Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'm very glad to be on this committee for the first time. I would like to start off with.... It seems very important to acknowledge ancestral ownership of territory, but it is very important for me to acknowledge ownership of territory at the present time. I would like to say that we are in British-North American territory, and that Ottawa is the capital of Canada, as chosen by Queen Victoria. It's the capital of all Canadians, including indigenous people, of course.
I felt I needed to say that. Thank you, sir.
I'm enjoying this examination today concerning the rights of authors, because I think it goes profoundly to the roots of our liberal democracy. I see two major interests unfolding and competing today in front of me. We can see two major paradigms. One is an ideal, access to knowledge, and the other is a legal principle from John Locke, of course, the protection of property, which is at the base of what you're asking for and which is very important.
If I correctly understand what you are stating this afternoon, our goal here as parliamentarians is to carefully find equilibrium between competing interests in democracy. You seem to be telling us that in 2012 we perhaps put too much emphasis on access to knowledge, compared to the protection of rights, in this case, authors' rights. This is perhaps true. Perhaps we did that, but my question is this. If we reflect on it, many more Canadians are currently in need of access to knowledge than the number of people that you represent.
I'm not saying that to be rude or whatever, but that's what we have to do here. I'm trying to understand why in 2012 we came to this kind of reasoning and conclusion. Maybe it's just an oversight. We always do that in the House of Commons. It's normal. That's why we always review things and that's how it should work.
What you're telling us today is that we should change it because we didn't put enough emphasis on the rights and interests of authors. That's what you're basically saying.