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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Emblem of the House of Commons

House of Commons Debates

Volume 151
No. 176


Thursday, March 30, 2023

Speaker: The Honourable Anthony Rota

    The House met at 10 a.m.


Routine Proceedings

[Routine Proceedings]



Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner

    Pursuant to subsection 15(3) of the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, it is my duty to lay upon the table the list of all sponsored travel by members for the year 2022, with a supplement as provided by the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.


Government Response to Petitions

    Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 36(8)(a), I have the honour to table, in both official languages, the government's response to five petitions.
    These returns will be tabled in an electronic format.


Committees of the House

Industry and Technology 

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 11th report of the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology in relation to Bill C-244, an act to amend the Copyright Act (diagnosis, maintenance and repair).
    The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendment.
    I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 12th report of the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology in relation to Bill C-288, an act to amend the Telecommunications Act (transparent and accurate broadband services information).
    The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House with amendment.
    I also have the honour to present, in both official languages, the 13th report of the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology in relation to Bill C-294, an act to amend the Copyright Act (interoperability).
    The committee has studied the bill and has decided to report the bill back to the House also with amendment.

Environment and Sustainable Development  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the eighth report of the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, entitled “Main Estimates 2023-24: Votes 1, 5 and 10 under Department of the Environment, Votes 1 and 5 under Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and Votes 1, 5 and 10 under Parks Canada Agency”.



Canada–People’s Republic of China Relationship  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the second interim report of the Special Committee on the Canada–People’s Republic of China Relationship entitled, “Canada and Taiwan: A Strong Relationship in Turbulent Times”.
    Pursuant to Standing Order 109, the committee requests that the government table a comprehensive response to this report.

National Framework on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Act

     moved for leave to introduce Bill C-329, an act to establish a national framework respecting attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
    She said: Mr. Speaker, it is my privilege to stand today to table this bill on behalf of the residents of Edmonton Strathcona and all Canadians who recognize the value of creating equitable access to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder treatments and support in our country.
    I want to thank the member for London—Fanshawe for seconding this bill. I also want to thank all the advocates, the teachers, the doctors and those from the Centre for ADHD Awareness for their incredible work on this.
    I am also delighted to tell the House that my father Duke, my nephew Angus and my son Maclean are joining me in Ottawa today to help me table this important legislation. The reason for that is my son Mac has ADHD, so for my family this is a different piece of legislation.
    ADHD is one of the most common psychological disorders that affects children in this country. We have no system to ensure that teachers, doctors and those working with children receive the training they require and that there is a framework to ensure that young people across the country can get the support they need. The reason this is so important is that, when children are supported and are provided with the tools they require, there are nothing but good outcomes for those children. However, if they are not given the support they require the outcomes are very difficult, as are the economic impacts on our communities.
    Therefore, today I am so proud to stand here and table this bill. I am proud to be able to stand here and speak on behalf of my family, the teachers and the doctors across this country, and the many people who have worked so hard to bring awareness to ADHD.

     (Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Committees of the House

Procedure and House Affairs  

    Mr. Speaker, there have been discussions amongst the parties and if you seek it, I believe you will find unanimous consent to adopt the following motion:
    That, notwithstanding any Standing Order, special order, or usual practice of the House, the 11th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, be deemed concurred in.
    All those opposed to the hon. member's moving the motion will please say nay. It is agreed.
    The House has heard the terms of the motion. All those opposed to the motion please say nay.

     (Motion agreed to)


Falun Gong  

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to table a petition that highlights the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
    The petitioners state that Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that consists of meditation exercises and moral teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance.
    They note that they are the victims of various forms of persecution in China, including forced organ harvesting and trafficking.
    The petitioners call on Parliament to pass a resolution to establish measures to stop the Chinese Communist regime's crime of systematically murdering Falun Gong practitioners for their organs, to amend Canadian legislation to combat forced organ harvesting and to publicly call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.


Seal Island Lighthouse  

    Mr. Speaker, today I am presenting a petition about the Seal Island Lighthouse, which was established in 1831 as a crucial guide for ships entering and leaving the Bay of Fundy area.
    Strong tides, weather systems, and reefs and rocks around the island have made Seal Island a major hazard to shipping for more than three centuries. Those dangers continue today. The original settlers of the island, the Hichens and the Crowell families, lobbied for the building of the lighthouse.
    Samuel Cunard, founder of the Cunard Line, as commissioner of lighthouses, was instrumental in having the Seal Island Lighthouse established.
    The Seal Island Lighthouse is extremely important to local residents in Southwest Nova Scotia and to seasonal island dwellers, many of whom have direct ties to those original lighthouse dwellers and lightkeepers who served that lighthouse from 1831 to 1990.
    The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to continue the maintenance of the 1831 Seal Island Lighthouse, as it is currently being managed by the Canadian Coast Guard.

The Economy  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of presenting two petitions today, the first being a petition regarding the cost of living.
    Many Canadians are concerned about the increased cost of living and the lack of government action thereof.
    The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to immediately table a plan to address the affordability crisis in Canada. The petition has over 500 signatures.


    Mr. Speaker, I also have the pleasure and honour of tabling a petition concerning provincial sovereignty.
    The over 3,000 petitioners note that the government's continued appeal of decisions regarding Bill C-69 and the constitutionality thereof is a violation of provincial sovereignly and jurisdiction.
    The petitioners are calling upon the government to respect the ruling of the Alberta Court of Appeal by not seeking further appeals, to recognize Bill C-69 as unconstitutional and to immediately repeal this legislation.

Rights of the Unborn  

    Mr. Speaker, it is well established that the risk of violence against women increases when they are pregnant. This is the concern of these petitioners.
    Currently, the injury or death of preborn children as victims of crime is not considered an aggravating circumstance for sentencing purposes in the Criminal Code of Canada.
    Canada has no abortion law, and this legal void is such that we do not even recognize preborn children as victims in violent crimes. Justice requires that an attacker who abuses a pregnant woman and a preborn child be sentenced accordingly. The sentence should match the crime.
    The petitioners are calling on the House of Commons to legislate the abuse of a pregnant woman, and or the infliction of harm on a preborn child, as aggravating circumstances for sentencing purposes in the Criminal Code.


    Mr. Speaker, today I am presenting a petition from many concerned Canadians from Alberta and B.C., including in my own riding of Calgary Confederation.
    The petitioners are justifiably concerned that individuals with a history of sexually inappropriate behaviours are permitted to live in close quarters with vulnerable seniors in care homes. The petitioners highlight a tragic case involving an Alzheimer's patient, Ruth, and they believe her sexual assault could have been prevented if care homes took these threats more seriously.
    The inability of care homes to separate known sexual abusers from very vulnerable populations is allowing them to commit their crimes with little recourse. This is wrong, violates the vulnerable and causes untold stress for their families.
    The petitioners want the government to bring forward legislation that prevents known sex offenders from cohabiting in facilities with known vulnerable seniors.


    Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present a petition signed by thousands of Canadians across the country who are deeply concerned that the government's proposed freeze on the sale and transfer of handguns is an ineffective way to combat violent crime and that these regulations disproportionately affect law-abiding firearms owners. The petitioners are calling on the government to immediately repeal this freeze and instead to direct resources to combat the smuggling of firearms across our borders, to combat the prevalence of ghost-gun manufacturing and to establish common-sense firearms laws that protect legal firearms owners.


Salmon Fishery  

    Mr. Speaker, it is a huge honour and privilege to table this petition today on behalf of constituents of mine from Tofino and Clayoquot Sound. They cite that migrating juvenile wild salmon stocks are under serious threat from pathogens, pollutants and sea lice originating from open-net fish farms. Wild salmon supports first nations cultural traditions and complex ecosystems, including contributing to coastal forests, which produce the oxygen we breathe.
     In spite of the serious risk that domestic piscine orthoreovirus poses to the migrating juvenile wild salmon stocks, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans refuses to screen for domestic PRV and to stop the transfer of farmed fish that are known to be infected with PRV. Pacific salmon runs on the Pacific coast and in B.C. are in a state of emergency.
     The petitioners are calling on the government to immediately stop the transfer of PRV-infected smolts into open-net fish farms. They also ask that it complete the transition of open-pen fish farms to land-based closed containment by 2025 and follow through with the removal of its promise of open-net fish farms from B.C. waters by 2025.


Citizenship and Immigration  

    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour to present a petition.


    The petition is relating to Canada's response to the tragic earthquakes in Turkey and Syria on February 6. The petitioners note that at the time of the petition's creation, over 40,000 lives had been lost and more than 150,000 people had been injured. They note that the growing Turkish diaspora, with over 150,000 people, have family members who were injured, lost their homes and have no place to stay.
     The 2,826 signatories call upon the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to create a special visa program for family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Turkey. They also ask the minister to expedite the processing of family reunification applications for primary applicants who live in the earthquake zone.
    I want to thank all our Turkish and Syrian communities for their advocacy in the aftermath of this tragedy.


    Mr. Speaker, it is an honour to present a petition from members of my community in Kelowna—Lake Country and the surrounding area. To summarize, the petitioners are calling on the government to stop targeting law-abiding hunters, sports shooters and farmers with gun legislation; to revise Bill C-21 so that it would effectively address the illegal use of firearms by criminals, while respecting the rights of law-abiding citizens; and last, to focus law-enforcement resources on gangs, drug traffickers, illegal gun traffickers and those who purchase firearms illegally.

Human Rights in Pakistan  

    Mr. Speaker, I have a number of petitions to present to the House today, and I am grateful for the opportunity.
    The first petition concerns the human rights conditions of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, which has contributed so much to our country but sadly faces serious persecution in many parts of the world. Petitioners note horrific comments made by a senior cleric of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik party in Pakistan, advocating violence against pregnant Ahmadiyya women and calling for horrific violence targeting the Ahmadiyya community.
    Petitioners also that note Ahmadiyya Muslim children are being expelled from school in the Attock district simply because of their faith identity. They note that Pakistan is a signatory to the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”, and that this right includes freedom to “manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance”.
    Canadians who signed this petition are concerned about the safety of minorities in Pakistan, including Ahmadiyya Muslims, but also Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and other Muslim minority communities. They call on the government and the House to condemn the encouragement and calls to violence we have seen from certain figures in Pakistan, especially Muhammad Naeem Chattha Qadri, the cleric I referred to earlier; to defend the right of Pakistani Ahmadiyya children to attend school; to urge the Pakistani government to condemn violence against the Ahmadiyya Muslim community and all religious minorities; and also to urge the Government of Pakistan to reform or eliminate blasphemy laws, which are used to disproportionately target religious minorities.
    I thank petitioners for their work on that very important issue.



    Mr. Speaker, the next petition responds to the horrific, unprovoked genocidal Russian invasion of Ukraine and the human rights crisis it has caused.
    Petitioners want to see the Government of Canada immediately waive visa requirements and grant visa-free travel to Ukrainians. This was a proposal that had the majority support of the House but sadly does not have the support of the government.

Medical Assistance in Dying  

    Mr. Speaker, the next petition is surrounding proposals we have seen for the legalization of euthanasia for children in Canada.
    Petitioners are opposed to euthanasia for children. They believe killing children is always wrong. They note that Louis Roy of the Quebec college of physicians recommended expanding euthanasia to “babies from birth to one year of age who come into the world with severe deformities and very serious syndromes”. Again, petitioners say that infanticide is always wrong.
    The petitioning citizens and residents of Canada call on the government to block any attempt to legalize the killing of children.

Human Rights  

    Mr. Speaker, I am next tabling a petition in support of Bill C-257, my private member's bill that seeks to combat political discrimination.
    Petitioners say that Canadians have a right to be protected against any form of discrimination, that Canadians can and do face political discrimination, that it is a fundamental right in Canada to be politically active and to be vocal and not face discrimination as a result, and that it is in the best interests of Canadian democracy to protect public debate and the exchange of differing ideas.
    Petitioners call on the House to support and pass Bill C-257, which would add political belief and activity as prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act. They also want the House to defend the right of Canadians to peacefully express differing political opinions.
    Mr. Speaker, the next petition is also in support of a private member's bill, Bill C-281, which is currently before the foreign affairs committee.
    Petitioners note the importance of Canada's standing up for the rights of ethnic, religious and other minority groups targeted by human rights violations around the world, and they see this bill as an important step and an important tool in that fight for greater Canadian engagement in international human rights. They want to see the House act quickly to adopt Bill C-281, the international human rights act.

Charitable Organizations  

    Mr. Speaker, the next petition I am tabling is also on an issue of human rights and freedom of conscience and religion.
    It highlights the Liberal 2021 platform proposal to deny charitable status to organizations that have different perspectives on the issue of abortion than the Liberal Party does. This threat to the charitable status of organizations that do not share the political outlook of the government could jeopardize the charitable status of hospitals, houses of worship, schools, homeless shelters and other charitable organizations doing important work. The proposal from the Liberals follows a previous proposal for a values test associated with the Canada summer jobs program. Now they want to apply it to charitable status in general.
    Petitioners argue that charitable status should be allocated on a politically neutral basis based on objective criteria, not based on agreement with the political positions of the government of the day. They call on the House, therefore, to preserve the application of charitable status on a politically and ideologically neutral basis, to not impose new values tests and to affirm the right of freedom of expression for all Canadians.

Questions on the Order Paper

    Mr. Speaker, I ask that all questions be allowed to stand at this time.
    Is that agreed?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.

Private Members' Business

    The Chair would like to make a statement concerning the management of Private Members' Business. As members know, certain constitutional procedural realities constrain the Speaker and members insofar as legislation is concerned.


     Following each replenishment of the order of precedence, the Chair reviews items so that the House can be alerted to bills that, at first glance, appear to infringe on the financial prerogative of the Crown. This allows members to intervene in a timely fashion to present their views on the need for those bills to be accompanied by a royal recommendation.



    Following replenishment of the order of precedence with 15 new items on Thursday, March 16, two bills concern the Chair. One is Bill C-318, an act to amend the Employment Insurance Act and the Canada Labour Code (adoptive and intended parents) standing in the name of the member for Battlefords—Lloydminster.


     The other is Bill C‑319, an act to amend the Old Age Security Act (amount of full pension), standing in the name of the member for Shefford. The Chair is of the view that these bills may need a royal recommendation.
    Members are therefore invited to make arguments regarding the requirement of a royal recommendation for Bills C-318 and C-319 at the earliest opportunity.
    I thank the members for their attention.

Government Orders

[S. O. 57]


Motion No. 2—Senate Amendments to Bill C-11

Motion that debate be not further adjourned  

    Mr. Speaker, in relation to consideration of Motion No. 2 respecting Senate amendments to Bill C-11, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts, I move:
    That debate be not further adjourned.


    Pursuant to Standing Order 67.1, there will now be a 30-minute question period.


    I invite hon. members who wish to ask questions to rise in their places or use the “raise hand” function so the Chair has some idea of the number of members who wish to participate in the question period.
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Lethbridge.
    Mr. Speaker, what we just heard from the government is that it has moved closure on Bill C-11 and our discussion with regard to the amendments that came back from the Senate.
    Closure means that the government is shutting down debate. I find this rather interesting because, really, Bill C-11 is a censorship bill, so we have a government that has moved a censorship bill and now is moving censorship on that censorship bill. Let us talk about a government very committed to censorship; it not only wants to censor what Canadians can see, hear and post online through Bill C-11, but the government also wants to censor us as opposition members in our ability to speak to the bill.
    It should be further noted that the Quebec government, under Premier Legault, issued an open letter asking to be heard with regard to this legislation, because it has significant concerns. It asked that the bill be referred to committee, but it was not.
    Therefore, not only was referral to committee not permitted, but now thorough debate is not permitted. Let us talk about a government committed to shutting down voices, not only the voices of the individuals in the House but also the individuals online who have something to say within that space. Why is this government so hell-bent on shutting down freedom?
    Madam Speaker, let me start by thanking all members in the House, as well as members of the other chamber, for having spoken so long and so well on the matter of this bill. I have information that, in the House, we spent 34 hours debating the bill, plus an additional 22 hours at committee. In the Senate, they spent 18 hours debating the bill in the chamber, plus an additional 65 hours in clause-by-clause debate.
    That is historic, because it is the longest time ever that the Senate has taken to look at a bill clause by clause. It is historic in the amount of time and effort that members of Parliament spent on the bill. This indeed is very important, because it is an important bill.
    We look forward to bringing it forward to Canadians.



    Madam Speaker, it is too bad that we are facing yet another closure motion on such an important bill. It is true that hours and hours have been devoted to studying this bill in committee. Those hours were often monopolized by the Conservatives, who did not want to allow the work to advance because they were sticking to their position and were inflexible. A little more flexibility could have led to a compromise, but that did not happen.
     My colleague from Lethbridge talked about the Quebec government's requests. I think it is very interesting to hear the Conservatives suddenly take an interest in Quebec culture. Quebec's requests were made to the government and not necessarily to the entire committee.
    Was it not the government's responsibility to take that into account when the time came to do so and at least share the Quebec government's requests with all the members of the committee?
    The Conservatives might not have been here today making this argument, and we might have been wrapping up the work on this very important bill that our culture and broadcasting system have been so eagerly awaiting.
    Madam Speaker, I would like to thank our colleague from Drummond and his Bloc Québécois colleagues for all the work they have done in recent months to restore some reason and reduce the confusion surrounding this important bill. Unfortunately, there are many conspiracy theories and misunderstandings. Fortunately, they are rarely the product of bad faith.
    It is 2023. The ways content is broadcast have changed dramatically. Creators, musicians, artists, technicians, screenwriters across Canada, including Quebec, need the Canadian government to do its job and ensure that web giants support Canadian culture and artists. I am very happy and very grateful for the Bloc's work and support in this regard.


    Madam Speaker, there is no doubt that Bill C-11 is needed. We have seen a hemorrhaging of our artistic and cultural sectors. We have seen the loss of thousands of jobs. What Bill C-11 would do, in effect, is allow for more support for our cultural sector and more ability for Canadians to find Canadian content, to actually see Canadian artists and hear messages from other parts of Canada. This is absolutely essential.
    That being said, two parties have approached this differently. The NDP approach Bill C-11 with the idea of improving the bill. We brought in important amendments to uphold the freedom of speech, to ensure indigenous peoples and racialized Canadians would be a bigger part of broadcasting and their content would be more available online.
    Conservatives have been throwing wacky conspiracy theories onto the floor of the House of Commons, hour after hour, comparing Bill C-11 to what goes on in North Korea. There is nothing about mass starvation, prison camps or systemic torture in Bill C-11.
    I want to ask my colleague across the way this question: Is the fact that the Conservatives wasted all of this debating time by throwing in wacky conspiracy theories part of the importance of actually getting this bill through to help Canadian artists in the cultural sector?
    Madam Speaker, let me also express my words of thanks on behalf of the minister and the government, and on behalf of all artists and members of the cultural communities across Canada. My congratulations and my thanks go to the member opposite and his party for pointing out the importance of modernizing and making more equitable the Broadcasting Act. Again, we are in the 21st century. We are not back in the 19th century, when we used other means of communication and technology.
    It is very important that we can depend on everyone's input to be reasonable, focus on facts and avoid conspiracy theories. There is nothing in this bill that goes against freedom of speech. In fact, it would support the freedom of expression of our artists in Canada, who depend so much on our support and do not get the support they need from web giants these days.


     Madam Speaker, could the minister expand on just how this legislation is meant to modernize the Broadcasting Act? We would have to go back to the early 1990s to look at the last time there were any significant changes. At that time, things like Netflix and Crave did not exist, let alone the technological advancement of the Internet over the last 30 years.
    Could the minister provide his thoughts on just trying to keep up with the times?
    Madam Speaker, it is exactly that, keeping up with the times and looking forward to an ever-stronger and prouder community of artists, musicians and creators in our field in Canada.
    We are so proud of Canadian culture. We know, however, that web giants are making enormous amounts of money on the backs of Canadian artists. On this side of the House, we are certainly not preoccupied with their bottom line or how much profit they make. We are more focused on how much support they can provide to our artists and communities in Canada, and that is what we are going to continue working on.
    Madam Speaker, in spite of the minister's assertions, this bill would not in any way help Canadian voices. What it would do is prop up a failing business model of other types of legacy content producers.
    There is one line in a review of the bill that says, “C-11 will take money away from young entrepreneurs, funnel it back to traditional media and fund content from the established and well-connected culturati.” I believe that this is an accurate assessment of the bill. I do not believe that the government has addressed concerns that have been raised by thousands of Canadians, which is why we need more debate. We need more debate on this bill because it would impact so many Canadians in a negative way.
    Given all these facts, why is the government curtailing debate on its censorship bill?
    Madam Speaker, there is indeed an impact on people here, and the impact is on the CEOs of web giants. There are very few of them in my riding. I live in a riding where there are lots of artists, where people come from outside of my region of Quebec City to visit festivals and support culture in my community. That is where people want to work and live.
    I am not particularly concerned about Netflix and big giants in my riding. They obviously do their job and make profits. What I am more interested in is providing the support the communities and artists need in my riding.
    Madam Speaker, one of my concerns about this piece of legislation is the Conservatives wanting to delay closure on it and the passage of it, even though it has gone through quite a lot of debate in this place and the other place. I am concerned about their desire to fundraise off of it by continually bringing forward misinformation around the bill. Furthermore, I am concerned about their use of the bill as a political tool, as opposed to debating its actual substance.
    Could the minister comment on their desire to fundraise off of it as their core desire?
    Madam Speaker, the Senate spent 83 hours of its time looking at the bill, and House of Commons committees spent 56 hours on it. As we mentioned earlier, this is the longest-ever amount of time the Senate has spent on the study of a particular bill. That is why we are so proud and so pleased about the enormous amount of work that people in the House and the other chamber did over the last months and years. It is why we look forward to moving on with the bill.
    Artists, musicians and cultural communities in Canada need our support, and that is why we are so proud to be able to provide it to them.
    Madam Speaker, I cannot tell the hon. minister how distressed I am to see the hon. Minister of Health defending closure on debate on a bill that has nothing to do with his portfolio. Everything about closure offends basic democracy within Parliament.
    I have said this before, and I will say it again. When I was first elected in 2011, I watched the then Conservative majority start the process of using closure on almost every bill. Sitting over there, my colleagues in the Liberal Party and I bemoaned and railed against this horrible abuse of our democratic process in Parliament. They did so only to turn around and use closure as often and then more often than the previous government did.
    I do not particularly enjoy the debate on Bill C-11. It is not a battle of wits but a disinformation campaign versus facts. However, the reality is that every MP in this place has a right to debate, and closure is wrong.


    Madam Speaker, I think we all regret that too. We would prefer to be able to move on a different path with the Conservative opposition, as has been mentioned by the Bloc and the NDP, and as the leader of the Green Party just reminded us. This is unfortunate, but that is the only path to helping Canadians and artists in our communities go forward in a challenging world. Social media, modern technology and all that can support cultural development in Canada, but it needs to be done in a manner that is adapted to the reality of the 21st century.
    Madam Speaker, there is no doubt that the bill is a disaster. Liberals have been flailing away with it for months. They tried it in the last Parliament. They steadfastly refuse to exempt user-uploaded content. It has been to the Senate; indeed, as the minister said in his remarks, the Senate spent a record amount of time debating this bill because it is a disaster. The bill needed the 20-odd amendments that were sent back, which still do not even fix it, and the government is ramming it back and just accepting a few of the amendments.
    Can the member not grasp, or does he not agree, that a bill that required this much extra work to fix it within the Senate should at least, at a minimum, continue to be debated here and referred to a committee in the House of Commons? Then we could maybe have a chance to cobble this together into something that is not the disaster it is.
    Madam Speaker, the member is right in pointing to the important work the Senate did. It is why a very large number of the amendments the Senate is proposing are being approved and accepted by the government. We look forward to moving forward with them. That is why, as has also been said, we are grateful for its work and the 83 hours of time it spent on the bill. It is a very important bill; the member is correct. It had to have specific efforts and time to—
    You still reject those amendments.
    I just want to remind the hon. member that while someone has the floor, it is not proper to interrupt. I also indicated this a while ago. If the hon. member has questions and comments, she should wait until it is time for questions and comments and attempt to be recognized.
    The hon. minister can continue.
    Madam Speaker, the member who was speaking is totally right to be able to focus her attention on that.
    Thank you. Thank you.
    Madam Speaker, I look forward to more questions from her, as she keeps speaking as I try to answer the other person's question. It is fair and fine that this is happening. It is a right of all members of this House to speak at the appropriate time, as the Speaker just said, and I look forward to answering more questions.
    Madam Speaker, it is an honour and privilege to be able to rise in this discussion.
    I was just at the first-ever Qualicum Beach Film Festival. It was led by a grade 12 student in my riding. It just shows the opportunity for film and the importance of media in our communities. In fact, in Qualicum Beach, there is $18 million being spent in the film sector alone. The opportunity is endless, but they are playing at an unfair advantage.
    Groups across the country, such as the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, FRIENDS of Canadian broadcasting, the Writers Guild of Canada and the Canadian Media Producers Association, are getting behind this bill and calling for action.
    There have been delays. We hear Conservatives say that this bill is a disaster and everything is broken. Some things are broken. This is something that is broken, and it needs to be fixed. We are here to fix things. Instead of wanting to fix things, Conservatives want to keep things broken. They want to tear it down.
    We need to move forward. Can the minister speak about the sense of urgency there is to support Canadian producers?


    Madam Speaker, the member for Courtenay—Alberni said it really well. There are challenges, pressures and stressors that cultural communities, artists, musicians and others in our communities face. We know how hard-working they are, but they are working in a different environment now in 2023 than they were in the 20th century. That is why, as he rightly says, fixing things is absolutely essential. That is why we are so proud and so grateful for his efforts in trying to support his community, including the diverse community of artists in his riding, and in mine as well.


    Madam Speaker, we talked earlier about Quebec's demands. This is a very important subject.
    Quebec's demands are extremely important, even Quebec has not communicated them to all the parties and to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage which is studying the bill. We are preparing to vote, under a gag order, on a bill that will have a significant impact on broadcasting in Quebec and on Quebec culture. Quebec is making a legitimate demand. It is asking that Quebec be consulted on all matters relating to francophone broadcasting and culture.
    How will the government respond to these very legitimate demands from Quebec, even though we are passing Bill C‑11 under a gag order?
    Madam Speaker, I again thank my colleague from Drummond for all he is doing and for his kind words about the artists and arts community in Quebec, including in my riding of Quebec City.
    The actors, screenwriters, composers, technicians, musicians, all the people who bring our culture to life in Quebec and make it vibrant have said that they support this bill and want it to move forward.
    With respect to collaboration with the Government of Quebec, it is not just about consultation. As I mentioned earlier, it is about collaborating with the Government of Quebec. We have different roles and different responsibilities, but we all have the same goal, and that is to support our artists across Canada, including in Quebec.


    Madam Speaker, my question actually comes on the heels of the question from the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands. The reality is that we are seeing a tremendous amount of disinformation coming from Conservatives within the House.
    As a matter of fact, this is what the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands said after listening to the member for Oshawa on Monday night. She said:
    Madam Speaker, as the hon. member for Oshawa was speaking, all I could think is that somewhere there is a Liberal war room clipping all of that to use in ads to make sure no one votes Conservative.
    The reality is that we have heard misinformation and disinformation, time after time, with a total of 29 speeches from Conservatives at second reading and another 19 at the current stage we are in. Conservatives are just trying to slow this down.
    Despite the fact that I empathize with the member for Saanich—Gulf Islands in the concern she raised, she knows just as well as everybody else in the House that the bill will not move forward unless one of two things happens: we invoke closure or we change the rules so that they do not allow this endless disinformation and misinformation campaign to continue.
    Could the minister comment on that?
    Madam Speaker, it is indeed troubling. We live in a world in which we should be able to speak about facts, and in the process, reassure Canadians that this is done for the right purposes and in a manner that is supported by so many artists and artists' representatives in Canada.
    It is sad, as the Green Party leader also said earlier. However, as the parliamentary secretary mentioned, we can either do nothing or move forward.
    Doing nothing would be unacceptable in the context of the 21st century.
    Madam Speaker, before I begin, I just wanted to acknowledge the fact that when we are calling on people to ask questions, we look at the proportionate representation that we have in the House for those who are standing and asking questions on the opposition side.
    First of all, I want to comment that this is shutting down debate on Bill C-11.
    Yes, there were comments that this has spent a lot of time in both the House and the Senate. However, that is because the bill was so poorly planned and poorly written. That is why there has been so much debate and so many amendments on the bill: It is just so awful.
    What has happened now, just to make it really clear, is that the amendments have come to the House, but the government has turned down those amendments going to committee. Therefore, there is no opportunity for the public to comment on any of the amendments.
    It is also very interesting that the minister who is here answering questions today on Bill C-11, a Broadcasting Act and Internet-related bill, is the health minister.
    Rather than listening to all the people who had testified on this, all the digital content creators, the experts or the academics, he commented that his response was solely about how this would help organizations in his riding. That was very interesting.
    My question is: Why are you shutting down debate and not allowing this to go to committee so that you can hear from Canadians?


    I will remind the member I am not shutting down the debate.
    The hon. minister.
    Madam Speaker, I sure the member for Kelowna—Lake Country is very proud of her riding too. That is why I sometimes speak about my riding. Although I am the Minister of Health, more important, I am a proud representative of the Quebec City area and the member of Parliament for Québec.
    She is right to point to the fact that we have spent, and are spending, enormous amounts of time on this bill in the House and in the other chamber. We have spent a total of 56 hours in the House of Commons, including in committee, and 83 hours in the Senate.
    As the parliamentary secretary said a moment ago, we have heard almost 50 different speeches from Conservative MPs. We congratulate them for speaking so much on this bill. We know it is a concern for everyone and we are grateful for everyone's contributions.
    Madam Speaker, it is completely exhausting to hear the Conservatives continue to spread misinformation and disinformation, and then campaign and fund raise off this misinformation. This is a theme that we hear over and over again. This is most definitely the case right now.
    Could the member share his thoughts on why we are not seeing the Conservatives apply the work that needs to be done to ensure we are protecting Canadian artists? What are the impacts on Canadians across the country, who are set up for failure in a system stacked against them? Instead, it could be providing opportunities for Canadian artists to show off their amazing talents across our country.
    Madam Speaker, the member has asked me why Conservative members do not want to move forward. I am sure it is not because they would like to support the bottom lines of web giants. I suppose that is not the case. It would seem to be the case when there is so much focus on protecting their interests and the interests of artists in Canada.
    I am also very proud of what she said when it comes to supporting the cultural diversity and cultural strength of our communities in Canada. Canadians are very proud, as she said so well, of what we have in Canada, a cultural identity that depends on the talents and efforts of so many artists, musicians and others. However, they need and want to prosper in a modern world where technology is changing and where the Broadcasting Act and the regulations associated to it also need to evolve.
    Madam Speaker, I want to comment on the amount of conspiracy theories on the other side of the floor that keep being presented, along with misinformation and disinformation on Bill C-11.
    The responses on this side of the floor have come in reaction to witnesses who have come to the House, to us, to other individuals and to the committee. The truth of the matter is this. I believe the concern on the other side of the floor, and the reason the Liberals want to shut down debate, is because, just like on other issues where we have been attacked as having conspiracy theories, the world is definitely finding out the truth on all of these issues. That would apply to this one as well, because those very methods of getting information, outside of what the government would like to see as the source, are revealing a great deal of truth about these issues. Yes, the CRTC needs to be improved, and I totally agree with that, but it needs to stay out of this realm.


    Madam Speaker, 56 and 83 are the number of hours that we spent in the House and that senators spent in their chamber looking at this bill. It is a great source of gratitude to see the extensive efforts that we all made and provided collectively in looking at the bill.
    As we know, things are changing. Canadians expect us to progress on matters that are important to them, and artists, musicians and cultural communities are also looking to us to support them. That is why we need to progress, having listened to the great input of everyone in this place and in the other place.


    Madam Speaker, a little earlier my colleague opposite spoke about the arts community in his riding of Quebec City. Those artists support the bill. I can attest to that because I recently attended a meeting of the Union des artistes in Montreal. The artists are currently renegotiating agreements with producers on different platforms and in the film industry. I spoke at a meeting of the Union des artistes, where I said that Bill C-11 would soon pass and that there would likely be more money for artists. Obviously, Quebec artists support this bill. Not only do they all support it, they cannot wait for it pass.
    Could my colleague talk a little more about the importance of passing this bill as quickly as possible?
    Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, not only for his more recent work, but for all that he has done during his career. He has put in so much effort and brought so much talent into the arts community throughout Quebec. It is a great source of encouragement and hope to know that, even though we work in different political parties in the House, we, in Quebec, are all focused on the same goal of supporting those who need us, such as the community of francophone artists in Canada and Quebec.
    The artists need help. They are very strong and their skills are solid. They have a lot of talent. However, because they are working in a minority context, the Canadian government must also assume responsibility.


    It is my duty to interrupt the proceedings at this time and put forthwith the question on the motion now before the House.
    The question is on the motion.


     If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes that the motion be carried or carried on division or wishes to request a recorded division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.


    Madam Speaker, we would request a recorded vote.


     (The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

(Division No. 290)



Collins (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek)
Collins (Victoria)
Louis (Kitchener—Conestoga)
MacAulay (Cardigan)
MacDonald (Malpeque)
MacKinnon (Gatineau)
Martinez Ferrada
May (Cambridge)
McDonald (Avalon)
McKinnon (Coquitlam—Port Coquitlam)
Petitpas Taylor
Sidhu (Brampton East)
Sidhu (Brampton South)
Taylor Roy
Van Bynen
van Koeverden

Total: -- 173



Duncan (Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry)
Falk (Battlefords—Lloydminster)
Falk (Provencher)
Lewis (Essex)
Lewis (Haldimand—Norfolk)
May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
McCauley (Edmonton West)
Rempel Garner
Van Popta

Total: -- 145




Total: -- 4

    I declare the motion carried.

Online Streaming Act

[Government Orders]
     The House resumed from March 27 consideration of Motion No. 2 in relation to the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, and of the amendment.
    Mr. Speaker, what a pleasure it is to rise again on important legislation that in essence sets the framework of where we need to go to support our creators and artists from coast to coast to coast.
    Before I get into the substance of the legislation, I want to provide a commentary on my disappointment in the Bloc. Bloc members like to talk about how they believe in culture and heritage and how they want to protect the interests of the arts community in the province of Quebec. However, the only members of Parliament from Quebec whom I saw stand up today to ensure this bill passed were the Liberal members of Parliament and one NDP member of Parliament. Whether they were Bloc or Conservative members of Parliament from the province of Quebec, they sent a message that they do not support the passage of Bill C-11.
    Let us be very clear. Conservative Party members have said they do not want to pass Bill C-11. They have been crystal clear on that.


    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. My colleague from Winnipeg North, who just started his speech, is speaking as if we were still debating the closure motion.
    I simply want to tell the member that we just voted on the closure motion. We can now talk about Bill C-11, which is before us today. The vote is over, and there is no need to insist on the subject.
    I thank the hon. member.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.



    Mr. Speaker, the Bloc should be uncomfortable about this. Had the Bloc's will prevailed, we would not have had closure on Bill C-11.
    An hon. member: Hear, hear!
    Mr. Kevin Lamoureux: Mr. Speaker, a Conservative member across the way just said “hear, hear!”, supporting that it did not pass. The Bloc needs to realize that the Conservative Party of Canada does not want this bill to pass. The Conservatives believe it is about freedom. They believe it is about censorship. The Bloc, much like it has been conned in the past on issues in the budget, is being conned by the Conservatives once again on this legislation.
    I have seen the Bloc vote in favour of time allocation, even for closure. Bloc members have said that if it is a priority for the Bloc or a priority for Quebec, they will vote for it, as it is a benefit to Quebec. How does the province of Quebec benefit from allowing the Conservative Party to debate this bill endlessly? The Conservatives have made it very clear that they do not want the legislation to pass.
    The only members of Parliament from the province of Quebec standing up for the passage of Bill C-11 are in the Liberal caucus, with one member from the NDP. I was surprised at the manner in which the Bloc chose to vote today.
    Nothing has changed from the government's perspective. From the government's perspective, this is important legislation. It has been thoroughly debated. We are talking about hours and hours of debate. The bill has seen record amounts of debate in the Senate too.
    This bill has gone through first reading, debates at second reading and debates, discussions, questions, answers and amendments at the committee stage. Then it came back to the House for report stage and third reading, and again there were debates. It was then sent to the Senate. The Senate had debate, it went to committee and they came up with a number of amendments. The Minister of Health made reference to the fact that we are talking about a historic number of hours. It is one of those bills that, considering the history of the Senate, has had so much discussion.
    I want to highlight the fact that the Senate took its time in going through the legislation and looking at ways to add strength to it. Most of the amendments being proposed by the Senate to make changes after the efforts it put into the legislation are in fact being adopted by the government.
    The bill had thorough discussions, debates and amendments, both in the Senate and in the House of Commons. However, because changes were made in the Senate, there was a need for us to bring forward the legislation once again in the House of Commons.
    Let us look at the debate that started just the other day. The Conservatives are making it very clear that they are not going to allow the bill to move forward, because they have more members who would like to speak to the legislation. They have gone out of their way to prevent this legislation from passing, even with all the debate, questions and amendments that have gone forward.
    Canadians have priorities that are reflected in the types of things the government is doing. The budget was just released yesterday, and we all have things we like about it. I like the fact that we have a grocery rebate. We are providing an opportunity for Canadians to get relief from inflation by providing them support and giving them more money in their pockets so they can deal with the cost of groceries. These are the types of debates we should be having inside the chamber.


     In the budget yesterday we talked about a dental plan, and ensuring it will be there. If we look Bill C-11
    Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I would love to have a debate on the budget right now, but we are debating Bill C-11. It is a comprehensive bill. I hope the member will speak to it on his fifth, sixth or seventh iteration, as he speaks on it more than anyone else. I just hope he can stay on the subject a little longer before—
    I want to remind members that there is some latitude granted during debate. However, the hon. parliamentary secretary needs to make sure he is referencing the bill before the House, which applies to any member who stands to speak on this issue.
    The hon. parliamentary secretary.
    Madam Speaker, I trust the time spent on the point of order will be deducted from my speaking time on the issue.
    Bill C-11 is in fact relevant, because the Conservative Party is refusing to pass it when the government has a restricted amount of time to debate its agenda and show leadership, which is what Canadians expect of the government. Conservatives might not care about what Canadians have to say, but this is a government that does care. When we are dealing with the agenda of the House of Commons and Bill C-11, there is an expectation that they will at least recognize that, although we are in a minority situation, the official opposition has a responsibility to behave in a responsible fashion and recognize that there has been ample debate on the issue.
    This is legislation that makes a difference. Specifically, it will bring online streaming services under the jurisdiction of the Broadcasting Act.
    I made reference to the Broadcasting Act in a question I had posed a bit earlier. Things have changed. The last time there was any significant change made to the Broadcasting Act was in the early nineties, when Netflix, Disney+ and Crave did not exist. This legislation levels the playing field. Why should the mainstream CTVs and CBCs, whether with respect to radio or television, have to comply with CanCon, but those other platforms do not?
    There is this thing called the Internet, which has changed the dynamic. If we look back at 1991, and then look 30 years later, many technological changes have taken place. I say that to emphasize to my Conservative friends that they should be living in the real world and should understand that because of those changes there is a need to modernize the legislation. That is what this bill does. It levels the playing field and modernizes the Broadcasting Act to ensure that Canadian content is available on the Internet in a very selective way. However, what it does not do is what the Conservatives are telling Canadians.
    This is interesting. On Monday, I was speaking on the legislation and talking about the misinformation the Conservative Party continues to put on the record here in the House and also tells Canadians. When I commented on how the freedoms of Canadians would not be limited in any way whatsoever by Bill C-11, this is what the Conservative critic had to say.
    Immediately following the comments I made, the member for Lethbridge stated:
    There is nothing progressive about censorship. That is exactly what this bill is about. It is about censoring Canadians and what they can see, hear and post online. It is about censoring artists, whether they have access to an audience and to what extent that access is granted.


    Let me give a clear indication of some of the comments that I made. I said, just before she spoke, talking about what is actually in the legislation, that Conservatives have to stop spreading misinformation, whether it is in the chamber or publicly.
    I said that this bill would not “impose regulations on the content that everyday Canadians post on social media...impose regulations on Canadian digital content creators, influencers or users.”
    Here is a big one. I said this to the member, who was listening attentively, because she was going to be speaking right after me: “It would not censor content or mandate specific algorithms on streaming services or social media platforms” or, and here is where I would like to underline it, “limit Canadians' freedom of expression in any way, shape or form.”
    How much clearer can we be? Yet the member stands in her place and gives this misinformation.
    One has to ask: why? What is the motivation of the Conservative Party? It is definitely not in the best interests of Canadians, I will say.
    If it were in the best interests of Canadians, I suspect that Conservatives would approach Bill C-11 with, at the very least, a little bit more integrity and honesty. I suspect that one would see more sympathy toward our artists and creators and a basic understanding of the importance of modernizing the legislation. I would suggest that the Conservative Party is not doing what is in the interests of Canadians.
    The Conservatives are appealing to that far right group of people from whom they are hoping to raise money. They are using this legislation as a fundraising tool. They are saying that it is about freedom, that the government is going to take away one's freedom, that it does not believe in freedom of speech and it is going to prevent people from uploading wonderful videos of their cat or dog or all of these wonderful things in their community.
    They are telling Canadians that the Government of Canada is going to limit their freedoms and the only way to prevent that is to donate $5, $100 or $500 to the Conservative Party of Canada. That is their motivation. It is more about how they can use this to ratchet up the rhetoric to generate funds and to get people angry.
    That is what this legislation is really about, according to the Conservative agenda. It is not about what is in the interests of the industry.
    That is why I was so surprised with the behaviour of the Bloc today. In talking about the legislation, the Bloc has been fairly clear. It talks about how the industry, Canadian content, is so critically important.
    If one has a love for the French language and wants to recognize Canada as a multicultural society and wants to see our heritage reflected as much as possible, through all forms of media, this is the type of legislation one should be getting behind, because it promotes French. It promotes Canadian culture and heritage. It puts in place more opportunities for Canadian artists, whether they are from my home province of Manitoba, the province of Quebec or any other jurisdiction.
    We have some amazing talent in every region of our country. This legislation is going to support and enhance those opportunities for those Canadians to share that talent and to make a better living off those talents.


    This bill would create opportunities for more employment in our communities. There are industries that are very much alive today as a direct result of policies like the Broadcasting Act and organizations like the CRTC that contribute to our heritage. We can follow the discussions and look at what is being said inside the chamber. The NDP; the Bloc, half-heartedly; and obviously the government have recognized the true value of the arts community in making up our identity and contributing in so many ways to our society.
    I made reference just yesterday, or the day before, to Folklorama in Winnipeg. For that young artist who is provided the opportunity to perform in Folklorama in Winnipeg two weeks every summer, it is a beautiful place. Every member of the House should be visiting Folklorama, and I often talk about it inside the chamber. That young individual will be rehearsing throughout the year. It becomes a part of their identity, because they have a dream of being an artist, whether it is a singer, an actor or a combination thereof. Legislation such as this will enhance future opportunities for Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
    It is about levelling the playing field. It is about ensuring Canadian content, so there is a better reflection. I sure wish the Conservative Party would stop saying this, not only inside the House but more importantly outside the House. What the bill would not do is limit Canadians' freedom of expression in any way, shape or form. This is not a bill about freedom.
    This is legislation that should have passed. It does not need to be thoroughly debated any more. We realize if we did not bring in closure on the legislation, the Conservative Party would continue to debate this legislation indefinitely. We would not be able to pass it in 2023 nor in all likelihood in 2024. That is the reason we have to bring in closure on this legislation.
    Mr. Speaker, every time someone disagrees with the government, its members call them on integrity, where integrity really is not a favourable commodity on that side, since they took office in 2015. The hon. member is really calling on the fact that the bill is so good that Canadians will never have had it better. Now, there are so many voices around Canada, some professionals and some academics, that disagree with his claim about the guarantee he is giving Canadians about how good Bill C-11 is. What would he tell these people about how much concern they have for a bill that has been going back and forth in this House for so long? That tells us a lot about how bad the bill is and how bad and dangerous it would be for Canadians.


    Mr. Speaker, I suggest they reflect on the House of Commons and its 338 members of Parliament. We have members of the New Democratic Party, the Bloc, the Green Party and, of course, the Liberal Party, all saying the principles of the legislation are so very important to the industry. It not only employs hundreds of thousands of people across our country in every region, but advances the interests of artists today and future artists for tomorrow. All that support, I believe, shows very clearly that this is good legislation. At the end of the day it is only the Conservative Party that is opposing the legislation, and I explained why I believe they are opposing it.


    Mr. Speaker, I must say that I listened with great interest to the beginning of my colleague's speech. I soon lost interest, because it was redundant. It was just another empty speech that meant nothing and went nowhere. All it did was lay blame and point fingers.
    This is from a member who spends all his time wearing out his seat here in the House of Commons and very little time doing something, anything, to help advance bills in committee. I found it a bit rich to be accused of delaying or obstructing the progress of Bill C-11. The Bloc Québécois is the party that has probably done the most to advance and improve this bill to ensure it reflects the reality of francophones in this country. The member for Winnipeg North has some nerve, to say that the Bloc is stalling the bill. That is nothing short of insulting.
    Quebec made some requests under very exigent circumstances. I will, however, ask my colleague a polite question, because we try to remain as civilized as possible in the House. Quebec asked to be consulted as soon as any regulations affecting Quebec broadcasting or francophone cultural content are developed. There has not yet been any response from the government. We are preparing to vote on Bill C-11 this evening under a closure motion. The Bloc will vote in favour of the bill, but there is still some work to be done.
    What will the government do to respond to Quebec's legitimate requests?


    Mr. Speaker, if my memory is correct, I understand that the Quebec legislature has actually passed unanimous motions in support of Bill C-11. I believe that to be the case; I could be wrong. At the end of the day, there is no doubt that within Quebec there is widespread support for the legislation. The minister, no doubt, will continue to work with the province very closely, as he has in the past.
    At the beginning of my comments today, I made reference to my surprise that the Bloc did not support closure. Thankfully, the NDP did; otherwise, there is a very good chance that this legislation would never pass the House of Commons, because the Conservatives' intent is not to allow the legislation to pass. They have made that amply clear to us.
    Mr. Speaker, a young woman, Saffron Bisiker, a grade 12 student in Qualicum Beach in my riding, just launched the first-ever Qualicum Beach Film Festival a couple of weeks ago, and she did it to support local creators and contributors. Our MLA, Adam Walker, was there from Parksville-Qualicum, and he cited that there is $18 million being spent in the film sector just in Qualicum Beach and that area, and how important that is.
     We have been hearing for many years from our local broadcasters, creators and cultural workers that they have been suffering from unfair competition from the big web giants. That is why, as New Democrats, we have been calling for an end to this unfair system for years. It is why this bill is a good first step to even the playing field.
    The Liberal government has delayed this reform for many years, which has resulted in lost jobs and revenue for cultural workers. Why has the government allowed companies like Netflix to avoid paying their fair share of funding for our Canadian cultural content for so long? It is so important for people like Saffron who want a career in film to ensure that we are investing in Canadian content, in Canadian producers and curators. I just want to know why the government has taken so long to address this important need.


    Mr. Speaker, the member raised a couple of important points.
    One is the issue of Canadian content, and let there be absolutely no doubt that Canadian content would be dramatically and positively impacted as a result of Bill C-11 and its passage.
    The other point is about the member's reference to his own constituency and the $18 million. I think people underestimate the size of the industry, which, for all intents and purposes, is being developed and growing virtually in all regions of our country. We are talking about an industry that has so much potential, and that is one of the reasons why it is so very important that we pass this legislation.
     In a minority situation, the government needs to have at least a partner to pass legislation, and I am grateful that the NDP has chosen to support this legislation.
    Mr. Speaker, I listened to the speech of the member for Winnipeg North maybe a little more intently today than I have in the past. He claims in his comments that this will not limit individual content created.
    On Twitter, a couple of days ago, Mr. Michael Geist said, in response to a previous intervention from this member, that the member “is just plainly wrong. Independent Senators, former CRTC chair, and many experts all agreed: Bill C-11 gives the CRTC the power to establish certain regulations involving user content. The Senate tried to fix. [The minister] rejected it.”
    Cody from my riding is an indigenous entrepreneur from Flying Dust First Nation, and he shared with me that his very successful business is going to be unfairly impacted by Bill C-11, unless this is changed. That is because of the way the online marketing and social media algorithms to grow his business across Canada and the United States would be affected.
    Why would Cody believe this member, who has a very partisan interest, instead of the former head of the CRTC, who has nothing to gain from this?
    Mr. Speaker, often we get emails from individuals looking for explanations on party positioning. What I have found is that there are ample amounts of misinformation being advocated, in particular from some parties inside the House of Commons, so I often need to respond to misinformation that is being espoused.
    I am not trying to give the impression that the legislation is 100% supported by everyone in the country. What I am suggesting is that this legislation would modernize the act and at the end of the day would ensure that there is a fairer, more level playing field.
    Mr. Speaker, I found it very interesting that the member spoke at great length in his speech about misinformation and disinformation, and then, when answering a question, he was heckled about a comment from Margaret Atwood. I would like to read what The Globe and Mail said about that: “The author said she had not read the bill 'thoroughly yet' and that there seemed to be 'well-meaning attempts to achieve some sort of fairness in the marketplace.'”
    The Conservatives cannot even give Margaret Atwood the respect she deserves in terms of accurately representing her statements. How can we expect them to be doing it for anybody else?
    Mr. Speaker, that is the crux of the issue when it comes to the Conservative Party. That is why I say they are manipulating the legislation and promoting false information. I believe it is because they want to try to garner political support and raise some money on the side, which is not the type of motivation they should be using in looking at and passing legislation here in the House of Commons.

Points of Order

Video Recording of Parliamentary Proceedings  

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw to your attention and the attention of this House an extreme violation of our procedures that occurred this morning.
    At 11:53 a.m., the Leader of the Opposition and the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent started to make a video within this House as they were exiting the chamber. In that video, one can clearly see that the mace is still on the table. That video also includes a link within it to the Conservative Party of Canada's website.
    Not only is it a violation of the rules set out on pages 296 and 297 of House of Commons Procedure and Practice, but it also goes so far as to use House of Commons resources for the purpose of politics and political fundraising specifically. That page links to a location where the Conservative Party gathers information on people and uses it to solicit funds.
    I would request that you and your office look into this matter and report back on what the next steps will be in dealing with this violation.


    I remind folks not to take videos inside the chamber. I also remind folks not to take pictures and those kinds of things.
    We will review the information provided or go back and look at the time-stamp and come back to the House as soon as possible.
    Mr. Speaker, on the same point of order, I would ask that the Speaker's office look at getting it deleted as quickly as possible because it is not appropriate.
    We will come back to the House as soon as practical on this matter.
    The hon. member for Calgary Rocky Ridge.
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on the same point of order. By all means, I am sure you have a responsibility to look into the issue that was raised. I am not sure what happened, but nobody really appreciates a tattler or the extent to which the member piled it on there. I think we can be more reasonable about these issues.
    I appreciate that.


Online Streaming Act

[Government Orders]
    The House resumed consideration of Motion No. 2 in relation to the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, and of the amendment.
    Mr. Speaker, I did not think that we would make it to this point. Sometimes when we are expecting a quiet day, we realize that there can be a lot of excitement in the House.
    I want to begin by saying that I will be sharing my time with my very entertaining colleague from Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, which means things will be relatively calm and composed for the first ten minutes and then they should get a bit more exciting once he takes the floor.
    To begin, I would like to say that I am not exactly disappointed we are approaching the end of our study of Bill C-11. We are considering the amendments proposed by the Senate. I suggest that members mark the date on their calendar because, as a Bloc Québécois member, I commend the thoroughness of the work done by certain senators. I know that some of them really took to heart their task of proposing amendments and improving a bill that, I admit, could still use some tweaking. I would like to acknowledge the dedication of those who took the work seriously and tried to change things by returning a document that they believe is better. There is a reason why the government accepted a great many of the proposed amendments in its response. The amendments passed the test and will appear in the final version the House returns to the Senate. I commend this work.
    I also want to acknowledge the work of all the members of Parliament who worked on Bill C-11, formerly Bill C-10. I would remind members that the bill was introduced in November 2020. That was quite a while ago. When the bill was introduced, the cultural industry and the Quebec and Canadian broadcasting system had already been awaiting it for decades. The Broadcasting Act had not been updated since the early 1990s.
    I already mentioned I was working in radio back then. At the time, we had cassettes that we inserted in cassette players. We played CDs, and some stations still played vinyl records. Young people can do an online search to see what a vinyl record looks like. All this to say that, today, we no longer know what the equipment looked like, given how much the industry has changed. The technology, recording methods and ways of producing and consuming culture have changed in surprising and unexpected ways over the past three decades. There is no reason to believe things will be any different in the next three decades. That is why we need to implement a flexible broadcasting law that can handle the technological changes we will see in the years to come.
    Today there is a lot of talk about artificial intelligence, and we are already questioning that technology because we are concerned about where it will lead. We do not know what broadcasting will look like in the coming years. That is why we need to implement a flexible broadcasting law that can adjust to change.
    One of the Bloc Québécois's proposals was retained by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and found its way into the version of Bill C‑11 we are currently studying. It was the proposal that we should not have to wait another 30 years to revise the new act. It is a sunset clause. Every five years, we will be required to reopen the act and see whether it is still sufficiently up to date. I think that it is a responsible and intelligent provision that will make us do our job properly.
    Every time I have spoken about Bill C-11, the underlying concern has always been Canadian culture. Francophone Quebec culture is what really matters to the Bloc Québécois, but we did not limit ourselves to proposing amendments and improvements to Bill C‑11 just for the benefit of Quebec culture. Of course, that is what is most important to us, since it is in our nature, but our proposals to promote Quebec culture will have an impact on all French-speaking Canadians.
    We stood up for francophones across Canada, and everyone will benefit. The Bloc Québécois made substantial improvements to Bill C‑11. Thanks to these improvements, consumers will be able to find content produced by Quebec creators, artists, singers and songwriters on digital broadcasting platforms, just like they hear it on the radio. They will also see our talented creators' work on video streaming platforms such as Netflix and Disney+.


    That is huge, because right now, we are under-represented on those platforms.
    There is a lot of disinformation circulating around the concept of discoverability. The Conservatives came up with this idea that web giants would be required to tinker with their algorithms in order to force Quebeckers and Canadians to watch one type of content rather than another, or to stop them from watching one type of content rather than another. I do not understand how Quebeckers and Canadians could swallow such claptrap.
    That is not at all what these regulations will do. What they will do is showcase our culture, our industry that generates billions of dollars annually. This will enable it to keep thriving in this new realm, which will also continue to evolve. We need to make room for our culture.
    Discoverability is not a matter of imposing content on people, but of making content available. Take the playlist of someone who listens to Bryan Adams. I may be showing my age with that example. Perhaps I should have said Justin Bieber. Why not show that person some francophone artists? They are only suggestions. This is just about suggesting that culture. That is all.
    Right now, the cultural industry is losing millions of dollars a month because there are no regulations requiring web giants to contribute the same way broadcasters and cable companies have contributed in the past. In addition to the tens of millions of dollars in lost advertising revenue, there are also tens of millions of dollars in royalties that artists are not receiving.
    That is what Bill C-11 will fix. It will force web giants to follow the same rules as traditional broadcasters. I do not see how anyone can be against making billion-dollar companies like Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify, YouTube and Apple Music contribute to the industry they are making their money off of.
    This industry is not just made up of CEOs and big-shot producers. There are also people like self-employed cultural workers, film crew and recording studio producers. Many of them left the industry because they knew that it would take time for things to get back to the way they used to be, especially because of the pandemic. If, on top of that, we do not enact regulations to promote investment in the sector, they will never return, and we will lose an incredible valuable resource.
    Remember, I am talking about hundreds of thousands of jobs in Quebec and Canada. Culture and broadcasting represent billions of dollars in revenue. To me, it is a no-brainer that those who benefit should also contribute.
    We are finally approaching the end of our study. We will be sending our response to the Senate. I hope that the senators will waste no time doing what we expect them to do, that is, ratify what is coming so that the web giants have to contribute and that our cultural industry can prosper and continue to show the world what it means to be a Quebecker or a Canadian.
    Our culture is not American, Chinese or European. We have our very own culture, and it is up to us to protect and showcase it. That is what this bill is all about.



    Mr. Speaker, I know members of the Bloc have been very supportive of this bill through the process and getting us to where we are today in debating it.
    We hear, and I know he hears, a lot of rhetoric and lot of misinformation and disinformation, in particular that rights would be trampled upon with this legislation. I wonder if the member can comment on whether Bloc members agree with the relentless position that the Conservatives have had on this bill, as though it somehow would trample on individual rights and freedoms.


    Mr. Speaker, I have never agreed with that position. When this idea of trampling on Quebeckers' and Canadians' freedom of expression and fundamental rights was first brought up, we did our job. To borrow a popular catchphrase, I did my own research.
    We checked and made sure that the wording of the bill would not endanger consumers' freedom of expression or rights.
    That is disinformation, and it was probably very lucrative. I think that our Conservative friends have made money off this shameful campaign of disinformation.
    The damage has been done, as we know. Artists and the cultural community are the ones paying the price.
    Mr. Speaker, for years now, as my colleague said, companies like Netflix and Disney+ have not been paying their fair share to fund our Canadian cultural content.
    Does the member think the Liberal government should have acted earlier to prevent all the job losses in our cultural sector?
    Mr. Speaker, yes, absolutely. My colleague asked an excellent question.
    It is not only the Liberal government. We had a Conservative government before this one, and we know that the Conservatives are not big on culture, so we cannot expect too much from them.
    The cultural industry's alarm bells went off in the early 2000s. There was already an urgent need to regulate digital technology at that time, but the CRTC refused to do so.
    Governments should have stepped up and done something long before now. It might even be too late in some sectors. Dozens of businesses in the cultural sector have unfortunately already disappeared. Radio and television stations have had to close.
    In short, that is a great question, and the answer is yes.


    Mr. Speaker, one of the fundamental concerns, and there are many, that we have on this side of the House would be the fact that the CRTC would be the arbiter of what is allowed online. It would be the one in control possibly of the formula.
     When we look at the potential for user-generated content to be regulated, it would be the CRTC, a big government approach to this, rather than just letting it be an open environment where people can put the content that they want online so it can be discovered by anybody from any region of the country, or possibly even outside of the boundaries of our country.
    Would the member not agree that it is a good thing to have more discoverability rather than having a narrow-minded focus that the CRTC and the government are going to apply to user-generated content?


    Mr. Speaker, the premise of the question would suggest that the government and the CRTC will interfere with what people can and cannot watch. This shows that the member does not understand the bill's intent. I will leave it at that.
    Discoverability is not about an open market. Discoverability is about ensuring that our culture has its place. For that, we need a framework and regulations.
    This does not mean that the government is going to decide what people can or cannot watch. That is another example of the misinformation that we have been denouncing from the beginning.


    Mr. Speaker, I have a lot of questions about what we have been hearing from the Liberal side today.
    Let us forget about Bill C‑11 for a second, because I think our colleague has set the record straight. He reminded us that it was actually the Bloc Québécois that proposed fast-tracking it two years ago because of a likely election, meaning the session would end.
    There has been talk equating being in favour of proposed legislation with being in favour of using a gag order to get it done. I am very concerned about that. We are talking about rights and freedom of speech. I am also concerned about the rights of parliamentarians. We represent the people.
    The fact that some are equating the two is concerning to me. Should gag orders be the norm? I believe that is what is being suggested.
    Mr. Speaker, I think the question was for the Liberals, but I will answer it anyway.
    The Bloc has a principle of respecting the parliamentary process. Using a gag order does the exact opposite. It upends the parliamentary process.
    Of course, there are exceptions. The Bloc has voted in favour of closure motions in exceptional cases. I do not think this an exception. We are against the principle of gagging the House, but we do support the bill.
    Mr. Speaker, I have the honour of rising to speak to Bill C-11 for the second time. I gave a speech about it about one year ago.
    We have been talking about this for a long time. My hon. colleague from Trois-Rivières is not here today, but I often have conversations with him. He always gives very brilliant speeches, choosing his words carefully and speaking with intention. He told me about a word that aptly describes what is being done with Bill C‑11: “lantiponner”. I do not know how the interpreters are going to translate it, but it means to fool around, to hedge, to delay, to procrastinate, to quibble needlessly when the issue at hand is urgent.
    I think that this word is fitting because we have been back and forth on this issue for two or three years. People have been waiting 30 years for a bill that addresses the challenges of our time in order to support our artists.
    One year ago, I gave a speech in which I spoke at length about culture and also about the fact that this bill is important because it helps minority cultures, the world's small cultures, stand up to the platforms that threaten to steamroll over them. That is very important when we fight for a small culture. With respect to language, Pierre Bourgault once said that when we fight for the French language in Quebec, we fight for all the minority languages in the world.
    This is the type of challenge we are facing when working on Bill C‑11. I talked about culture in that speech, but today I feel like taking a more personal approach and talking about my artist friends. Thirty years ago, before becoming a member of Parliament, I attended the National Theatre School. Artists are my friends. I love them. In fact, I do not just love them; I adore them. They are my brothers, and they have very difficult living conditions. The situation of artists is very precarious. We need to do everything we can to support them because artists are the heart of who we are. They add spice to our lives. I do not know whether my Conservative colleagues have ever tried to do the test. At one time, there was a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of culture in our lives. The test was to try to see if you could get through an entire day without listening to the radio or music or watching TV or a movie.
    Let us try to see what life would be like without music, movies and television series, without all of these things that reflect our stories, our ways of living, our traditions, our values, our interests, the things that basically show who we are. Let us try that just for a day so that we can understand the value of artists and what they bring into our lives, this very special way of seeing things. These artists need our help. They need our support.
    I will now talk about an artist who is famous in Quebec, Sylvie Drapeau. She is a friend of mine. She may be the greatest stage actor of all time in Quebec, and perhaps even in Canada. She is absolutely sensational, extraordinary. When you see Sylvie Drapeau on stage, you remember her. She did a solo performance at Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, or TNM, a few years ago, and it was a rather personal and remarkable tour de force. There was a time Sylvie Drapeau was in five plays in Montreal a year. She performed at all the major theatres and played all the major roles. She would perform Shakespeare at TNM in the evening and rehearse Chekhov at the Théâtre du Rideau Vert during the day. She would then perform Chekhov in the evening and, the next day, rehearse Marivaux or Molière at TNM—and she always had the lead role. In the middle of all that, she would fit in a play by Racine and do a bit of television, if she had the time. Playing a lead role on stage for two or three hours and rehearsing another play every day takes a lot of energy.
    We are talking about a remarkable actress. We are talking the Wayne Gretzky of theatre. We could also say Maurice Richard, as one of my colleagues mentioned.


    We have heard our Conservative friends talk about culture as if it started and ended with Tom Cruise, the red carpet and the Oscars, but that is not the case. There is a whole world out there. I know some of the people in it, they are my friends. They are creating art. They are producing remarkable works that need to be seen and appreciated. With Bill C-11, we can fight for the artistic ecosystem. All of these actors, creators and writers are part of artistic life in Quebec, across Canada and around the world.
    Even when she was playing the five roles I mentioned, as well as all the starring roles in the repertoire, Sylvie Drapeau was earning $35,000 a year. It is important to point that out, because there are a lot of people like that, whether we know their names or not.
    The Conservatives have a rather narrow vision of the arts. I would just like to remind them that, in Quebec, 80% of the members of the Union des artistes earn less than $20,000 a year. Only 1% of those members make more than $100,000. When someone tells me that an artist’s life is all cocktails and glamourous premieres, I say no, that is not true.
    I know a thing or two about it myself. When I graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada in 1987, I wanted to change the world through theatre, and I know plenty of people who had the same goal. They dreamt of changing the world through films and plays. I am talking about actors, but there are also dancers, singers, and other artists who want to put on productions that move people, that speak, that touch the heart and soul. At the very least, we need to help these people pay the rent.
    When I left the National Theatre School of Canada, I wanted to change the world. I started a theatre company called Béton Blues. I worked for two years with two or three colleagues to start a company and apply for grants to keep it afloat. I had never done that in my life. After filling out grant applications, we needed to get to work to try to get money from major private donors.
     That was something. I remember the first time I called Hydro‑Québec. We had prepared a highly researched document to tell its representatives that they should give us money because we were young creators of the future and what we were doing was very important and that our plays would really move people. It had to be sent to the person in charge of arts and donations at major corporations. Then, we had to call to ask them if they were going to give us the money. I was not prepared. I did not know what to say to these people. I remember calling a gentleman at Hydro‑Québec. I was on the phone with the person in charge who could give us $2,000 for our performances. I just asked whether he had any money or something like that. We had no idea how to do it but we did it.
    Essentially, what I am saying is that this was important work to me. I worked for two years. Ultimately, we put on a show. We adapted As You Like It, a play by Shakespeare, in the Old Port of Montreal's hangar number 9, now home to an IMAX theatre.
    It was a kind of like a big warehouse spread out over 300 feet. It was an absolutely stunning sight. We had nothing. Four sets were used in the show. People arrived and the show began with 20 minutes in one spot. Then, the back of the stage would open up to reveal 300 feet of space and three more sets. The audience would move around, following us.
    I will talk about this show in another speech because I think it was remarkable. We really made headlines with that show in the spring of 1988. All that to say, I worked on that show for two years. Can any of my colleagues guess how much money I made? I made $1,200 for two years of work.
    In that case, it was my decision. However, all my friends, all the actors, writers, directors, set designers and decorators, all these people who are planning shows in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, all these artists who are struggling to make ends meet—we have to support them.


    That support begins by voting for Bill C‑11 so that it can pass as soon as possible.


    Mr. Speaker, I agree with almost every single passionate word that member said today. I have never heard both Shakespeare and Wayne Gretzky referenced in the same speech, but nonetheless, it was very impressive.
    I cannot help but think of my own childhood. I grew up watching TVO, TV Ontario, and being exposed to shows like Today's Special and the Polka Dot Door. I look at my kids now. My youngest two are four and six, and they are watching all this YouTube content. I have no idea where it is being generated from, and there is certainly no degree of Canadian content in there. I am sure that this member can speak in the same way about what was seen back in the day on Quebec TV stations versus what young children in Quebec are being exposed to today.
    Could he speak to the impact that this would have culturally on young Quebeckers and young Canadians?


    Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent question.
    This will have a major impact. As far as fighting for language and culture is concerned, I think that everyone in the House knows that I am here in the House because of my involvement in the fight for French in Quebec. That is how I got involved in politics.
    My son is 14 and became bilingual on YouTube. I have nothing against being bilingual, but when I talk to him about fighting for the French language, for now, it does not resonate with him. Imagine how it breaks my heart to hear him say that.
    By passing Bill C‑11, we will be able to work on making francophone content discoverable. This is not going to solve everything, but the chances of my son accessing francophone content on these platforms will be much higher than if it is up to me to tell him to watch it.


    Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for his passion. He clearly understands the inequality that is happening right now with the web giants not paying their fair share in Canada and the impact it is having on Quebec and Canadian producers and artists.
    I talked a little bit earlier about Saffron Bisiker, a local filmmaker in my riding. She created the first film festival in Qualicum Beach, which occurred for the first time ever just a couple of weeks ago and celebrated many of our local artists. We have a young filmmaker from Ahousaht in my riding, creating films with an indigenous lens.
    I think it is so important that we do what we can right now to start evening out the playing field. Could my colleague speak about the impact of the delays from the Liberal government in tabling legislation to create a balanced playing field and how important it is for young people like Saffron and the young indigenous filmmakers in my riding?



     Mr. Speaker, the 2021 election was seen as a real disaster for the cultural sector in Quebec, mainly because it delayed the previous version of the broadcasting bill. We had to start over from scratch and we were not able to pass the bill.
     I agree with my colleague. There are so many people and so many creators. I cannot count the number of times I was in a short film by film students at Concordia University, the University of Montreal or UQAM. I made movies. I was not paid, but I told myself that these young creators were the filmmakers of tomorrow. They want to make a name for themselves. These are young people from all over.
    I remember making a movie with a young Venezuelan director who was studying at the University of Montreal. That was around the time we were filming Octobre. When Octobre was released, this student went to see it, and he had serious questions about the independence movement in Quebec. Venezuela is a country with a lot of upheaval. We had some really extraordinary discussions.
     It is extremely important to protect creators across Quebec and Canada against the hegemony of these major platforms.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my Bloc Québécois colleague.
    I think we have a different strategy for our arts and culture sector. Imagine if there were a movie being filmed in Quebec that generated money for the economy but that was entirely in English, with American actors and screenwriters who speak only English and write only in English. Would that support Quebec's cultural industry?
    I think that is why we have a different opinion, a different understanding, than our Conservative Party colleagues do. Unless the efforts are rooted in Quebec culture, then it is not a demonstration of our culture.
    Mr. Speaker, that said, I would like to clarify something. I know many people who work in the cultural industry, particularly technicians, who earn a living thanks to American productions filmed in Montreal. It is an important industry, and we want it to stay that way.
    I make a point of going to see every Quebec film that comes out. We have had a great year. I would invite all those who are listening to go and see the Quebec films that came out this year, such as The Dishwasher and Luc Picard's most recent movie, Confessions of a Hitman. Some amazing movies are being made, and we must support our creators.
    Quebec has a population of only eight million, but our movies are captivating audiences all over the world. Take Xavier Dolan, for example, or the phenomenal director Denis Villeneuve, who is now making movies in the United States, but who got his start here. We need to support our industry.


    As I rise today, it is a bit like Groundhog Day. I am rising to speak on Bill C-11. The reason why it is so familiar to me is because I rose to speak on virtually the same bill in the last Parliament, when it was known as Bill C-10. I am rising again today on this issue because, once again, it is before Parliament.
    There are certain issues that perhaps do not transcend from one Parliament to another, perhaps they are more temporal in nature, however, this issue has only become exacerbated with the passage of time. The issue and the pressing need to address the Broadcasting Act, to modernize that legislation and bring it into the 21st century has become even more acute and more critical. Thus is the reason why it has been presented by our government and why it is being debated today, and being debated with urgency. I do believe that the passage of this type of legislation is urgent.
    When we are talking about the Broadcasting Act, we are talking about fundamentally Canadian content. We just heard a very impassioned speech by my colleague from the Bloc Québécois, talking about the importance of promoting English Canadian and French Canadian cultural content. This has been a critically acute issue for Canada for literally decades. The principle reason is because of our geographic proximity to our friend and ally, a nation whose president was in this chamber literally short of a week ago, a cultural behemoth that has the potential to overshadow and really eclipse content that is being produced in other nations, including the nation that is its most proximate neighbour.
    We realized this many decades ago, and that is why we put in place, as a government, as parliamentarians, protections for Canadian content, so we could have Canadian stories told, told via television, film and music. Those were important protections. Those protections were put in place in legislation that hearken back to a different era, when people received their content through things like the radio. It is not coincidental that in French, when people talk about the CBC, it is called Radio-Canada, because that was the principle medium for the transmission of communications, including entertainment at the time.
    Radio and television dominated the landscape for nearly a century. However, things have changed. In the old era, what we would do and what we continue to do today is put, as a condition of a licence for a television or a radio broadcaster, that it must invest in Canadian culture and Canadian artists. That has produced significant results.
    However, the status right now is very different. I will include myself as one of the Canadians who have changed. Times have changed. Canadians are not using cable very much anymore. I think I might be one of the rare households in this chamber that still has cable. I use it for watching things like the Toronto Blue Jays, and God bless them today on the opening day of the season. I hope they have great season.
    Independent of sports, most people are consuming their content online, on streaming services. Streaming is everywhere. People stream on their phones, in their cars, on their televisions. Many people are enjoying this.
     I was actually looking up some of the statistics, and it is quite startling. Right now, eight out of 10 Canadians, or 80% of our entire country, uses at least one streaming service. Just in 2016, one year after our government took office, that number was five out of 10. Again, I will include myself in the people on the outside looking in back in 2016. People would talk to me about streaming Netflix and I did not know what they were talking about. I am being quite honest.
    Now, not only am I streaming Netflix, but we have a Disney account, and my kids want me to get Amazon Prime, which I really do not know about. There is a number of different streaming platforms that people are attracted to or are already using. Six out of 10 Canadians, or 60% of the country, subscribe to two platforms or more.
    However, the basic point is that while we have, on the radio and television side, things like Bell and Rogers contributing to Canadian content, which is a good thing and it is something we want to continue, streaming platforms, such as the Amazon Prime, YouTube, Crave, Netflix and Spotify, are broadcasting to Canadians, using Canadian content to market to those Canadians, but they are contributing absolutely nothing to the flourishing and development of more Canadian content on their platforms. They do not have the same requirements applied on those platforms as are applied on standard radio and television broadcasters.
    There is the problem. From a very basic perspective, what are we here for as parliamentarians, if it is not to identify problems and seek to address them for the benefit of Canadians. That is something quite fundamental, and I think all 338 of us try to do that every day, that we are privileged to hold these types of positions.


    Nevertheless, the legislation has not kept pace. I found it quite fascinating that the last time the Broadcasting Act was amended was in 1991. I was in my second year of university at McGill at that time. I do not even think I had an email address at that point. I think I got one my fourth year. It was really long and basically never used, because in order to use it, I had to walk into a separate office on the west floor of the building to access something called email. At that point, the Internet was mainly the purview of the U.S. military that had invented it years before.
    There was no such thing as smart phones. There was certainly no such thing as apps. We were living in a completely different world and that was merely, on my account, about 32 or 33 years ago.
     Back then, given that landscape in 1991, the Broadcasting Act was perfectly useful and suitable to the landscape as it was then. It dealt with radio and television broadcasters, because that was where people found their content, and we ensured that those radio and television broadcasters were promoting Canadian content.
    It is now 2023 and the landscape has changed dramatically in the last decade, but certainly in the last few years. What we are seeking to do with this legislative amendment to the Broadcasting Act is to ensure that we promote, and continue to promote, great Canadian stories dans la langue de Molière, mais aussi en Anglais wherever those stories are found.
    This bill would give the CRTC the ability to require that online streaming companies that profit from playing Canadian content, including Canadian music, film and TV shows, make financial contributions to support Canadian creators. This is a critically important objective.
    What I am equally pleased about with the bill is that if we are to reopen a piece of legislation, we may as well improve upon it. We are modernizing it to deal with this new online landscape. We are also doing something that is quite targeted and deserves some attention. We are promoting the diversity of Canadian creators. What do I mean by that? We are promoting indigenous creators.
    I spent a lot of time in our first Parliament working on indigenous language protection when I was the parliamentary secretary to the then minister of heritage. What we heard, in all the consultations we did and in all the work that turned into what is now the Indigenous Languages Act, which thankfully got support from everyone in this chamber, every party, as it should have, was that in order to promote indigenous language, the restoration and revitalization of those languages, we needed to ensure that we were also supporting indigenous creators. This bill would do that. It is an important aspect.
    It also addresses persons with disabilities. We talk a lot about changes to things like the accessibility act. We talk about the Canada disability benefit act that we are rolling out. At the same time, we need to ensure that people's sense of inclusion and understanding of persons with disabilities is enhanced by ensuring that persons with disabilities are seen and included in the Canadian content we all absorb.
    The same can be said for people of diverse sexual orientation. The LGBTQ2 community is specifically mentioned in this legislation as a group of creators whose content we want to promote.
    I will finish on this idea of other diverse creators, which is Black and persons of colour. As a racialized member of this chamber, this has been a weak spot for our country, quite frankly. Our Canadian content creators need to have an applied focus that directs them to enhance and empower the voices so Black persons and persons of colour can see themselves reflected on what they are consuming on television, in film and on musical platforms when they are streaming. It is important for all Canadians to be able to see themselves in the content.
    I need to address an issue that was raised repeatedly in the last Parliament and it has been raised repeatedly during this Parliament about this bogeyman of restricting freedom of expression. I have two broad responses to what I feel is an improper and incorrect attack on this legislation.
    It is logically flawed to posit that this is a challenge to freedom of expression. It is also inaccurate in terms of the substance of the bill. It is a logical flaw.
     On the logic of this kind of argument, the fact that we have been promoting, for decades now, through financial contribution requirements, things such as radio and television broadcasters, those promotion efforts would have restricted or diluted the creation of Canadian content as opposed to enhanced it.
    We know for a fact that the enhancement has occurred by ensuring that broadcasters, in that physical and traditional context, are required to apply money and funds from their profits toward the creation of Canadian content. We have had, on the musical side, the Arkells and The Tragically Hip. We have had Rush and Drake from my city.


    On the television side, we have had everything from the Beachcombers to Kim's Convenience and everything in between.
    We do not get those great Canadian success stories without that applied directive to ensure there is financial enhancement in the industry by broadcasters to support creators. Therefore, with that simple logic, if this model were flawed, it would have diminished the amount of Canadian content as opposed to enhancing it, and the same reasoning applies here.
    The same would apply for ensuring that online streaming companies are classified as broadcasters. What we will see, far from diminishing Canadian expression, is enhanced Canadian expression. What do I mean by that? It is going to compel the Amazon Primes, Netflix and the Spotifys of the world to ensure that they are making Canadian content discoverable and are contributing monetarily from their very healthy bottom lines, balance sheets and profits to the creation of more Canadian content. That is a good onto itself.
    However, the argument on the challenge of freedom of expression is flawed even in terms of the bill itself. If there is one thing that changed between the last Parliament and this Parliament is that, although the framework of the bill is the same, and we heard this argument so many times in the 43rd Parliament, we went to great lengths to ensure that there would be multiple provisions, not just one, that stipulate that this bill was not about restricting freedom of expression.
    The bill would not dictate what Canadians can see and do on social media. The bill explicitly excludes all user-creator content on social media platforms and streaming services. Those exclusions mean that the experience for users creating, posting and interacting with other user-generated content will not be impacted whatsoever. Multiple clauses in the legislation explicitly state that the regulations the CRTC imposes on platforms through the Broadcasting Act cannot infringe on Canadians' freedom of expression on social media. Provisions indicate that the act would not apply to uploaded content.
    All regulatory requirements and obligations in the bill would only affect the broadcaster or the platform and never the user or the creator. For the individual Jane and John Doe in their basement seeking to upload something, create a music video or put something online about how they are playing the guitar, how their guitar level is increasing or singing a song and uploading it online, this does not speak to them. It speaks to the Amazons and Spotifys of the world, and that is an important delineation that has been emphasized by the text of the legislation.
    Why is it important to support these creative industries? It is critical. Not only is it about the value, which I indicated at the outset of my comments, it is about the importance of telling Canadian stories particularly when we are threatened by a sea of non-Canadian stories from our neighbour south of the border. It is also important when we think about what Canadian creators, many of whom I am very privileged to represent in Parkdale—High Park, do for us as a nation.
     During the pandemic, we heard extensively about the contributions of Canadian creators to Canadian society. When people were going through difficult times, when there were higher levels of anxiety and depression through lack of physical contact with one another, it was our Canadian creators who were there to support all of us, to tell stories and support us in some of our most troubling times as nation, literally since probably World War II.
    Those creators are also economic contributors to Canada. It is not just the people who actually make the film, direct, act and produce the screenplay, it is not just the people picking up the instruments or microphone, it is a whole host of supplementary supports for the industry that contribute to the economic uplifting of Canadian society. For no other reason than the economic benefit, I would hope His Majesty's loyal opposition would support the bill for the economic productivity that stands to be gained by this type of legislation.
    It is really important to look at the host of cultural creators who have lined up in support of this bill: The Canadian Association of Broadcasters, ACTRA, SOCAN. I will read what Alex Levine, the president of the Writers Guild of Canada, has to say. He says:
    Private, English-language Canadian broadcasters have reduced their spending on Canadian television production every year for nearly a decade, while foreign streaming services have taken over more and more of the Canadian market. This threatens our whole industry, and the tens of thousands of jobs it supports. Canadian broadcasters have long been required to contribute to the culture and economy of this country. It’s time for global streamers profiting in Canada to be held to the same standards.


    Mr. Levine is talking about levelling the playing field. It is a very simple concept. If something benefits from Canadian content and access to the Canadian market, it needs to contribute to the Canadian content it is benefiting from. It is as simple as that. By pursuing a level playing field and modernizing this legislation, we could bring the Broadcasting Act into the 21st century. For that reason, I hope every party in this chamber will support this legislation.
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague went to some length to explain that Bill C-11 would not impact user-generated content, so my simple question would be this: Why would we not just accept the amendment proposed by the Senate to do exactly that? It would remove user-generated content from the bill. Would the bill not, thus amended, still have all the other positive effects the member is promoting?
    Mr. Speaker, I think the Senate amendments deserve scrutiny and careful study. We are thankful for the intense study that took place on the Senate side. We believe that, given the extensive study of Bill C-10 in the 43rd Parliament, and given the nature of the legislation we have tabled in the House already, which is replete with user-generated content protections that relate to the exact issue my friend opposite is raising, those protections are already in place and that potentially introducing further aspects of this would superfluous and unnecessary.



    Mr. Speaker, I will not go back over all the reasons why we need to pass this legislation as soon as possible. I addressed this at length earlier in my speech.
    It is hard for us to imagine this bill passing without the Quebec government weighing in in some way or giving its opinion. It appears that this will no longer be possible. However, the Government of Quebec has indicated its desire to weigh in on Bill C‑11.
    Is my colleague aware of what the federal government plans to do to ensure that the Government of Quebec is involved in the implementation of Bill C‑11?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his comments and his question.
    We are well aware of the Quebec government's position, which is of interest to us. It is quite clear that Quebec's objective is exactly the same as ours, specifically to work to promote and revitalize Canadian culture, which includes anglophone and francophone culture across Canada.
    We know very well that the economic spinoffs from the Quebec's creative industry are huge and disproportionate compared to other provinces. We will take this into account when we implement the bill.


    Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for sharing his information around the importance of us having Canadian stories at the forefront. I would be remiss if I did not quickly mention something applicable to the bill.
     This April, Vancouver Island's annual film festival will be kicking off again. Last year, the then festival director Hilary Eastmure was talking to The Discourse, which is a local media outlet, about the importance of this film festival. She talked about the importance of local film being seen alongside films around the world. She talked about the importance of “smaller stories” and how they “reveal something really intimate about people's daily lives and challenges that they face.” She talked about the directors in last year's film festival, including three Iranian directors, two of whom were women.
    I am wondering if the member could share a bit about why he feels the Conservatives are continuing to fundraise on misinformation around Bill C-11, instead of putting forward sound solutions that could move us forward with protecting and supporting Canadian cultural content.
    Mr. Speaker, I wish I had an answer to that. We all have an interest in sharing Canadian content, in promoting it and in producing more of it to tell Canadian stories. There is at least an economic interest that all members of the House would share. I am very pleased to learn about the Vancouver Island film festival. Obviously, in my hometown we have TIFF, which is world renowned. There are festivals throughout this country that promote those Canadian stories.
    It is pleasing to see that Canadian content is being consumed internationally. This was mentioned by the member from the Bloc Québécois. We know that Seeing Red, which is an animated film that depicted an Asian family in the city of Toronto, received an Academy Award nomination. That is exactly what we need more of, and that is exactly what this bill would produce.
    Mr. Speaker, I grew up in that era also. Radio was what I had to rely on to listen to my favourite R and B and hip-hop songs: the privileged era of boom boxes, vinyl and cassette tapes. The member is so right that so much has changed.
    This bill would provide us with an opportunity, since 1991, to ensure that the broadcasting sector is inclusive of all Canadians. I would like the hon. member's perspective on how important it is to ensure that tech giants should pay their fair share to support the diverse and inclusive aspects of our Canadian culture.
    Mr. Speaker, I share the member opposite's passion and her fondness for the nostalgia of boom boxes and cassette tapes. I still have some cassette tapes at home. My kids do not know what on earth they are.
    What is critical is that this is part and parcel of a broader agenda of our government and, I hope, of this Parliament in terms of what we are doing to address the presence of digital platforms in our lives. We have Bill C-11 and we have Bill C-18. We are very committed to addressing online harms and online safety. In previous Parliaments we have addressed things like electoral advertising in online spaces.
     Our commitment is to ensure that digital platforms that benefit from what they do in Canada and how they promote themselves or advertise in Canada, and that reap dollars from Canadian pockets, will also contribute back to Canadian communities and to the creation of Canadian content. That is a fundamental theme that informs all pieces of our legislation, and it will continue to do so.


    Mr. Speaker, my hon. colleague's speech is interesting, as I see that my colleague is much younger than I am, yet some of the things he talks about are from a long time ago. It is interesting that in February, for example, vinyl outsold CDs, which is a change that is happening.
    I have a challenge with what the member is saying. I sat on the heritage committee for Bill C-10 and Bill C-18. Bill C-18 talks about money transfer, but it does not talk about the CRTC. That is the challenge that I have with Bill C-11. The Liberals could do the monetary thing but not involve the CRTC. People understand support for artists and understand royalties or whatever they want to call it. However, why involve the CRTC?
     Back when Bill C-10 was passed, it was without that “user-generated” part. It was in there and the Liberals took it out. However, why do we need to involve the CRTC if they keep talking about monetary support going to the artists? The Liberals quote a lot of professional organizations that like the money, but why are they not talking about the artists themselves and a mechanism for where the money would go? In Bill C-18 they talk about where the money goes. Why do we need the CRTC? If they want the money to go to artists, why is that not what they are doing?
    Mr. Speaker, I have two responses. One is that the CRTC is part of Canada's cultural landscape and it has been for many decades. It is a known and trusted institution. It is at arm's-length from the government and it is quasi-judicial with regard to the decisions it makes. We are reusing a known institution that we are comfortable dealing with and that Canadians are comfortable dealing with.
    I appreciate the member opposite's perspective, and I am actually a lot older than he thinks. I am 52 this year.
     However, the point is that they are also not mutually exclusive. As I have read it, the legislation dictates the need for financial requirements and obligations to be put on large online streaming platforms that are monetizing Canadian content. However, in terms of how that money is paid and where that money is paid is equally something that the CRTC could opine upon and direct the platforms with respect to it.
    Mr. Speaker, there has been a lot of disinformation coming from Conservatives specifically. One of the narratives they like to use is that, on this side of the House, we are trying to give control to cabinet to set the algorithms that would determine what people see. However, the Conservatives are somehow assuming that every other political party in here, including the Green Party and the Bloc, are willing to go along with that plan. That sounds quite ludicrous to me. I wonder if the parliamentary secretary can weigh in on it.
    Mr. Speaker, there is no hidden agenda in this bill. Algorithmic control would remain with the online streaming platforms.
    What is important is the notion of ensuring that a portion of the profit that online streaming platforms, particularly those from other parts of the world, are already making from Canadian content is contributing to the creation of that Canadian content. That is a win for Canadian creators. Arguably, it is probably a win for Netflix as well, because it will just have more like The Tragically Hip to put on their streaming platforms.
    I want to point out that everybody is talking about cassettes and records, but not one person mentioned anything about eight-tracks.
    Resuming debate, the hon. member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek.
    Mr. Speaker, you stole my thunder.
    I am pleased to have this opportunity to rise and speak to Bill C-11, the online streaming act, which, as we know, amends the Broadcasting Act and makes consequential amendments to other acts. I want to start by recognizing my colleague, the member for Lethbridge, who has done incredible work to bring to light the facts about the impacts this bill would have not only on the rights of Canadians but also on content creators here in Canada.
    I will be splitting my time with member for Calgary Nose Hill.
    This is an immense bill, as it would affect not only online streaming but also user-generated content online, including on social media. Let us review. The first iteration of this bill, Bill C-10, was introduced in 2020. The government claimed that the purpose of it was to modernize the Broadcasting Act and to make large online streaming services meet Canadian content requirements and to bring them in line with TV and radio stations. We have heard that again here.
    In its original version, the former bill, Bill C-10, included an exemption for programs that users uploaded onto their social media or “user-generated content”. During the committee’s study, the Liberals voted to remove this exemption from their own bill and refused to allow the Conservatives to reintroduce it. The bill died on the Order Paper when the 2021 election was called, but was reintroduced by the government in this Parliament. Here is what it did.
    Bill C-11 would create a new category of web media called “online undertakings” and would give the CRTC the same power to regulate them and would require them to invest in Canadian content, even though they would not be required to apply for licences. While the government put the exemption back in this new version, it went on to also include an exemption to the exemption, which made it effectively meaningless. Unfortunately, this is another bill that the government seeks to pass that would dictate to industries what is best for them, rather than listening to the experts and stakeholders.
    Numerous experts such as law professors and former CRTC commissioners believe that this bill would threaten the right to free speech. As we know, section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right to free speech, which can only be exercised effectively if one has the ability to be heard. Law Professor Michael Geist explains this:
    To be clear, the risk with these rules is not that the government will restrict the ability for Canadians to speak, but rather that the bill could impact their ability to be heard. In other words, the CRTC will not be positioned to stop Canadians from posting content, but will have the power to establish regulations that could prioritize or de-prioritize certain content, mandate warning labels, or establish other conditions with the presentation of the content (including algorithmic outcomes). The government has insisted that isn’t the goal of the bill. If so, the solution is obvious. No other country in the world seeks to regulate user content in this way and it should be removed from the bill because it does not belong in the Broadcasting Act.
    The government wants to give bureaucrats living in Ottawa the sole discretion of determining what content should be considered Canadian and what should be shown to Canadians at large.
    Setting aside concerns regarding free speech for a moment, this bill would also threaten the livelihood of individual content creators, artists and influencers who earn their living through the videos they post on social media and the advertising revenues that they generate. By their testimony, many fear they will not qualify under the CRTC’s rules promoting certified content. They are also afraid of the effects of regulation on their international audiences.
    Canadian creators do not need the Canadian media industry to intercede for them to succeed. Canadians are already punching above their weight, and there are many success stories. The reason we have so many Canadian success stories is that we allow the creativity of Canadian creators to flourish. We do not throttle it with excessive bureaucracy or red tape.


    In the current landscape, content creators rise to the top through the merit of their content. The Internet offers infinite opportunity for new creators to reach audiences worldwide, allowing small creators to build up audiences through their own creativity and determination.
    The bill would seek to stifle that freedom, only allowing those creators that the government deems worthy to be seen. Instead of one’s search bar directing one to the content one is looking for, it would direct one to the content that the government has approved and wants one to see. This would be yet another case of government gatekeepers picking winners and losers based on their own arbitrary criteria.
    It is important to note that the Senate made approximately 29, mostly minor, amendments to Bill C-11. This is why it is back before the House of Commons. The most significant amendment proposed would attempt to narrow the scope for social media regulation by adding discretionary criteria that appear to encourage the CRTC to focus on regulating professional audiovisual content rather than amateur user uploads.
    While this makes the bill less bad, given that the criteria are discretionary, they do not change the powers of the CRTC to regulate social media or its discoverability powers. Besides that, the heritage minister has already indicated that the Liberal government will reject this amendment.
    We should make no mistake: Homegrown talent and creative content here in Canada will no longer succeed based on merit. Content will be subject to a set of criteria that bureaucrats in Ottawa will use to determine its level of Canadianness, resulting in traditional art forms being favoured over new creative content.
    Over 40,000 content creators affiliated with Digital First Canada signed letters calling for the discoverability rules in Bill C-11 to be removed.
    Since the bill was introduced in its first iteration as Bill C-10, I have heard from many constituents who do not want the government dictating the content that they are allowed to see. They have written to me and expressed their shock and dismay at the government's attempt to control speech and online content.
    They want the ability to find their favourite creators and enjoy the content that appeals to them. They do not want to see the favourite content of an Ottawa bureaucrat.
    For all the Liberals’ claims, Canadians understand that if this bill passes—


    The hon. parliamentary secretary to the government House leader is rising on a point of order.

Points of Order

Video Recording of Parliamentary Proceedings  

[Points of Order]
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to add to the point of order that I raised with you about an hour ago. Since then, the Leader of the Opposition has gone, once again, and retweeted the same video. In it, he says that the Liberals are speaking out in the House of Commons, right now, trying to censor this video and get it banned from the Internet.
    I think the Leader of the Opposition is treating the procedure and the common practices that we have in the House callously. I think that, in your consideration and forthcoming judgment, you should consider this new information as well.
    Thank you for the input.
    The hon. member for New Brunswick Southwest is rising on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, if the Liberals are going to put forward a bill that would censor the Internet, they are going to wear it and get called out on it. We are not going to sit quietly back, as the opposition, and allow them to pass a bill like this that would censor what Canadians see.
    If they are doing this, Liberals should be prepared to wear it.
    The hon. member for Windsor West is rising on, I believe, the same point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, I think it is obvious, though, that one cannot use one's technology here in the chamber while it is sitting. It is a well-established practice that we have had, and any disrespect for that has always been corrected.
    Unfortunately, we are in real time right now, and it is obviously more complicated. I am hoping that perhaps this will be expedited, at least as to whether the allegation is accurate. I do not know. I have not seen the video just yet, but I understand that it is pretty serious.
    If it is in real time, happening right now, it is just going to create more egregious debate in the House of Commons. That is unfortunate. If it is true, then that should also be reflected because there is an attempt on the outside to do what one cannot do on the inside.
    The hon. member for Winnipeg North is rising on the same point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear: It is a violation of a rule if the mace is on the table and one is taking a picture or a video. Traditionally, in the past, when the issue has been raised, we have often seen the Speaker call for an immediate deletion. It has nothing to do with censorship. It is 100% about rules inside the House.
    The leader of the official opposition is blatantly disobeying a rule. He should be deleting it, not because of censorship but because he should be respecting the procedures of the House of Commons.
    I would ask, and suggest, that he be called upon to delete the video that is in direct conflict with our rules.
    Mr. Speaker, I just think this is such a classic example of an attempt by the government to censor what a member is saying on this very debate. It is very ironic that we have a government talking about it not being about censorship while attempting to censor a member of this House.
    Mr. Speaker, the rules and procedures of this House are not up for debate. It is not about trying to censor anything; it is about respecting the rules. If Conservatives want to change the rules so the Leader of the Opposition can film a video in here while the mace is on the table, they should bring forward a motion to change the rules. We have rules in this House; they need to be respected. We are blatantly seeing support for that coming from the other side.
    Like the parliamentary secretary said before me, the Speaker needs to review this matter, report back to the House immediately and take the necessary actions against the Leader of the Opposition regarding this matter.


    Mr. Speaker, I just think it is interesting that the government, which has been in breach of ethics laws, is raising this point of order. How many ethics laws has the party been in breach of over the last number of years—
    I believe we are now delving into debate.
    The only thing I can say at this point is that we are not supposed to take pictures or videos while we are in the chamber. However, I am in the chair right now and cannot review that. I know the Chair is looking at it, and maybe the Speaker is looking at it. We will hopefully come back with a response as soon as we possibly can.
    Continuing debate, the hon. member for Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek.

Online Streaming Act

[Government Orders]
    The House resumed consideration of Motion No. 2 in relation to the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, and of the amendment.
    Mr. Speaker, for all the Liberals' claims, Canadians understand that if this bill passes, the government will regulate what can be seen or posted online and control which videos they will see more or less often on their feeds.
    After eight years, the government has lost the trust of Canadians. Transparency and accountability are not its strong suit. It avoids both at every opportunity, whether it is by providing inaccurate testimony in committees, refusing to allow witnesses to appear before a committee to shed light on very serious issues or refusing to answer questions in this place like who stayed in a $6,000-per-night hotel room during the trip to the U.K. for the Queen's funeral.
    We can all understand why Canadians are dubious about the Liberals' intentions in introducing this bill. They see it for what it is, which is an unacceptable attempt by the government to target the freedoms of individual Internet users in Canada. This is clearly not a government that will be accountable to Canadians, and it cannot be trusted with the power of regulating user-generated content.
    Lastly, Conservatives understand that government censorship of the Internet is something that happens in totalitarian societies, not free ones. That is why we have fought so hard, both in this place and in the other place, to amend Bill C-11 in order to narrow its scope and fully exempt the content Canadians post on social media. However, the Liberal-NDP coalition rejected those amendments.
    After eight years, it is time for a government that protects free speech, protects consumer choice and encourages Canadian creators instead of getting in their way. A Conservative government would repeal Bill C-11 and pass legislation requiring large streaming services to invest more of their revenue into producing Canadian content, while protecting the individual rights and freedoms of Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, listening to the member opposite, I wonder if she sees any value in Canadians having maybe a button on one of their streaming services or a special carousel dedicated to Canadian shows like Heartland or Corner Gas, which employ many Canadians and tell our great Canadian stories. Is there no value in making sure that when Canadians use these streaming services, we can find them easily?
    Mr. Speaker, I can already find the things I want to watch quite easily. That is not what this bill is about. Bill C-11 would prevent Canadians from seeing and watching the content they choose. It would instead mean, as I said in my statements, that Ottawa bureaucrats would control what Canadians could see and watch online and through streaming services.


    Mr. Speaker, what we have to take away from this debate is that our culture needs a boost, that it needs more discoverability.
    If we do not help our culture, we will only see the culture of others on our networks, the culture of our bigger neighbour, which has tons more money to invest in its industry. I would like the Conservatives to understand that and also that the bill has nothing to do with censorship but seeks to present more local content.
    The Bloc Québécois has done its homework. We spoke with the cultural sector before studying this bill. Members of this chamber have a responsibility to consult people affected by the bills that we must vote on.
    My question is very simple. Did the Conservative members consult Canada's English-speaking cultural sector? The Conservative Party does have 10 members from Quebec. Someone must have spoken to people in the cultural sector in Quebec, who are asking us to pass this bill as quickly as possible.



    Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, I will take the word of law professors, former CRTC presidents and Canadian content creators themselves when it comes to the impacts this bill will have not only on what Canadians are allowed to see but also what they are allowed to post online. There is a huge difference between giving supports through tax breaks or funding and directly deciding who should be featured as Canadian content and who should be suppressed. On this side of the House, we believe that Canadian creators have proven they are capable of building large international audiences.
    Mr. Speaker, the former CRTC chair is well known for supporting large Internet providers and being against consumers. This is one reason that we have some of the highest prices in the world for our system.
    Where I come from, we are a peninsula surrounded by the United States. Therefore, Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent counties basically get inundated with U.S. content on a regular basis. If we do not do anything with respect to this right now, it will be Alphabet that controls what we see and do not see.
    I wonder if the Conservatives have reached out to the artists in the border communities about their concerns with respect to being shut out by some of the structural positions the United States has taken. These not only limit them from even going into the country but also from sharing their information. Have they reached out to those artists and dealt with the fact that, with so many Canadians living on the border like us, we are being inundated?
    If we look at the hearings taking place in the U.S. Senate and Congress, there have been admissions that this is not a red or blue issue. Instead, it is being called the green issue with respect to what Fox and others are showing. This is because it is all about money and not about truth. Have the Conservatives talked to the artists in the regions who are affected by the border?
    Mr. Speaker, when it comes to this piece of legislation, the bottom line is that the government is about to give itself the authority to control what Canadians watch. Instead of giving Canadians more of what they want, as the member is proposing, YouTube will be instructed to give viewers more of what the government wants for them.
    Mr. Speaker, we are here today in the middle of a debate where the Liberal government has curtailed debate on a censorship bill. It has actually censored debate on its censorship bill.
     To put into perspective what is happening here today, people who have reviewed this bill, from all political stripes, all walks of life and all backgrounds in Canada, have said this bill would create in Canada the most authoritarian media-control regime in any western country. This is a fight worth having tooth and nail. Every member of the governing caucus needs to give their head a shake, including members of the NDP as well, who are in coalition on this bill, on the fact that this would censor Canadian content.
    In the brief time I have today, because we know the government is shutting down debate on this, I want to make an appeal directly to my colleagues in the NDP and on the backbench of the Liberal government caucus, to really think this through.
    First of all, the government's talking point is that this bill is needed to modernize the Broadcasting Act, to bring Canadians into alignment with what is happening today versus 30 years ago, pre-Internet. However, the reality is that this is not about what Canadians want or need; this is about the few elite media broadcasters and content creators who, in the past, have been creating content based on criteria of #MeToo incidents and doing what is best for profit. Frankly, they have been marginalizing racialized voices, women's voices and independent women creators.
    That is the history of the elite companies that need this bill to squeeze the dregs of profits out for their shareholders in a last-ditch attempt to prop up a failing business model they did not have the foresight, the wherewithal or the innovation to keep competitive while small, independent creators gradually built up platforms and voices for themselves on new content creation platforms like YouTube or even streaming services. This is not the fault of Canadians, and Canadians should not be subject to government censorship because a few well-connected producers, media companies and whatnot want to have more profit for their shareholders
    Again, for parties in this place that purport to stand up for intersectional, racialized and women's voices, in the long run, what anybody voting for this bill in this form is doing is actually taking away those voices. At the end of this day, what this bill would do is give the government the power to select what Canadians see. That is what this bill would do. Morally, that is wrong.
    Other colleagues here, even colleagues from the NDP, have asked about large platforms like Alphabet or Meta. This bill would do nothing to improve algorithmic transparency; it would only make it worse. In fact, what it would do is keep censoring those platforms and add another layer of censorship where the government also would get to downgrade what voices are heard.
    Imagine if Steven Harper had introduced this bill in the House of Commons and if he had created a government ministry where his appointees got to control what was upgraded or downgraded. There would have been pitchforks and torches in the street. The NDP would have been outraged. There would have been signs across the country. Instead, because we are acquiescing to the Liberals, who have a long history of propping up elitism in this country, elitism in thought and elitism in production, somehow it is okay.
    People from all political stripes across the country, with so many disparate political voices, are saying this is wrong. Instead, what our government should be doing is modernizing legacy archaic bills like the Broadcasting Act, to get out of the way of innovative new forms of producing content so we can have more choice and more innovation. Then, those groups, people who have traditionally been without platforms, would not have the sword of Damocles of the government's CRTC regulation looming over them while wondering whether they are going to be successful.


    There is no transparency in this bill. The worst part of it is that people would not even know what is being downgraded or upgraded by the federal government. How is that possible in a western democracy, where freedom of speech is supposedly and purportedly the cornerstone of what we do?
    I will make it about me for a minute, or any other woman who is in this place. This place has typically repressed female politicians' voices. The Canadian media, for generations, has had a hard time putting women at the forefront. In my time in office, I have been able to use platforms like this to get around the elites, who might not allow me any voice, to be able to talk directly to my constituents. How do I know that I, or any of my female colleagues in this place, am not going to have my content upgraded or downgraded based on whether or not the government and its appointees think what I am saying or what I am advocating for is right?
    This bill would benefit only elites. It would prop up a model that no longer works in this country, and I guarantee that the people who would suffer are the people who need these platforms the most.
    I cannot believe that the government is curtailing debate on this bill. What it should be doing is listening and working collaboratively with the opposition to come up with amendments on this steaming pile of garbage so the thoughts of Canadians who have vociferously voiced that we cannot have curtailments on the freedom of speech in this country are appeased.
    Why would the government not accept an amendment to exempt user-generated content? The only reason it is that it intends to downgrade and hide user-generated content in Canada. That is motive. Why is that not in there? The government has refused it time and time again. If the government really wants to create more freedom of speech, it should be trying to work with these big platforms to have more algorithmic transparency. It is not doing that. It is adding another layer of algorithmic downgrading. The government should be putting amendments in this bill.
     Frankly, people are talking about content that has been created in Canada. We put $1.5 billion into the Canadian Broadcasting Company every year. My colleagues from the Bloc were talking about French-language content. Is that money being well spent on French-language content? The CBC has had atrocious human resources issues in the last year. There are all sorts of questions about their conduct and what is happening. Instead of objectively looking at these legacy, elite institutions and how they should be forced to modernize and come up with the change in how Canadians communicate, the government is putting in more elite blockages to what Canadians can see and which Canadians can be heard.
     That is not my Canada. We should have more diverse voices. Frankly, how many journalists in the parliamentary press gallery are from western Canada? There is one, maybe. The only way we get heard is through these types of platforms, and now, and I intend no offence, the government does not have the best track record on supporting western Canada. It is telling us the CRTC would get to regulate what content is seen from western Canadian content creators. I say “no”.
    This is 100% a violation of every Canadian's right to free speech. I cannot believe that any Liberal backbencher who actually cares about supporting women and marginalized voices would think this is a good idea. This is designed to prop up a legacy model that is going directly into rich shareholders' profits, while small, independent voices would be downgraded.
    There is no transparency in what the government is talking about. It is vague. It is a steaming pile of garbage. It has been panned by every political stripe; by experts from academia, law and media; and by content creators themselves. The only people speaking in favour of this are people who have already made it and have benefited, for a very long period of time, from a system that no longer is in line with the times. That is why it is wrong.
    That is why the government should not be censoring debate. We should be robustly debating it. This should be amended. It should be scrapped.


    Mr. Speaker, we do not hear as much from the member as we used to, and I miss that. I am being genuine. She is actually one of the more progressive in the Conservative Party and I wish we would hear her voice more often, notwithstanding the fact that I disagree with her on this particular issue.
    I did take note that the member spoke specifically about the government backbench and the NDP as though they were the only members in the House who support this, but that is not true. The entire Bloc Québécois caucus and the Green Party caucus support it as well. Therefore, the only party here that does not support this is the Conservative Party. I think it is a huge stretch to suggest that the Bloc Québécois, the separatist party, is somehow going along with a scheme to allow cabinet to make decisions on algorithms and what people see.
    I am wondering if the member can comment on why she talked just specifically about the Liberals and the NDP in her statement and completely left out the Bloc and Green Party.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to start with my colleague's first statement. Speaking in this place is a privilege. It is about quality, not quantity, and that is a lesson the member should undertake.
    The member should also understand that speaking truth to power is something that is our responsibility, rather than being a toady for the PMO.
    Mr. Speaker, my colleague pointed out some of the flaws in this bill. Professor Michael Geist, whom I know she has worked with in the past, said that this bill is going to restrict how people can be heard. I want to read the definition of “censorship” into the record. “Censorship” is defined as “the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information”.
    I was wondering if the member could please comment on why the government cannot be trusted with any type of legislation like this, on Margaret Atwood's comment that this is creeping totalitarianism and on why we have to be very cautious of it.


    Mr. Speaker, I think Margaret Atwood presents a lot of tales we should take into consideration, like the need to continuously protect women's rights under any circumstance. I also think, though, that Margaret Atwood is one of those voices that would not necessarily speak in favour of a Conservative Party position, but would certainly speak in favour of the fact that free speech is an underpinning of Canadian democracy and something that should be protected at all cost.
    The government is in the middle of a foreign-interference scandal, it has had multiple ethics violations, and it kicked out Jody Wilson-Raybould, Canada's first indigenous minister, for speaking truth to power. I do not trust the government as far as I can throw it.


    Mr. Speaker, my colleague stated in her speech that Bill C‑11 would only benefit certain elites. I have no idea who she is speaking about. I stated earlier in my speech that, in Quebec, 80% of the members of the Union des artistes earn less than $20,000 a year. I do not know which elites she is talking about, but my friends who are writers, playwrights and theatre and film technicians are not elites. All these people want us to vote for and to pass Bill C‑11 as quickly as possible.


    Mr. Speaker, my maiden name is Michelle Godin. I was one of the many people in Canada who, frankly, I will just say it, were the victims of anglicization. Thus, I understand how important it is to ensure that French-language programming and the right to French-language learning are made available to all Canadians, because they are part of our cultural heritage.
    However, the 20,000 artists the member just talked about have been, for generations, blocked by elite media corporations that pick and choose whom they want to come forward. The reality is that the government, with the billions of dollars we have seen wasted in recent years, could have done so much more for Quebec content creators to help them thrive in a new media market. All this bill would do is strengthen the capacity of the people who have typically repressed French voices in the past, and we need more of those voices.
    That is why I implore my colleagues from the Bloc to use their power and their passion to convince the government to come up with something that is better and that would support all Canadians, particularly francophones.
    Mr. Speaker, it is a fair criticism by the member about using closure. It is a very serious issue in terms of our parliamentary democracy.
    The member also mentioned the Stephen Harper era. I was here during that time, and she knows that 114 or 117 times, I think, the Harper administration used closure on 11,000 pages of parliamentary law. I am wondering whether she has some reflections on all of those things, which actually involved women's issues, environmental issues, issue over pipelines and issues related to the economy. There were even some things that went to the Supreme Court and were brought back.
    Maybe the member could give some reflections about when and how this issue should be resolved. It really goes back to the 1950s, when, for the first time, there was closure on a debate, which was over a pipeline issue. Perhaps we could get a little insight on that.
    Mr. Speaker, I would love to take a trip back down memory lane. In 2015, houses were half the cost in Canada, people could actually afford rent, the budget was balanced, we had economic growth and our international peers looked upon us to actually get things done instead of with embarrassment. Those were the golden days. If we could only have them back.
    Mr. Speaker, we will not have those days back because that Conservative Party is gone. Believe it or not, Stephen Harper's Conservative Party no longer exists. As extreme right as that party was, we are now dealing with something even more to the right. It is a complete engulfing of everything populous that anyone could ever imagine.
    I am going to talk about disinformation in my speech, in particular disinformation from the Conservatives. The first example that comes to mind is the last interaction between the member for Calgary Nose Hill and her Conservative colleague, who asked a friendly question about Margaret Atwood. There was disinformation about what Margaret Atwood said and her intentions.
    I want to read to the House what The Globe and Mail reported regarding Margaret Atwood: “The author said she had not read the bill ‘thoroughly yet’ and that there seemed to be ‘well-meaning attempts to achieve some sort of fairness in the marketplace.’” The Conservatives are not properly representing the thoughts of Margaret Atwood, yet they use her as a vehicle for disinformation repeatedly.
    Unfortunately, what this issue has turned into for the Conservatives is nothing more than a fundraising cash cow. That is what this is. They are using every opportunity to raise money off this issue. They are using this House to raise money off this issue. They are promoting disinformation and misinformation to raise money off this issue.
    I would like to read some of the outlandish things we have heard from Conservatives throughout this debate.
    The member for Lethbridge said, “I wish for Canadians to know that this bill would impact them in two damning ways: One, it would censor what they see; and two, it would censor what they say.”
    The member for Carleton himself said, “The bill is about controlling the people.”
    The member for Sarnia—Lambton asked, “Could the member tell me how this legislation is different from what happens in communist countries?”
    The member for Leeds—Grenville—Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes said, “it is a government that wants to control what Canadians see and control what Canadians think.”
    The member for Kildonan—St. Paul, quoting Jay Goldberg, said, “If government bureaucrats get to choose what content to push on Canadians, there’s a very real risk the government will be tempted to use its filtering powers to silence its critics.”
    The member for Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner said, “Ultimately, Bill C-11 would put Canada in step with countries like North Korea, China, Iran and Russia”.
    The member for Oshawa, and this blew us away on Monday, said, “Bill C-11 is an online censorship bill designed to control search engines and algorithms so that the government can control what Canadians see and hear.” He also said:
    Sadly, this legislation models practices directly from the Communist Government of China.... It blocks unacceptable views and connections that the CCP considers harmful to the Chinese public. The goal of its Internet is to reshape online behaviour and use it to disseminate new party theories and promote socialist agendas.
    The House was literally in a state of disbelief when we heard the member for Oshawa say that. The first person to get up and make a comment was the well-respected member for Saanich—Gulf Islands, who is not in the Liberal caucus, and she said, “Madam Speaker, as the hon. member for Oshawa was speaking, all I could think is that somewhere there is a Liberal war room clipping all of that to use in ads to make sure no one votes Conservative.”
    This is the rhetoric we have been hearing from that side of the House, and it is for nothing more than to clip and create videos to put out there, to generate money and to fundraise. I have been the subject of that myself. A tweet of mine regarding this issue was used in a fundraising email sent out by the Conservatives, with a gigantic “donate now” button at the bottom.


    Perhaps one of the most egregious forms of improperly utilizing House resources, which I hope the Speaker will come back to this House with a ruling on in short order, was what the member for Carleton, the Leader of the Opposition, did with the member for Louis-Saint-Laurent, who, by the way, has been in this House for a very long time and is a former House leader who knows the rules inside and out. As they were walking out of the chamber, while the chamber was still in session, they held a phone and started recording a video as they walked into the lobby. They were still in the chamber. The mace is still visible on the table in their video, and the member for Carleton was talking about how the Liberals are trying to silence people. Of course, what is at the bottom? It is a big “donate now” button so people can click the link and support the Conservative Party.
    This has obviously been a cash cow for them, and they are using it over and over. Of course, we rose on a point of order trying to get the Speaker to rule on this egregious act of not just filming in this House, which we are not supposed to do, but using House of Commons resources to promote something. When we rose on a point of order regarding that, what did the Leader of the Opposition do? He retweeted that tweet, saying we are trying to silence it. Of course, what is at the bottom of that retweet? It is a big “donate now” button linking people right to the Conservative Party.
    Not only does he completely disrespect the rules of this House, but he will then blatantly use the proper calling of procedure to fundraise further. This is the Leader of the Opposition. This is the leader of His Majesty's loyal opposition doing this, and it is absolutely unacceptable. The Speaker knows that. I know that. Every member of this House knows that. However, the Leader of the Opposition continues, and he does not care. He does not care what gets in his way to fundraise, even if it is proper decorum and practice within this House.
    The Conservatives get up and say that the Liberal Party and the Liberal government, in cahoots with the NDP, are somehow trying to give cabinet the ability to generate and write the algorithms that would shape what people see. For someone to believe that, they would also have to believe that the Bloc Québécois, a separatist party in this country, is going along with that scheme. How ludicrous is it to think that the Bloc Québécois would say it would turn over the reins to cabinet to generate and make up the algorithms? It is completely ludicrous. The Conservatives know it.
    Years ago, when this bill was first introduced in the House, the Conservatives, to their credit, jumped on top of what was possibly a misstep with respect to introducing it. They sensed a little blood in the water, and the sharks were swarming around trying to generate controversy and conspiracy theories on this issue. Of course, because of the way things work on social media, it did not take long for everybody to jump on board those conspiracy theories, and the Conservatives have done nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to try to set the record straight. Instead, they have used it for political gain, they have used it for fundraising and they have used it time and time again to try to delay moving anything forward in this House.
    If the Conservatives want to get up and talk about closing debate on this issue, they really have to reflect on how many times they have spoken to it. I am sure all they need to do is look at the fundraising emails, because every time this debate comes up, another fundraising email goes out.
    An hon member: Thank you for your donation.
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: Mr. Speaker, they continue to heckle, and they are only helping my point. “Thank you for your donation” were the words heckled to me.
    This is only about one thing for the Conservatives. This is about fundraising. This is about getting money, and the Leader of the Opposition knew it himself this morning when he realized his cash cow was about to dry up in a second and that he better film one more video. He could not even wait until he got outside of the chamber to film that video. He had to start doing it while walking up the aisle.
    I look forward to my remaining time after question period.


    When we return, the hon. member will have 10 minutes to revise his thoughts and expand on those thoughts.
    Some hon. members: More.
    The Deputy Speaker: We have a point of order from the hon. member.
    Mr. Speaker, I believe if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent to push question period forward by 20 minutes so I can finish my speech.
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
    Is it agreed?
    Some hon. members: Nay.
    The Deputy Speaker: I heard a few “nays”, but it was not as vigorous as I expected.

Statements by Members

[Statements by Members]



Elmira Maple Syrup Festival

    Mr. Speaker, I invite everyone to join us in Kitchener—Conestoga this weekend as we welcome patrons back to the 59th annual Elmira Maple Syrup Festival on Saturday, April 1. Since its start in 1965, the festival has grown to be the largest single-day maple syrup festival in the world. The community of Elmira, with a population of 12,000 people, will welcome up to 80,000 guests. Individuals and families can take part in the pancake-flipping contest, family fun arena, live music, and the toy and craft show and, of course, enjoy pancakes drenched in maple syrup.
     I thank the committee for its dedication and perseverance. I thank the sponsors for their financial support. I thank the volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this festival happen. All proceeds from the festival are returned to our community's charitable and not-for-profit organizations. From morning breakfast to savouring the food, appreciating the vendors and enjoying the artists, I know my family and I will have a great day, and others will too. Everyone is welcome to join us at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival. I will see them there.


    Mr. Speaker, namaskaram. Last weekend, I, along with our leader, the member for Carleton, had a wonderful time celebrating Ugadi, Telugu new year's day, with both the Durham Telugu Association and the Ontario Telugu Foundation.
    This festival is celebrated across the world on the first day of the Hindu lunar calendar and includes a reading of predictions for the upcoming year by a priest or the eldest member of the family. It is a time to celebrate with family and friends and to reflect upon the past year's achievements and challenges.
    We felt so privileged to be included in the celebrations with this vibrant community that values tradition, family and culture. Their warm hospitality, rich traditions and colourful celebrations are so beautiful and fascinating. I would like to thank Srini, Murali and so many others from the Durham association and the Ontario foundation for the opportunity to experience it first-hand.
    Ugadi subhakankshalu.

The Environment

    Mr. Speaker, the Mackenzie River basin drains nearly 20% of Canada's land mass. Waters in Alberta and B.C. flow north toward Great Slave Lake, down the Mackenzie River and into the Arctic Ocean.
    The illegal, unreported Kearl tailings leak is just the most recent risk to one of the largest freshwater sources in the world. It is yet another industrial project south of 60 that threatens the basin. Even before this leak, NWTers had long had concerns about the impacts of these projects on our waters. Creeks and small rivers are drying out. Ice is more treacherous. Ponds and small lakes have disappeared. Water is less deep and warmer. Mammals and fish are disappearing.
    Regulating this specific cleanup and developing a monitoring plan with all those impacted is necessary and important. Northern indigenous peoples and the Government of Northwest Territories are impacted and are a necessary part of the discussions. The Mackenzie River basin must not be used as another tailings pond.


Maureen Breau

    Mr. Speaker, on Monday night in Louiseville, Sergeant Maureen Breau was serving her community. Dedicated and available, she had in fact volunteered to do overtime. She was experienced, attentive and well-liked. She had just been promoted and had a brilliant future and many plans.
    Maureen Breau did not go home Monday night. She lost her life during an intervention to restore peace and security in her community.
    The circumstances of those events are signs that we, as a society, have a duty to understand what happened in order to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future. All of Berthier—Maskinongé and all of Quebec are in mourning.
    We stand with the family, friends, partner and children of Ms. Breau. Our thoughts are with her colleagues at the Sûreté du Québec. I salute them. Today, we mourn an everyday hero who made the ultimate sacrifice. We will not forget.


Les Suprêmes Novice

    Mr. Speaker, today I would like to recognize the hard work and dedication of a group of 17 young female athletes in my riding and members of Les Suprêmes Novice de Saint-Léonard, who won gold at the 2023 Novice Canadian Championships, 2023 Skate Canada Cup.
    Les Suprêmes delivered an outstanding performance in the synchronized skating competition held in Calgary. Congratulations go to Siena Ferrante, Lilirose Ouellette, Sophie Beliveau, Keira Frattasio, Linda Petreccia, Noura Boni, Daliyah Don, Noelie Exina, Yifan Mo, Lea Boumghar, Emma Valente, Zoe Deslauriers, Keerah Lorvinsky, Ashlynn Alex, Alice Sigouin, Maïka René and team captain Megan Lucarelli.
    Les Suprêmes is an inspiration for us all and a source of pride for both Saint-Léonard and Canada.


Glenlawn Collegiate Institute

    Mr. Speaker, what do CTV bureau chief Bill Fortier; the president of Save the Children Canada, Danny Glenwright; film director Adam Smoluk; Alana Warnick, star of Canada's Ultimate Challenge; and I all have in common? Well, we all graduated from Winnipeg's Glenlawn Collegiate Institute 25 years ago, and this May the school will celebrate its 100th anniversary.
    This western Canadian public school has quietly had an enormous impact on Canadian culture. Countless leaders, including Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist Jim Peebles, graduated from Glenlawn.
    Glenlawn's teachers deserve our thanks, including Theresa Oswald, for teaching us to speak truth to power; Arpena Babaian and Irene Nordheim, for teaching us the power and value of volunteerism; and a person who has had a long-standing impact on my life, band teacher Bill Kristjanson, for teaching that beauty is always found as harmony is wrested from cacophony, a lesson this place could learn once in a while.
    To the Glenlawn family on the 100th anniversary of this remarkable institution, we let out a collective roar of Lions pride: Happy anniversary.

Lakeshore Soccer Club

    Mr. Speaker, on May 6, the Lakeshore Soccer Club will be named one of Canada Soccer's organizations of distinction.
    Founded in 1966, the club is a pillar of Montreal West Island's sports and recreational life and is home to around 4,000 players each year. In addition to its dynamic house leagues, Lakeshore Soccer fields regional and provincial teams at the A, AA, AAA and semi-pro levels and has brought home multiple women's and men's national youth titles.


     The women's team are three-time Coupe du Québec winners. The club also offers the Super Sonics program, which allows children with special needs to play this sport in an inclusive and welcoming environment. In 2017, this program received the Prix à part entière award from the Quebec government.


    Club alumni include Rhian Wilkinson, who won Olympic bronze in 2012 and 2016; and James Pantemis, currently a goalkeeper with CF Montreal.
    I congratulate Lakeshore Soccer on being chosen for this honour, and I thank the thousands of volunteers who have contributed to the club's longevity and unparalleled success.

Allison Herbert Whitehead

    Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I rise to pay tribute to and say a few words in celebration of the life of Mr. Allison Herbert Whitehead, or “Al” as he was known to everyone.
    For decades, Al was a prominent contributor to our community in Fredericton. He was a dear friend to one of my wonderful predecessors, Andy Scott.
    Anyone who knew Al knew that he played hard and worked harder. He built a successful law practice over 47 years in Fredericton's Northside, the strong side. He was known for being dedicated to his clients and for being kind and generous, but he was above all a family man. Al and his wife Marlene built a family of three daughters, Jennifer, Kate and Brittney. Al's heart was at its fullest when he had his family together, often at the family camp in Juniper, New Brunswick, telling stories to his granddaughters Ella and Allison or teaching them how to fish and hunt.
    Al and I shared a connection through our love of hockey. He was also a loyal Yankees fan, and one of his favourite hobbies was teasing Red Sox fans when the Yankees beat them.
     A lover of life and people, a fighter, he will remain with us forever through our memories and everlasting life lessons. My sincere condolences go to his family and many friends.


Tigres de Victoriaville

    Mr. Speaker, with the arrival of spring comes the start of hockey playoffs across the country.
    Starting Friday, the Victoriaville Tigres will face their long-time rivals, the Drummondville Voltigeurs, in the first round of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs.
    I have witnessed the hard work and determination of the Victoriaville players, who are led by an incredibly talented and passionate group of coaches, and supported by loyal, vocal and knowledgeable fans. That is why I can confidently issue a friendly challenge to my colleague from Drummond: The series loser will have to share a video on his social media accounts touting the quality of the winning team's hometown poutine.
    I am confident that he will accept my challenge, that he will proudly wear the Victoriaville Tigres jersey in his video, and that we will win this series. It is going to be an exciting one.
    Go, Tigres, go!



Government Contracts

    Mr. Speaker, yesterday an executive from McKinsey finally showed up at the operations committee. Opposition members were excited about the opportunity to finally ask tough questions of the company that fuelled the opioid crisis, helped Saudi authorities identify dissidents and received over $100 million in contracts from the Liberal government.
    Liberal members were excited about the opportunity to pitch their resumés and consider career options for after the next election.
    Liberals have long claimed that all the rules were followed in their contracts with McKinsey, but on Friday they admitted otherwise. A government press release contradicted the government House leader, saying that rules were, in fact, not consistently followed for the awarding of these contracts. There are no surprises here. Again, Liberals ignore the rules in order to reward their well-connected and ethically deficient friends.
    It is time to privatize McKinsey. Canadians have had enough of the Liberal-NDP-McKinsey coalition. They want austerity for McKinsey and opportunity for Canadians. They want a government that will finally put the people ahead of the high-priced consultants.

Human Rights in Russia

    Mr. Speaker, the continued imprisonment of the courageous Vladimir Kara-Murza is a gross violation of his human rights and the human rights of all Russians. He spoke the truth to Putin's power, and now all Russians live in a fog of truth and lies.
    Vladimir Kara-Murza had the temerity to tell his fellow citizens the truth about the Ukrainian invasion: that it was illegal, a gross violation of human rights and a waste of human life. For his courage, he languishes in a Putin jail. He has lost 50 pounds and has been poisoned twice by Putin's thugs. His health is precarious. In photos, he looks emaciated. If he is not released immediately, there is a real chance he will die in jail, a triumph for Putin and a tragedy for Russia. We must not let this happen.
    I ask members to add their voice to the freeing of Vladimir Kara-Murza.

Corinne Kline

    Mr. Speaker, it is with great sadness that we learned last week that Edmonton has lost another of its finest. Constable Corinne Kline passed away after a brief illness.
    She knew she wanted to be a police officer from the moment she started volunteering with the Edmonton Police Service. She served with the EPS for 21 years, working in multiple roles, including patrol, assisting domestic violence survivors and victims, and in the community engagement unit.
    I was fortunate to work with Constable Kline in teaching anti-fraud seminars to seniors. She was so engaging. She was literally the only person I have ever met who could make PowerPoint presentations seem interesting.
    Despite the stresses that all officers must face and endure, she was always the embodiment of positivity and kindness. She truly had a servant's heart, and our community, the community that she loved and served so much, will miss her dearly.

2020 Shootings in Nova Scotia

    Mr. Speaker, profound loss never leaves us. I cannot imagine the lifelong horror, grief and questions never answered when a loved one is murdered.
    A few hours ago, the report of the Nova Scotia Mass Casualty Commission was released, on the murder of 22 of my fellow Nova Scotians and an unborn child. The commission's work had minimal input from the families, who were not allowed to question witnesses. They deserved better.
    Lisa McCully, Constable Heidi Stevenson, Sean McLeod, Alanna Jenkins, Jolene Oliver, Emily and Aaron Tuck, Jamie Blair, Greg Blair, Corrie Ellison, Gina Goulet, Tom Bagley, Elizabeth Thomas, John Zahl, Joe Webber, Lillian Campbell, Dawn and Frank Gulenchyn, Heather O'Brien, Joy and Peter Bond, Kristen Beaton and her unborn child all deserved better, as do their families.
    They lived in the community of the member for Cumberland—Colchester, where he is today with the families. The past three years have been a nightmare for them. Today, let us remember their vibrant lives and pray for them.



Hockey in Vaudreuil—Soulanges

    Mr. Speaker, after dozens of games and practices, and after more than one return trip home because someone forgot something, the end of another incredible hockey season for our kids in Vaudreuil—Soulanges is upon us.
    As the Hawks, Riverains, Prédateurs, Vikings, Gladiateurs and my son Andy's team, the Titans, hang up their skates for the season, I want to pay tribute to those who made it all possible, the incredible parent volunteers who stepped up to be coaches, managers, referees and even drivers.


    Our kids got better because of them. They learned teamwork because of them. They made new friends because of them. Their dream of one day playing in an NHL jersey got just a bit closer because of them.


    On behalf of all the parents and children who have benefited from their time and energy, I would like to offer them one last cup of coffee at 6 o'clock in the morning and simply say thank you.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    Mr. Speaker, there are at least a half a million kids spread out across the country trying to deal with a disorder that makes it hard for them to succeed in school and in life. Without support, many of them will not graduate and will face a lifetime of problems, such as addictions, troubles with school and challenges in their lives.
    ADHD is the most common childhood psychiatric disorder, and Canada is not doing enough to help these kids and their families.
     Today, with the help of my son Maclean, I tabled Bill C-329, an act to establish a national framework respecting attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, because I know we can do better.
    I know how important this is. As an MP, I have heard from countless parents and teachers about the challenges they face. As a teacher, I understand the frustration of not knowing how to help. As the mother of a teenager with ADHD, I know how difficult it can be for these kids and their families.
    It does not have to be this way. Canada can do better.


Drummondville Voltigeurs

    Mr. Speaker, I salute the bravery of the member for Richmond—Arthabaska because one has to be brave to challenge the fans of the Drummondville Voltigeurs and, moreover, to call into question a source of regional pride, poutine.
     I confidently accept his challenge because I believe that our Voltigeurs will give it their all to safeguard our region's honour. Our red team is not like the red team in the House. Our Voltigeurs are reliable and know how to make us proud.
    My colleague believes he can win based on the regular season standings, as his Tigres are in third place and my Voltigeurs are in 13th. However, I impatiently await the defeat of his “Victoriaville pussycats”. He is going to come to eat our local specialty right where it was invented, at Le Roy Jucep in Drummondville.
     The rivalry of the 122nd season has been rekindled. It starts on Friday. Therefore, I accept the challenge issued by the member, my neighbour from Richmond—Arthabaska. May the best team win.
    Go, Voltigeurs, go.


Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada

    Mr. Speaker, what is in a name? Let us ask the provincial Liberal parties. We would think that having the same party name as the federal governing party would be an advantage, but clearly it is not.
     Provincial Liberals, suffering from the brand damage that the Prime Minister is doing, are barge polling away from the PM's party name.
    The Saskatchewan Liberal Party had a long history in my province. In fact, six out of seven of our first premiers were Liberal. However, the PM has destroyed the party's name so badly that the Saskatchewan Liberals just voted to end their embarrassment and stop calling themselves Liberals altogether. They do not even have a name for the new party. They would rather be called the “no-name party” than have any association with the Prime Minister.
    The Liberals in B.C. recently made the same decision, realizing that to win elections, they cannot have any association with the disastrous Prime Minister either.
    I am told that the Alberta Liberal provincial caucus was considering doing the same thing until it realized it does not exist.
    This comes as no surprise. After decimating Canada's energy sector, dividing Canadians and 40-year high inflation, it is no wonder nobody wants to be associated with him.


Critical Minerals

    Mr. Speaker, mining is one of Sudbury's economic cornerstones. With our government's commitment of $3.7 billion and the launch of the critical minerals strategy earlier this year, the Conference Board of Canada has predicted that Sudbury's economy is primed to outperform Ontario and Canada in the coming year.
    Our government's plan is working. The number of jobs related to critical minerals rose by nearly 20% in the last two years alone, reaching a 14-year high. With nine operating mines, two mills, two smelters and a nickel refinery, Sudbury is home to over 300 mining and mining supply firms that generate approximately $4 billion in annual exports.
    With the world's demand for critical minerals, Sudbury is poised to play a major role in the continuation of job creation, economic opportunity and continued prosperity.
    I want to highlight Sudbury's potential and how we can continue to play a role in ensuring Canada will become the world's green supplier of choice for critical minerals.

Oral Questions

[Oral Questions]


Canadian Heritage

    Mr. Speaker, today, the government took unprecedented action by censoring debate on its bill to censor what Canadians can say or see on the Internet. It gives a woke agency here in Ottawa the power to control Quebeckers.
    It is hard to believe, but the Bloc Québécois is in favour of giving Ottawa and the federal government greater censorship power. Only the Conservative Party is opposed.
    When will the government stop its attack on freedom of expression?
    Mr. Speaker, there is a consensus in Quebec that we need to make web giants pay their fair share. Everyone—actors, authors, composers, producers, directors, musicians, singers, technicians—is on the same side regarding Bill C‑11. Everyone but the Conservatives, that is.
    I invite the Conservatives to get on the right side and support Quebec and Canadian culture.


    Mr. Speaker, there is no culture without freedom of expression, just to point out the disinformation from that member.
     He says that all artists support this, even Margaret Atwood. No Conservative has said that this bill represents creeping totalitarianism. It gives the power to a woke agency, the CRTC, named by Liberals, to manipulate social media algorithms in order to shut down voices it does not want people to hear.
    When will the government realize that Orwell's 1984 was not an instruction manual?
    Mr. Speaker, those are the same old talking points from the Conservative Party and they happen to be the same talking points of big tech.
     Why do the Conservatives not finally stand up to the big guys and big tech in the country and try to do what we are doing, which is making sure that big tech is paying its fair share to Canadian artists and Canadian producers, to our local media? Instead of standing up for Canadians, those folks are standing up for the Googles, etc.
     I ask them to come on to the right side, and please support Canadians and people who produce this content.
    Mr. Speaker, therein lies the problem. The government will get to decide what is the right side of the debate and shut down everyone it considers to be on the wrong side.
    Let us be clear that this bill does not hurt big tech. It will still monopolize all of social media. Its platforms will still dominate. It is just that government bureaucrats will be able to manipulate the algorithms to shut down the voices of individual Canadians. Top experts on freedom of expression online say that and so does Margaret Atwood, who calls this “creeping totalitarianism”.
    If the Prime Minister is not afraid of debate, why is he so determined to shut it down?
    Mr. Speaker, the reality is that right now the tech giants are not paying their fair share. Seventy-one per cent of Canadians agree that they should be doing so. This is the reason why. This is why we are making sure that we have Bill C-11 to deal with this job.
    We know that the web giants must do more, more for our culture, more for our local media, more to protect our children. That is exactly what we are doing. Why are the Conservatives against that?


    Mr. Speaker, we are in favour of freedom of speech; it is very simple. Big tech has no problem with this bill. It will keep making money hand over fist because of its oligopoly. The government does not want to break up that oligopoly. It has been sucking up to big tech for the last eight years. What it wants to do is to shut down debate.
    Canadians want the freedom to express themselves without government control—
    Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
     I ask the hon. member to put his prop down, please. I think he has been around long enough to know what a prop is. I do not have to explain it.
    The hon. member has seven seconds left.
    Mr. Speaker, it is a book and it is still legal, at least for now.
    When will the government stop its attack on freedom of speech and freedom of expression?
    Mr. Speaker, like the member opposite, the Leader of the Opposition, I have dedicated my life to ensuring that free speech occurs in our country. Holding up a book and pretending that this is about anything other than making sure that big tech pays its fair share to our artists and creators in our country, trying to pretend that there is anybody in the House who believes anything other than free speech, is the very reason that member can go all over the country and say all kinds of nonsense that I disagree with, because we have free speech in our country.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, we do for now. I want to assure the member that as long as we have free speech, I will keep beating that party in debate after debate.
    Let us turn to another falsehood the government spread. It claims that its carbon tax would make everybody better off, but now the government's own Parliamentary Budget Officer has revealed that Nova Scotians and Newfoundlanders, just like people right across the country, pay about $1,500 more in carbon taxes than they get back in rebates. This directly contradicts the government.
    Why has the government misled the people of Atlantic Canada with this sneaky tax?
    Mr. Speaker, indeed, good news is coming to Atlantic Canada on July 1. The climate rebate will be coming to Atlantic Canada.
    That would mean up to $1,000 for a family of four in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, and $1,300 in Newfoundland and Labrador. Eight out of 10 families would be better off.
    If the member does not believe me, perhaps he would believe Conservative Premier Blaine Higgs, who said, “We need to make a choice that is in the best interest of New Brunswickers, and what this does now is provide relief from inflation”.
    I agree with the Premier of New Brunswick.


Democratic Institutions

    Mr. Speaker, let us talk about Chinese interference. In the budget, the government is creating a new scheme, the national counter-foreign interference office.
    By doing so, the Prime Minister is confirming that all the committees, expert panels and robust measures he has been talking about for weeks do not work, and he knows it. He is proving that his government was duped by China in the last two elections, and he knows it.
    Does this not prove that we need an independent public commission of inquiry?


    Mr. Speaker, we will never tolerate any form of foreign interference into our democracy and internal affairs.
    That is why, through budget 2023, we are providing $48.9 million to the RCMP to protect Canadians from harassment and intimidation, engage with communities at greater risk of being targeted and establish a national counter-foreign interference office. In a robust Indo-Pacific strategy, we have provided more capabilities to our security agencies to deal with any form of foreign interference by any country.
    We will always defend our democracy.


    Mr. Speaker, let us talk about the independence of the special rapporteur. The Prime Minister does not need him in order to take action. The proof is that he did not wait for his recommendations to create his national office. He is dictating the findings of the rapporteur before the rapporteur even gets a chance to speak, and he is adding that to the budget. Hello independence.
    The special rapporteur and this new national office are constructs invented by the Prime Minister and under the control of the Prime Minister, because the Prime Minister wants to use them to his benefit and the Prime Minister wants to control the information. Those are the facts.
    Quebeckers are no fools. They want an independent public inquiry.


    Mr. Speaker, when it comes to public safety, it is absolutely essential during debates to rely on facts. Certainly, Mr. Johnston's independence is unmistakable. He is a former governor general of Canada, someone appointed by Prime Minister Harper. He has clearly demonstrated throughout his career that he is here for Canada. No doubt, this will still hold true in this instance.


Domestic Violence

    Mr. Speaker, today's report from the Mass Casualty Commission identified myriad failures. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families. Nova Scotians paid for the many failures in policing.
    For years, we have had recommendations to fix these problems, which have been ignored by the government. The report also clearly identifies the link between gender-based violence and this horrific mass killing.
    Tonight, hundreds of women and children will be looking for shelter from violence, and they will not have anywhere to go. Will the government provide urgent funding to ensure that all those fleeing violence have a safe place to stay tonight?
    Mr. Speaker, today is a difficult day for the families and communities in Nova Scotia. All MPs in this House are thinking about them and holding them in their hearts.
    This morning was the release of the Mass Casualty Commission's report. We will be considering and carefully reviewing the recommendations in the report. We will also be working with the provinces, territories and civil organizations, including those that deal with gender-based violence, in order to respond to the recommendations in due course.



    Mr. Speaker, in budget 2023, if the NDP had not pushed this government, there would not have been any funding to create good union jobs to help fight climate change. However, much more remains to be done.
    For years now, the Liberals having been missing their target and giving billions of dollars to oil companies, and that is making the climate crisis worse. Joe Biden is investing in green industrial policy.
    Will the Liberal government finally show leadership by investing in the infrastructure, renewable energies and the good jobs of today and tomorrow.


    Mr. Speaker, in fact, all the infrastructure that he is talking about will be built by workers with union jobs or workers who are paid prevailing union wages. That is a game-changer in this country. That is something that union leadership, from the Canadian Labour Congress to Unifor, the Alberta Federation of Labour and Trades NL have all been asking for. They have all asked for a seat at the table. We have told them for years they will lead that table, and this budget proves it.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, the government says to the people, “Believe not your eyes”. When we look at page 3 of the Parliamentary Budget Officer's report today on their carbon tax, it says that the net cost for a Nova Scotia family when this carbon tax is implemented is $1,513 more in carbon tax costs than in rebates. For Newfoundlanders, the number is $1,300 in net costs.
    If the government is so proud of driving up the cost of gas, heat and groceries for Atlantic Canadians and consumers everywhere, why has it worked so hard to mislead everyone about the real cost?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives never talk about the costs of climate change, and the Parliamentary Budget Officer has talked about those costs, predicted to be $25 billion by 2025, a $9-billion impact to the B.C. economy from floods, fires and drought. The town of Lytton burned to the ground, and 600 people lost their lives in the heat dome.
    When are the Conservatives going to stop the denial and get serious about climate change?
    Mr. Speaker, notice he is not even contesting the facts now.
    After falsely stating for half a decade that Canadians will be better off with the carbon tax, the government is now admitting what its Parliamentary Budget Officer reported. This is that, on average, Newfoundlanders and Nova Scotians will pay approximately $1,500 in net additional costs above and beyond any phony rebate they get back. Worst of all, it has not even worked. It has missed every single emissions target.
    Why will the Liberals not ditch this tax plan and come up with a real climate plan?


    Mr. Speaker, something is not sinking in. The climate rebate will put more money in people's pockets. The member should look at page 5 of the original PBO report that says eight out of 10 families will be better off.
    What will not make families better off is investing in cryptocurrency. That is reckless economic advice by the Leader of the Opposition. Will he stand in his place and apologize to Canadians for his reckless environmental advice?

Government Appointments

    Mr. Speaker, for the Emergencies Act commission, the government named a Liberal staffer as the independent commissioner. For the foreign interference rapporteur, it named a member of the Trudeau Foundation and the Prime Minister's ski buddy. Now it needed someone to be an ethics commissioner, so it named a Liberal minister's sister-in-law to that position of independent Ethics Commissioner. This is the same minister who has already been found guilty of violating the law.
    When is the Liberal government going to run out of family and friends to name as independent officers?
    Mr. Speaker, the ski buddy that the hon. member refers to is David Johnston, an eminent Canadian whom Stephen Harper actually chose to be governor general of this country. He stood in his place and commended David Johnston as being a good and appropriate choice for governor general. To suggest that David Johnston does not have the best interests of Canada at heart as he looks at the issue of foreign interference is ridiculous.
    With respect to the position that he has just referred to, the interim Ethics Commissioner, again this is somebody who has been in that office for 10 years, who came in when Stephen Harper was in office and is second in command in that office.
    Mr. Speaker, one can almost imagine the conversation between the Liberal intergovernmental affairs minister, who was found guilty of breaking the ethics law, and the Prime Minister, who has twice been found guilty of breaking the ethics law. One can imagine them saying, “How are we going to quit getting found guilty? I know, we'll appoint my sister-in-law as the Ethics Commissioner.” What a plan. It is foolproof.
    The problem is that pretty soon they are going to run out of family and friends. After they do, how are they going to avoid their next conviction for breaking the law?
    Mr. Speaker, there is a place where comedy routines can be tried out; I would suggest that it is not on the floor of the House of Commons.
    What I will say about the conversations that have taken place in the Ethics Commissioner's office is that, for 10 years, the individual in question has absolutely made hard decisions on the government, as well as other parties, and she has comported herself with total professionalism. She was appointed as number two in charge in the Ethics Commissioner's office during Stephen Harper's time in office.
    What is not professional is to take somebody who has worked in the public service for 10 years making hard decisions, including hard decisions that affected the government, and treat them in that way.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Prime Minister and his gang of serial lawbreakers were told by the outgoing Ethics Commissioner to take remedial ethics training. Instead, at Sunday brunch, the Liberal cabinet minister turned to his sister-in-law and said, “How about we make you the new Ethics Commissioner?”
    When are the Liberals going to take their responsibilities seriously and appoint someone who is independent and can restore accountability to this place for all Canadians?
    Mr. Speaker, the Ethics Commissioner's role in our democracy is extremely important. Over the last 10 years in which the person they are referring to has been in the office, they have taken a lot of difficult positions against the government, and frankly, against that party. The person was appointed at the time of Stephen Harper, in the number two position. These decisions have been well-received in the sense that the Ethics Commissioner's job is to hold us to the highest possible standard. The idea that a public servant cannot do their job or set aside differences, when they have a screen in place, is not realistic.


    Mr. Speaker, the arrogance of the Liberal government is stranger than fiction. Even the writers for the Simpsons could not have dreamed up such satire. The Prime Minister, who has twice been found guilty of ethics violations, has appointed as interim ethics commissioner, the sister-in-law of his best friend, the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, himself found guilty of ethics violations for awarding a contract to his cousin.
    Is the brother-in-law of the interim ethics commissioner, the minister, going to take advantage of family get-togethers over Easter to ask her if it is ethical for his best friend, the Prime Minister, to appoint his sister-in-law to rule on his ethics?


    Mr. Speaker, the person in question was part of the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner when the decisions were made on the matter involving the Prime Minister and on other issues. Clearly, this person is capable of acting independently. She was appointed to the office during Prime Minister Harper's government and has been at that office for 10 years.

Employment Insurance

    Mr. Speaker, we better not be sliding into a recession given that the Liberals have once again dropped the promised EI reform from the budget. In the midst of all this economic uncertainty, they just told 60% of workers that if something bad happens to them, tough luck, because they will not be able to rely on EI or the federal government.
    Every economist is wary of the year ahead, so how can the Liberals abandon the only safety net that workers have if they lose their job?


    Mr. Speaker, we know Canada's EI system is complex, and that is why we are focused on improving it. In the past two years, the minister led more than 35 virtual, national and regional round tables with workers, employers and academics. EI reform is a priority. We are on it, and we will get it done.
    At the same time, we are making historic investments in skills training and in support like child care to help more Canadians re-enter the workforce, and it is working. Over 830,000 more Canadians are working than before the pandemic. On this side, we will always, always have workers' backs.


    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals promised to overhaul EI in 2015, then in 2019, then in 2021, then last summer at the very latest, then before Christmas, guaranteed. They always push it further down the line, always later. Even now, the Liberals are completely abandoning that reform in the budget.
    If the Liberals cannot keep their promise to working people today, when economists are worried there is going to be a recession, when are they going to do it?
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for her question because it is a very important question.
    We have always been there for workers across Canada. We have promised EI reform and we will deliver.
    In this budget, we have demonstrated once again that we are there for Canadian workers across the country and we will continue to be.


    Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely nothing. Here is what seniors will find in the budget to help them deal with the cost of living: absolutely nothing.
    We still have two classes of seniors. Pensions for those aged 74 and under have not increased. Seniors receiving the guaranteed income supplement who want to continue working are still heavily penalized. Others who also want to help mitigate the labour shortage have no incentive to do so.
    In a 300-page budget, why did the Liberals not spare a single thought for people aged 65 and over?


    Mr. Speaker, budget 2023 continues to grow our government's plan to support seniors, but do not take my word for it. FADOQ, the largest senior-serving organization in Quebec, said it “welcomes the financial support offered to seniors in the federal budget, notably with the one-time grocery rebate and the expansion of the Canadian Dental Care Plan.” Our new dental care plan will help nine million Canadians, including seniors, get the dental care they need, and our grocery rebate will put hundreds of dollars back in their pockets.
    I hope the member opposite will vote for this budget so she can continue to support seniors in her riding, in Quebec and all across Canada.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, what a surprise. The Liberal carbon tax is not revenue-neutral and actually costs Canadians thousands of dollars a year. It is only going to get worse when the Liberal-NDP costly coalition increases the carbon tax on Saturday. We know when they triple the carbon tax, it will cost Canadian farmers $150,000 a year, but every single Canadian will pay the price when they buy bread, pasta, fruit, vegetables and milk. Higher carbon taxes mean higher inflation and higher food prices.
    How high does the price of bread need to be before the Prime Minister realizes Canadians cannot afford it anymore and axes the carbon tax?



    Mr. Speaker, there is a lot of good news in budget 2023 for our farmers, starting with the vaccine bank for foot and mouth disease. This was a request made by the various meat sectors in Canada and it was very important to them.
    In addition, the advance payments program has been increased, which means we can offer interest-free loans up to $350,000. This is very important to our producers.


    Mr. Speaker, yesterday, despite the Liberal Party, this House passed Bill C-234, which exempts farm fuels, grain drying and farm heating from the carbon tax. However, the carbon tax does not just apply to the farm. It applies to the entire food value chain, from the mining and manufacture of fertilizers to the delivery of farm inputs to the delivery of farm production to the packaging of farm inputs, farm production and groceries, at every step of the way. The result is that now a family of four is going to pay $1,100 more for their groceries in 2023.
    When is the costly coalition going to get the facts and stop the tax?


    Mr. Speaker, once again, our government is always there to support our agricultural producers in different ways.
    We signed the sustainable Canadian agricultural partnership, which will give $3.5 billion to the agricultural sector.
    When the Conservatives were in power, they cut funding for science and risk management programs. We are there to help producers in several ways.
    Mr. Speaker, the carbon tax will increase on April 1. Unfortunately that is not an April Fool's joke.
    The carbon tax increases the cost of food and the cost of fuel for truckers. It also directly impacts our farmers and our producers.
    According to Canada's Food Price Report 2023, if the tax triples, a 5,000-acre farm will pay more than $150,000 in taxes.
    The Liberals have until tomorrow night at midnight. Will they stop it? Will they cancel it?
    Mr. Speaker, I have a great deal of respect for my colleague, but I think he skipped part of the budget yesterday.
    One of the key measures will help Canadians with the cost of living. The much-discussed grocery rebate will help more than 11 million Canadians across the country.
    For those watching at home, the Conservatives are going to vote against assistance for Canadians. That is what is shameful.


Indigenous Affairs

    Uqaqtittiji, while the federal government had many wins for some Canadians, indigenous peoples were again neglected in the federal budget. Promises for long-term funding while delaying its rollout is not good enough. For years, urgent and unmet housing needs have been spoken about in this House, yet indigenous peoples will continue to live in homelessness and in overcrowded and mouldy housing, forcing indigenous peoples to leave their lands.
    Why does the government continue to put indigenous peoples at the bottom of its priority list?
    Mr. Speaker, I agree with the member opposite that we cannot take our foot off the gas pedal when ensuring that every single indigenous person in this country sees themselves as having the same access to success as every other Canadian does. That is why our government has made historic investments in infrastructure, with over $7 billion committed in budget 2021.
    We are going to continue to make those investments with indigenous communities to ensure that kids can get to school in healthy schools and that we can have indigenous people living in healthy houses. I am excited about the $4 billion of urban, rural and northern indigenous housing money in the budget, which I welcome the member to work with us on.


    Mr. Speaker, Canadians need to know their government is using public money responsibly, especially when it comes to their health. However, the Liberals are refusing to tell taxpayers how much money they lost on a failed $200-million vaccine factory in the health minister's own riding, a scheme that did not produce a single dose of the COVID vaccine.
    When will the Liberals do the right thing and invest in a public drug manufacturer instead of no-strings-attached giveaways to big pharma?


    Mr. Speaker, it is a bit rich for my colleague to criticize this government when, at the time, what we did was the responsible thing. The responsible thing we did at the time was to invest in a different family of vaccines. Why? It was to protect the lives of Canadians.
    Since that moment, we have invested a record amount of money in Canada to make sure that we have onshore biomanufacturing. Do members know why? We did not choose to have a pandemic and we are not going to choose to have another one, but we choose to be better prepared to save the lives of Canadians.


    Mr. Speaker, with seniors representing one of the fastest-growing populations in Canada, we require strong public policy measures to ensure they can retire with dignity and respect. Can the Minister of Seniors please update the House on the efforts our government outlined in the budget to support seniors?
    Mr. Speaker, budget 2023 continues to grow our government's plan to support seniors, which has already seen poverty rates for seniors drop significantly since 2015. Through this budget, we are bringing in the largest expansion of health care in 60 years by providing seniors access to high-quality dental care. We are helping seniors with their daily costs through a grocery rebate. We are also helping more seniors access supports, such as the guaranteed income supplement, through the automatic income tax filing. Seniors can rest assured that we will continue to have their backs.

Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, the Liberals' campaign of misinformation continues. The claims that Canadians get more back in rebates for the failed carbon tax have been proven false by the public budgeting officer. He said the largest net loss will be felt by Alberta families, who will pay $2,773 in tax. In a bid to look more virtuous to eco-radical groups, the costly coalition is going to jack up its failed carbon tax this Saturday.
    Why do they not axe the failed carbon tax and stop punishing families for eating, heating and driving?
    Mr. Speaker, every time we put forward an affordability measure, the Conservatives vote against it. However, good news is coming to the Prairies, where the member and I live. As of April 1, a family of four will receive a climate rebate of up to $1,500 in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and $1,000 in Manitoba.
    This is going to help families. It is going to help families because the cheques are going to arrive quarterly. Eight out of 10 families will benefit. I do not know what the Conservatives have against good news.
    Mr. Speaker, that is more misinformation. Every prairie province is going to pay more in carbon tax than what it gets back, and it is proven by the public budgeting officer. This week, the woke Liberal budget already uppercut every single household with an extra $4,200 in costs, all because the minister of inflation cannot balance a budget—
    I have warned members already about calling each other names, but I am just going to point it out. I am going to let the hon. member continue, but please treat each other with respect and in a parliamentary manner.
    Mr. Speaker, the minister responsible for the inflationary problem cannot balance a single budget in this country, and the more the Liberals go woke, the more Canadians go broke. Why do they not cancel their failed carbon tax and give Canadians a break?
    Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' lack of recognition of climate change and, frankly, lack of awareness of climate change are pretty frightening for me.
     In the southwest coast of my riding, where the impacts of the hurricane are still being felt, the snow is melting, so my communities are now getting ready to rebuild infrastructure and rebuild bridges. There are 105 families getting to build their new homes because they have lost everything.
    I am proud to be part of a government that has a plan to address climate change, and our plan is working. I would like to hear what their plan is.


    Mr. Speaker, small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of Canada's economy. Unlike the government, the men and women behind these businesses are in direct contact with Canadians and know how to run a company.
    Lo and behold, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business consulted over 4,300 business leaders, and the result is a scathing indictment of this government: 61% of Canadian business leaders are opposed to the carbon tax increase this Saturday.
    The government may look down on the Conservatives, but could it at least listen to business leaders?


    Mr. Speaker, it is very interesting to hear my Conservative colleague talk about the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, because the CFIB highlighted just how extraordinary budget 2023 is for small business.
    It is this Liberal government that has an agreement with the banks and credit card companies to reduce credit card transaction fees for small businesses, resulting in over $1 billion in savings. That is absolutely incredible, and it will benefit Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, the Liberal government has a talent for ballooning the credit card statements of every Canadian with its compulsive deficits.
    That same report is rather scathing for other reasons. Again, 4,300 small business leaders say that 40% of them will reduce investments, 45% will cut salaries, and 56% will increase the cost of products. This has a direct, meaningful and very tangible impact on Canadians if, by some misfortune, the government increases the tax on Saturday.
    Could the government act for the good of all Canadians and cancel this tax on April 1?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Louis‑Saint‑Laurent, for whom I have a great deal of respect.
    In addition to having listened to entrepreneurs, we have listened to all Canadians. Canadians are asking us to do three things: help them with the cost of living, invest in health and build an economic future that will foster prosperity and clean jobs for the future.
    I can assure my colleague from Louis‑Saint‑Laurent that Canadian entrepreneurs are looking at our plan and its different credits and seeing that we are headed to a green economy. That is the best way to create jobs for today and the future.

Dental Care

    Mr. Speaker, there are plenty of health care needs in Quebec.
    Rather than responding to those needs in the budget, the Liberals are creating a new dental care program on top of the one we already have in Quebec. That is close to $3 billion that Quebec could put into areas where it would be more useful or use to improve the existing program. That is why the Quebec National Assembly just unanimously called for Quebec to have the right to opt out with full compensation.
    Will the government commit to honouring the unanimous request of Quebec's elected officials?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question.
    First, it gives me an opportunity to acknowledge what we heard from Quebec today. People across the country believe in the importance of dental care, which is essential to overall health. Second, two to three million Quebeckers will be able to benefit from the Government of Canada's new dental insurance plan in the coming years. Lastly, all of this will be done in co-operation with all of the provinces, including Quebec.
    Mr. Speaker, there are needs throughout Quebec's health care system. The system is in crisis.
    The Liberals did not prioritize those needs in their budget. The Liberals prioritized the needs of the Liberals. They have not listened to Quebec's demands. Their main concern is to make sure they stay in power by maintaining their alliance with the NDP. Their priority is insuring a majority, not insuring dental care.
    Is the government committed to respecting Quebec's unanimous request? I repeat: It is asking for the right to opt out with full compensation.
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for making that connection and focusing on Quebeckers' needs, which are just as important as the physical health, mental health and oral health needs of all other Canadians.
    The Quebeckers I have been talking to for quite some time now are happy to see that between two and three million Quebeckers, families with average and modest incomes, will be able to take advantage of this new Canadian government dental plan over the next few years.


Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, gas, home heating and groceries are more expensive than ever before. This is not new news. That costly coalition is punishing families by pushing people further into debt, and the additional financial stress brought on by this budget will wreak havoc and chaos on so many levels.
    In Ontario, the Parliamentary Budget Officer reported that carbon tax would cost approximately $1,800 per household. The government has created a new class: the tax-poor class, people who are going to work hard all of their lives and have little to show for it. Canadians need solutions.
    Will the Liberals cancel their plans to increase the carbon tax this Saturday?


    Mr. Speaker, everyone knows that the first thing we did when we came into government was lower taxes for the middle class, but our government has also increased the amount that every Canadian can earn before paying even a penny of federal income taxes. We have increased that to $15,000. That is $3,673 more that one can earn tax-free. It is just another way that we are making life affordable for all Canadians.
    Mr. Speaker, seniors are struggling. This Saturday, the Liberals' plan to increase taxes will make things worse. The cost of gas, heating and groceries is going up.
     Carmela, a senior, struggles to put food on her table each week and often skips a meal to make ends meet. That costly coalition is increasing the carbon tax and it will make the problem worse. Carmela wishes that this was just an April Fool's joke.
    Will the Liberal government cancel the planned increase of the carbon tax this Saturday?
    Mr. Speaker, we have been there, delivering for seniors. The party opposite has opposed every single measure that we have put forward.
    Once again, in this budget, we are providing targeted support for Canadians who need it the most, including seniors, with our new grocery rebate that is going to give seniors additional money to pay for their groceries, with our new dental care plan that is going to get that dental care for seniors about whom they care. We are expanding the free automatic filing system so vulnerable seniors can have access to critical supports like the GIS.
    If the Conservatives care about Canadians or seniors, they should vote for the budget.
    Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister's new spending spree will cost every Canadian household $4,200 more. A family of four will pay $1,100 more for groceries this year alone and even more if one lives in the north.
    On top of that bad news, families in the Northwest Territories that have already had to choose between paying for their heating bills or buying groceries will now see the Prime Minister increase the cost of home heating oil by 17¢ a litre this Saturday.
    When will the Prime Minister and the costly coalition cut the carbon tax?
    Mr. Speaker, my colleagues across the way do not seem to understand or recognize that 2.7 million more Canadians have been lifted out of poverty since this government came into power; that 830,000 more Canadians are working since the pandemic; that with the new grocery rebate we are proposing, a family of four will receive $467 to meet its daily needs.
    On this side of the House, we stand up for Canadians. Those members do not ever stand up for them.


Agriculture and Agri-Food

    Mr. Speaker, budget 2023 does a great deal to address affordability, including access to nutritious food. One of the really important measures in the budget is additional investments in the local food infrastructure fund, the LFIF.
    Could the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food tell us more about this program and its impact on communities from coast to coast to coast?
    Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague from Pontiac. It is my pleasure to inform all our colleagues that budget 2023 includes a $10-million enhancement to the local food infrastructure fund.
     This program was created as part of Canada's first official food policy and is designed to strengthen our local food systems and support the creation of more food banks, community gardens and collective kitchens. Even youth centres will be able to upgrade their equipment and enhance their services for those who need it most.


Carbon Pricing

    Mr. Speaker, gas is going up. Home heating is going up. The cost of groceries is going up. This week, the NDP-Liberal costly coalition spendathon projects that the Liberals will collect another $69 billion in Canadian taxes because of its ineffective carbon tax.
     Today's independent report on the carbon tax says that Nova Scotians will pay $1,513 more than they receive. The Liberal carbon tax punishes families and paycheques.
    Will the Liberals show a little compassion and cancel their carbon tax grab?


    Mr. Speaker, we are closing tax loopholes on the wealthiest Canadians to make life more affordable for the middle class. Ninety-nine per cent of these measures will be affecting people who make over $300,000. Eighty per cent of these measures will be affecting Canadians who make over $1,000,000 a year.
    Let us be clear that when the Conservatives talk about lowering taxes to protect powerful paycheques, they are actually talking about cutting taxes for the 1% and cutting services for workers, seniors, youth and everyone else.
    Mr. Speaker, when the cost of living increases, women's shelters are extremely hard hit. Safe havens for those fleeing domestic violence could face closing their doors.
    Yesterday, the Parliamentary Budget Officer reported that when the Liberals triple their carbon tax, it will cost a Newfoundland and Labrador family an additional $1,316 a year. Women's shelters incur expenses 40 times that of an average family.
    Will the costly coalition show an ounce of compassion to those most vulnerable by cancelling this Saturday's carbon tax increase?
    Mr. Speaker, I was proud to be parliamentary secretary and part of the Liberal government when the pandemic hit, and we stepped up to get money out the door right away to every single one of those women's shelters from coast to coast to coast.
    When I stood up before and made a comment about the hurricane in my riding, someone on the other side said, “Oh, here she goes again.” Members should know that I am going to keep talking about that hurricane, because it is hundreds of millions of dollar of damage to small craft harbours, hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to infrastructure and hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to people's homes.
    We are going to keep talking about that, because we have a plan to fix it.
    Mr. Speaker, today's report by the Parliamentary Budget Officer is clear: the carbon tax is a tax is a tax is a tax. It is costing Ontario families $1,800 more per household than they are getting back. It is raising the cost of fuel and food. Canadians are being played for fools by the costly coalition.
    In 48 hours, the carbon tax is due to go up again. Will the Liberals cancel their plans to increase the carbon tax this Saturday?
    Mr. Speaker, every time we put forward an affordability measure for dental, rental or supporting children, the Conservatives vote against it.
    I will just emphasize, for the 29th time, that the climate rebate puts more money in people's pockets. It makes families better off.
    What will not make families better off is investing in cryptocurrency. The hon. Leader of the Opposition had a chance to stand in his place and apologize for his reckless advice. The hon. member of the opposition has no plan for the economy—
    The hon. member for Vaughan—Woodbridge.


    Mr. Speaker, budget 2023, a made-in-Canada plan, introduces various affordability measures, such as the first-time homebuyers account, and also demonstrates our government's unwavering commitment to reconciliation by investing in urban, rural and northern indigenous housing.
    Could the hon. Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion tell the House about these initiatives and what they mean for our country?
    Mr. Speaker, through budget 2023, we are showing real leadership on housing. We are launching the first-time home buyer's tax-free savings account of $40,000. I am thrilled to share that financial institutions will be able to offer this to Canadians as of April 1. We are also issuing new guidelines to protect those with mortgages, as well as investing a historic amount of $4 billion in the urban, rural and northern indigenous housing strategy.
    We shall not rest until each and every Canadian has access to a safe and affordable place to call home.


    Mr. Speaker, recreation in regions like ours saves lives. Today, I stood with indigenous and northern athletes, coaches and leaders from northern Manitoba, calling on Canada and FIFA to support soccer in our communities in the lead up to Canada co-hosting the World Cup. This is a historic moment for Canada on the global stage and the government has a responsibility to ensure that all our young people are part of it.
    Will the government work with indigenous and northern communities to invest in soccer infrastructure and programming for all our youth in the lead-up to the World Cup?


    Mr. Speaker, I could not agree with my colleague more. While Canadians are really excited that Toronto and Vancouver will play host to games during the FIFA 2026 men's world cup, we have to do more to ensure that everybody has access to sport, physical activity and recreation.
     That is why I was so glad to get out to Canmore, Alberta a couple of weeks ago to visit Spirit North. This is an organization that brings physical activity like cross-country skiing, mountain biking and skateboarding to indigenous youth. First nations kids across the Prairies are experiencing that.
    I could not agree with my colleague more. Sport saves lives.

The Budget

    Mr. Speaker, budget 2023, a.k.a the stay-in-power-billions bonanza, threw Toronto under the bus. The city's deputy mayor warns of significant cuts to city services due to the federal government walking away from its election promise and ignoring Toronto's request for help with COVID shortfalls. The GTA is the engine of the Canadian economy and it is about to stall.
    What services would the government like to cut during soaring food prices and a recession? Which homeless shelters should close? How many fire trucks, police cars and ambulances should be parked? Which after-school and day care programs should be cancelled? Which bus routes?
    The Liberals relied on Toronto votes to cling to power. MPs have forgotten. In the next election, Torontonians will remind them.
    Mr. Speaker, as a former councillor, I can tell the House first-hand that no federal government has invested in municipalities more than this one. I would like to inform the member opposite that on transit alone our government, since 2016, has invested over $8.6 billion in the city of Toronto. If the member opposite thinks he has the pulse of Torontonians, he should be reminded that we are there for Toronto. We are investing in real infrastructure projects that make a big difference in the lives of Torontonians.

Presence in Gallery

    I wish to draw the attention of members to the presence in the gallery of the recipients of the 2023 Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case: Dr. Lynn Gehl, Dr. Shimi Kang, Farrah Khan and Judy White.
    Some hon. members: Hear, hear!

Maureen Breau

    I understand that there have been discussions among representatives of all parties in the House and that there is agreement to observe a moment of silence in honour of the fallen police officer in Louiseville, Quebec.
    [A moment of silence observed]
    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I can safely say that everyone in this House shares at least two things in common: We are all committed to working for human and civil rights in Iran, and we all get frustrated from time to time.
    Last week, after three hours of a Nowruz event, organized by the wonderful Tirgan community, I became frustrated with what I felt were inaccurate and unfair comments by one speaker and I left, maybe ironically to go home and write a sermon on reconciliation, making an intemperate comment on the way out, and for that I am sorry.
    However, let there be no misunderstanding. I remain committed to working with, holding and supporting the families of the victims of PS752 every day. I remain committed to working to hold those who committed those atrocities accountable. I continue to work for the human and civil rights of all people in Iran, and the “Women, Life, Freedom” movement.


    Mr. Speaker, I am looking for unanimous consent to table in the House an updated report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer that shows the cost of the federal carbon tax on households in Nova Scotia, P.E.I., Newfoundland and Labrador. It will cost Nova Scotians $1,500, Prince Edward Islanders $1,500, and Newfoundlanders and Labradorians $1,300 when the Liberals triple their carbon tax.
    This is turning into debate and it is clear that we do not have unanimous consent.


    The hon. member for Shefford on a point of order.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to clarify the comments made by the Minister of Seniors.
    I want to be certain that she is not misleading the House when she says that organizations in Quebec support the budget. I just re-read various press releases that welcome maybe two measures in the budget but lament the fact that the federal government does not take sufficient action for seniors in the budget.
    They condemn the many omissions in the budget. They condemn the fact that the guaranteed income supplement, assistance—
    In my opinion, this is becoming a debate.
    The hon. Minister of Indigenous Services.


    Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I am really disappointed with the pattern of sexism and undermining of women we hear from some members opposite.
    Today, when the member for Calgary Forest Lawn was speaking about budget 2023, he referred to the Minister of Finance as the “minister of inflation”.
     This is a pattern we see from the members opposite who undermine women and refuse to use titles that are appropriate in this place. I ask that—
    I believe I dealt with that during the question.
    I want to remind all members on both sides to respect each other and to not call each other names.

Points of Order

Video Recording of Parliamentary Proceedings—Speaker's Ruling 

[Speaker's Ruling]
    Following the point of order raised earlier by the member for Kingston and the Islands concerning the posting of a video on social media, I would like to remind members that the taking of any photo or video during the proceedings of the House of Commons and its committees is strictly forbidden.


     Following the intervention from the member for Kingston and the Islands, I considered the matter and reviewed the video in question. It is absolutely clear to the Chair that the beginning of the video was taken during our proceedings and subsequently made available on social media.


    I am sure the Leader of the Opposition knows full well that members are not allowed to take pictures or record videos when the House is sitting.
    The Chair has reminded members of this on many occasions, and as has been done in all those cases, the Chair's expectation is that the Leader of the Opposition will remove the portion of the said video that is in contravention of the rules of the House.
    I want to thank all members for their attention.
    Mr. Speaker, related to your ruling, I want to indicate that, of course, Conservatives will respect your ruling and we hope the Liberals will too.
    On February 2, the Liberal Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario posted on Twitter a day-in-the-life video, which includes footage of members sitting in the House during question period. I will be happy to provide the Speaker with a link to that video so that he can take a look at it and I—


    I look forward to that link. I am sure the member will provide me with others as well, and I will examine each and every one of them. If they are during this session, we will act on them.

Business of the House

[Business of the House]
    Mr. Speaker, it is now time for the Thursday question. Before I go to it, I want to wish everyone a blessed Good Friday and a happy Easter. Christians in the western world will be observing both. Easter is coming up and I know it is a time when family members will get together, visit and take a bit of a break. A lot of Canadians are going through a lot of hardships and I want them to know we are thinking of all the vulnerable Canadians who might be facing extra struggles given the current economic woes that are afflicting many hard-working Canadians across the country.
    I want to wish everybody in this place, from the pages to the support staff, you, Mr. Speaker, and members of all parties a fruitful two weeks working hard in their constituencies, meeting with their constituents and taking a bit of time with their friends and families.
    As it relates to House business, I would like to know if the government House leader can update us as to what the business of the House will be. We were hoping we would have more debate on Bill C-11, which would grant unprecedented powers to the government to control the Internet. I note that debate will end today because the government is stifling that debate, but I hope the member will update us as to what we will be debating when the House comes back after the Easter break.
    Mr. Speaker, let me join with my hon. colleague, the opposition House leader, in wishing everyone a joyous Easter. I hope that members who are celebrating Easter take time with their families. This is also a very busy time for many of our other faith communities as we recognize Vaisakhi. We are in the holy month of Ramadan right now and we have Passover. This is a time that is very rich, one when I know people will be visiting churches, mosques and temples in our communities to share with the rich faith traditions in our constituencies. I hope all members are able to profit from those opportunities to be with their constituents and families.
    With respect to Bill C-11, I will simply state that I do not think there is any amount of time that would satisfy Conservatives. In fact, I would challenge the opposition House leader to indicate just how many days of debate he would like. I do not think there is any end. Conservatives have indicated they want to obstruct this bill. This bill has had more time in the Senate than any bill in history. It was in the last Parliament and it is in this Parliament. It is time our artists get compensated for their work and that the tech giants pay their fair share.
    Tomorrow, we will start the second reading debate of Bill C-42, an act to amend the Canada Business Corporations Act, and then we are going to be switching to Bill C-34, the Investment Canada Act.
    When we return, we will continue with the budget debate on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
    On Thursday, we will start the day with a ways and means vote relating to the budget implementation act. Following the vote, we will proceed to the debate on Bill C-27, the digital charter implementation act, 2022, followed by Bill C-42.
    Finally, on Friday, we will commence debate on the budget bill.
    Mr. Speaker, I want to add my voice to the government House leader's comments, in the spirit of recognition of events that are being acknowledged in the upcoming weeks. The Standing Orders make reference to Easter, but it is also the time for Passover for our Jewish friends and fellow Canadians. Many members will be invited to wonderful Vaisakhi events and many Iftar dinners as well during the holy month of Ramadan for our Muslim friends.
    I wanted to join my voice to the government House leader's on those recognitions.
    I want to remind both the hon. member for Regina—Qu'Appelle and the government House leader that it is the Thursday question, not the Thursday questions and comments. I just wanted to point that out.

Government Orders

[Government Orders]


Online Streaming Act

     The House resumed consideration of Motion No. 2 in relation to the amendments made by the Senate to Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, and of the amendment.
    Mr. Speaker, I am glad to continue my discussion on this very important debate that I started before question period. I focused primarily on what I saw as the Conservatives' agenda and the reason for their continual interest in trying to promote the disinformation and misinformation that is out there, prior to question period. I would like to take some time to focus on the parts of this bill, and in particular the parts that would affect and help artists who are trying to make a career of it in our country.
    Whenever I have had the opportunity to speak to this bill, I have specifically gone back to what I thought was a very powerful intervention in committee by Gord Sinclair, who is a bass player for The Tragically Hip. Mr. Sinclair, in his testimony, said—
    Mr. Bob Zimmer: He is not biased at all.
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: Mr. Speaker, I got a heckle. I would not mind hearing what that heckle was.
    Mr. Bob Zimmer: If you are asking me a question, I can answer.
    Mr. Mark Gerretsen: We will get to questions after.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to hear the heckle about Mr. Sinclair, if the member wants to say it a little louder.
    I was going to read from his testimony, which I thought was very good. He said:
    Times change. In the 30 years that the Hip were performing, we went from producing vinyl records and cassettes to CDs, videos and DATs through Napster, and to iTunes and YouTube, and now to streaming and its dominant platform, Spotify. Through it all, until recently, there have been live shows to make ends meet, but people no longer buy the physical products our industry produces. In the digital age, people haven't given up on music—just the idea of paying for it. That business model is unsustainable.
    Mr. Sinclair goes on to later say:
    Our potential as a creative nation is as vast as the country itself. Songwriters are our best cultural ambassadors. We are compelled to create, to express what we know and what we feel. We need partners in government and industry, including streaming.
    Right now, somewhere in Canada, a young artist is searching for their voice, the right bit of melody to go with the perfect words. We need your help to hear those voices.
    I thought it was really interesting in the speech by the member who spoke before me, the member for Calgary Nose Hill, when she said in her comments that the only people who are interested in this bill and seeing it go through who are artists are those who have made it and those who are successful, and I can only assume she is putting The Tragically Hip in that category. I would remind that member that The Tragically Hip specifically has done countless things in our community and in our country to help build up various different charities. They have given back tremendously, and one of the ways they have given back is to new and emerging artists. They were trying to lend their stardom to those who are trying to make it.
    When Gord Sinclair comes before committee and pleads with the committee that this is necessary for young struggling artists, reflecting on how CanCon and the rules in the nineties, in particular, helped The Tragically Hip get to where they are, he is not doing it because he thinks there is some advantage to The Tragically Hip. They have made it. He is doing it because he wants to see new emerging artists not just survive, but flourish and see their full potential.
    The reality is, when we live next to an economy that is 10 times our size, there is a tremendous amount of influence being projected into Canada from the United States. We see it on a daily basis, and it shapes the culture of Canada. If we want to ensure we can keep our unique Canadian identity, as it relates to English, French and indigenous culture, it is critically important that we invest and help. We will be swallowed up by the impacts and the effects from the United States.
    I asked a question earlier, and I will repeat it.


    When I grew up in the 1980s, I watched TV Ontario, or TVO. It was channel 2, which we watched after dinner. I would watch Today's Special, the Polka Dot Door and all those other shows a five-, six- or seven-year-old would watch. Now, for my two youngest children, my six-year-old and four-year-old, it is a fight over who gets to use my wife's iPad to watch YouTube, and the content they are watching is not influenced by Canadian culture and Canadian identity like the shows I watched in the 1980s were.
    Conservatives can come in here and try to mislead, and to misrepresent the reality of this bill. I actually think they are so caught up in the rhetoric that many of them actually believe it. They actually believe what they are saying, which I think is even more alarming, because the reality is that, when we look at the content of the bill, members will see that this is not about government trying to impose its own views. It is not about government propaganda, as it has been conflated, by several Conservative MPs, with what happens in communist dictatorships. This is about ensuring Canadian content can survive when we live next to a cultural, social and economic superpower, the United States, which is 10 times the size of our country. I think Conservatives know that.
     I think Canadians understand what this is really about, unless they are living in the bubble of the Conservatives and Michael Geist, who, I am sure, is tweeting all of this. Let me say “hi” to Michael and ask how he is doing. Unless they are living in that bubble, I think Canadians really get what this is all about. It is not about control; it is about trying to ensure Canadian content survives into the future. From my perspective, it is most important with young people, who are being influenced for the first time, like my children, in watching all of these videos.
     Canadians might have concerns and be thinking, “Well, I don't know where to land on this. I don't know, because I'm not getting all the information. Are the Liberals telling the truth? Are the Conservatives telling the truth? Who is really telling the truth?”
    I would tell them to look at who supports this bill in this chamber. The Liberals support it, the NDP supports it and the separatist party supports it. Can members imagine the separatist party going along with the government and cabinet to create algorithms on what people could see in Quebec? It is probably the most ludicrous suggestion, and it is coming from Conservatives, but they have no problem doing it.
    The Conservatives have no problem doing it, because it all goes back to the way I opened this speech before question period: It all goes back to fundraising. It all goes back to stirring their base and generating more fundraising for political gain. It is extremely unfortunate that Conservatives have taken an issue so incredibly important for Canadian culture and turned it into a cash cow, and they have successfully done that. I tip my hat to them. If that was their objective, they succeeded. However, they are not helping Canadians, they are not helping Canadian culture and they are not helping Canadian artists the way Gord Sinclair and The Tragically Hip, along with countless other Canadians, are trying to help them.


    Mr. Speaker, I love that conversation. I appreciate it, and I am pleased to respond to it.
    Speaking of the youth in this nation, never before in the history of this country have young people engaged in choosing a leader and joining a party in the way that has happened over the past while here. They are excited about the freedom they have on the Internet and the opportunities they have to present themselves. Of course, Canadians around the world are recognized for all the good things about the values we have.
    I would say to the member that, if there is fundraising that is being successful here, we cannot beat money out of Canadians. I suppose we can if we tax them. However, in this case, people in this nation support what they believe in with their pocketbooks. People in Canada are doing that, and I would encourage the member to do what he can to express their views and see if people support it in the same way.
    Mr. Speaker, they are not beating money out of Canadians; they are scaring it out of them.


    Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his honesty today and for dealing in facts and evidence. It is very refreshing to hear, considering this debate.
    I came to the House to fight for Canadians and to stand up for the Charter of Rights of Freedoms. When members opposite are making a case that we are against free speech or that we are somehow here to control the Internet, it is scary to me because what I then get at home in my riding, and which my staff have to deal with, is a barrage of hatred. I wonder if the member can comment on how dangerous this kind of rhetoric really is.
    Mr. Speaker, that is a great question, because it is extremely dangerous for a political party to look at the opportunity to raise money as being more important than the consequences that come with the misinformation and what that could potentially translate into. That is what we are seeing. As I said earlier, I believe that some of the Conservatives actually are at the point where they believe their own rhetoric because they have been saying it so much.
    We have a situation here where money, generating revenue, is more important. Nowhere was that clearer than earlier today when the Leader of the Opposition realized that this cash cow is about to dry up because we are about to vote on this, and that he had better start recording a video on it with a link to his donation page. He started recording a video while he was still in the chamber with the mace sitting on the table. That should tell Canadians where this issue lies for Conservatives, because it is extremely telling.
    Uqaqtittiji, this is such an important bill because it would especially help marginalized independent content creators and producers like IsumaTV. I just wonder, though, if this bill is passed, when the member thinks web giants like Netflix and Disney+ would be required to pay their fair share so that smaller, independent producers like Isuma could benefit from this bill.
    Mr. Speaker, the member is absolutely right. This would help the independent artists. It would do that because all we are saying is that the rules that apply to the traditional media outlets and helping to fund those independents should apply to the web giants too. That is all that this is. There is great opportunity here and great potential.
     I would say, to Conservatives who are saying this is a violation of freedom and rights, that we will see what happens the day after this legislation receives royal assent. Would the Conservatives take it to the court to have a charter ruling on it? I am going to guess they would not, because any lawyer who would advise them would most likely tell them they do not have a case.
    Mr. Speaker, as the member knows, I intend to vote for Bill C-11, but I would vote for it with more enthusiasm if the government had accepted the amendment from the Senate that excluded user-developed content. I wonder if the member could explain, because so far I have not had any explanation that makes sense to me, why the government has rejected that amendment from the Senate.
    Mr. Speaker, my understanding is that it had already been dealt with, that it is already very explicit that user-generated content would not affected by this piece of legislation, and that everybody knows that user-generated content was never the intention here. The intention was about getting to the web giants and making sure they pay their fair share.
    Mr. Speaker, therein lies the exact issue we are facing here. The member just said “my understanding is” and went on to give his understanding. This is why we continue to debate this. This is why it has been at the Senate for so much time. This is why we want to talk about this more: There is not agreement.
     The member talked about the group of people who must be under the dome, which I think were his words. It is an interesting group, because not only does it include Conservatives, but it also includes Margaret Atwood and it includes the current chair of the CRTC, who also said it would affect user content. It is an interesting group of people who are raising objections and concerns about this legislation. How does the member explain all who, in this interesting group of people, are also raising objections to this legislation?


    Mr. Speaker, this is more cherry-picking of quotes from people without providing the full context. The member referenced Margaret Atwood. The Globe and Mail quoted Margaret Atwood, saying “The author said she had not read the bill ‘thoroughly yet’ and that there seemed to be ‘well-meaning attempts to achieve some sort of fairness in the marketplace’."
    The member is not even properly using the context in which Margaret Atwood was making her comments. Of course they leave it out that part, because it is not beneficial to their argument, it does not support their case and it certainly would not raise any money for them if they were to send out that quote from Margaret Atwood.
    Mr. Speaker, the member for Kingston and the Islands spoke about the Conservatives using this legislation as a way to drive fundraising for the Conservative Party of Canada. I am curious whether he finds it a bit ironic that it is actually the Conservative Party standing in the way of content creators' being paid fairly for their content and their ideas, and that Conservatives stand in the way to block that legislation so they can fundraise for their own party and their own partisan activities.
    Mr. Speaker, that is such an interesting take on it. Conservatives are basically creating their own content by using this issue in order to fundraise and generate money for their party. It is total hypocrisy on the part of the Conservatives. They should know better and they should stop playing with an issue in a way that encourages disinformation, which is what they are doing.
    Mr. Speaker, let us talk about rhetoric from the member across the way. All he has talked about is us as a party. He has not talked about the legislation and factually defended his argument about the legislation they are proposing. It goes back several years to Bill C-10, the iteration before, and clause 4.1. That is the problem, and I do not know if he has even read that. It is not just us saying it is a problem; it is Canadians across the country who are saying it is a problem. Why does he not just simply remove that clause?
    Mr. Speaker, this is the member who was heckling me when I was reading Gord Sinclair's quote. I really wish he had given me the rest of that heckle so I could have at least heard it through his question.
    It is inaccurate to suggest I do not understand the context of this bill. With respect to his suggestion that all I did was attack Conservatives, that is not true. He did not listen to the first eight minutes of my speech. The fact is, I did talk about artists, about how content impacted me as a child and is impacting my children, and about how I saw this legislation would improve the content my children are watching today.
    Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Abbotsford.
    Today I am speaking, along with many others, about an issue fundamental to the future of our country.
     Do we as Canadians live in a country that believes in the principles of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and supports free speech on the Internet, or do we deviate and support the principles of censorship and the pursuit of wokeness and conformity? What do we value as Canadians?
    The fact is that the Conservative Party is the only political party in Canada that stands for freedom of speech and the rights of Canadians to express themselves freely on the Internet. Margaret Atwood called Bill C-11 “creeping totalitarianism”.
    We have, and we will, fight this legislation to the bitter end. Is it a losing fight? Probably. We have heard many times, when the Prime Minister asked the leader of the NDP to jump, that the only question he gets in response is “How high?” That does not mean that Conservatives would not fight. However, it does mean that, when Conservatives form the next government under our new leader, we would repeal this horrible attack on free speech.
    Much has been said about the obvious move toward censorship and government control over what we see and post. However, I want to come at this from a different angle, which is that of The Littlest Hobo. I grew up in the 1970s in rural Saskatchewan. We had colour TV, I am not that old, but our house only had two channels: CBC and CTV. It was the golden age of government censorship of what we could watch on TV.
    Back then, the CRTC was not as concerned about political censorship as we would see with the result of Bill C-11, but it was very concerned that we watch Canadian programming, instead of that evil, awful American programming. Every day, after school, I had to endure a half-hour of The Littlest Hobo, because it was literally the only thing I could watch on TV. Now some may have enjoyed the show. I did not.
     This was the result of the government dictating to Canadians what it felt we needed to watch on TV. Thankfully, we eventually got U.S. TV channels in our house, and we were able to finally watch what we chose to watch and not what the CRTC told us we could watch.
    Everyone who has grown up in the Internet generation has always had full control to watch whatever they want to watch on the Internet. The government has so far been unable to censor them and force them to watch the content it deems important.
    With Bill C-11, the government would be throttling the Internet and forcing Canadians to watch things it deems important: The Littlest Hobo of this decade. Do not get me wrong. I am not against Canadian content in any way. I just want good content, wherever it comes from.
    Canada produces some amazingly good content. For example, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood was written by a Canadian author and is being filmed on Canadian soil. It stars Canadian actors and it employs Canadian producers, but it fails to make the cut. It is not considered Canadian by the CRTC.
    This just demonstrates the silliness of the government trying to dictate and control our creative industries. The last thing our creative industries in Canada need is more government control.
    Canada has amazing content producers, from big-name actors, producers and artists down to small content creators on YouTube, Instagram and other platforms. We must keep them free to compete in a global world, rather have the government pick who are the winners and who are the losers.
    How does Bill C-11 work? How does the legislation actually strangle the freedom of individual Canadians on the Internet?
    At the heritage committee, one witness, J.J. McCullough, used a metaphor that I believe captures this law in a nutshell. He said, “It's like promising not to regulate books while [simultaneously] regulating...bookstores.”
    The approach of the NDP-Liberal coalition is to regulate everyday social media platforms that Canadians use: Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube and others.
    This would directly affect every Canadian, as the platforms would be told by the government which of the content created is allowed or not. It is as if someone walked into a bookstore but would only be allowed to see the books on certain racks. They would not be allowed to see the books on other racks in the rest of the store.
    The government agency overseeing this is called the Canadian Radio and Television Commission, CRTC. These are the same people who forced me to watch The Littlest Hobo as a kid. The CRTC has been around for a long time, and, in theory, it is responsible for ensuring Canadian content on radio and TV. They are the reason cable is so expensive and why many of us are cord-cutting.
    Basically, the CRTC is a bunch of Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa elites, appointed by the Prime Minister, whose jobs would be to decide what we consume and what we post.


    This law would effectively give the CRTC the authority to set out conditions, requirements and exemptions for what is to be restricted or to be allowed. For example, the law would give the commission the authority to make orders imposing conditions affecting such things as “the proportion of programs to be broadcast” being “devoted to specific genres” and “the presentation of programs and programming”.
    Despite its vague language, it is clear that the government plans to give the friends of the Prime Minister the power to decide what the people see, quite literally policing content.
    They do this under the guise of promoting Canadian content, but that is just an excuse to grab more power and to limit the freedoms we enjoy. That is exactly what Bill C-11 does.
    It gives the CRTC the authority over platforms like YouTube. These platforms would be forced to comply with regulations that prioritize content to be displayed to individuals over others, depending on what the CRTC deems to be the priority. That is exactly the problem.
    This law would “encourage the development of Canadian expression by providing a wide range of programming that reflects Canadian attitudes, opinions, ideas, values and artistic creativity”.
    Who will decide what content is reflective of Canadian opinions, ideas and values and exactly what those are? Of course it is the friends of the Prime Minister.
    This one phrase would reprogram the algorithms of your platforms to show you what the government wants you to see, rather than having your preferences deciding what appears in your feed.
    The NDP-Liberals do this under the banner of diversity and inclusivity. The truth is that, right now, open platforms allow for, and facilitate the exchange of, diverse and inclusive content better than a government with a political agenda ever could.
    The party that prides itself on multiculturalism is now putting a rubber stamp on what is Canadian and what is not. Canadian culture and interests are always expanding and are being influenced by many different artists, genres, languages and the trends of the day. The government is the last organization I would want creating Canadian culture.
    Ultimately this is the difference between the Conservative approach on this issue and the approach of the NDP-Liberals. They are concerned about government control and how to have power over Canadians. Conservatives are devoted to freedom. We want Canadians to be able to live their everyday normal lives on the internet. It is simple as that.
    Let us talk about how this legislation would affect Canadians. As Neal Mohan, the Chief Product Officer for YouTube, has explained in countless interviews, Bill C-11 would harm Canadian content creators.
    Some may argue that YouTube is a massive corporation simply looking after its own interests. Of course, on one level that is true, but YouTube contributes over a billion dollars to the Canadian economy and creates roughly 35,000 jobs in this country, so it does have a stake beyond the confines of Silicon Valley.
    Bill C-11 would essentially decide who the winners and losers of this market are, based on the qualities and conditions set out by the CRTC. Rather than helping the little guy, this government plans on putting barriers that impede them from success.
    By creating more red tape, we would not just harm the economy but, more importantly, we would harm each Canadian who depends upon the internet to generate income. Nowadays, that is a lot of people from all age groups and all walks of life. This law would cover any content individually generated that touches a user trying to make even the smallest dollar.
    The Liberals will say that this bill would not touch personal content like cat videos but that is simply not true. Even the current Liberal-appointed chair of the CRTC told the truth by mistake and admitted that Bill C-11 would regulate content generated by individual users.
    According to YouTube and others in this field, forcing content to be displayed in one’s feed may have a negative impact on content creators within Canada and would harm the very people the government claims that it wants to protect.
    We all know what happens when the government tries to force-feed us content that we don’t want, like The Littlest Hobo.
    We do not want to watch it, yet the government shoves it down our throats anyway. At least CBC TV shows are voluntary right now. Just wait until the algorithms are required by law to put these in our YouTube searches, then in our Facebook videos and then in our Insta stories.
    There will be no escaping the government-approved content, so we will shut it off. One does not see what one wants, and the so-called Canadian content shoved down one’s throat will go unwatched. It is a lose-lose situation, like most things that this current NDP-Liberal government does.
    Bill C-11 is a threat to our fundamental rights and is setting up the foundation for censorship. Whether one is a YouTube content creator, a social media influencer or even just a viewer, Bill C-11 would limit Canadians from seeing and watching the content they choose.
    People in Saskatoon West are worried about what is to come if this legislation passes, and that is why we must kill Bill C-11.


    “Maybe tomorrow, I'll want to settle down. Until tomorrow, I'll just keep moving on.”
    Questions and comments, the hon. member for Fredericton.
    Mr. Speaker, I would like to put on the record that I loved The Littlest Hobo. I grew up watching that show, but the insulting way that the member has characterized Canadian content only serves to support why Bill C-11 is so important.
    I do want to ask a question about his opening statement as part of his discourse today. He mentioned the pursuit of wokeness for our side. I would love for the member to define “wokeness” and why he is seemingly against it.
    Mr. Speaker, now I am traumatized because I heard the words of the song and I heard from someone who liked the show, although I respect the fact that she liked the show.
    What is important here today, the thing that we are trying to convey, is that this bill is being rammed through Parliament. It is very ironic, actually, that the bill is partly about censorship. It is interesting that part of what is happening today in the House, right now, is that the government is closing down debate on it, which limits how much we can talk about this.
    It is very clear that there are many questions still to be answered. There are many voices in Canada that support it and there are many that oppose it. There are many more questions that need to be discussed and to be talked about, and there are amendments that need to be made. There are amendments that the Senate took many hours to propose to the House and that were utterly rejected by the government.
    We are here today to just highlight that we should not be done with this legislation today. We should continue working on it and trying to improve it.



    Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
    For a while now, the Conservatives have been saying that they are standing up for Quebec by opposing Bill C‑11 and that their love for Canadian and Quebec culture knows no bounds.
    I will do my colleague a favour. I would like to give him the opportunity to name his three favourite francophone artists from Quebec, other than Celine Dion.


    Mr. Speaker, that is definitely a trick question. The part of this that is really important, too, is that we do need to stand up and support our Canadian artists. What this bill misses is the fact that in Canada we have amazing artists, whether from Quebec or from English Canada. Our content creators and our artists in Canada are among the best in the world. We can compete on any stage at any time.
    When the government steps in and starts to create winners and losers, that affects everything and that disrupts the natural way that things work. We need to give our artists, producers and c