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CHPC Committee Report

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On 2 April 2019, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (the Committee) adopted the following motion:

That the Committee undertake a study of the online secondary ticket sales industry as it relates to Canada’s creative industries, and how it is affecting Canadians ability to access live performances; and that the Committee make recommendations and report its findings to the House.

For this study, the Committee held three meetings between 7-14 May 2019, heard from 12 witnesses and received four briefs.

The online secondary ticket sales market has changed the way Canadian consumers buy tickets for live performances, such as concerts, theatre and sporting events. In particular, automated ticket purchasing software (scalper bots) have made it increasingly difficult for Canadian consumers to access tickets from original vendors for fair prices.

The Committee is concerned about how the online ticket resale industry impacts the remuneration of artists and others within the live performance industry. The Committee is also concerned about fraudulent ticket sales and Canadian consumers’ ability to access tickets. The Committee’s recommendations are intended to protect Canadian consumers and improve transparency in the online secondary ticket resale market.

As such, the Committee recommends:

1. That the Government of Canada launch a consumer awareness campaign to protect consumers from fraudulent ticket resale practices and encourage consumers to purchase tickets from original vendors.
2. That the Government of Canada introduce legislation banning the use of automated ticket purchasing software (scalper bots).
3. That the Government of Canada introduce measures to combat fraudulent activities within the ticket resale market, including, but not limited to, ticket counterfeiting and transactions with bots.
4. That the Government of Canada implement measures that require ticket resale platforms to indicate that they are not the original ticket source.
5. That the Government of Canada create new enforcement mechanisms for stakeholders, including, but not limited to, offences, compliance orders and administrative monetary penalties.
6. That the Government of Canada collaborate with other countries to share best practices.

In addition, Mr. Pierre Nantel, MP (Longueuil — Saint-Hubert) proposed the following additional recommendations which were not adopted by the Committee:

1. That the Government of Canada require of primary seller and ticket resale platforms that ticket sale prices sold in Canada be shown in the national currency and include sales taxes.
2. That the Government of Canada impose requirements on primary seller and ticket resale platforms to make transparent such information as seat location of ticket, face value of ticket, currency, availability of pre-sales, number of tickets available at the general sale and commercial reseller's identity, and to ensure the reporting of suspected ticket bot activity.
Appendix A: List of Witnesses

Appendix B: List of Briefs

A copy of the relevant Minutes of Proceedings (Meetings Nos. 156 to 158, 160 and 163) is tabled.