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Results: 1 - 15 of 15261
View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2020-12-11 10:04 [p.3321]
Madam Speaker, we are debating Bill C-10, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act.
I want to wish everyone in the House and those watching a very merry Christmas.
The bill that we are debating today is a potential gift for all Canadians, something we all hold dear, and there needs to be a timely change to the Broadcasting Act. Things have changed so much in the last few years with digital content that change is something I think we can all get behind.
Being as it is a potential gift for all Canadians, I tried to consult the expert on gifts for all Canadians at Christmastime. Who did I try to get in touch with? It was Santa Claus. I have to say that it was a little more difficult this year. I want Santa to know that I tried to get in touch. I am wearing my favourite Christmas tie that he gave me and I want to thank him very much. It reminds me of Christmas. I wanted to get Santa's opinion on this bill, because this is a potential gift for all Canadians.
As kids around Canada are watching this debate intently, I want them to know that Santa is working hard this year. He is making sure the elves in the factory are kept very safe. He is following all of the protocols. He wants people to remember the Christmas message of being kind to our neighbours, to reach out to somebody who may be in need, and that this is a time about love and community. This year has certainly been a tough year, so I think all parliamentarians can get behind that statement.
Because I could not get in touch with Santa, I have to give my own opinion on this bill we are debating today. As I said, I would love to be able to support it because it is a great gift, but I think I am going to have to give it a lump of coal, unfortunately, that might increase greenhouse gases too. Because there are so many faults in this bill, it really is very difficult for me to figure out where exactly I can start.
Maybe I will start with last night. Like many Canadians, my wife and I were at home doing things that Canadians do. We were not drinking Sortilège and eating tourtière. I think everybody would like to be doing that, but we were streaming a series that my wife likes. We were bingeing on a series called Virgin River. It is a very interesting romantic drama series, a series I would normally not want to watch, but when wives say they want to watch a romantic drama series, it is really important that their husbands pay attention to that.
I was watching the show and I suddenly realized I knew actors and actresses. It was set in northern California, but it was beautiful.
View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2020-12-11 10:07
As we were sitting around binge-watching, I thought I recognized what I was seeing. I googled it and I found out this show Virgin River actually has numerous Canadian actors and actresses in it and takes place in British Columbia. I thought how appropriate it is we are actually debating this bill, because Netflix is a company that already knows the quality of Canadian actors, sets and scenery. As far as it doing business in this country, there are not a lot of rules.
I have listened to some of the debates, and some of the parliamentarians here feel that big giants like Netflix are actually the bad guys. I actually think it is a great business. If someone had asked me a few years ago how I would watch TV, this was not the way I thought we would be doing it. It is the new way. If we can attract more of its investment in this community to take Canadian scenery and Canadian actors and actresses and spread it out around the world, would it not be wonderful for Canadian culture?
In this House, I think most of us disagree with the Prime Minister when he said that Canadians have no core identity, we have no distinct culture, we want to be the first post-national state. We are proud of our culture and we want to make sure going forward in this new technology, this new digital format, we will be winning in the world and not being set behind.
For companies like Netflix, one of the reasons I cannot support this is because this bill is not clear on the rules. We know Canadian providers need to have 25% to 40% Canadian content and participate with 5% of their profits into the Media Fund, but new technologies need new rules and this legislation falls short.
I want to talk about the vagueness of this bill. It is really important to have fairness and equity put into our system, but this bill would not ensure web giants such as Google and Facebook, for example, would have to compete on the same playing field as Canadian companies. Because it does nothing to address the inequity between digital and conventional forums, it is very difficult to support this bill.
On decision-making, while other countries have an arbitration board, decisions would be made with orders in council. In other words, the Prime Minister and his cabinet would be making decisions on this bill. Right now, Canadians are a bit edgy about the government making all these decisions.
This bill would also allow the CRTC new broad powers, with no clear guidelines, which increases the uncertainty. Like I said, for Canadians to flourish in this new environment, they need certainty. Investors need certainty. When we are competing around the world, if Australia has its system figured out but Canada does not, where do we think these large international platforms are going to be doing their work?
I want to talk about fairness. In the last couple of weeks I was contacted by the local newspapers in my riding. There are two really great local newspapers in Oshawa. One is The Oshawa Express, run by sisters Kim Boatman and Sandy McDowell. It is a great entrepreneurial business run by women. The other one is Oshawa This Week, and I was contacted by Barb Yezik.
They were talking to me about this legislation and how important it is to get it right. Right now with COVID, these businesses are struggling. We need to make sure when we implement a new piece of legislation we get it right, but also that it is done in a very timely fashion. They explained to me that the primary issue is how their business model is disrupted by the web giants like Facebook and Google.
For example, Oshawa This Week and The Oshawa Express are not paid for their content. As far as the process of which they are a part, it really is not transparent on revenue sharing and advertising splits. A statistic that really concerned me when I heard it, and I think it concerns all of us in here, is that Facebook and Google pocket up to 80% of the ad revenue in Canada. Think about that. That is a huge amount of money that goes outside of this country. It is huge, and especially during this time of COVID, it is affecting them more severely.
The Oshawa Express and Oshawa This Week basically have their bricks and mortar in my community of Oshawa. They pay their local taxes, pay their national taxes and pay reporters to go out and get these stories.
View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2020-12-11 10:14
It is so important that we support these small businesses, these entrepreneurs. Right now we are stuck with so much uncertainty and lack of traditional income. I am really happy we are acting on this, but again, this bill does not provide a framework or certainty as to how these businesses are going to be able to continue. We need to make sure they are viable, because it is local media that really tells the truth about our communities. They come out to our events. They support Canada and Canadians in everything we do in our communities.
I only have one minute left, but I want to mention that I think yesterday Australia passed its legislation. That has given businesses that operate in Australia clear guidelines and a way to arrange their competitiveness not only in Australia, but to get an idea of how they will be able to compete around the world, because the world is getting smaller every single year.
We wanted this bill to talk about fairness, competitiveness and how it would ensure content producers are treated fairly. Unfortunately, we do not have that.
Madam Speaker, I would love to talk a bit longer, with a bit of time to talk about Santa Claus, but with that, I wish a merry Christmas to you and all of my colleagues in the House.
I am available for questions.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-12-11 10:14 [p.3322]
Madam Speaker, in the spirit of Christmas, I want to add a few thoughts of appreciation and thanks. To the individuals who protect the House of Commons, those looking underneath the clerk's table on their hands and knees, walking around making sure we are in a safe environment, to those who record our Hansard and whether they like it or not have to listen to my speeches, to those who provide us the meals, especially the one kind lady who produces that special fudge, which is the best fudge in the world, to our pages, to the clerk table officers, to those in television and in particular the people who make the hybrid system work, there are so many people who make our democracy work here in Ottawa, and I know I am missing so many, on behalf of myself and the Liberal caucus I want to express our appreciation for all the things they do to make this work.
View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2020-12-11 10:16 [p.3322]
Madam Speaker, whenever the parliamentary secretary gets up, it is always very difficult to add to what he says, but I want to take this opportunity to add a few of my own thoughts about the Christmas season.
We know this has been a very difficult year, and I want to say thanks to all of my colleagues in the House. This has been a tough year, and I think all of us have worked together. Just like Santa is making sure the elves are safe in the factory to make sure they can get things out and everybody can have a wonderful Christmas, we have have been working together very well to make sure that Canadians have a wonderful way forward in 2021.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-12-11 10:16 [p.3323]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
I would like to ask him if he agrees with the Bloc Québécois that the francophone portion of production should be significant, around 40%. Does my colleague agree with the Bloc's position on that?
View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2020-12-11 10:17 [p.3323]
Madam Speaker, I think all my opposition colleagues believe, as I do, that Quebec culture is Canadian culture, and that it is very important to support Canadian culture.
I said in the opening of my speech that we would love to be sitting at home having some Sortilège and tourtière. That is one of my family traditions and part of my culture.
This relates to one of the flaws of the bill, and I want to thank my colleague from the Bloc for bringing it up. Quebec culture is Canadian culture, and we love our country. We love Quebec and every province in our wonderful country. We need to support that moving forward.
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
Madam Speaker, I am very happy to hear the Conservative Party rally to the NDP position this week and say that web giants should have to pay tax too.
We agree that the 28-year-old Broadcasting Act needs to be changed, updated and modernized. Everyone who benefits from the system should contribute to content production.
Unfortunately, the Liberals' bill is only a partial solution and does not apply to many of the players, such as internet service providers, social media like YouTube, and future broadcasting platforms. Does my colleague think these players should also do their part and contribute to the system?
View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2020-12-11 10:19 [p.3323]
Madam Speaker, we want to have a level playing field. I am going to say something that is a little controversial, perhaps, to the NDP and the Liberals: There are other ways of doing that.
As I mentioned in my speech, this is a new world. We have to be competitive internationally. One of the ways we could do that, as my colleague said, is maybe to increase taxes and tax everyone. However, there is another approach. Traditionally the Conservatives say that we should lower taxes and allow the playing field to develop the way it should in that regard to make Canada, all across the board, more competitive.
How do we move forward on this to level the playing field? I know we are in huge deficits right now and we may have to work together in this challenging environment to come up with a good solution. However, what is important is that everyone is treated fairly and equitably, and Canada becomes competitive. We have the talent here and have the resources to compete around the world. Would it not be great to see more Canadian talent around the world?
View Kenny Chiu Profile
CPC (BC)
View Kenny Chiu Profile
2020-12-11 10:19 [p.3323]
Madam Speaker, I am glad the government has finally brought this long-awaited modernization of the Broadcasting Act, also known as Bill C-10. Too often government regulations have fallen far behind human innovations and progress, such as those for unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, and various forms of the sharing economy, and it is definitely encouraging to see, 15 years after its founding and 10 years after YouTube reached one billion views, that the act is being updated for social media platforms. However, my initial excitement was doused with a bucket of cold water when I saw some of the half-hearted measures and the complete abdication of responsibility. We missed a great opportunity to genuinely reform the act for the 21st century, and I therefore find it challenging to cast my support for it.
Let me explain. In my research preparing for this speech, I came across Dr. Michael Geist's criticism of the faults of the proposed changes in Bill C-10. In fact, there are so many problems, he has a daily blog called “The Broadcasting Act Blunder”. Allow me to mention a few highlights from this blog.
First, Bill C-10, as a broadcast reform bill, could spell the end of Canadian ownership requirements by removing Canadian ownership and control requirements from the Broadcasting Act, yet the heritage minister says the bill would safeguard cultural sovereignty. Second, the bill in no way prevents online streaming services from operating in Canada or requires them to be licensed. It instead requires registration, which may result in nondescript additional regulations and conditions that are “virtually indistinguishable from licensing requirements”.
When the Liberals claim it ensures that online broadcasting is covered under the act, why is it covered in such indecisive terms? The bill creates uncertainty, increases consumer costs and creates a risk for tariffs and blocking content from Canada. However, the government calls the bill a matter of fairness.
Michael Geist is not one of those regular Canadians who the elitist government looks down upon. He is a Canadian academic. In fact, he is the Canada research chair in Internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa and a member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society. He holds multiple law degrees from prestigious institutions and has taught around the world. It would be fair to take his misgivings on the bill seriously.
Let us take a closer look at fairness. The Liberals say they are updating broadcasting and regulatory policies to better reflect the diversity of Canadian society. How is it fair to virtual signal with much empty aspirations about gender equality, LGBTQ2+ people, racialized communities, persons with disabilities and indigenous peoples without specifying how the changes will help them? Is it fair to arm the CRTC with new enforcement powers through an administrative monetary penalty scheme that, when translated into English, means government's overreach could potentially end in a windfall of cold hard cash?
Speaking of cash, is it fair that the government has used the pandemic to repeatedly seek more unchecked power for itself, all the while drowning Canadians in a projected $1.2 trillion in national debt? That is a credit card debt of more than $63,000 for each of Facebook Canada's alleged 19 million registered users in this country. Estimates indicate that if online broadcasters are taxed for Canadian content at a rate similar to that of traditional broadcasting, the new framework would create an $830 million government windfall in three years, by 2023.
In addition to power grabs, the government also wants a cash grab, but the obvious other side to this is increased costs. When someone is going to pays for fees that are projected to run into hundreds of millions of dollars, it is only obvious the burden will fall on Canadian consumers. None of this is fair to Canadians, and Bill C-10 follows a pattern we have become all too familiar with this year: bold intentions, little clarity, empty promises and a failure to deliver meaningful changes.
I, for one, am tired of seeing our government feeding Canadians word salad for every meal. It is past time for a meaty and substantial policy to be put forward.
Bill C-10 would hand massive new powers to the CRTC, Canada's telecommunications and broadcast regulator, to regulate online streaming services, opening the door to mandated Canadian content, also known as CanCon, payments; discoverability requirements, even though we have no issue discovering Canadian content on any capable search engine today without it; and confidential information disclosures, all backed by new fining powers.
Many of the details will be sorted out by the beefed-up CRTC bureaucracy long after the legislation is gone. The specifics will take years to unfold, meanwhile leaving Canadians in uncertainty and insecurity. Some are estimating it will take nine months alone to undertake the very first regulatory phase.
Thankfully, from where I am sitting, it appears that Canadians are not being fooled this time. They are calling for beneficial legislation that would tax multi-billion dollar foreign corporations such as Google and Facebook. They realize the bill would kick the legs out from under small content creators. They know the bill would be the surrender of any meaningful priority.
My office has been receiving notices from online campaigners asking to compel the CRTC to regulate online broadcasters, update the CBC mandate and governance structure and make sure social media companies are responsible for the illegal content they broadcast. They say, “Any updated Broadcasting Act that doesn't tackle these key issues isn't doing enough to defend Canadian broadcasting, culture and journalism.”
The bill also lacks definitions to clarify applications for social media services and user-generated content. For example, if a friend of mine sets up a subscriber-funded online broadcasting app to live-stream programs of Canadian current affairs and commentaries, unlike the author of this act seems to assume, he is doing this on his own and not relying on any of the big box social media platforms. His single-operator platform would be subjected to CRTC's mercy to allow his exercise in freedom of expression and speech, at best, or it would get buried out of business under the mounds of bureaucratic red tape, at worst. It is clear Bill C-10 does not meet the concerns of regular people.
I believe government control should be adequate and not overarching. As Andrew Coyne writes in The Globe and Mail, “But just how far the state's regulatory tentacles will now extend will depend in large part on how the CRTC interprets its new powers—and the bill's language gives plenty of room to worry.” I agree.
He is not alone in holding this view, though. Laura Tribe, executive director of OpenMedia, an Internet watchdog group, has issued an urgent warning, saying, “[The minister] has created an artificial sense of crisis around Canadian cultural content—content that is surviving and flourishing in the 21st century.” Amid all the other crises we have experienced this year, I hardly think now is the time or place to be manufacturing a new one to hive that policy.
When it comes to bills, like Bill C-10, that make claims as bold as they do, I agree with Andrew Coyne when he says, “You can lead a horse to culture, but you can't make it watch.”
On the last sitting day of the House, I wish you, Madam Speaker, and every member of the House of Commons a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah and happy holidays.
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-12-11 10:29 [p.3324]
Madam Speaker, I tend to disagree with the member's comments about the CRTC and the importance of Canadian content. I believe the CRTC has done exceptionally well for Canadians over the years. When we look at the importance of Canadian content, we see that not only does it provide opportunities for the wonderful, talented people whom we have from coast to coast to coast, but it also creates thousands of jobs.
This is the type of legislation that will move us forward in ensuring we have Canadian content. Good, middle-class jobs will even flow out of it. There is so much good within the legislation.
I wonder if the member could indicate whether, after the bill gets to committee, where we hope to see it go, he will have some amendments that would make it better legislation, from his perspective.
View Kenny Chiu Profile
CPC (BC)
View Kenny Chiu Profile
2020-12-11 10:30 [p.3325]
Madam Speaker, perhaps, unlike the member, I do not live in a zero-or-one world. I believe there is a balance that we have to strike. The CRTC definitely has historically been delivering value to Canadians, and we have seen that it does good work, but that does not mean that we should give all the powers to the CRTC, even overarching powers. It is interesting that the movie I enjoy most about Canadian cultural duality is actually a Hollywood movie called Bon Cop, Bad Cop, and I am still rewatching that.
I thank the member for his suggestion. I will take it to heart.
View Denis Trudel Profile
BQ (QC)
View Denis Trudel Profile
2020-12-11 10:31 [p.3325]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his comments.
There is one rather important aspect that is not addressed in Bill C-10.
The current crisis has been particularly hard on artists. Quebec has a fairly large dubbing industry that provides a living for artists, and I spoke with someone from that sector. She was telling me that if all the taxpayer-funded, English-language productions, like the ones produced in Toronto and Vancouver, were dubbed in Quebec, that would provide artists with work for years to come, and we would not even need American films. It is incredible.
However, that is not happening. Films and TV series that we pay for ourselves are dubbed in France. That makes absolutely no sense.
Does my colleague not think that, any time Canadian taxpayers' money is being invested, films should be dubbed in Quebec to provide work for our own people?
View Kenny Chiu Profile
CPC (BC)
View Kenny Chiu Profile
2020-12-11 10:32 [p.3325]
Madam Speaker, I believe Quebec is a nation that is a great part of Canada, in a united Canada, and that is why, if there is any way we can bring jobs back to Canada, I will be in full support of it. There are other provinces, I might add, that also have francophone Canadians living in them, like New Brunswick and northern Alberta, just like there are many anglophones living in Quebec as well.
I think together we are stronger in the cultural duality of Canada. I think the francophone and anglophone cultures will make us win more contracts and create more jobs in Canada.
View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2020-12-11 10:33 [p.3325]
Madam Speaker, one thing that my colleague did not really talk about is the monopolistic anticompetitive practices of Facebook and Google and how they are taking over the share of revenue. We know that in the bill it is not captured how we can protect the lifeline of newspapers and journalists in our country, but Australia has put forward new legislation that will require no government funding to ensure that local content is protected, and they get a share of revenue from those web giants.
Does the member agree that the web giants are not paying their fair share and they need to pay more and protect local journalism, like Australia is doing?
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