Interventions in the House of Commons
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View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Speaker, the Government of Quebec only just tabled its bill. We are going to take some time before commenting on next steps.
That being said, as I just mentioned, we are the party of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and we will always stand up for the charter. No government should be making someone choose between their job and their religious symbols.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
View David Lametti Profile
2018-11-06 16:20 [p.23388]
Mr. Speaker, today I would like to talk about the changes the bill makes to the Copyright Board.
When we listen to music, it is rare that we fully appreciate all the people who contribute to our favourite songs. We certainly do not reflect fully on the legal and marketplace frameworks that make this listening possible, whether we are tuning into a radio station or streaming from one of our devices.
The Copyright Board is a very important part of this behind the scenes framework. It is a specialized, independent and quasi-judicial decision-making body that establishes royalty rates to be paid for certain uses of content, allowing rights holders to band together to allow for efficient access and payment. In doing so, the board facilitates the development and growth of markets that rely on copyright in Canada while safeguarding the public interest.
Copyright Board business is in a sense big business. The royalties it sets are estimated to be worth half a billion dollars annually. When one thinks of the many ways in which we experience content, the board has an impact on the lives of nearly every citizen.
However, over the years, as new technology has increased the use of collectively managed copyrights and made rights management even more complex, decision-making at the Copyright Board was hindered by significant delays, so much so that royalty rates are regularly being set years after copyright-protected content is used. Retroactive decisions by the board are a distinctive feature of doing business in Canada. This results in Canadians having less access to and creators less revenues from innovative services, including digital content services. This also delays payments to creators, creates challenges for royalty collection and freezes capital that could otherwise be put to more productive use.
When, at Parliament's urging, the government looked into this issue and consulted stakeholders, we found that significant and structural challenges in the board's decades old decision-making framework prevented it from operating efficiently.
The government is now taking comprehensive action to address these issues initially in a budget 2018 initiative which saw a 30% increase in financial resources for the board, and now accompanied by legislative proposals. Along with several new appointments to the Copyright Board's core staff posts, these measures will set a new course and ensure that the board can once again issue the timely, forward-looking decisions that copyright-based markets need to thrive.
The proposed amendments fall into three broad categories: ensuring more predictability and clarity in board proceedings, improving timelines and reducing the board's workload. We are ensuring more predictability by codifying the board's mandate and setting clear criteria for decision-making. This will help parties streamline their argumentation and the board to structure its decisions.
We are improving timelines by making tariff filings earlier and making those tariffs last longer. We are also introducing case management to move proceedings more expeditiously, as well as a regulatory mechanism that will allow the government to set deadlines by which decisions will have to be rendered.
We are also reducing the board's workload by allowing more collectives and users to enter into direct agreements among and between themselves. This will ensure that the board's resources are focused where they are most needed and not in areas where there is agreement between the parties.
These reforms will have positive results for rights holders and users alike by reducing legal costs for all participants in board proceedings. They will better position our creators and cultural entrepreneurs to make, produce and reinvest in high-quality Canadian content and will support strong, vibrant and healthy creative industries for the benefit of all Canadians.
I believe these steps are important in making our copyright more efficient and effective and to enable our businesses to innovate to create good middle-class jobs and contribute to Canada's prosperity. There is widespread agreement across the swath of copyright stakeholders about making changes that improve the functioning of the Copyright Board.
These are not the only provisions going on in copyright policy in Canada. As some will know, the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, INDU, as well as the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, CHPC, are currently conducting a statutory review of the Copyright Act. Such a review is required every five years, according to the law, to take stock of the overall effectiveness of the act in light of fast evolving technologies and to make recommendations to government regarding potential improvements when warranted.
During our consultations on the Copyright Board, some stakeholders recommended that the government clarify when board-set rates must be paid and that it provide collective management organizations with tools for their enforcement. They argued that there is uncertainty around the enforceability of board-set rates. Obviously, this argument touches on fair dealing.
Fair dealing has been part of Canadian copyright since 1921. A series of landmark Canadian Supreme Court decisions, in particular in 2004 and in 2012, have outlined the nature and parameters of fair dealing in Canada, in particular in a 2012 decision that applied to works in the educational context. This was coupled with changes to the Copyright Act brought in 2012, which allowed for education to be a unique heading in fair dealing, where previously the Supreme Court's decision earlier in 2012 had based the same kinds of rights under the heading “research or private study”.
There was an impact from that. We have heard diverse and sometimes conflicting accounts in that regard. Authors and publishers feel that they would like to be fairly remunerated for educational uses, while the educational community maintains that the current framework has begun to work well and that librarians, professors and teachers need the flexibility to thrive in a digital context, with new sources of digital materials coming online.
I would also point out that a Supreme Court decision in 2014 maintained that tariffs could not be mandatorily applied to users, as it went around the basic law of contracts and undermined fair dealing rights.
We have asked for clarity and more opinions on both sides of this debate. Consequently, the Minister of Canadian Heritage as well as the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development have written to the two parliamentary committees conducting the review and have asked them to provide specific insight on educational copying, including with regard to the applicability and enforcement of board-set rates.
The government's vision is to have a creative middle class, where authors and publishers are paid fairly and where educational institutions and students continue to have access to quality Canadian works. Educational institutions of provincial and territorial governments rely on the availability and affordability of quality materials to give our students a world-class education rich in Canadian content.
Although we may not always see the inner workings of the copyright framework behind the creation and dissemination of the content that surrounds us, the proper functioning of the Copyright Act and the proper functioning of the Copyright Board is of vital importance. That is what ensures that our enjoyment is sufficiently translated into fair remuneration for creators, and ultimately, returning to the beginning of my remarks, the making of our next favourite songs. With Copyright Board reform, we strengthen the virtuous circle for the benefit of all Canadians.
Finally, on another note on the copyright file, we also, in the bill, strengthen our notice and notice regime to make sure that it is not abused by people pretending or claiming that there is a copyright infringement and that they should be paid a certain amount of money as a settlement offer.
We heard, in the context of notice and notice consultations through INDU, good things about the notice and notice regime, as an initial response, to prevent abuse. It is the case that under notice and take-down regimes, copyright is asserted to take down content, even when the claim has nothing to do with copyright or the copyright is, in fact, legitimate. Our notice and notice regime will provide for a more standard form to prevent abuse in this context.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
View David Lametti Profile
2017-05-15 11:47 [p.11175]
[Member spoke in Italian.]
Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in this historic chamber today to support the bill introduced by the member for King—Vaughan, which also has the support of all members of the Italian-Canadian caucus.
As the son of Italians and as an MP, I am proud that this motion has been introduced in the chamber in order to recognize the important contribution of Italian Canadians to this country throughout the years since their arrival. My colleague from Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel eloquently told their story with pride and passion. I would like to say that it was a pleasure to work with my colleagues from Quebec, the members for Alfred-Pellan and Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel.
Over the years, the Italian community, composed of Italians from several waves of immigration, has changed the face of the country. With this motion we are taking a first step to recognize this historic fact. Other steps will have to be taken. Above all, we must address the internment of Italian Canadians in Canada. The House will have to take that next step in the future.
The Italian experience in Canada cannot be reduced to clichés, but should be reduced to the very real contributions that Italian Canadians have made in a wide variety of places. I will speak to the experience of my family.
My father came from the province of The Marches in 1951 as a skilled labourer, a carpenter. He worked in a factory context for much of his life, but then left the factory and branched out on his own to found his own construction company in Port Colborne, Ontario.
My fondest memories as a child are of tagging along with my father and hanging around on construction sites, learning how to use a hammer and saw, skills that I still have today. My mother, after my father's early death, became well known in the Niagara Peninsula as a caterer at a number of the different Italian-Canadian clubs and halls that were so important, and still are so important, to the Italian-Canadian culture.
There are a number of historic Italian Canadians, but I would like to underline one who has been a mentor to me, the hon. Justice Frank Iacobucci. In a number of different contexts, Frank was a groundbreaking Italian Canadian, first as an academic at the University of Toronto in law. There are many Italian-Canadian lawyers, but Justice Iacobucci was the first great Italian-Canadian legal academic. He went on to become a university administrator at the University of Toronto, then a deputy minister of justice for the government at the federal level under Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and then the first Italian Canadian to be the chief justice of the Federal Court of Canada as well as the first Italian Canadian named to the Supreme Court. This pathway was groundbreaking for Italian Canadians, and Justice Iacobucci served as a model to many of us moving through Canadian society.
I am honoured to represent the riding of LaSalle—Émard—Verdun in Montreal, which has a large population of Italian Canadians, many of whom are from my region of Italy, The Marches, but also from Sicily, Calabria, and other parts of Italy as well. I can assure everyone that it is a vibrant community, with a number of different organizations and events, and people are very proud of their Italian heritage and traditions, as I see every time someone offers me a glass of homemade wine.
I would also point out that in Port Colborne, the city of my birth, there is a large Italian-Canadian population, as well as in the Niagara Peninsula, as the members for Niagara Falls, Niagara Centre, and St. Catharines will attest. These are vibrant populations that continue to thrive and promote the Italian heritage in Canada.
We should speak about the values that Italian Canadians brought. They brought faith, a progressive faith. They brought the value of family and continue to reinforce that in their daily lives.
Of course there is food. I like to joke by saying that I never knew that most Canadian kids did not eat pasta every day until I went to school and saw what other kids were eating. I am proud of that, as I am proud of the many recipes that my mother brought, and I am proud of the language that I have passed on to my children, but I would also like to move beyond those and say there were values of intellect and ingenuity that came with Italian-Canadian immigrants. It is a vibrant, intelligent culture that applied its knowledge in a variety of different sectors in Canada, as well as its business acumen and know-how in order to help grow the Canadian economy.
Finally, I want to point out that it is the future that this motion points us toward. We need to be thinking about continued collaboration with Italy. Italy has an excellent record in terms of its universities and its innovative sectors. I had the good fortune, as a legal academic, to be a fairly common lecturer and professor in a number of Italian universities over the course of my academic career, with particular ties to the universities in Trento, Perugia, Torino, and Rome. Here I was witness first-hand to the ongoing collaboration between Canadian and Italian academics, scientists, and lawyers, etc. It is these innovative collaborations that will help us develop a variety of different sectors that we deem important in our economy as we move forward in this century.
My parents worked exceedingly hard. They made a number of sacrifices for their children. We in this House know how hard we work as MPs. I know how hard I work as an MP, but let me say frankly that I do not work half as hard as my parents did. For those of us in this House who had or are still fortunate enough to have Italian-Canadian parents, that example is critically important to the way we orient our lives and the service we give to our family, to our faith, to our community, and to our country. For that reason, I am so proud to support this motion brought forward today.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
View David Lametti Profile
2016-06-01 19:32 [p.3916]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to once again talk about this important topic. I thank the hon. member for her question. I commend her for her work. I can sincerely say that the people of Essex are well served by the hon. member.
We promised Canadians during the election campaign that we would consult openly and transparently on the outcomes of this agreement. That is what we are doing. We have heard different perspectives from those who support the TPP and from those who have concerns and from those who are still undecided. This is an important issue, and we welcome an open and transparent discussion with Canadians.
The government is carrying out an economic assessment of the TPP. In its economic modelling, the government is considering two possible scenarios: a scenario where Canada is in the TPP, and a scenario where Canada is not. Once the study is complete, the government fully intends to share it with Canadians.
There are many other studies on the TPP, including the studies by Tufts University, the World Bank, the Peterson Institute, and the C.D. Howe Institute. Yesterday, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives also released its own study. These studies reached very different conclusions in regard to the impact of the TPP.
The Tufts University study found that the TPP would lead to unemployment and increases in inequality not only in TPP countries, but also in non-TPP countries. The Tufts study also found that the TPP would result in a net loss of 58,000 jobs in Canada.
Conversely, the World Bank found that the TPP would lead to an increase in GDP of 0.04% to 10%, depending on the TPP country, while the Peterson Institute for International Economics projected a 0.5% boost to Canada's GDP as a result of the TPP.
Finally, the C.D. Howe study found that the TPP would ultimately create 7,600 jobs in Canada, with 2,200 of those jobs being highly skilled. The report also projected that Canada's GDP would rise by 0.08% in 2035.
I want to make it clear that the government values the analyses produced by various organizations on the repercussions of trade agreements.
The government will continue to take the reports and contributions of leading think tanks and academics into consideration in deciding on its next steps.
The government has received over 20,000 letters and emails since the consultation process began in November. We have also held over 250 consultations involving over 400 different stakeholders. The Minister of International Trade and I have visited over a dozen Canadian cities each to consult Canadians about the TPP.
Consultations in the form of meetings, round tables, site visits, and town halls have taken place in Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax, Oakville, Windsor, Regina, Winnipeg, Quebec City, St. John's, Fredericton, Charlottetown, and Guelph.
A wide range of Canadians have participated in these consultations, including representatives from the provinces, women entrepreneurs, innovation companies, farmers, think tanks, representatives from the forestry and wood product sectors, representatives from the seafood products sector, environmental groups, small and medium-sized businesses, unions, auto workers, auto parts manufacturers, port authorities, civil society organizations, academics, students, business leaders, and citizens.
The government supports free trade, but this agreement must be right for Canada. That is why we launched a rigorous and serious process to hear how Canadians and parliamentarians think the TPP will benefit Canada before we decide whether to ratify it.
View David Lametti Profile
Lib. (QC)
View David Lametti Profile
2016-05-12 10:48 [p.3236]
Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this very important topic.
Canada is a trading nation and our government understands the importance of trade for economic growth for a strong and prosperous middle class. In fact, our country depends on global trade. Trade opens markets for Canadian goods and services, helps Canadian businesses expand, fosters innovation, strengthens our economy and provides Canadians with opportunities in markets around the world.
When we assumed office, the damage that the Conservatives had inflicted on Canada's standing in the world was glaring. They had failed to promote Canada's interests abroad, especially with our most important trading partner, the United States.
COOL, country of original labelling, is a prime example of the damage the Conservatives did to our relationship with the U.S. For years our beef and pork farmers suffered from punitive, unfair U.S. country of origin labelling provisions, while the previous government stood by and did nothing. The Minister of International Trade resolved the issue in her first eight weeks in office.
The former prime minister even cancelled the three amigos summit, an important forum for advancing key files of Canadian interest. We cannot advance issues if we do not have the meetings, and we have corrected that. We will have a three amigos summit soon.
Keystone XL is yet another example of the Conservative failure to promote Canadian interests with our southern neighbours. On the thinning border with the United States, it was our government that finally made substantial progress during the state visit in Washington D.C. on March 10.
It is the same story with Europe. Despite all the fancy parties and the champagne photo ops, the previous government failed to have CETA signed and implemented. When we assumed office, the deal was completely stalled. However, yet again the new Minister of International Trade's progressive approach to free trade is what allowed us to build support for CETA on both sides of the Atlantic and to get the deal back on track and signed.
In short, in the 10 years in office, the previous Conservative government displayed a fundamental misunderstanding of geopolitics and of the importance of the Canada-U.S. relationship in particular.
Trade agreements are an important means by which the Government of Canada can open new markets and level the playing field for Canadian business, while providing predictable and transparent international rules for exporters and investors. However, we need to ensure that our trade agreements are in Canada's best interest.
With respect to the TPP, the government is committed to being fully transparent and open with Canadians, and to hearing what Canadians have to say on the merits of the TPP. We are conducting extensive consultations to provide Canadians the opportunity to have their views heard. The Minister of International Trade, myself, cabinet colleagues and government officials have met with Canadians across Canada. Unlike the previous government, we are meeting with people who disagree with the accord, and we will continue to do so before the government considers whether to ratify the agreement.
To date, we have learned that some Canadians feel the TPP represent significant opportunities. Others have serious concerns with aspects of the agreement, and many have simply not yet made up their minds. These different perspectives speak to the importance of ongoing consultations.
The government signed the TPP this past February to ensure that Canada would remain at the table to give the government the opportunity to continue consulting Canadians. Signing the TPP was only a first step that did not amount to ratification by our government.
The House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade is also holding its own consultations on the TPP and has been travelling across the country as part of its outreach. The committee has already held hearing in eight cities across the country. Today it is in Windsor, Ontario, meeting with representatives of labour, automotive, agriculture and business sectors. In addition, that committee is accepting written submissions from anyone who wishes to share his or her views.
We promised to hold consultations, and we are keeping that promise. Since November, we have organized over 250 consultations with more than 400 different stakeholders. In addition, the government has received over 20,000 letters and emails as part of the consultation process. The Minister of International Trade and I have visited over a dozen cities across Canada to hear what Canadians think about the TPP. Consultations were held in Edmonton, Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax, Oakville, Windsor, Regina, Winnipeg, Quebec City, St. John's, Fredericton, Charlottetown, and Guelph.
During our visits, we held meetings, round tables, site visits, and town halls. Hundreds of Canadians shared their opinions with us during this process.
Canadians from all kinds of backgrounds participated in the consultations. We heard from provincial representatives, business women, innovation companies, farmers, think tanks, the forestry and lumber sector, the fish and seafood sector, environmental groups, small and medium-sized businesses, unions, auto workers, auto parts manufacturers, port authorities, academics, students, and business leaders.
Over the coming weeks, the Minister of International Trade will be organizing a public meeting in Toronto for May 25 and another in Montreal for June 6. We invite everyone to take part and share their points of view on the TPP. We will do everything we can to give Canadians an opportunity to study the agreement, ask questions, and tell us whether they think it will be good for the people of this country.
Let me summarize some of the comments we received. As I mentioned earlier, although some people said they support the TPP, other people expressed some concerns. For instance, civil society organizations and unions are concerned about the impact the agreement will have on jobs in Canada, the scope of application of the investor state dispute settlement mechanism and certain provisions regarding intellectual property. Some people are saying that Canada should call off the signing of the agreement altogether.
Still, other stakeholders are urging Canada to ratify the agreement as quickly as possible. More specifically, Canadian companies that are export oriented and some industry associations support the agreement. Those players see the TPP as an essential tool that will allow Canadian businesses to compete in Asia-Pacific countries, a region that is going through a period of strong economic growth, and to access priority markets or increase their presence in those markets.
The impact of TPP rules on intellectual property and innovation in Canada is another subject that people cannot seem to agree on. Some people believe that these rules will stifle innovation. Others have talked about potential benefits, including a more predictable rules-based system to protect the intellectual property of Canadians who are engaged in trade in the region.
We have heard that the TPP could cause significant job losses in the auto sector. However, we have also heard some say that the TPP provides the sector with an opportunity to penetrate new markets in the Asia-Pacific region.
When it comes to labour and services, the government has heard from representatives who are certain that the TPP would create opportunities for Canadian service providers seeking to expand their activities in the Asia-Pacific region. Other stakeholders are concerned that the TPP would make foreign workers more competitive.
The government has held consultations with the agriculture and agri-food sector with a focus on exports and Canada's supply management system. We also heard about the opportunities that the TPP would create for Canada's beef, pork, canola, and pulse industries. However, we have also heard concerns over the repercussions that the TPP might have on supply managed sectors.
Each of these consultations has contributed to an important pan-Canadian dialogue on the spinoffs from the TPP, and will continue to do so. The purpose of the consultations is to understand the point of view of Canadians and Parliament, and to conduct an exhaustive assessment of the benefits of the TPP and its possible spinoffs.
So far, these consultations have been quite instructive. They will continue. No timeline has been set yet for the consultation process.
I want to point out that signing the TPP was just the official start of the government's review of the agreement. The government will weigh the results of the consultations before deciding whether to ratify the TPP or not.
This is a complex agreement and it takes time to conduct a thorough review. It is important and encouraging that Canadians are pressing us for more information about the repercussions that this agreement will have on Canadians in every region and every sector.
I will now talk about some next steps.
According to the terms of the TPP agreement itself, countries have two years to complete their domestic ratification process. Following that two-year period, a smaller group of at least six countries could bring the agreement into force, provided that they together account for at least 85% of the combined GDP of the TPP countries. This requires the U.S. and Japan to bring the agreement into force. As of today, no TPP country has ratified the agreement.
When the Minister of International Trade met with all TPP ministers on the margins of the TPP signature event in New Zealand in February, she relayed the importance that the Canadian government places on transparency and public consultations for the TPP. When the minister meets again with her counterparts next week on the margins of the APEC trade ministers meeting in Peru, she will convey the same message.
As part of our objective to consult with Canadians, the Global Affairs Canada website for the TPP is currently under review, and updates will be available over the coming weeks. However, the website remains active, and I would encourage all Canadians to submit any public inquiries through the consultation portal on the website. They will also find the full TPP text, which is available in both English and French. I would also encourage Canadians to follow our continued consultations over the coming months.
As a trading nation, Canada's economic growth is directly linked to international trade. The government strongly supports free trade as a way to open markets to Canadian goods and services, grow Canadian businesses, and create good-paying middle-class jobs.
The government has committed to bringing forward the TPP to a debate and discussion here in this House, so that we can hear from parliamentarians. The fact is, we have committed to open consultations with all groups, whether they are opposed to the TPP or for the TPP, and that marks a significant departure from the previous government. It is a promise we made during the election campaign, and it is one that we are seeing through.
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