Thank you so much, Madam Chair.
As I was discussing before we were rudely interrupted by Kevin Lamoureux, unintentionally.... We were discussing how we are well into a filibuster. It's clear we really should move forward on this bill. There's another study. We can quickly deal with Bill , have a proper debate on C-11, and then get to Hockey Canada before the House rises.
It worried me a bit last night that members of this committee were using this case to filibuster. I know—there's intent from all sides—that we want to hear from Hockey Canada, but I think people have gone a bit too far in the filibuster. We should use this time, while we study Bill , to think about the legal aspects of the case, because a lot of things were said that were a little troubling to me. They may lead to the disclosure of names—which I don't think anyone wants—or negative statements about the non-disclosure agreement, which may be protecting the plaintiff in the case. As a civil litigator myself, I think the opposition needs to take some time to look at things like solicitor-client privileges and NDAs, so we can get to this as quickly as possible.
In the meantime, I know everyone likes to say that the House gave us the Hockey Canada study, but it also gave us Bill . I think this is fundamental and important, and it's something we need to see through. The Liberals are ready to work. I've spoken to our Bloc colleagues, and I'm sure Mr. Julian is always ready to work, and perhaps we can find.... We're ready to work extra hours to see Bill C-11 through to the end, but we're also ready to hear from Hockey Canada, as well, and get to the bottom of that.
I think, perhaps, the opposition needs to take some time to speak with the lawyers in the caucus or with counsel at the House of Commons, in order to understand where we're going, because some dangerous things may happen, even though they're well intentioned. I don't think any of us want that.
That's all to preface my motion, which has been handed out in both official languages. I move:
That the committee commence its clause-by-clause study of the Online Streaming Act no later than Monday, June 13 at 3:30 p.m. EDT.
It's quite basic. This gives us lots of time to start next week. In speaking with the Bloc...we should have a discussion about setting a deadline for amendments, perhaps this Friday, so that we can really get things moving. I think that's fair and reasonable, but I wanted to put this on the table. We can vote on this quickly and then talk about the study right away, because this will take a minute or two. There are a couple of people on the list. We can get to talking about Hockey Canada right away. I think that's important.
Thank you so much.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
It's a pleasure to take the floor and say a few words about the motion before us. I'll offer a few observations off the bat.
First of all, obviously we've been looking at Bill for a period of time. We've heard from some witnesses. I know that our witness list isn't exhausted yet. We have at least 20 people on our list who haven't had the chance to come here yet. We'll put that aside for a second.
I want to talk about the gravity of the situation that is potentially before us, and I do accept Mr. Bittle's comments about certain issues involving the victims. We did have a motion that was passed by this committee earlier this year to look at online harm caused by access, and there was the opportunity there—and that meeting never happened—to hear from organizations that deal with trauma-informed testimony. I think if we go ahead with a study on the events regarding Hockey Canada, it would be important that we have that conversation before we hear from any witnesses.
Obviously, as a committee, we have the opportunity to go in camera for certain testimony, for certain issues, whether it's about identifiable people, whether it's with victims or whether there are issues from a legal perspective. There are always those opportunities.
When it comes to this particular motion at hand, we're talking about a Monday deadline to do this. This is a complex bill, and it will take a significant amount of time to go through clause-by-clause. I'm very concerned that, if we begin clause-by-clause on Monday, June 13 at 3:30, we will not have a chance to take up the House order that was made on June 2 regarding the troubling allegations.
I'd remind the committee that it wasn't a partisan motion to the House. It was a unanimous motion endorsed by all parties and frankly endorsed by the herself, who made comments about the troubling possibility that public funds may have been used in this case, and I think that should be troubling for anyone and everyone here in Canada.
At the end of the day, we need to be sure that we, as a country, stand up for victims and victims' rights, and I think this is one situation where we need more information. Whether that's done through a committee process.... A forensic audit has been suggested within the organization itself, but there are people who must account for what has happened. There are organizations that must account for the situation that unfolded, so I think that should be the priority of this committee going forward.
That's not to say that Bill will never pass. I think that Bill C-11 will obviously pass through this committee when the time comes. It will go through clause-by-clause, but I think for now the priority of this committee should be the House order of June 2, 2022.
I would amend the motion by deleting all the words after “act” and inserting, “following the completion of the committee’s study pursuant to House Order made June 2, 2022.”
Just for clarity, the House order of June 2, 2022 is the motion regarding Hockey Canada.
That's the amendment, Madam Chair. I'm happy to reread it if it's needed, but that's my amendment.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Thank you to the heritage committee for having me sit in here today. It's nice to see everyone.
Definitely two topics that connect for me personally are Bill —very important, as a former journalist and online content creator—and obviously the investigation into Hockey Canada. I was able to take part last week. My colleague Kevin Waugh made some very impactful statements. I want to touch on that, as I also sit on another committee, FEWO, which is status of women. Right now we're tabling a study on intimate partner violence.
As I lean into this role as a member of Parliament, what we do here first, or what our priorities are, speaks to Canadians deeply. Absolutely, I think every member at this committee and also in the House, quite frankly, knows that Bill is important, but I also think we all know how important it is to change the toxic culture of all institutions, whether it's the Canadian Forces, sports, politics or whatever it may be.
I want to give a bit of a trigger warning. I was thinking about this when I was here on Wednesday, about some of the content that is coming out. I am very aware of how delicate this conversation is for people who may be watching.
Support is available for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through the Government of Canada website or the Ending Violence Association of Canada's database. If you're in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911.
I actually pulled that trigger warning from an article that was released by CBC on June 5, 2022, where the headline reads, “Former Hedley frontman Jacob Hoggard found guilty of sexually assaulting Ottawa woman”. In a time where we have headline after headline that are really revictimizing victims, I can't stress enough how important it is to prioritize this study into Hockey Canada. I think it really sets a precedent of what we're doing and where we're sitting.
The Supreme Court ruling of extreme intoxication as an excuse for sexual assault crimes is.... I've had countless messages, and people personally in my life who have been revictimized by this. I think there's an opportunity for us here to set the tone of what the priorities are, and because this is imminent, I think it's really important. On what you guys are going to do, I think there is a consensus of what needs to be done here.
I want to talk a little bit about what the Minister of Sport, , said in a scrum with reporters before Thursday's question period in Ottawa. She said she wants a forensic audit of the settlement to ensure that Hockey Canada didn't use taxpayer dollars to settle the case. She said, “What I want to know and what I think all Canadians want to know is, was there any public funds used to cover up that horrible story of collective rape?”
This is just so much bigger than this Hockey Canada.... If we're the leaders of this country, what are we saying to victims if we're not prioritizing this? I think there's an opportunity for all parties to work together, because I think everybody wants to solve this. I think every member wants this to end.
I look at things like Indian Horse. I don't know if anyone's familiar with that movie. It was shot in my riding of Peterborough—Kawartha. It's a book that many kids have to read. It's a terrible story of sexual assault and abuse of power.
When you talk to people who work in shelters or who work with victims, they really go in thinking they're going to solve and fix it because they think, “Why is this even still happening? How does this even happen?”
As a parent, you think of this when you're raising your children. You think about what you are teaching your daughters and sons about consent. How do we even get to a point where we're still having this conversation?
As somebody who was raised as a Catholic, the whole Catholic church and Indian Horse coincides with reconciliation and abuse of power. To have this Hockey Canada scandal exposed.... We're not done. We're not done with setting a tone of what we accept. We're not done holding people to account. When you have the #MeToo movement.... What is still happening here that we're still having this conversation? I think it is critical that we have an opportunity and that this is the number one priority that needs to be served and paid attention to imminently.
I also want to talk a little bit about and the importance of it as well because I have had literally thousands of messages on this bill, both from my social media and the parliamentary email. Here's one email of thousands:
“Dear MP Ferreri, I'm writing to you to express my concerns about Bill , the online streaming act that is currently under review in Canadian Parliament. As it's currently written, Bill C-11 gives the CRTC the authority to regulate user-generated content on open platforms, as it does for television and radio. In its current form, Bill C-11 means Canadians will no longer be in control of their viewing experience and puts creators' livelihoods at risk. The government has repeatedly said it doesn't intend to target user-generated content. If that's the case, why won't they fix Bill C-11 with specific language that excludes user-generated content from CRTC regulation?
“Open platforms remove traditional media gatekeepers, which allows for the democratization of content and provides an opportunity for creators and users from diverse communities, walks of life and passions to express themselves, share their talent and build a business. As one of your constituents, I am counting on you to make my voice heard. Please help protect the digital creators and viewers in your community and tell to remove section 4.2 from to ensure that the bill does not apply to online content that is uploaded by any individual user.”
I won't share the name because I don't have the permission to do that.
It is absolutely imperative that this committee continue its work on . It is a huge issue across the board, as somebody who worked in traditional media, went on to work in private media and who built a business off of social media as an online creator.
To circle back, when we look at what online content creation is, it is also fascinating when we look at abuse or sexual assault culture. For anybody who's a parent or caregiver, you know that what your kids are consuming has changed the culture of who we were. I was born in 1979 and I'm just so glad I wasn't born in the time of social media. I wouldn't want half of that out in the public; that's for sure.
It's also changed how boys see themselves, how girls see themselves and how people identify in their gender. It does come back to what my colleague Kevin Waugh said. It was extremely powerful and emotional to hear it. When you know something is wrong and you don't do anything.... If not you, then who?
If we are the leaders of the country, if we are the federal body that governs what is accepted, we should be prioritizing this and making a statement that says, “Hey, we've got you. We are studying this. We want to change culture. We want to investigate this.”
What are we saying to every victim out there? Bringing these conversations up over and over again is so revictimizing for so many people, and it is such a challenge.
One of my favourite sayings is from Mr. Rogers, actually, who said that anything mentionable is manageable. If we don't address this, if we are not mentioning it, if we are not addressing that this is still happening, that there is still rape culture in sports and in this institution, that is saying, “Go ahead.”
I would urge this committee, which has a lot of power and a lot of influence, to say to victims watching everywhere that that we do care, we do want to change the narrative, we do want to stand with you, we will do something about it, and we will get to the bottom of this, because without accountability, there is no change. If we just allow people to abuse power because we're afraid, the cycle will continue. The systemic trauma that is in place as a result of these stories is decades and decades long. It is so impossible.... You will be talking about a mental health crisis and a health care crisis and money spent on trauma counselling since this is so systemic. If you don't deal with it, then the victims go on and have their children and they carry their trauma with them and the only way to break the cycle is to address it. Anything mentionable is manageable.
What I would leave this committee with and urge this committee is that your actions speak louder than your words. What you prioritize tells the world what matters to this federal body of people who are here. I think right now between the Supreme Court ruling and the hurt that so many victims are feeling, we have an opportunity to study this now and to show victims that we have their backs, we're going to investigate this and we're going to make sure that we do everything we can to make sure that this never happens again.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
I thank the committee for having me.
I thank all the parliamentarians here who supported the motion I tabled in the House last week.
Like you, I was shocked by this news. We have a duty to shed light on the actions of Hockey Canada following the victim's revelations. Hockey Canada's involvement in this matter is unjustifiable and we must ensure that not one penny of taxpayers' money was used to cover up this story. I also include in that the salaries of the executives who may have committed acts to cover up the allegations.
We need to know what actions Hockey Canada took as a result of these allegations, which occurred four years ago, I remind you. This is 2022, and Hockey Canada needs to answer our questions.
The amendment that Mr. Nater sent to us earlier is an interesting one, in my view. What he suggests could be added to the motion proposed by Mr. Bittle.
For my part, I propose to add this, in relation to the study to be undertaken by the committee:
[...] that, to do so, the committee meet outside its usual time slots to begin this study [...]
I also add the following idea, which I like:
[...] that the committee invite the Minister of Sport to appear for at least one hour; and that the committee invite representatives from Hockey Canada to appear for at least two hours.
Committees determine their priorities. I, for one, am the vice-chair of the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology, and I can tell you that every week for the past two weeks, one of our meetings has been cancelled.
I think we are able to chew gum and walk at the same time. If we could arrange another meeting, for three hours, to have the as well as representatives from Hockey Canada, I think that would address one of the concerns we have. It would respond to the will of Canadians who are outraged by what happened at Hockey Canada, who are listening to us and who want answers as quickly as possible. There is a way to do this without interfering with the work to pass Bill , which is also an emergency.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
I think the allegations surrounding Hockey Canada are serious. I think we all share that view, and it is something that we need to respond to and can do as early as next week. I think we all agree that has to be a priority. I think we all agree as well, or most of us agree, that Bill has to be a priority also.
For the last couple of weeks, we've had some legitimate filibusters around important issues and some that I do not feel have been useful expenditures of the committee's time. Most parties have already filed their amendments with the clerk and are waiting for the improvements that we want to bring to Bill .
We've held far more than the 20 hours of the original hearings, although some of those were disrupted by the filibusters, I would admit. Now is the time for us to actually look at the bill and improve it, and we can do that at the same time as we look into Hockey Canada.
What I'm endeavouring to do is to have Hockey Canada hearings and have the deadline for amendments. As I say, three of the four parties have already submitted, so there's only one party that would need to submit its amendments. Even then, Madam Chair, as we know from the legislative clerk, amendments can be submitted up until the time we actually have consideration of clause-by-clause, and even then it's not a hard stop. However, I think the principle of having all parties submit their amendments so that they can be produced and translated and circulated is important for preparation.
This would allow us to do both important things at the same time, to move them forward at the same time, and I hope that my Conservative colleagues will agree that, given that we're responding as well to an important issue they've raised, we can do both and we should proceed that way.
We've had a couple of weeks in which I don't think our time has served as well as it could have, so now next week let's get to work and fully use the time we have available to us to look into Bill in terms of clause-by-clause and improvements to the bill and to look at these allegations that surround Hockey Canada, which are disturbing and which I think we would all agree need to be investigated as well.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Yes, Madam Chair, thank you. I appreciate that.
I have some concerns about this subamendment because, in the last meeting, we discussed the importance of the motion with regard to Hockey Canada and having them come forward, along with other witnesses. Ultimately, at the end of the day, our objective within this committee is to stay true to the unanimous consent motion passed in the House of Commons, which called for a study on the sexual assault allegations put forward by an unnamed woman. Then, of course, the responded by saying that a financial audit was needed of any federal funding that may or may not have been used to cover up the story of gang rape.
It was determined, by unanimous consent in the House, that this study is very important to get to the bottom of. All MPs have agreed with this, and the has agreed on the importance behind it, so it is incumbent upon this committee to give it its full attention.
My concern is that, if we try to simultaneously carry out responsibility on clause-by-clause for Bill , the governing party would ensure that limited or finite resources, which already exist within the House of Commons, be put toward Bill C-11, because that is a government piece of legislation. Meanwhile, attention on the Hockey Canada study would only be granted if resources happen to be available. It would not be given the priority it deserves. That is—
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Lots has been said here today dealing with Bill and with Hockey Canada. I spoke quite a bit on Monday on Hockey Canada and have received a lot of feedback since the Monday motion that was put forward.
I've looked into the organization and who is still there and who has left.
What's up for Hockey Canada? We have the Memorial Cup coming around the corner. For those watching, the Memorial Cup pits the best hockey teams in Canada. You would have the Quebec junior hockey league champions and the Ontario Hockey League champions. You would have the host team, and you would have the Western Hockey League champions. The four best teams in the country meet, and it's interesting, because the Memorial Cup is emblematic of the best hockey players meeting for the tier one hockey championship, if you wish, in the country.
That's how Team Canada usually gets formed. In the case of the Edmonton Oil Kings, a number of their players were, in fact, selected for the Canadian junior hockey championship. That was to be held in Red Deer and Edmonton, but because of COVID and the financial restraints of the organization, they lost a lot of money in the year before when they started the tournament. Then COVID came. The Russian hockey club and other European hockey clubs in Red Deer contracted COVID through a wedding, and the tournament had to be cancelled.
It wasn't an ideal situation in Edmonton and Red Deer, because they limited the number of seats that could be sold, and they lost a lot of money. This year, if you recall, in Edmonton and Red Deer they just at the last moment decided to cancel it and reschedule it, I might add, for August, which is not ideal because the property—
I'd like to thank the Bloc member for bringing the unanimous motion forward to the House on June 2. Since then, Madam Chair, those around this table have probably seen comments by the, me and others in the country who are really horrified with the situation with Hockey Canada. It's not only the alleged rape, but I think Canadians also want to know if any taxpayer money was involved in the paying-off situation that happened in 2018.
Here's the other thing, Madam Chair. When we do bring Hockey Canada officials in, hopefully they do come. We've already lost a number from Hockey Canada over this. It was interesting because, when this was filed on April 20, one senior member of Hockey Canada stepped down. Since then, another has stepped down. When we get around to witnesses, hopefully these two people will come.
I am a little concerned about how we get them here if they don't want to come. Is there any way around this? Procedurally, two senior people obviously knew a lot. I have a list, Madam Chair, that I have given to our team that I can lay down at any time, with permission, when we need to bring these officials here. However, both are no longer with Hockey Canada and that concerns me a little bit. They don't want to be tarnished, I would imagine, yet both were long-term members of Hockey Canada and both had, obviously, considerable knowledge of what happened in 2018.
If you don't mind, I'm going to move on a little bit, Madam Chair. I just want everyone to know that this incident happened at the Hockey Canada gala in June of 2018. This had nothing to do with the World Junior Championship that was played in January. This actually deals a little bit with the Hockey Canada Foundation, unfortunately, which is a fundraising organization of Hockey Canada.
When we do submit a list of guests that we would like Hockey Canada and others to bring, just remember that this incident took place at the gala portion of it.
Now, let me continue with Bill . It's interesting, Madam Chair, because yesterday I received 20 submissions on Bill C-11. That's a lot of submissions. That tells me that on Bill C-11 we haven't done our due diligence. That we all got emailed about these organization yesterday—thank you, Clerk, for doing that—tells me that, as an organization around this table, we haven't done our due diligence.
I have Friends here, who used to be “Friends of Media”. They sent in a submission.
Music Canada has been very critical of Bill and we haven't heard from them.
Oh, it's Monday and Wednesday.
Madam Chair, if I moved a subamendment on Mr. Julian's motion stating that all meetings be designated for Hockey Canada's study until the study is complete, and only then, when the clerk cannot fill a meeting witness, do we start with Bill ....
Part of this is that as I was talking about, Madam Chair, I got 20 submissions yesterday alone. We had the here on Monday, who made some comments on the $1 billion, all of a sudden, that he thinks Bill is going to produce, and he made some other statements that I think we're going to get some more submissions on in the next couple of days. I know we are.
My question for Mr. Julian is this. Can we first just set aside and do Hockey Canada on Monday and Wednesday? Then, and after that see what has come in, since we did have the here and he made some comments that I think some organizations.... For example, he made a comment on commercial content here on Monday. I am getting a ton of emails on commercial content. It's not in the bill. They're wondering where he's coming from on commercial content. He never explained it.
I never got an explanation, Madam Chair, on the $1 billion. He actually turned to Owen Ripley, the associate minister. We went from $830 million to $1 billion. There are a couple of things the said on Monday that I think we're going to see in our submissions this week. They want some clarification. We've had 20 in the last two days. I'm scared to know how many more we're going to get.
Here's what I would like to see. Let's do Hockey Canada solely on Monday and Wednesday, if you wish. Bring in the , who is, like all of us, very concerned with this. She's been quoted in many articles, and not only about using Canadian funds. What about Hockey Canada? Have they learned anything from the past? Where are they going? As I just mentioned, many have left that organization since this story broke.
Let's deal with that on Monday. Let's deal with Hockey Canada again on Wednesday. For everybody, we can have our witness lists in before Friday on Hockey Canada. We don't need to identify anyone. I think the reporters in this country have identified John Does 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. They haven't identified the person. We don't need to, but we do need to hear from officials from Hockey Canada gala, where the event was held, the foundation, and we need to hear from Hockey Canada itself.
Of course, we also need to hear from the , because she's concerned that maybe Hockey Canada, who receives 6% funding from the Government of Canada.... That's 6% each year. Did they use a portion of that 6% to pay the $3.55 million that has been alleged in some of the reports?
I would like—
I'd like to jump on that, but because I'm seeing so much paper come in in the last two days, it tells me, around this table, we haven't done a very good job on Bill and that disturbs me.
I still haven't heard from APTN and diverse voices. We've heard from how many groups on diverse voices on Bill that will be affected? We've heard from two. We haven't heard from the national carrier for the indigenous. They haven't submitted anything. You've had it on your witness list. I think we even had it on our witness list.
I think we need to hear from the diverse voices around Bill . That would give us some time to look through the 20 submissions in the last two days and see if we have any others because of commercial content, because of the billion dollars. Then we can come back next week and we can submit our amendments to Bill C-11. How's that?
We need time because here are 20...and I've had commercial content, which is not in the bill. People are wondering what that's all about and I can't answer them on that. The couldn't really answer it. He talked about commercial content. We've asked him about it, but the minister couldn't identify what commercial content is when it doesn't even show up in the bill.
If we're going to do both of these.... I think we have two weeks left, Madam Chair, until the 23rd, and we can get it in. We can have Hockey Canada Monday and Wednesday and have our submissions after that. We can put it in on Wednesday or Thursday next week, and we can move ahead and do Bill properly. We've been here for four or five months now dealing with it. I think the government would agree we should not proceed with Bill at this point because we've not even done Bill C-11 right now. I say Bill C-18 because I thought the minister in his testimony on Monday got both bills confused. I just felt that we needed to buckle down.
Thank you, Mr. Julian, for all your support on Hockey Canada. I think it's much needed in this country for everybody who wants to play for Team Canada, men and women. I think we need to go ahead with that.
I agree one hundred per cent but at the same time, because we're dealing with Bill and so many submissions, I would like to have a little more time to get the submissions from people who have reached out to my office, in particular about commercial content. I can't answer them on that and I'm not sure you can answer them, Madam Chair, or anyone around here, because commercial content does not appear in Bill C-11.
How do I answer that when the minister couldn't answer that on Monday? That's why I'm a little reluctant to move on with Bill , when I heard some stories coming out of Monday's meeting from the and his official Mr. Ripley.... In moving from $830 million to $1 billion, where does that come from? He mentioned YouTube once, so I'd like to know where the extra $170 million is coming from. Bill had $830 million and we've gone to $1 billion.
When I asked that question on Monday it was like, where did that number come from? I'm not sure we got the answer for that. I am hearing from stakeholders who want to know a little more information on the commercial content and I'm hearing about the $1 billion, about how the government is going to get a billion dollars out of Bill and what they are going to do with that. I think we need a little more time to flesh that out, if you don't mind, in the committee. I'm not filibustering here—
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!