-à-vis producers.
    I'm close to finishing.
    Unfortunately, there are some inherent reasons most creators have earned very little from their writings and will likely continue to do so, notwithstanding copyright.
    It's also possible that more copyright could make things even worse. Let me explain very briefly. Let's hope we'll have more time later.
    Even though copyright makes the creator the first owner of the copyright, most creators cannot really commercialize their works in the market. They need to contract with producers or some other types of intermediaries who have the knowledge, capital and ability to take advantage of economies of scale and scope.

  (1110)  

     Therefore, they need to enter those contracts, and those contracts primarily determine their remuneration, which would be a function of their relative bargaining power.
    There are some reasons that are not fully understood by economists. Creative industries tend to be highly concentrated. At the same time, the market of creative talent tends to be highly competitive.
    At the risk of alienating our friends from the Conservative Party, and maybe in the hope of appealing to our friends from the NDP, let me borrow from Karl Marx's concept of a reserve army of labour.
    What we have is a reserve army of creative labourers. There is an abundant supply of creative talent. Creative people like to create and are eager to create, and because the market is so competitive among themselves, but much more concentrated among those with whom they have to contract, creators are inherently in an inferior bargaining position with heavy producers. They are often required to sign away their copyright to the producers and to agree to very exploitative terms with publishers.
    To make things worse, there are information asymmetries.
    I see that I'm—
    Yes. I've let you go a little bit over your time already, so I'm going to ask you to tie that up.
    There isn't much we can do about this inherent supply. We could do something, but I would not advise to do it this way.
    However, there are certain things we could do to reduce the concentration on the producer side. I'd be happy to talk about that more. We could also improve some things in relation to the bargaining power by expanding or improving the models that we have under the status of the artist legislation, both the federal one and the one that exists in Quebec.
    There are some organizations, such as Authors Alliance, of which I am one of the founding members, that spend resources on educating creators about their rights and helping them to negotiate better deals.
    I'll stop here. I'm happy to talk about any of those options.
    Thank you. I look forward to your questions.
    Thank you very much.
    We will now go to the House of Anansi Press. I understand the time will be shared between Matt Williams and Monia Mazigh.
    Good morning, everyone. Thank you for having us here.
    I'm Matt Williams, vice-president at House of Anansi Press/Groundwood Books in Toronto. We are an independent trade publisher, and we publish books for readers of all ages.
     Anansi is now over 50 years old, which is venerable for a Canadian publishing house. Since the beginning, we have been known for publishing new Canadian writers and helping those writers establish, build and sustain their careers. We publish Canadian poetry, short stories, novels, drama and non-fiction, with particular attention to the work of indigenous writers and the work of writers from French Canada, whom we publish in translation. We publish the novelist Monia Mazigh, who is also present here today. As you said, we'll split our allotted time.
    At Anansi and Groundwood, we work with some 500 different authors, illustrators and translators. Author remuneration is central to our thinking and our activities.
     Here's our model. We pay authors royalty advances as a way of financing their new work, and we pay ongoing royalties on sales. We sell our authors' work into many different markets—bookstores, libraries, K to 12, post-secondary, and export. We publish books in multiple formats—print, audio, and digital. On every sale we make, we pay part of the revenue to the author as a royalty.
    Since the 2012 changes to the Copyright Act and the widespread adoption of the self-declared fair dealing guidelines by Canadian educators, we have seen a steady decline in revenue from Canadian educational sources. From 2013 through this year, the drop in revenue has been close to $200,000. That amounts to a drop of around $100,000 in author royalties. Over that same period, our income from educational sources outside of Canada has held steady. There has been no drop in author royalties there.
    We are fully digital. We make and sell e-books and audiobooks. These are discrete digital products, each with a set retail price and a defined marketplace, and we pay royalties to our authors on all those sales. However, selling in digital form into Canadian classrooms is not so much about selling discrete products with price tags: We are licensing parts of books or stand-alone artistic works. We are licensing content.
    Educational institutions used to pay for the use of a poem, a short story or an excerpt from a book through a system of collective licensing, an efficient model to manage payment for use, but that system has now been largely replaced by the educators' fair dealing guidelines, which have effectively removed the payment obligation. Our material is still being taught in classrooms across the country, but the payments have dried up.
    Much of the material that is delivered to students, especially in a post-secondary setting, is in digital form—for example, via scanned excerpts distributed through a university's learning management system. I would like to emphasize strongly that this is just fine with us. We contract with our authors to publish their work widely and to find as many readers for it as we can. Canadian teachers and Canadian students are, to us, highly valued readers. Classroom use of our content for successive years and even generations of Canadian students is our goal.
    The other part of the deal with our authors is an undertaking to earn them royalties and contribute to their livelihood, and that is where developments since 2012 have let us down. The post-2012 demise of the collective licensing model has removed what we might call the “cash register moment” from the Canadian educational licensing market. We no longer have an agreed mechanism whereby use and reuse of material in a form that is convenient in the modern classroom—and I particularly have in mind material in digital form—will generate royalties for those who worked to create it. I think that if we agree that Canadian content has value, then we should stand by a model that allows that value to be realized not only by the users but also by the creators.
    We made three recommendations to this committee as part of our written submission. For time reasons, I will reiterate only the first one. It is that this committee work with the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to clarify fair dealing provisions to help restore our ability to realize a return on the ongoing use of our work. We believe that a return to a system of collective licensing will go a long way towards achieving that end.
    Thank you for your attention.

  (1115)  

    Thank you for inviting me to this committee.
    My name is Monia Mazigh. In a previous life I was a finance professor; today I am a Canadian author. I published my first book in 2008, and I have since published two novels. I write in French, and I consider myself one of the lucky Canadian authors to be published in both French and English. My English publisher is House of Anansi, and I am very grateful to be published by this talented and dedicated Canadian house. Their trust in me and their strong support have been crucial in building and developing my writing career.
    Today I am a full-time writer. I write columns, blogs and books. I have been invited to several salons du livre across Quebec and to many literary festivals, as well as to other book events across Canada. I also participated in salons du livre in Geneva, Switzerland, and in Paris, France. Last summer I spent three months at the Historic Joy Kogawa House as a writer in residence to work on my third novel.
    When I started my writing career, I kept a day job, mainly part time, so I could write while benefiting from the financial security and receiving a paycheque at the end of the month. However, three years ago I took the radical decision to dedicate all my effort to writing. That came with a cost: the loss of my income. Added to this, with the drop of the royalties, even what used to be a cheque for a couple of hundred dollars is now almost non-existent.
    I don't have the absolute certainty to link the drop of my income to the changes in the 2012 Copyright Act and the widespread adoption of the self-declared fair dealing guidelines; nevertheless, I personally think it is very likely related to it.
    Today, if it was not for the grant that I receive from the Council for the Arts, which my author friend refers to as social welfare for the writers, and the cheque from the public lending right program, my income from writing would be a white noise like what we used to describe in finance models: all the factors that cannot be predicted, and mostly negligible.
    I came to writing with a tremendous passion for education. I still believe that books, poems and novels are tools that can help students to complete their education and improve it. When I wrote my first novel, Mirrors and Mirages, about Muslim women in Canada, it had a huge educational component. I corresponded with grade 12 students from a French immersion high school in Vancouver who had been assigned to read my novel and write their French final assignment about it. What a great achievement it is for an author to be read, discussed and reflected on by students. It would be even better if, at the end of the year, that achievement were reflected in some additional royalties paid by the educational institutions to my publisher and thus to me.
    Unfortunately, with these changes in laws, those royalties are being denied to us. Our creative work is being used for free. In the meantime, Canadian authors are seeing holes in their incomes getting bigger and bigger. This should be reversed.
    Canadian writers are ambassadors around the world. In 2017, I joined a delegation of Canadian authors to visit Senegal in West Africa. We went to schools to speak to youth. We had round tables with Senegalese authors. We told them about our creative work, and through it they imagine our country, our people and the colour of our sky, but how can we keep our creative work going if, in counterpart, we don't receive our financial due through royalties?
    History is filled with famous classic authors who died in poverty, despised and abandoned by their societies, but later recognized and adulated for their genius, creativity and artistic merit. Why do we want to perpetuate these human tragedies?
    Creativity is an added value for a country. It is part of our common wealth. It should be cherished, shared and recognized. The Government of Canada should protect the users as well as the creators of such creativity.

  (1120)  

     I strongly support a re-examination of the 2012 Copyright Act so that authors can earn back royalties from their books being used by Canadian educational institutions.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.

[Translation]

    Now we will begin the question and answer period.
    Ms. Dhillon, you have seven minutes.

[English]

    Thank you. I'm going to start with Ms. Mazigh.
    As a fiction and non-fiction writer, can you explain the primary issues affecting both categories of fiction and non-fiction writers, please?
    Can you clarify? What is the difference you mean?
    Yes, what is the primary issue affecting fiction versus non-fiction writers?
    Do you mean in terms of royalties?
    Yes.
    I wrote, as you said, fiction and non-fiction. I find personally that it depends. Some people prefer to read biographies; others are more into novels. I think that when I started writing novels, it opened other sorts of readership to me, and this also developed into more visits to festivals. I think non-fiction is sometimes restricted to personal stories.
    In turn, that should have been more beneficial for me in terms of royalties. Unfortunately, I don't think that.... With these changes, our cheques are very small and our benefits are diminishing.

  (1125)  

    Perfect.
    My next question is for Mr. Williams.
    We've had testimony in previous panels that Canadian publishers are taking fewer risks in terms of titles. Has Anansi Press faced a similar challenge?
    I would hazard that it's not to the same extent as some educational publishers who might have come to speak with you. We are a general trade publisher. We're present in many different markets. We're not heavily present in the educational market. Our exposure financially is less than it would be if we were a specialized educational publisher.
    That's not to say that the effects are not present. Certainly, from the point of view of the authors that we publish, this touches pretty much all of them. Because we don't publish specialized textbooks, let's say, we don't see the higher numbers of loss.
    I can certainly say that for authors whose work is in use in the schools at any level, the effects have been present for them, either with reduced income through the Access Copyright income or through direct permissions that we used to grant into the educator, into the system, when a school would check with us directly for permission to reproduce material. Those have dwindled.
    Okay.
    My next question is for all three of you. We can start with Mr. Katz.
    From the artist and creator perspective, what changes do you recommend to improve your remuneration models, and do you have any jurisdictions in mind that are doing a good job of at least helping artists to have fair remuneration?
    Let's start with you.
     As I said, I think we have to be very modest in our belief that copyright is the tool to ensure adequate remuneration for artists. We have tried it for 300 years. We keep trying again and again, and still we're not there yet. When you start thinking about it systematically, maybe there are reasons we are not there yet and reasons that copyright makes things even worse for the creators while benefiting other sides of the industry.
    There is no silver bullet here. There are certain things. Part of it for creators is that when industry is more competitive and publishers have to compete in order to attract authors, they tend to pay more for authors. When the industry on the publisher or producer side is less competitive, they have much more market power vis-à-vis the authors. We have seen a huge increase in concentration in a lot of creative industries to a really high level. That's something that, again, if you're serious about that, we might be able to do.
    There's also a great book by economist Joel Waldfogel that just came out. He's an economist from Minnesota. He describes how we actually are experiencing a golden age of creativity. There is much more production going on all across all areas of creative output. We are seeing more work and better work. In his explanation, that's first the result of how digitization reduced the cost of creation in many areas, but it also opened up new markets and created many more avenues to distribute and to exploit works, which also created many more entrants in the market. There's more competition. It affects the established content producers, the established big media companies. More competition is not good for them, but it actually tends to be very good for authors and writers and screenwriters, because they have many more opportunities to contract than they had before.
    We see a lot of lobbying against that from the incumbent telcos and so on, because they want to preserve their existing hold on the market, but that's not necessarily helping creators—quite the contrary.

  (1130)  

    Mr. Williams, would you comment?
    I think as a model for artist remuneration, collective licensing is a very good one. It's an efficient way, I think, of supplying the educational marketplace with material that is useful and that will be used and reused. The principle of payment for use comes back via that collective licensing model to artists and to publishers.
    You asked about other jurisdictions. I know that Australia and the U.K. have systems of collective licensing that have also more narrowly defined exceptions for educational use, and I'm not here to argue that there should be no exceptions for educational use; I think there probably should be. I think the situation we have now is that there is a lack of clarity about these exceptions and there is widespread use that is not delivering back.
    Thank you very much.
    We will now go to Mr. Shields.
    Thank you, Madam Chair. I will be splitting my time with Mr. Blaney.
    Mr. Williams, pre-2012, were you involved in CANCOPY, the collective with regard to education? Did you work through CANCOPY?
    CANCOPY is what Access Copyright used to be called.
    Right. You worked with that collective pre-2012.
    Yes, that's right. Our company had a licence with them.
    Right.
    You mentioned being contacted directly by authors. Has that happened since then?
    The direct contacts I mentioned were usually from educators. If a school wanted to use material in a way that was not covered by the licence they had with the collective, such as using more than a certain percentage of the book, then they could check with us as the rights holder. We would do a transactional permission, a transactional licence.
    Okay. Thank you.
    Mr. Katz, you spent your initial time setting out the reasons it doesn't work. You had just begun saying here is maybe something that could work, but we're not quite there yet. I'm interested in the next step in your phrasing of what you think does work.
     One thing is that I'm very skeptical about the copyright avenue and even more skeptical about collective licensing. I could spend hours on that.
    You don't have that. Let's go to the next.
    There is a huge benefit to the public from creativity. Some of it can go through the market; corporate plays some role in it. That's fine; we already have that.
    In Canada, we do a great job at having a lot of funding opportunities from the federal government and the provinces, and we may want to do more of that. We may want to lead in a more sophisticated way than we do. We could expand the funds available for the public lending scheme. These are all decisions, and money doesn't come.... Always, if we increase something, it would have to be at the expense of something else, so these are decisions that, collectively, Parliament would have to make.
    Then you're looking at an incentive-based approach rather than a regulatory one.
    I'm looking at using incentives, subsidies or indirectly.... If, for example, you increase teaching opportunities or many other things, you can increase employment for creators in ways that are supplementary or related to their creative works.

  (1135)  

    Okay. Thank you.
    I'll turn it over to Mr. Yurdiga.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Thanks to the witnesses for being here today.
    The first question will go to Mr. Katz.
    We heard from a number of witnesses who tried to pinpoint what caused the decline in remuneration to the creators. We heard that the digital platform was a problem, that it created more competition. Some said that the Copyright Act is not efficient enough to protect the artists. We heard about piracy and global competition. We also heard that the creators are signing horrible contracts and that they're not protecting their best interests.
    In your opinion, what was the catalyst for the decline in remuneration to the creators?
     Yesterday I appeared before the INDU committee, and that was the focus of my testimony there.
    I'm afraid that there has been a lot of misinformation, and I'd love to spend more time with Matt and Monia, maybe later, because I suspect—at the risk of being condescending—that they are victims of this misinformation.
    At least when it comes to higher education, the reality is that universities use very little Canadian literature in the higher education curriculum. In fact, actually I brought with me this book published by Anansi, by Nick Mount, who's an English professor and historian of Canadian literature at U of T, and he notes that at most English departments in most Canadian universities, you can major in English without ever being required to read a single Canadian piece.
    By and large, Canadian universities don't teach Canadian literature. Canadians may teach in English departments, and Nick Mount teaches—my son takes his course. He assigns books, and students buy those books, and there are 400 students in the course every year; they sell 400 copies. Again, Professor Mount just told me that one of the authors told me that his course alone was responsible for a second printing of the book.
    Actually, teachers love it. When there is content that's available, we have no problem asking students to buy it if it's available and it's reasonably priced. The reason teachers make their course packs and create their own customized teaching is we don't get paid for doing that. It's hard work, and we're not getting paid directly for doing that. If there is already good teaching material available, we would happily assign it. One of the reasons the major educational publishers are so lucrative is that there is this issue that the professors who assign the books are not the ones who pay for them. That's why the prices of textbooks have increased so much over the last four decades. We are lazy. If there is already a book, we're happy to assign it.
    The second misinformation, I think, is how Access Copyright used to distribute its money. I suspect that the bulk of the money that has now been lost for Matt and Monia is not the money related to the use of their work, but the other pot of the money, where Access Copyright collected for everything but Access Copyright does not have everything in its repertoire. It collects for everything; it divides some of it according to who owns those rights, but then it keeps this pot of money and distributes it among it members. It has different names—there is the payback scheme for the author, the repertoire, and part for the publisher. This is the amount of money that actually Access Copyright used to distribute to its members, but by definition is not for the use of those members' works but for the use of other copyright owners' works, who are not members of Access Copyright.
    I think that is a significant part of what we now have.

[Translation]

    We'll now move on to Mr. Nantel for seven minutes.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Thanks to everyone for being here this morning.
    I'll begin with you, Mr. Katz. Your remarks are often quite provocative. In particular, I'm looking at your last tweet, dated October 17:

[English]

Freedom (e.g. of expression, to tinker) is the baseline. Copyright, which limits this freedom, is the exception and thus should be justified and not extend beyond what's necessary for its purpose.
    Could you please detail what you meant?

  (1140)  

    Yes. You're referring to my tweet.
    The baseline in our democratic society is freedom; it's a principle of our liberal society. People are free to do whatever they like, unless there is valid law that prevents them from doing that. Some freedoms are also constitutionally entrenched, such as freedom of expression. Copyright is a limitation of freedom of expression.
     How's that?
    Let me explain. When we give someone an exclusive right over a work, that means we prevent other people from doing certain things with that work. If Matt has copyright in a work and I want to build on that work, copyright creates some limitation of my ability to use Matt's work in my own work.
    The Supreme Court of Canada's definition of what constitutes freedom of expression includes not only the freedom to express oneself, but also the freedom to receive and access information created by others. Again, by giving exclusive rights and restricting the supply, copyright, by definition and design, restricts our ability to access and receive information.
    This does not mean that it's not a good idea or that it's unconstitutional—that's only step one in our constitutional analysis—but it means that it has to be justified. It's okay to have some restrictions if we have valid reasons and if we do it in a proportionate way such that we don't restrict more than necessary, and so on.
    We could have copyright that is completely consistent with our freedom of expression. It does impose some limitation on our ability to express ourselves and on the ability to access the expression of others, but if we do it for good, legitimate purposes and we do it proportionately, such that we don't restrict more than necessary, that's totally fine. We have all sorts of restrictions that are—
    This is why you are under the impression that the fair education exception should be maintained and should be used as broadly as it is, and that we should potentially ask the state or

[Translation]

Canadians to provide compensation for lost income by offering support for creators rather than increase fees for basic subjects in education.

[English]

    You'd have to repeat the last—
    Absolutely. I'm inconsistent with my English and my French.

[Translation]

    That's what enables you to say that, in your view, the exception applicable to the education sector must be maintained, and we must ask the government or citizens to provide compensation for the poor little creators who are being robbed by universities.

[English]

    I would not agree that creators are being robbed by universities. Copyright has always been a limited right; it's not an absolute right to control every aspect of every use of a work. It has always been a limited right that gives the owners of copyright certain limited rights. It also defines the rights of users.
    A robust fair dealing is part of the guarantees. If you want to ensure that copyright is constitutionally valid—that it is a valid limitation on freedom of expression—a robust fair dealing must be part of your law.

  (1145)  

    Thank you.

[Translation]

    Mr. Williams and Ms. Mazigh, you said you promoted your novels and short stories at several fairs. Based on your respective experience as publisher and author, do you feel that copyright is more contemporary, more modern and more up to date in other countries? For example, have you received bigger payments for the use or sale of your works in countries other than Canada?
    Do you want me to answer?
    Of course, since you were there?
    First of all, I can't offer a full answer because I don't receive royalties from other countries. Canada is the only country I receive them from. Although my books are sold elsewhere, that's always done through my publisher. He's the one who collects royalties and passes them on to me.
    The amounts involved here are negligible. However, every time we go to a fair, we sell a few tens of copies, which results in a very small amount of royalties.
    I would like to respond briefly to what Mr. Katz said earlier. I don't agree with his ideas. I'm a minor author; I don't belong to the community of publishers such as Anansi. Consequently, I can't speak on their behalf. Mr. Williams would definitely have more to say about that than I. The fact remains that Anansi is an independent publishing company, not a multinational that makes billions of dollars or represents authors who sell millions of books.
    I want to repeat that I agree the Canadian government should review funding in the form of subsidies. However, it should also review the Copyright Act. The world is changing, there are many authors, and their copyright has been virtually confiscated, regardless of whether their books are relatively unknown or well known and taught in the universities. How can copyright be protected and improved? That, I think, is the main question.

[English]

    Mr. Hogg is next, for seven minutes, please.
    Mr. Williams, you talked about the cash register moment, and I'm assuming the cash register moment was brought on because of the creative industries and the changes in that.
    Can you describe what other things led us to that cash register moment and the impact that had almost immediately?
    Sure.
    What I meant by that was a mechanism whereby certain uses of material could be paid for, I guess, and we could collect for that.
    If I understand your question, were you asking what the events were that might have changed that?
    Yes.
     I think the reduction in income for us was as a result of the educators choosing to stop paying.
    To Mr. Katz's point earlier, nobody was telling us that they were going to stop using our material. We had very detailed reports from Access Copyright about the use in the classroom of certain stories or poems or parts of works that we control. The difference was that the payments just stopped after the educators penned their fair dealing guidelines. That was the moment that this began, that the descent in income began.
    Have I answered your question?
     I think so.
    If we were to get back to then, was the remuneration for publishers and for artists somewhat equitable prior to that?

  (1150)  

    I think so.
    We don't hold copyright in works; we contract with authors who hold the copyright. It's our job to step out and make money with it. There are authors for whom we act, and we're always conscious of that. The question of income is, for us, so that we have to keep running our business and also so that we keep the cheques going for authors.
    I think, to your question of whether it was equitable, yes. I think we were paid for use.
     The principles or values we're trying to reflect are what I'm struggling with. What constitutes equitability with that, in terms of the various sectors that play a part in this, from the artists to the publishers? I'm trying to find out where that is, whether it did exist and whether there was some sense of satisfaction. Prior to your cash register moment and the change that happened with that, what did that look like?
    I don't know if any of you has an answer to that. I'll let any of you respond.
    I might say quickly that income from educational markets for our company was a small piece of the pie. We're present in a number of different markets. It was a pillar of income for us, to run our business, so the removal of that income is not going to take down our company—we're not that exposed to it—but it was an important element of what we did. That money was part of our....
    It impacted artists as well, and providers.
    Most certainly. It weakens—
    We're talking about remuneration models for artists and creative industries. That's what our study is about.
    How do we get back to the principles that reflected...? I'm assuming you're saying that they were a somewhat workable part of this. In other jurisdictions, which we can learn from, where does that sit?
    Mr. Katz, I'm interested in your disagreement around collective licensing. I'd like to hear that carried out a little bit. If you could respond to the first one first, then we could talk about collective licensing disagreement.
    There seems to have been a wide perception that since 2012, educational institutions have stopped paying for content. This is entirely untrue. Educational institutions are paying. They have not reduced the amount of money that they spend on purchasing licensed content. They have, rather, increased it.
    What they stopped paying for, by and large, were the licenses through Access Copyright. They are a fraction of what they spent before. Most of them no longer pay for those. Overall, they are paying more than they paid before. What they do more than they did before is negotiate directly with publishers and other market intermediaries.
    If they're paying more, how is that being distributed? Is that being distributed fairly, consistent with what the distribution prior to that was?
    There are many problems in that industry, such as competition and probably a lot of other issues, but what determines the amount of compensation....
    When the University of Toronto signs a licensing agreement with Oxford University Press or Elsevier, they pay a lot of money for those licences. U of T pays over $30 million a year, if I remember correctly.
    There are different prices and different publishers, depending on their market power and other factors.
    Over time, most publishers, especially with the move to digital, realize that they can make more money by transacting directly with users than they can through collectives. They can do it more efficiently and they can price it better for them. We are happy to do that. We get content and we get the rights to use it.
    Monia, do you have anything to add to that, or any comment on distribution?
    I can see that the examples given by Mr. Katz are more related to universities, more for a university student and textbooks.
    My experience is as an author who writes books. Some of the books I write are being taught at some universities. It's not all from other countries, or American. It's just to be able to, first of all, have our work recognized in Canada. Our copyrights should be recognized and go to our publisher and then come to us.
    I think we are being thought of as victims here. We are not; we are creators. Many of my colleagues are very well aware of what they are publishing and the work of promotion they are putting in there.
    I think the issue is finding an equitable model. I'm not saying the copyright is the best, but so far it's something that brings us some dues, and this is already being removed in this new sort of economy.

  (1155)  

     I guess we're trying to find out what that equitability looks like and the principles that drive it, and therefore the policies or legislation that will allow it to occur.
    I think the user should be paying.
    That will be the note that we will end on for this panel, because we will have to suspend briefly to switch to our next panel.
    I'd like to thank all of the people who have come to give testimony today. It was really helpful. It was an interesting conversation.
    We will be suspending for a few minutes.

  (1155)  


  (1200)  

[Translation]

    We will resume.
    I'm very pleased that Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, is with us today. He is accompanied by two departmental representatives: Jean-Stéphen Piché, Assistant Deputy Minister, and Andrew Francis, Chief Financial Officer.

[English]

    Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), on supplementary estimates (A), 2018-19, we have vote 1a under Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, votes 1a and 5a under Department of Canadian Heritage, vote 1a under National Film Board and vote 1a under Telefilm Canada, as referred to the committee on Wednesday, October 24, 2018.

[Translation]

    You may begin, Minister.
    Madam Chair, distinguished committee members, thank you for inviting me to speak to you.
    With me today are Assistant Deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs Jean-Stephen Piché

[English]

and Andrew Francis, Chief Financial Officer.
    It's a true privilege to be Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. Since I was appointed, I have met with many engaged Canadians, creative entrepreneurs, artists, and dedicated leaders. Their passion and energy inspire me in everything I do.
    I'd like to highlight some of our progress over the past several months.

[Translation]

    My mandate as Minister is clear: to strengthen and promote our cultural and creative industries, celebrate Canada's diversity and foster greater inclusion.
    My department is working hard to fulfil our vision for a Creative Canada. We are investing in creators, including those from Indigenous and official language minority communities, and strengthening public broadcasting, that is to say, CBC/Radio-Canada.
    In addition, as you know, we launched the review of the Broadcasting Act and the Telecommunications Act this past June. It is absolutely necessary that we modernize our broadcasting and telecommunications laws so that the system works for everyone: artists, businesses, consumers and broadcasters.
    Together with my colleague, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, we are also reviewing the Copyright Act. An enormous amount of work is being done on this. At the same time, this committee is studying remuneration models for artists and creative industries.
    The goals for all this are threefold: to support Canadian cultural content; to compensate our artists in a fair and timely manner; and to ensure greater access for Canadians to creative content.
    And that brings me to the 2018-19 Supplementary Estimates (A), and the expenditures for Canadian Heritage and five Portfolio agencies.

  (1205)  

[English]

    First, let me speak to you about the department's expenditures.
    As you know, the Department of Canadian Heritage is asking for additional resources of $32.4 million. This includes $25.5 million in grants and contributions and $6.9 million in operations. This will result in total authorities of $1.4 billion for the department. These funds will allow us to continue our work in a number of areas, including strengthening official languages, supporting Canadian content and local journalism, promoting multiculturalism, and stabilizing pay administration.
    We also continue to make great progress on our Creative Canada vision, a vision anchored in our diversity and focused on the talent of our creators. It is a vision that recognizes the significant contribution of the creative sector to our economic growth and our prosperity. We're investing in our creators and their stories. We're investing in our cultural spaces and creative hubs to foster the next generation of artists and creators. We're promoting discovery and distribution of Canadian content at home and abroad. We work to provide space in the digital world for stories that reflect Canada's diverse voices and cultures.
    As part of this, we launched the creative export strategy earlier this year.

[Translation]

    As you have no doubt seen, we are allocating $125 million over five years to help our creators reach wider audiences and gain access to new business opportunities. Of this, $17.2 million is contained in these Supplementary Estimates (A).
    We have also announced measures to support local journalism—$50 million in Budget 2018 to help our newspapers make the transition to digital, and to ensure under-served communities have access to local news. Many communities no longer have access to local news.
    As you will also recall, the Fall Economic Statement announced on November 21 included several new measures to support journalism, such as encouraging non-profit business models and providing tax credits to strengthen Canadian media.
    We also fought hard to maintain the cultural exemption clause in the new U.S.—Mexico— Canada Agreement. One that is technology neutral, and covers all segments of our cultural industries. This was a significant and positive outcome for Canada and our creators.

[English]

    I'm also proud of my department's progress in fulfilling our commitments to reconciliation. In budget 2017, we provided $89.9 million over three years to support indigenous languages and cultures, and increased support for the aboriginal languages initiatives. Soon we will work to introduce the indigenous languages act to preserve, protect, and revitalize first nations, Inuit, and Métis languages. This legislation is very important to mention. It's co-developed with our partners and reflects extensive engagement with knowledge-keepers, language experts and speakers.
    My department is also taking concrete steps to encourage Canadians to embrace diversity and inclusion. In particular, we're focusing on addressing systemic racism against black Canadians, as well as against indigenous people. As part of this, budget 2018 included $23 million to increase the funding for the department's multiculturalism program, as well as to support cross-country engagement sessions on a new national anti-racism approach.

[Translation]

    We are working very actively on this. I have travelled to many regions across the country, and we will continue to do so.
    I will now address the additional funding to be provided to the Canadian Heritage Portfolio agencies by way of the 2018-19 Supplementary Estimates (A).
    The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission will receive $99,196 to support efforts to address issues with the pay system. The National Film Board will receive the same amount for this purpose.
    Telefilm Canada will receive $1 million in funding as part of Canada's Creative Export Strategy.
    The Canada Council for the Arts will receive a transfer of $127,000 from the Department of Canadian Heritage. These funds will support French-language theatre projects, and ensure Canada's participation in meetings of the Commission Internationale du théâtre francophone.
    The National Arts Centre will receive a transfer of $150,000 from the Department of Canadian Heritage for the 2019 edition of the biennial Zones Théâtrales event. This is an important platform to promote professional theatre in Canada's Francophone communities.
    Together, these organizations are vital to helping enrich the cultural, linguistic, civic and economic life of Canadians.
    I want to also highlight our efforts to ensure transparency and diversity in Governor-in-Council appointments. Since October 2016, 126 individuals have been appointed to positions within the Canadian Heritage Portfolio. They represent a wide diversity of Canadians from across the country, and of diverse backgrounds, languages, genders and cultures.
    That brings my remarks to an end. I look forward to working with all of you to advance our priorities.
    I thank you for your attention. I am now ready to answer your questions.

  (1210)  

    Thank you very much.
    Now we will begin the question and answer period.
    Mr. Breton, you have the floor for seven minutes.
    Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
    Minister, thank you for being with us today. We can sense the vitality and passion driving you in your new role as minister.
    Thanks as well to the departmental representatives who are here to support you today.
    Minister, earlier you mentioned, in a very positive way, the cultural exemption that has been retained in the new US—Canada—Mexico Agreement. You obviously discussed it very briefly since you had a lot of items to present to us.
    What does that actually mean for the Canadian cultural community? Can you give us any examples of direct impacts this exemption will have on Canadians and the entire cultural sector?
    Thank you for your question. It's actually an extremely important question.
    If we want to continue introducing bills to protect and promote our cultural industry, we basically have to have the mechanisms we need to do so. We therefore needed a cultural exemption clause in the agreement renegotiated with the United States and Mexico.
     I'll tell you a secret, but don't repeat it to anyone: it's not always easy to negotiate with the Americans. I would say the negotiations were quite tough right to the end. They would have cut that clause if they could. However, the Prime Minister was extremely clear on that point. You no doubt had an opportunity to hear him or see him on the subject. It was a red line that couldn't be crossed from start to finish, and it was precisely his determination that enabled us to get this carve-out, which is an interpretive clause under which culture is exempted from the treatment accorded other products in the agreement signed with the United States and Mexico.
    This means we can develop our industry and pass laws and regulations that safeguard and promote our culture without anyone being able to prohibit it under the agreement. This special clause applies to and takes precedence over the entire agreement.
    Thank you.
    In your presentation, you also mentioned the creative export strategy, which you announced last June. That got my attention. That funding represents $125 million over five years, which is a very significant amount. Can you give us more details on the strategy, which I consider quite important?
    Thank you for your question, Mr. Breton.
    Once again, you're entirely right to say the strategy is very important. I gave a talk on it in Vancouver. It's really a vibrant city that relies to a large degree on the cultural sector, as do many other major cities and regions in all the Canadian provinces.
    This strategy will help us move off the beaten path and away from the Canadian market. We have an extraordinary market, which is very much interested in culture and wants to consume culture, but we need to go beyond Canada's traditional markets. This program supports our artists, creators and presenters in their efforts, for example, to encourage artists and creators from elsewhere to come and appear here in Canada. It provides funding.
    It also promotes commercial missions. Last year, Minister Joly led a very successful mission to China. I think the contracts we signed directly in the cultural industry are worth approximately $125 million. We're preparing for a new mission in February in which several officials will travel to Argentina, Mexico and Colombia.
    This is all extremely important. This strategy helps our artists, our creators and our cultural stakeholders go beyond our borders.

  (1215)  

    Thank you.
    You talked about indigenous languages. We have 90 of them in Canada. We know the situation isn't easy for indigenous languages. It's even said that three quarters of those languages are currently endangered. That's not good news.
    In the circumstances, you've announced that a bill will soon be introduced to protect those languages. Can you tell us a little more about how that process will go?
    I'll be very pleased to tell you about it, Mr. Breton.
    This is actually an absolute priority for me, and I'd even say it's one for the Prime Minister, for the government and probably for all members here. Language is our identity. It's the way we tell our stories; it's the way we transmit our stories, our experience and our reality to our children and grandchildren. However, as you noted, three quarters of indigenous languages are endangered. Many have already disappeared. We must stop this bleeding, and we have to start somewhere.
    We wanted to take action in cooperation with the various groups. So we sat down together over a very long period of time. We didn't start this work recently; the process began a long time ago. We sat down with the first nations, Inuit and Métis to develop together what would become the indigenous languages bill. We agreed on a series of principles that would form the core of that act. We're working on the bill, and I hope to introduce it very soon because we have to start now.
    I've always said protecting indigenous languages was a process that must be carried out in the short, medium and definitely long terms. If we don't start today, we'll never get there in the long run. This bill is an absolute priority. I'll be honoured to introduce it soon, and I hope to have your support.
    I'm going to use what little time I have left to thank you very much for appearing here today.
    I also want to thank the departmental representatives for all the work they're doing in the cultural sector in Canada.
    Thank you for your work.
    Thank you.
    We will continue now with Mr. Blaney for seven minutes.
    Welcome to the committee, Mr. Rodriguez. I naturally wish you every success in your important mandate.
    You were talking about languages a moment ago. I want to bring you round to the subject of official languages. This morning Carol Jolin, president of the Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario, asked the federal government, of which you are a part, whether it was prepared to fund the Université de l'Ontario français out of available funds for the first four years.
     As you know, Mr. Blaney, my colleague Ms. Joly is responsible for the official languages file. I think she could answer that question.
    What's clear is that we have made historic investments amounting to $2.7 billion in official languages, if I'm not mistaken. We're walking side by side with our friends, brothers and sisters.
    Mr. Rodriguez, you have a chance to take action. The letter was sent yesterday, and it's now very clear: the Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario and the Université de l'Ontario français say the federal government has previously taken similar action on other projects. You fund the first four years, and, once Ontario has eliminated its deficit, it can contribute to the eight remaining years. If the federal government shows the will and leadership, students will be at their desks starting in September.
    I'd like to point out that official languages are not the responsibility of this minister.
    Pardon me, Madam Chair, but we're talking about money today. The minister clearly said in his speech that he wanted to strengthen official languages. I'm sure linguistic duality and the Canadian identity are fundamentally important for Minister Rodriguez. He has a role to play, he's a member of cabinet, and we expect to see Liberal leadership.
    Madam Chair, I hope the time this intervention has taken will be subtracted from my speaking time because I have two more questions for the minister.

  (1220)  

    Come on.
    Minister, how do you feel when you see the Citadel in Quebec City...

[English]

     On a point of order, Madam Chair, we're on the topic of the estimates. This is not related to the minister's visit.

[Translation]

    May I ask my question?

[English]

    I will wait to hear his question.
    You should wait to hear the question before judging on the question.

[Translation]

    May I ask my question, Madam Chair?
    Yes, go ahead.
    I'm going to talk about money instead, more specifically about this $600 million amount, Minister.
    We acknowledge that all the sectors you intervene in are very much under pressure. I met the ADISQ representatives last week. They're in trouble, and they're appealing to you, but it's radio silence on your part.
    And yet you come up with $600 million for journalists in an election year. Why give them $600 million, and why now? Why spend taxpayers' money when you could come up with bold solutions such as reforming Canada's Income Tax Act?
    Do you think $600 million isn't enough?
    Why is it that the only solution you came up with to assist media in crisis was to spend taxpayers' money? You know there are other solutions. Some have been suggested by the Amis de Radio-Canada organization, more specifically that the loopholes in the Income Tax Act should be closed. Why not take a responsible approach instead of drawing on taxpayers' money?
    You rolled out the red carpet for big businesses such as Amazon and Google, which pay no taxes and to which you even grant credits. However, all stakeholders tell you you could have solved the problems in your last budget statement, which you didn't do. Why spend taxpayers' money, thus giving the impression you want to buy the media, whereas we respect journalists? Mr. Rodriguez, why don't you have any more creative solutions?
    May I answer?
    Yes.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    As you know, Mr. Blaney, we're in the process of revising the statutes that govern the entire sector including the major media, digital platforms, Internet giants and others. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. Many media players will die off even if we reform the legislation today. We believe professional journalism is one of the pillars of democracy. You agree with me on that, don't you, Mr. Blaney?
    Absolutely.
    One of the elements of your question that I agree with is that the media are in crisis. That's indeed the case. Too many media companies have had to shut down: dailies, weeklies and others. That's probably the case in your region.
    We feel too many regions no longer have local news. As a result, they don't know what's happening at city hall or what their elected representatives are doing in Ottawa or elsewhere. In response, we're offering them funding to establish rules and procedures to assist a pillar of our democracy that's in trouble.
    As you know, Mr. Blaney, a bankrupt press is not a free or an independent press. A bankrupt press is simply a press that no longer exists. We believe it must continue to exist so it can ask us the tough questions.
    We too believe the media should continue to exist. However, you've refused to answer my question: why, in an election year, have you come up with this gift at taxpayers' expense?
    Minister, I'm sure the Citadel in Quebec City is important to you. A report by the Auditor General states that Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Department of National Defence haven't taken adequate measures to preserve the heritage value of federal properties.
    Why do you allow inferior materials, that is to say, an American stone inconsistent with the original material, to be installed at the Citadel, whereas the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada require, on page 213, that original stone must be used where it's still available? In the case of the Citadel in Quebec City, the original stone is still available. Why don't you intervene with National Defence and order it to repair the Citadel using the appropriate stone, the original stone, green sandstone from Sillery, rather than install non-compliant American stone? It's a matter of complying with federal standards, and you're the guardian of our heritage, Minister.

[English]

    Mr. Blaney, can you at least side-swipe the supplementals on that for me?

[Translation]

     Mr. Blaney, I get the impression you're straying somewhat from the subject. That matter is the responsibility of National Defence. If you want to invite that minister to appear, I'm sure he'll be pleased to come.

  (1225)  

    Minister, the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office is mentioned here.
    The Citadel, Mr. Blaney...
    You're responsible for meeting the federal government's heritage standards. We're talking about a jewel here. I'm sure you want the Citadel in Quebec City to be preserved as a jewel of Canada's heritage as much as I do. Why then do you let National Defence trash it by installing non-compliant stone?
    The Citadel is an invaluable heritage property; you'll agree with...

[English]

     I was just asking you to side-swipe the supplementals for me on this one. If you can find it, go ahead.

[Translation]

    Madam Chair, it's because large amounts of money are currently being invested. It's taxpayers' money that's being spent unwisely because that stone, which is susceptible to frost and non-compliant, will eventually have to be replaced.
    We have the Minister of Canadian Heritage before us. He's the guardian of our heritage.

[English]

    I have a point of order, Madam Chair—

[Translation]

    We have a report by the Auditor General telling us the federal government should take better care of its buildings because, when it maintains them, it does it all wrong.
    I'm calling on Minister Rodriguez to protect our heritage, Madam Chair.
    I'm sure that, deep down, the minister agrees we must preserve the Citadel in Quebec City, and I'm sure he'll speak to the Minister of National Defence and tell him to stop using inferior stone and to use the right stone instead.
    Indeed.
    Now we'll continue with Mr. Nantel for seven minutes.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Minister, thank you for being here today.
    Since we're trying to determine the responsibility of one department or another, I'd like to talk about the $595 million in assistance previously referred to that's being granted to the print media. Does that assistance come from the budgets of Canadian Heritage or the Canada Revenue Agency?
    It's an additional amount that's allocated by the Department of Finance specially for that purpose.
    If it's allocated by the Department of Finance, that's good news welcomed by everyone in the sector. With the exception of certain individuals who may have been less pleased, everyone was happy to see that assistance.
    Everyone also acknowledges that the precarious situation in which our media now find themselves is related, in part, to undue benefits that major Internet players enjoy with regard to the sale of advertising. I'm talking about section 19 of the Income Tax Act, to which my colleague referred in connection with the admissibility of media advertising expenses. So I'm pleased to hear that.
    Do you think any changes will be made soon, at least to the GST, about which I often have questions for you and your parliamentary secretary? The cultural sector is inclined to say that the first test is to avoid granting foreign players benefits in respect of the usual buyers of their cultural productions. I imagine you follow me.
    Are you putting pressure on the Department of Finance or the Canada Revenue Agency to cancel the GST exemption granted to foreign suppliers? I'm obviously talking about Netflix. I'm not talking about Facebook, which says it will soon add GST to its advertising transactions. Google, however, remains GST-free.
    Are you exercising any pressure on that subject? As you know, the sector is sensitive on this issue.
    Yes, I'm very much aware, Mr. Nantel. We obviously meet with the same people.
    I also approve of your analysis that an enormous number of advertising purchases in the conventional media are being transferred to digital media, hence the problem we're currently experiencing. We're aware of it.
    What we're doing is reviewing the system. It's a much more thorough review. The review we can conduct will determine our future for the next 20 or 30 years.
    You're right.

  (1230)  

    We won't be targeting anything in particular in the current circumstances. Instead we'll conduct a full review. As I've previously mentioned, it's structural changes that will alter the ground rules. The ground rules have changed. This will be a response to changes in the ground rules, one that will include clear principles. As I've previously mentioned, those who contribute to the system will have to take part in the system.
    Thank you. That's precisely the phrase you and your parliamentary secretary often use. On that particular point, when I said earlier that you were right, that was because a very broad reform of the system is obviously necessary. However, some obvious things can be done quickly; that's what the sector is asking. Closing the loophole in section 19 on the admissibility of advertising expenses in an American or international web-based medium is something that can be done immediately. Ensuring the GST is finally collected: that can be done immediately too.
    I agree with Minister Morneau that the corporate tax should be subject to international coordination. We could be leaders, but, failing that, we can wait for an international consensus. What's especially sad is to see that nothing is being done, even though the sector agrees. And you have an expert panel that has a firm grasp of the facts.
    Could any interim measures be taken right away to fill the obvious gaps?
     You're right that there must be international discussions. That's part of the solution. Mr. Morneau has the solutions.
    Since there are no borders in some cases, we have to choose global solutions. As for more specific solutions, nothing is included or excluded. We're thinking, meeting people and proposing ideas.
    Yes, but are there actually any emergency measures?
    We want to let the expert panel complete its work. I'm sure you personally know several members of that group. We're going to wait and see the work the panel has done, and we're going to wait until we've completed our own work. Then we can make structural, comprehensive and inclusive decisions, not piecemeal ones.
    In other words, we're limited by a deadline. If you're telling me we can't take intermediate measures in the meantime, we'll have to wait for the 2020 deadline
    I remember the words of Douglas Barrett, who was chair of the former version of the Canada media fund. He told the Globe and Mail, I believe, that this panel would ultimately present recommendations in January 2020.
    Everyone here is knocking on doors to get elected. You obviously told people it would happen after you were re-elected, and asked them not to say a word about it or to complain or else the Conservatives would get elected. I consider that cynical. Let's say I'll overlook it. The cultural sector will hope for the best in the next election. Poor you.
    So the report will be tabled in January 2020. Messrs. Piché and Francis may work on a bill that we'll see at the end of the session or perhaps even in the fall. By our best calculations, that will take us up to 2022-2023 before any actual changes are made.
     As I told you in the House the other day, if it hadn't been for this media assistance, the National Post, Postmedia and the Ottawa Citizen would simply have closed their doors by 2023. You've applied a good band-aid, which is appropriate, and so much the better. However, there'll be nothing else in the meantime. Amazon Prime and Hulu are coming. Netflix continues to enjoy the shabby agreement that was reached.
    Is it true that nothing will happen before 2022?
    I'd like to point out that I don't give instructions to members of my team. They are highly qualified and capable of determining on their own what they have to say.
    As for the rest, Mr. Nantel, I repeat what I said, that we can walk and chew gum at the same time. In addition, work is being done internally, discussions are being held, and matters are being prepared. We can start thinking about all that before the report's tabled. We're bound by our duties and schedules to meet many people. We're preparing for a bill that will provide structure and propose fundamental changes because that's the solution. This is a much more inclusive and comprehensive approach than applying band-aids here and there. That's the decision we've made.
    I shouldn't have said that media assistance was a band-aid because it's more than that. As the media people will tell you, $600 million buys a lot of band-aids.
    I agree with you on the facts, but it's very clear that the Canada media fund has run dry as a result of gradually declining contributions by the cable companies. You offset that by granting tax credits, and I agree that's a good use of public money. However, people are making a lot of money in the process, and they should contribute more.
    You said you could walk and chew gum at the same time. Are we to conclude that future legislative decisions will reflect the consensus in the cultural sector?
    The fund for journalists...
    I apologize for interrupting you, Minister, but Mr. Nantel has already exceeded his speaking time.
    I now turn the floor over to Mr. Long for seven minutes.

[English]

     Thank you, Madam Chair. Good afternoon, everybody. Good afternoon, Minister.
    First, Minister, I want to congratulate you on becoming Minister of Heritage and Multiculturalism. I want to also compliment you on your passion and your transparency in tackling issues and answering questions. It's refreshing to see, so congratulations on that.
    My riding is Saint John—Rothesay, in southern New Brunswick. It's an interesting riding. Number one, it's Canada's first incorporated city. It has a tremendous history. It's a Loyalist city. The city and the region are rich with nationally significant historic assets. Up until the last three years, there was a lack of focus, a lack of funding available, and a lack of avenues for these assets to apply for funding.
     I'm thrilled to say that in my riding I have a Martello tower, one of the few left in North America. I have Fort Howe, which is nationally significant. I have Fort Latour as well as the Loyalist burial grounds, the Imperial Theatre, and the Saint John City Market. All of these are nationally significant historic assets.
    I'm thrilled to say that our government has delivered on funding to restore the City Market, to build the Martello tower, and to build Fort Latour, a wonderful, nationally significant monument. We have also secured heritage funding to help restore the Imperial Theatre, one of the first vaudeville theatres in North America.
    The list goes on and on. A lot of my mandate, a lot of my passion for my riding, goes into getting funding for those nationally significant historic assets. I'm thrilled to say that the investments our government has made in Heritage Canada have been substantial and have helped my riding immensely.
    The other part of my riding is immigration, and my riding is becoming much more diverse. We are celebrating, more and more every month, multicultural events and celebrations in Saint John—Rothesay. Proponents in my riding, such as the Saint John Multicultural Association and Mohamed Bagha and the Saint John Newcomers Centre, have applied for, and received, funding through Heritage Canada. That has been transformational for them and for the riding in promoting multiculturalism in Saint John—Rothesay. This hadn't happened, really, up until the last three years.
    Minister, one of your priorities is to lead work across the government to strengthen Canada's multicultural advantage by implementing a revitalized multiculturalism program and developing new initiatives to celebrate diversity to foster greater inclusion.
    Can you give me an update on that?

  (1235)  

    Absolutely. Congratulations for your great work on this committee. I definitely have to congratulate the former whip for putting you in. I also want to congratulate you on your support. I know how hard you work for your riding. I'm a witness to that. I've seen how hard you work for the expansion of the New Brunswick Museum in your riding. Keep up the good work.
    Thank you.
    Multiculturalism is extremely important, and it was included in my title, which is now Minister of Heritage and Multiculturalism. We added in the last budget, in 2018, an extra $21 million for multiculturalism programming. This brings new possibilities. I work with Gary Anandasangaree, my parliamentary secretary, on this.
    Minister, I will agree with you 100%. The Saint John Multicultural and Newcomers Resource Centre didn't have a vehicle to apply for this funding up until three years ago, so again I congratulate you for that.
    Let's congratulate the former minister as well. People can present projects to fight discrimination and prejudice. It serves all kinds of purposes. There will be also budgets for different communities to celebrate who they are and who we are as a community as we celebrate the dialogue between different communities.
    I think these things are quite welcome. I have the chance to travel extensively across the country and I am saying to all of you on the government side, as well as to my colleagues on the other side, to tell your communities that they can apply for the many different programs we have. We now have funds for different events for communities to celebrate their own communities, and also if they want to have dialogues, des rapprochements entre communautés, as we say in French.
    Thank you for raising that, because it's an important point.

  (1240)  

     In the riding, Minister, Saint John is known as “the Loyalist City”. Until recently, it's been a very conservative city, and that's obviously changing, but the more we embrace immigration and the more diverse our population becomes in Saint John—Rothesay, the more important it is to celebrate multiculturalism. Until recently there wasn't an Asian Heritage month. An event recently celebrated Indian independence. All those events are key to building a community and a strong fabric in a community, so again I congratulate you on that.
    I have another question—how much time do I have?
    You have 15 seconds.
    Yes, thank you very much.
    We are now going to Mr. Shields for five minutes, please.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Thank you, Minister, for being here.
    I have five minutes, so I'm going to go quickly.
    I asked how much the skating rink cost a year ago and was told $5 million. I asked again in December and was told it was $8 million, and I asked for the final cost again, and they told me to ask in December 2018. It's December 2018. Do you have the final cost for the skating rink on the Hill?
    If it's important for Mr. Shields, we'll be happy to answer.
    All right.
     The total cost was for design; construction; operations, including the security around the rink; ticketing; ice maintenance, because there's a Zamboni out there all the time; programming around the rink, which was quite substantial; removal of the rink; lawn remediation; site preparation; and the relocation of the rink to a community after the fact. The grand total for the whole project was $6,950,000.
    The number we received earlier was $8.2 million, and that was publicized. Are you saying it was reduced?
    Yes. The total cost of the rink was $6,950.000. There were estimates as the project was going on, and as with many estimates, we have to err on the high side; especially when it comes to estimates; we can't surpass certain levels.
    Thank you.
    The environment committee did a report on historic sites. One of the sentences in the report they tabled in 2017 was, “During its study, the Committee learned that Canada is the only G7 country that has not passed legislation to protect historic places....” Would you protect historic places under Canadian Heritage?
    It's extremely important, Mr. Shields. If I'm not mistaken, that's why we added an extra $55 million for official residences in the last budget, but historic sites is Parks Canada, not Heritage, if I'm not mistaken.
    Historic places is Parks Canada?
    Yes. That would be Parks Canada.
    Totally? Not yours?
    The official residences I think are us, yes.
    Okay.
    My next question is this. In the coming year when you're talking about proposed spending, we have ones that you're going to say are in other departments, such as the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019, and the 100th anniversary of Versailles. However, it's the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act next year. Is this something you're looking at?
    I could be. We'll have to wait for a proposal from Andrew. Do you have something?
    That falls under Minister Joly. Official Languages is within her department.
    Okay. The 100th anniversary of the death of Prime Minister Laurier, who died as a member of Parliament, is next year. Is that Canadian Heritage?

  (1245)  

    I guess that would be Heritage, yes.
    Is that something you're going to be doing?
    We could consider that. Prime Minister Laurier was a great Prime Minister.
    We now change very drastically by losing Centre Block. We have a tremendous number of statues in the parliamentary precinct. As we move from Centre Block, are you going to develop a program to deal with them in the heritage sense? The public will not be able to see Centre Block. Are you going to develop a more extensive program than we have now?
     I have to look at that. I'll have an answer for you on the 2nd, and get back to you.
    Thank you.
    I'd like to hear back about that.
    Absolutely.
    Mr. Yurdiga will continue.
    You have one minute.
    I'll be quick.
    One of your goals is to compensate our artists in a fair and timely manner. I had the privilege of meeting with many stakeholders regarding remuneration and fair dealings. One of the things that I was shocked about was that CBC is one of the biggest abusers of copyright and remuneration. My question is, who's monitoring the CBC to ensure that artists and creators are treated fairly? Is your department monitoring the CBC's transactions?
    The CBC is a Crown corporation that falls under me, but it's arm's length. I'm not telling the CBC what to do or not to do.
    Shouldn't you be monitoring how taxpayers' dollars are spent? Over a billion dollars are spent from taxpayers. We want to ensure that artists are treated fairly. That's not a hard thing to accomplish.
    We definitely have the same priority. One of my objectives is that artists and creators are paid fairly, absolutely, 100%.
    I want to jump in, Mr. Yurdiga. We will have time to come back to you for five minutes.
    I'm going to shift now, so that we have five minutes with Mr. Boissonnault.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Thank you for coming to Edmonton, Minister. The meeting with the artists and people from the multicultural community was a friendly one.
    I have a first question for you.

[English]

    How many Canadians used the rink that was on the Hill? Do we have the number of how many Canadians used the rink for Canada 150?
    I have a point of order, Madam Chair.
    We started the rink conversation.
    As I said, if it was important to Mr. Shields that we answer, then we will answer Mr. Boissonnault, if it's important.
    There were 153,000 skating passes distributed over 83 days of skating.
    Thank you very much.
    I understand that the rink has now made its home in Gord Brown's riding in Gananoque, and it will be named the Gord Brown rink.

[Translation]

    Thank you for your sensitivity on that matter, Minister and departmental officials.
    With regard to indigenous languages, as a member of the indigenous caucus and an unregistered adopted Cree, I congratulate you. I know the government is very much interested in this issue and has already begun discussions on the subject.
    Can you provide us with an investment update on the future of all those languages?
     That's a very good question. As I mentioned earlier, it's really a core priority for me. In the short term, it's a major priority not only for me, but also for the Prime Minister, the government and, I'm sure, every one of you.
    As I said earlier, indigenous languages are disappearing at a dizzying rate. Far too many of those languages have been lost. We all know that was caused in large part by former governments in the course of our history that simply wanted to wipe out those languages through various programs, such as by tearing children away from their families and preventing them from speaking their language and from preserving their culture in the residential schools. An entire system was put in place to make those languages disappear.
    Considerable effort was made to erase those languages, and now we must expend as much effort, if not more, to promote them, to protect them and to enable them to spread. Why must we do it, Mr. Boissonnault? Because language represents who we are. Look at what we're doing now: we're discussing and communicating, and its language that enables us to do that. By speaking our language, we transmit our culture, our way of seeing things and our history.
    You know, I only spoke Spanish when my family arrived in Canada. My father told me that, since we were political refugees, we would be here for a long time, and that's been the case. I was eight years old, I spoke only Spanish, and I couldn't speak a word of English or French.
    My father loved French: he performed Molière. He told me to learn French, and to learn English too if I wanted, but to preserve Spanish and thus to preserve who I was. Today, it's a big advantage to be able to speak those three languages. I'm learning Italian, and it would be my fourth language if I had more time.
    In short, Mr. Boissonnault, it's an absolute priority of this government. We've established programs to fund certain projects. That's fine, but it's not enough. We need a robust bill, and that's what we'll have soon.

  (1250)  

     [Member spoke in Spanish.]
     [The Minister spoke in Spanish.]

[English]

     It's weird to talk to you in English, Minister, but in the spirit of official languages and multiculturalism, I would love to ask you a question.
    My first languages were English and French. Then English took over more, and I had to get French back in university. Then I added Spanish.
    As we talk about the multiculturalism file and people of colour, what is our strategy as a government and your ministry to engage with finance projects relating to black Canadian youth?
    As you are probably aware, Mr. Boissonnault, there was an investment of $19 million in the last budget to face the unique challenges that are facing black Canadians, especially young black Canadians. Out of that $19 million, there's $9 million that goes directly to support black Canadian youth. This is a program that is extremely important for the black community. We are very engaged in terms of government.
    In parallel, as you also know, we're conducting anti-racism engagement sessions. Gary has been very involved with that. Gary is doing great work in terms of multiculturalism, and Andy is doing an amazing job in terms of culture also. They are both very engaged.
    On this specific file, I have been in many cities and provinces, and I keep doing that. We have tough conversations sometimes, but they're sincere and open discussions so that we can get the facts and can get things right so we can have a robust anti-racism bill soon.

[Translation]

    It was a pleasure for me to act as parliamentary secretary, but it's an even greater pleasure to ask the minister questions directly.
    You do it very well, thank you.

[English]

    I had Mr. Yurdiga on my list. Is it Mr. Shields?
    Yes.
    We will be going back to Mr. Shields, then, for five minutes.
    Thank you.
    To Mr. Boissonnault, the Amber Valley story from north of Edmonton is probably one of the stories of black history. I don't know if Mr. Boissonnault knows about Amber Valley or not, but it is one of those.
    I met the head curator a number of times. One of the challenges we have in the parliamentary precinct with heritage is that inside the building, it's the head curator's responsibility. Outside, responsibilities are with somebody else. The historical rooms in the East Block are with someone else.
    Would you in the future, as you were talking about, work to have those consolidated so that we can have an experience of heritage on our Hill that's not siloed? They can't talk to each other or do anything about the outside or the inside of different buildings.
    It's strictly to do with our heritage in 2019—restored rooms in the East Block, the statues on the outside of the block, suffrage in many parts of the country. That is a significant part of the grounds outside.
    Would you work to coordinate that part of our heritage, which is now siloed? The head curator inside the building, for example, can't do anything about the heritage on the outside of our building.
    Mr. Shields, we always try to work as a government to improve the situation of our heritage buildings.
     It's fundamental not only for all of us who have the privilege to work here but also for future generations that we can tell the stories and show things very concretely. The Parliament Buildings, as I understand, are definitely the responsibility of public services, public works. We, as you rightly—
    The heritage is under the curator.
    What you mentioned before in terms of the monuments and statues is our responsibility, and it's something that we consider very seriously.

  (1255)  

    Mr. Yurdiga is next.
    Thank you.
    I'll continue with my earlier question regarding the CBC. They're somewhat...I shouldn't say “shady”, but they seem to be skirting the rules and not fairly compensating the creators. There are some copyright infringements that I heard about.
    Is your department monitoring what the CBC does?
    They report to Parliament.
    They report to Parliament. They don't talk about lawsuits against artists?
    The CBC, as with all other media, understands the importance that we give to our creators and artists and the importance of their being paid fairly for what they do.
    These people don't sell cars or glasses. They sell their stories and they create. They have to be well paid for that.
    CBC, again, is a Crown corporation. I'm not the boss. I don't go to the department and say, “Okay, you do this and you do that.”
     You know, in the private sector we have corporations, and they have to follow the rules.
    The CBC has to follow the rules too. We all have to follow them.
    Exactly, so who's monitoring the CBC?
    Parliament is, and they have their own structure. They have a board of directors, actually, that—
    Do we have a report? Do you guys have any reports regarding the CBC's business activities?
    We have regular reports from all Crown corporations, absolutely. You can have access to those.
    Are you aware of the copyright infringements, the remuneration—
    Not that CBC would be worse or better than anybody else, but it's the first time I've heard this.
    Okay, so are you going to look into it?
    Yes, I will look—
    It's not to be against CBC. We just want to ensure that creators are fairly compensated, and CBC should be the crown jewel and doing it right. We're using—
    It is a crown jewel.
    Yes, and we should ensure that they're treating creators fairly.
    But the first step—
    They should be an example, not the exception, because they're getting over a billion dollars of taxpayers' money every year. All we want to ensure is that the CBC does it right. I think, from my perspective, it's your job to ensure that the CBC follows the rules and is the crown jewel of how it should be done, and not go to the lowest denominator with, “Yes, that's okay; it's like everyone else.” They should be held—
    We always go for the best.
    They should be held to a higher standard, because they're getting taxpayers' dollars.
    I think that you, the members of the committee, have a very big task ahead of you to make sure that we have a good revision and a good copyright bill.
    I also want to thank you for all the work you do in that sense.
    Okay, moving on—
    That brings you to the end of your time, because it was a five-minute round this time.
    I would really like to thank the minister for coming to speak with us.
    We now are going to have to do our final bit
    As announced by the government House leader on Thursday, November 29, today is the final allotted day in the supply period ending December 10, which had not been scheduled at the time the committee agreed to study the supplementary estimates.
    Therefore, pursuant to Standing Order 81(5), the votes referred to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage were deemed reported back to the House on Thursday, November 29, 2018, upon the adjournment of the House. This study has therefore taken place under Standing Order 108(2).
    This brings this meeting to an end.
    The meeting is adjourned.
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