Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Chair, maybe I'll just back up here for a moment. I think we seem to have forgotten what motion we're discussing. The motion we're discussing is one that is necessary because proposed section 4.1 in clause 3 of Bill C-10, the bill being discussed, was removed. Because this proposed section was removed from the bill, it therefore presents the question of whether this bill is still compliant with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That is the question at hand.
That question can be answered in one way, and that is by allowing this bill in its current state to go before the justice minister, the justice department, for a charter review. At that point, then, a charter statement would be granted to the committee, and that charter statement would tell us whether or not it is charter-compliant.
If the Minister of Justice says that, yes, it is compliant with proposed section 4.1 missing, then we would proceed accordingly. However, if the justice minister says that, no, this bill, with the missing proposed section 4.1, is not compliant with the charter, then it's incumbent upon us, as members of this committee, to pause and make the necessary changes to the bill to ensure that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is in fact respected, and that Canadians' freedoms are honoured.
The motion that I have put forward, then, asks for that charter statement to be redone and to be provided to this committee. That's the motion that we are discussing.
In order to get that charter statement, it would mean that the committee would need to be paused where it is right now. While it is paused and we seek that charter statement, my motion suggests that we ask the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Justice to appear before the committee.
The amendment that the honourable member has made to my motion would suggest that the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Justice do not come to this committee. Rather, they'd simply provide a written statement. Her amendment further suggests that instead of pausing right now in order to seek that renewed charter statement, we would continue to debate a flawed piece of legislation, and then we would seek that charter statement at the end.
I would suggest that is a misuse of our time, given that many experts have already spoken out and, I would suggest, argued that this bill is deeply flawed.
One thing that the party in government presents to us over and over again when we ask questions in the House of Commons concerning this piece of legislation is that individual users are protected. Meanwhile, Conservatives contend that's not entirely the case now that proposed section 4.1 has been removed from the bill.
When members of the governing party argue this, they point to proposed section 2.1. Proposed section 2.1 does say that users who upload programs onto social media sites like Facebook, YouTube or TikTok are not considered broadcasters and so are not personally subject to conditions like the Canadian content requirement or the Canada Media Fund contributions that would be imposed by the CRTC on streaming services like Netflix or Amazon, as examples.
That's fair. However, proposed section 4.1 dealt with the program, the content that individuals—you, me, your uncle, your aunt, your mom—upload to social media sites. Proposed section 4.1 originally protected those individuals and their content from being regulated by the CRTC. When we removed proposed section 4.1, when that proposed section was removed from the bill, the protection for the content that individuals place on social media platforms was, therefore, taken away.
Although the CRTC can't treat individuals as broadcasters because of proposed section 2.1, with proposed section 4.1 gone, it can regulate the content—your mom's video, my mom's video, your uncle's video—that is uploaded to social media and perhaps even to apps. The content uploaded by individuals is treated the same as if it were from CTV News or Global, which is wrong. It's just wrong.
Let's just take a moment here. Again there seems to be some confusion in the room. We seem to be discussing proposed section 2.1 as if it does what proposed section 4.1 once did. It's just not true. Proposed section 2.1 is not the level of protection that Canadians deserve. It's not enough. We need section 4.1. We need that section that was taken out. This is what I'm contending for, and this is what many experts have said.
My motion would ask for an official opinion in the form of a charter statement.
Let's go back a moment. Just how could the CRTC regulate social media with proposed section 4.1 removed? That seems to be the issue at hand here.
Using the powers in the Broadcasting Act, which is the point of proposed section 4.1, these powers, particularly in proposed subsections 9(1), 9.1(1) and 10(1), could provide the basis for the CRTC, among other things, to adopt regulations that would require social media sites such as YouTube to take down content that it considers offensive and adopt “discoverability” regulations—Ms. Dabrusin used that term—that would make them change their algorithm to determine which videos are seen more or which are seen less. The fines for violating these regulations could be as high as—