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View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
I'm waiting to see the exact wording of the proposed amendment to the motion, but I may be seeking to subamend that amendment once I actually see the proper wording.
There's been a lot of talk. I want to emphasize the importance of the charter right to freedom of expression, which I believe in very strongly, as I believe our government does as well. The 4.1 amendment dealt only with social media companies when they act as broadcasters. I think sometimes that when we're having this conversation, we're veering further away from that. That was originally what the exemption was. It would have prevented social media companies from ever being included as broadcasters, even if they were acting exactly as broadcasters. That was raised and flagged to us by a stakeholder, with the example of those in the music industry, who specifically said that to allow that to happen would actually put them at a disadvantage, specifically when we see that YouTube is the number one streaming service for music in Canada.
The change that was proposed was that social media companies—not their users, because their users are specifically excluded in 2.1—would be subjected to the same rules as other broadcasters if they're acting as broadcasters. As I mentioned with the YouTube example, this is really just about creating a fair platform and evenness in the way that we are treating different services that are doing the exact same thing and working in the same field.
I want to highlight the urgency of this bill. The cultural sector has been very clear that these changes are needed and that they want to see this bill passed. I am very concerned about the delays that are proposed by the Conservative motion.
I will add that having a charter statement before the bill is complete in its review and in all of the amendments doesn't really make sense because, as they know, there are amendments coming that will further address some of the concerns they have raised about user-generated content. There are amendments—for example, G-13—that will be going to some of the issues that they have raised. To have a charter statement in advance of that would be very tricky.
I'll just underline this because I'm having a bit of a tricky point with the Conservative upset about the removal of 4.1 and the statements about being taken by surprise. The Conservatives themselves proposed an amendment that would have brought social media companies in line and included as broadcasters if they were acting as broadcasters. The only difference was that they had a carve-out for the social media companies based on the number of users. CPC-5 clearly also covered that, so we would have the same impact of having social media being included as broadcasters when acting as broadcasters.
I'm not sure how they square that circle, if they started out also believing very much that social media companies acting as broadcasters should be included.
Again, I will need to see the exact wording before I can propose a subamendment. Just so people know—
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