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View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-21 18:58 [p.8889]
Madam Speaker, ever since the minister introduced Bill C-10 in November, everyone has been trying to improve it, despite its flaws. It did not address copyrights or CBC/Radio-Canada's mandate, and it was missing a lot of things to protect Canadian businesses and domestic French-language and Canadian productions.
Everyone tried to compromise to find a solution and improve the bill up until one Friday afternoon when the minister withdrew clause 4.1, which was supposed to be added to the Broadcasting Act, going after the content of social media users.
My question for the minister and the Liberals is quite simple. Despite the gag order that the government imposed on us in committee and the fact that the Chair called the government to order by ruling many amendments out of order at committee stage—amendments that we will be voting on this evening—will the government agree to vote in favour of reinserting clause 4.1 into the legislation to protect the content of social media users, whatever it might be?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-21 21:08 [p.8897]
moved:
Motion No. 1
That Bill C-10 be amended by restoring Clause 3 as follows:
“4.1 (1) This Act does not apply in respect of
(a) programs that are uploaded to an online undertaking that provides a social media service by a user of the service — who is not the provider of the service or the provider’s affiliate, or the agent or mandatary of either of them — for transmission over the Internet and reception by other users of the service; and
(b) online undertakings whose broadcasting consists only of such programs.
(2) For greater certainty, subsection (1) does not exclude the application of this Act in respect of a program that is the same as one referred to in paragraph (1)(a) but that is not uploaded as described in that paragraph.”
Motion No. 2
That Bill C-10, in Clause 7, be amended
(a) by deleting lines 1 to 3 on page 12;
(b) by replacing lines 34 and 35 on page 12 with the following:
“(3.1) Orders made under this section do not apply”
Motion No. 3
That Bill C-10, in Clause 7, be amended by adding after line 25 on page 12 the following:
“(1.1) For greater certainty, programming services exclude any service that allows users who are not carrying on broadcasting undertakings to upload programs such as those provided by web applications, social media platforms and smart devices.”
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-21 21:14 [p.8897]
moved:
That Bill C-10, in Clause 8, be amended by adding after line 21 on page 15 the following:
“(4) Regulations made under this section do not apply with respect to programs that are uploaded to an online undertaking that provides a social media service by a user of the service — if that user is not the provider of the service or the provider’s affiliate, or the agent or mandatary of either of them — for transmission over the Internet and reception by other users of the service.”
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-21 21:14 [p.8897]
moved:
That Bill C-10, in Clause 9, be amended by replacing lines 31 and 32 on page 16 with the following:
“to a broadcasting undertaking shall be fees that relate to the recovery”
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-21 21:23 [p.8899]
Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to rise after you presented the long list of amendments to all parliamentarians and the people who are watching at home. Canadians are interested in Bill C-10 and the whole saga surrounding it since its introduction.
I will not go back over all of the amendments that you just read, but I would like to talk about the key amendment, which seeks to reinstate protection for the freedom of expression of social media users. The government tried to attack freedom of expression, as many law professors and legal experts across the country have pointed out.
Before I talk about this key amendment, it is important to explain to people how we got to where we are today and why members will spend so much time this evening voting on many amendments.
The story began last November, when the Minister of Canadian Heritage introduced a bad bill in the House. Members of the House all wanted to pass legislation that would strike a balance between Canada's digital and conventional broadcasters.
Everyone put a little water in their wine. We found ways to allow all members who had concerns to have their say. This allowed us to get information from the various groups involved around the country. Some people may not know this, but the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage even unanimously agreed to form a pre-committee so as not to slow down the process at the beginning.
There was a willingness to find ways to improve this bad bill because it did not take into account the role of CBC/Radio-Canada nor the issue of copyright. There were several flaws and Canadian companies had no protection. We wanted to ensure that francophone and Canadian content was protected by certain safeguards, standards or basic criteria. There was nothing. If I remember correctly, the parties proposed more than 120 amendments, not counting the ones they added later.
Although the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons kept telling us that committees were independent, the minister, who is not supposed to interfere in committee business, suddenly decided on a Friday afternoon without warning to withdraw clause 3 entirely, which included proposed section 4.1. That removed the protection with respect to user content, including of small companies that use social media.
There is a lot of talk about YouTube, since that is something people understand. However, according to a memo from senior officials, this bill will affect all social networking platforms. Older people, and I would include myself in that group, since I have a few grey hairs, know about YouTube and TikTok, even though these networks are for younger people. However, this bill affects all of the other platforms young people use that we do not know about, such as social media games or all of the social networking tools that are not mentioned anywhere in the bill.
The real problem is that the government targeted freedom of expression. The minister and his Liberal members on the committee did everything they could to stop the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Justice from testifying in committee and explaining why they wanted to withdraw clause 4.1. Work at the committee was stalled for two or three weeks as a result of members filibustering to force the government to explain itself and give us proof that freedom of expression was not in any jeopardy.
After three weeks, the Liberals on the committee ended up agreeing to have the ministers testify. Unfortunately, all we got was an explanatory document, not the legal opinion the motion had requested. That was yet another way the Liberals failed to honour the committee's wishes.
I think that the NDP members tried different ways of protecting freedom of expression, even if they did support Bill C-10. One NDP member, whom I am not allowed to name, but I forget the name of her riding, even suggested we work during the summer to improve this bad bill.
However, we suffered another serious blow when the government, with the support of the Bloc Québécois, which is important to point out, decided to impose time allocation for a bill whose core element was freedom of expression. Worse still, the time allocation imposed on the committee, which is supposed to be independent, was not even properly applied. The committee members, apart from those belonging to the Conservative Party, decided to reverse the decision of the committee chair, who was only reporting what the Speaker of the House had said, that members would have to vote in favour of the bill without even reading the 40-some amendments that were missing.
Therefore, we voted on the amendments one by one, without even reading them. The people who were interested in this controversial bill heard members say “yes” and “no” without even knowing what they were voting on. What a crazy story. This was completely contrary to what the Speaker and the House had decided.
In a dramatic turn of events, when the report was tabled in the House, we informed the Speaker that the committee had voted to overturn the Chair's ruling. The Chair agreed with us and overturned the 40 amendments we had voted on.
This means that we now have a bill in which some 40 amendments that attempted to correct its shortcomings were struck down after the vote. We are 48 hours away from the end of the session, and the government is trying to cram 20 or so amendments from several parties down our throats in just one hour of debate.
How will this play out? This bill will move on to the Senate. For the people who are listening to us, the Senate will not stand for this, as it is supposed to be independent. The Senate will therefore begin to study the whole matter from the beginning to make sure it was done right, because the government did not do its homework, because the government waited six years to introduce a bill, because the government did not listen to the recommendations of the various groups, because the government played partisan politics and suggested there was a war between the cultural community and freedom of expression and made the Conservatives look like the bad guys. Even members of the Green Party and the NDP spoke out against some of these tactics by the government, which, as we all know, with an election coming up in the fall, wants to play tough.
What is happening right now is really sad. We are being forced to rush votes on more than 20 amendments, some of which had already been rejected, and on the reinsertion of clause 4.1, which is the most important part. I hope my House of Commons colleagues will agree to vote in favour of that amendment at least. It will protect content created by social media users, which is what a number of former senior CRTC executives pushed for.
Law professors from several universities across the country condemned this bill. I hope people will listen to them, because we are headed for disaster. This will get hung up in the Senate, it will never get to a vote, and the legislative process will never be completed because of the fall election. The Liberals are setting us up for failure, and this will be challenged before artists can even get the help they have been asking for for so long.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-21 21:34 [p.8900]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague who sits with me on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and who works very hard, as we all do. To answer her question, unfortunately I do not at all agree with her.
At first, we agreed on the principle of Bill C‑10. The bill had several flaws and we were in a hurry to find common ground, but sadly, the government amended it along the way. I believe that is where the problem lies. The government, without notice and despite a pretense of collaboration, was paving the way so that social media could become official broadcasters with all the consequences that could have.
Even worse, the government's willingness to play partisan politics, by framing the issue as being between freedom of expression and the artists themselves, offended many people. Under no circumstance could we let the Liberals get away with that. We will always work to protect freedom of expression.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-21 21:36 [p.8900]
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for her question, which is more than relevant. It gives me an opportunity to come back to that subject.
We, the Conservatives, have been attacked a lot for opposing Bill C‑10. However, when the government tried to demonize us for what we were saying, it attacked the thousands of Canadians across the country that wrote to us. The Liberals attacked the legal experts who raised red flags and said that this was a bad piece of legislation.
To come back to my colleague's question, clause 4.1 is the very least that needs to be done so that we can continue to work on Bill C‑10. In the event that clause 4.1 is reinserted, there will still be work to be done to pass a real bill that meets the goal of protecting Canada's cultural community and ensuring that digital broadcasters, without touching social media, are able to contribute their fair share—
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-21 21:39 [p.8901]
Madam Speaker, these 15 seconds will not be nearly enough time. I will say, however, that the Conservatives will always fight for freedom of expression, not only for Canadians but also for our artists who want to have the freedom to write songs, say the things they want to say and put on the quality comedy shows that we all know.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-14 16:55 [p.8358]
Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to be speaking today. Earlier, I listened to the Minister of Heritage talk about Bill C‑10, which he tabled, and I almost choked several times.
He began by pointing out that it was important to look back at the past to understand where we are now. I will give another version of the facts for everyone out there watching, and I would invite everyone to fact-check me by consulting the unedited transcriptions, the “blues”, of the various discussions at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. People will be able to check if what I am saying is accurate and well informed and if it reflects everything we have gone through during the saga of Bill C‑10 leading up to the present day.
The minister was right to say that he had all the resources he needed to table Bill C‑10 for more than a year and a half and garner a unanimous response from the outset. The minister is confusing things, talking about web giants and insinuating how he will handle them and make them pay their fair share. The ultimate goal was to produce an act that ensures a level playing field between digital broadcasters such as Disney Plus, Spotify and Netflix, and conventional broadcasters such as TVA, CBC/Radio-Canada, Global and CTV.
The minister even chose to ignore the important elements that everyone wanted to see, including copyright issues and CBC/Radio-Canada's mandate, explaining that he divided these challenges into three parts and was only introducing one in the House of Commons so that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage could work on it.
When he introduced the bill, the committee worked diligently and co-operatively to improve it. This bill was clearly imperfect even though the minister had had a lot of time to draft it with his experts. More than 120 amendments were proposed by all parties. Surprisingly, these amendments were moved not just by the Conservative Party, but also by the Green Party, which had been given authorization to move them, the Bloc Québécois, the NDP, Liberal members of the committee and even the government. In fact, the government and the Liberal Party moved almost 30 amendments, not to mention all the amendments to the amendments along the way, to try to address all the shortcomings of this bill.
As the minister pointed out, the committe's study of the bill was moving along relatively well, which I can vigorously and honestly confirm. We even worked with the minister and his staff, who were telling anyone who would listen that the Conservatives were slowing down the process. That was completely false. All the committee members even agreed to do a preliminary study and use that evidence in the committee's official study, to avoid holding up the work.
At no point in the legislative process was the bill delayed, despite what the minister and his aides implied. I am saying so in all honesty, and I challenge everyone to take the time to read all the speeches and everything leading up to that infamous Friday when the minister, surreptitiously and without warning, withdrew clause 4.1 that he was proposing to add to the Broadcasting Act. This made the bill altogether different by including social networks, which had originally been excluded.
Why do I say that? It is because, when we did our job in good faith as Parliamentarians, each party had the opportunity to call witnesses to testify about various aspects of Bill C‑10. That gave us the opportunity to obtain as much information as possible to do the best we could, based on the knowledge of every member and staffer, to formulate proper opinions during our study of the bill in order to improve it. That is our job as legislators, of which I am extremely proud.
The problem is that the Minister of Canadian Heritage left social media out of the original version of Bill C‑10. Furthermore, despite the minister's assertion from the get-go that it is a historic bill, to my knowledge, only one organization has said that. The other organizations highlighted the bill's good parts and said that it was indeed time to modernize the act and to align the way we deal with digital with the way we deal with what we call conventional broadcasters. However, I met with all the organizations the minister mentioned, and every one of them pointed out several frightening provisions in Bill C‑10.
The Minister of Canadian Heritage said that the Conservatives delayed and filibustered. I am sorry, but it was not the Conservatives who did that. The Conservatives have merely given a voice to a number of organizations, individuals and experts who wanted to point out the flaws in Bill C-10. The minister can go ahead and play his partisan games in the run-up to an election to try to scare everyone into believing that the Conservatives do not support the cultural community. However, it is all complete and utter nonsense, pure theatrics, a show worthy of our Prime Minister, who is a great stage actor.
The heritage minister should stop with the games, because nobody is against culture. On the contrary, we are against censorship, against this attack and the way the minister undermined freedom of expression one Friday by removing section 4.1, which was supposed to be added to the Broadcasting Act.
That is when we began what could indeed be described as filibustering or slowing down the committee's work. We are talking about a maximum of three weeks during the six-plus years the Liberal government has been in power. Those three weeks have allegedly been catastrophic, but the Liberals are filibustering in many other committees with regard to the corruption scandals they were involved in, whether we are talking about the former justice minister, SNC-Lavalin, the WE Charity or the Standing Committee on Health, where we have been requesting access to the vaccine procurement reports. The Liberals have definitely done their share of filibustering.
Why have we been filibustering for approximately three weeks? The heritage minister was right. Let us give some background on all of this. It is important to understand it, so that people know how we got to where we are today, muzzled by the Liberals with the support of the Bloc Québécois.
By amending the bill one Friday afternoon, the heritage minister set off alarm bells all over the place. During the weekend, law experts and university professors sounded the alarm, telling us to look out because the government was doing something that would undermine freedom of expression.
What did the Conservatives do? We just asked to hear from the heritage minister again and get a legal opinion from the Minister of Justice stating that the rights guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms were not violated by the removal of clause 4.1.
In response, the Liberals objected incessantly for more than two weeks until the member for Mount Royal moved a new version of the motion asking for exactly the same thing we had proposed, which was to have the justice and heritage ministers come explain the situation and answer our questions, as well as an opportunity to hear the other side of the story from experts who had concerns about Bill C‑10.
They ended up appearing, and we were finally able to put an end to the committee's three-week-long standstill. That is the truth about the delay that has the minister up in arms.
I have to wonder whether the minister really wants to pass Bill C-10, because the reality is that the work of the House will be over in just 10 days' time. When the bill is passed by the House at third reading, it will have to go to the Senate. The Senate will have to examine the bill, although 40% of the amendments will not even have been discussed by the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. It is pretty preposterous to hear the minister lecturing us, given his behaviour.
Earlier, the minister said that some 30-odd organizations from across the country had highlighted the importance of the bill for the cultural community. They are right, it is an important bill for the cultural community, but that does not release us from the obligation to make sure we protect freedom of expression. I can already picture the minister pointing out that the Minister of Justice tabled his report with his experts. I am sorry, but what he tabled was an explanatory document, which was not in the motion we had presented.
We did not get any answers to our questions, and people started to wake up. The committee heard from former CRTC officials including Timothy Denton, CRTC commissioner from 2009 to 2013, Konrad von Finckenstein, CRTC president from 2007 to 2012, Peter Menzies, the CRTC's vice-president of telecommunications from 2013 to 2018, Michel Morin, the CRTC's national commissioner from 2008 to 2012, and Philip Palmer, legal counsel at the Department of Justice and senior counsel at the Department of Communications from 1987 to 1994. The heritage minister never names them, but all those individuals said that what the minister was doing made no sense.
Peter Menzies went as far as to say that this was a full-blown assault on freedom of expression and the foundations of democracy. He said it is difficult to understand the level of hubris or incompetence, or both, that would lead someone to believe that such an encroachment on rights can be justified.
When the minister attacks the Conservatives, he is also attacking all those individuals, not to mention the thousands of Canadians who support us and have said they want us to keep up the pressure on the minister about his bill and his encroachment on their rights.
These are facts, and I have not even mentioned Michael Geist, who is very often referred to as a professor emeritus of law at the University of Ottawa. His expertise is so sought after that even the Liberal government supports his research in this field. He was one of the strongest critics of the Liberal government's attitude, and the Bloc Québécois's as well since it supported the Liberals' gag order. Imagine: a gag order that has not been used in 20 years, that the Conservative Party never used during its 10 years in power, a House of Commons gag order that the government imposed on a committee when the House leaders keep telling us that committees are independent every time we question them.
Given what the Liberals just did to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, they can never again say that a committee is independent. This is something unique. Even when people used this measure in the past, they granted a minimum of 10 hours to work on the document in question. All we were given was five hours.
This law professor, Michael Geist, is not alone. There are others from other universities. I do not have the documents with me, but I have quoted them several times. People can go and check.
I therefore want to reiterate that, when the minister attacks the Conservatives, he is attacking all those who spoke out via social media, press releases, written correspondence, speeches and interviews with the media and who said that what the minister was doing did not make sense.
Does this mean we are against culture? No, absolutely not.
Does it mean that the minister made a mistake with his bill? The answer is yes.
If the work had been done properly to begin with, we would not be where we are today. It is because of all the delays that we are dealing with this mess, which will certainly not ensure a level playing field between digital broadcasters and conventional broadcasters.
My NDP colleague's question to the minister was entirely justified. That is what happened. Those are the facts.
Back when we started studying this bill, the government made a big show of saying that this was to be a partnership, so it is pretty funny that the opposition parties did not get so much as a phone call to let them know that clause 4.1 was being removed from the bill. That was the event that triggered this crisis.
No other conversations about collaboration raised problems when they were in the Liberal government's interest. I cannot talk about them because they happened in private, but I was involved in those conversations several times.
It is sad that things have come to this. It is sad that the minister is now stooping to partisan behaviour and attacking Conservatives over this file. As I said, we are just speaking on behalf of all these industry stakeholders, the ones who wanted to protect net neutrality and freedom of expression and avoid these flaws that will almost certainly be challenged in court.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission now has more powers, even though former CRTC commissioners and chairs say that giving the CRTC that kind of power is not a good idea. I am not kidding.
At the beginning of his speech the minister talked about $70 million a month, which was an approximate amount, with the calculations planned for later. People deserve to be told the truth. The CRTC now has nine months to tell us on what percentage it will base the calculations, because no one knows. The only response from the minister is that if the CRTC uses the same calculations as conventional broadcasters, the amounts will be somewhere between $800 million and $1.1 billion, which leaves a margin of $300 million. We do not know anything about it, however, and neither do we know whether the CRTC is going to use the same rules. Once the bill passes we will no longer have any control over this.
That is the current reality of this bill. Time allocation was imposed, and over the past week we have been forced to hold many votes on amendments without those watching us having access to the text of nearly 40% of them. Imagine that scenario, where the only thing the audience heard was the number of the amendment, preceded by the abbreviation of the party proposing it and followed by the question on whether members of the committee were for or against it. What transparency. The Liberals said that the people would have access to the text at the end, when it was all over. It will be too late by then and we will not be able to move forward.
The minister says that we delayed the process, but I would have him know that the committee agreed to hold as many meetings as the chair wanted. We even held meetings every day of the break week, when we were meant to be working in our ridings. Some meetings were extended to four or five hours, on barely an hour's notice. That is the truth, but the minister never mentions that when he talks about his bill.
That really stings, because these kinds of politics hurt us all. The session is ending in a few days. We know full well that the Liberals will call an election before the House comes back. All the minister is trying to do here is play politics. He wants his bill to make it into the election platform, since he knows perfectly well that he will not get it passed in time.
The Bloc Québécois helped the Liberals out of some hot water. I do not recall ever seeing an opposition party support a government gag order. The Bloc members are proud of it. They are boasting about supporting a gag order. It is crazy to think about it.
At times, I found myself wondering what was going on. The minister was weaving a story that did not make sense and that was looking like a horror story for a while there. We have tried our best to do our jobs as legislators, but it has unfortunately been extremely difficult.
The minister, through his work, has attacked net neutrality. He has created a breach. It may not be a big breach, but it is a breach nonetheless. It will be challenged, that much is clear. On top of that, the CRTC is also being given increased powers. That is the reality.
If people listening right now think that my story is not true and that I lied, if they think, as the Prime Minister has implied in the House, that I misled people, I invite them to go back and look at the record, because it is all there.
People know that that is how it happened. They know that everyone started out in good faith, until that Friday when the Minister of Canadian Heritage removed clause 4.1 without any warning. Everyone knows what happens when something is done on a Friday. It means they want to slip it through quietly. After all the theatrics to try to make people believe we do not support the arts community, which is not the case, because it is censorship that we oppose, here is what the Liberal government did instead: It censored us by imposing time allocation.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-14 17:19 [p.8361]
Madam Speaker, I do not know what to say to the minister, who is being particularly partisan with respect to Bill C-10. It is always the same thing, and there are always attacks. The few times that he tried to defend his Bill C‑10, the media had a field day. This only exacerbated the lack of confidence and cynicism towards this bill.
I will repeat that he alone is to blame if we find ourselves in this situation with this bill. The minister missed the mark. He tried to change the bill. When quoting something I said in the House of Commons, he took it out of context. I was pointing out that he was suggesting to people that social networks would be subject to legislation, which was false. I never said that I agreed with what he was doing. I was quoting him because he was suggesting in his arguments that that was the case, when it was not. He is trying to say that is what I was saying, when instead I was correcting him.
I hear that, and it is always the same thing. He quoted the member, who later apologized, just like several members apologized for statements they made. This is all petty politics and we are tired of it.
Bill C-10 is a disaster, and he is going to move it forward by ramming closure down our throats—
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-14 17:21 [p.8361]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague from my neighbouring riding of Drummond for his question. I appreciate him as a colleague, as he is well aware.
What he said is entirely true. Following the testimony of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Justice, we heard from experts with diametrically opposed opinions. I agree with him. It is true, and it is healthy in a democracy.
Among the experts who agreed with the Conservatives were law professors. I think that these people also deserve a voice in Canada's Parliament because of their vision, their advice and their warnings. It is appalling to see the minister attack these opinions. It is obvious that, if you do not think like a Liberal, you are not worth anything. That is not true, we are worth something. Our constituents are full-fledged citizens. These people deserve a voice, and it is thanks to these divergent voices that we can exchange ideas and improve bills.
The problem is when the minority government across the way operates in a dictatorial fashion and pays no mind to what is going on, which means that it can only get its bills passed under a gag order. Instead, it should try to understand these voices and see how it can improve its legislation.
I will say it again: If clause 4.1 had not been removed, we would not be in this situation today. We would not be engaged in these never-ending arguments that we have been having for some time—
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-14 17:24 [p.8361]
Madam Speaker, I do not know exactly which motion the hon. member is talking about; there have been so many. I apologize for not being able to answer her question directly.
However, I can confirm that the NDP and the Bloc Québécois were themselves at some point surprised by the removal of clause 4.1. Both parties supported our efforts to hear what the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Canadian Heritage had to say about the concerns about freedom of expression.
I presume that, when the hon. member mentions elements of the bill that supposedly protect freedom of expression, she is referring to clause 2.1, which addresses individuals. However, the issue we are debating, the issue that was raised by the legal experts, is content.
I myself asked the Minister of Justice if the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects individuals as well as content. He has always refused to answer that question—
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-14 17:26 [p.8362]
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for his question.
He is perfectly correct, many Canadians criticized this bill and had concerns about it. I am deeply convinced that even Liberal, New Democrat and Bloc members can confirm that many of their constituents have approached them about this.
That is why I am even more surprised at the minister’s reaction. He is attacking us and trying to criticize the Conservatives when thousands of Canadians and Quebecers have expressed their dissatisfaction with the way he has approached and presented the bill. Yes, there are several concerns, because freedom of expression is a value near and dear to the hearts of all Canadians. Unfortunately, the minister decided to turn it into a partisan game on the eve of an election. That is unfortunate, because we should all stand up for the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-14 18:23 [p.8369]
Mr. Speaker, I have just one question for my NDP colleague, with whom I once served on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
When a problem crops up, people often argue and point fingers. Earlier I heard the Liberal member try to blame the Conservatives, but he is forgetting to consider the source of the problem. If the problem had been addressed at its source, we would not be seeing any of these further problems.
Does my colleague agree with my interpretation? If the Minister of Canadian Heritage had done his job from the beginning and taken his time introducing this bill, would we be in this position today?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-14 22:13 [p.8400]
Mr. Speaker, the minister is calling the Conservatives all kinds of things, claiming that they are attacking the cultural community and that he has never heard anyone think like the Conservatives.
I do not know if he listened to all the discussions in committee. Just look at the British Columbia Library Trustees Association, University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist, University of Calgary law professor Emily Laidlaw, Carleton University professor Dwayne Winseck, Quebec artists like Mike Ward, former CRTC commissioner Timothy Denton, Konrad von Finckenstein, Peter Menzies, Michel Morin, and Philip Palmer, not to mention the thousands of Canadians who wrote in and urged us to make sure that the Liberals' Bill C‑10 would not overlook them. The minister is making a big fuss and claiming that the Conservatives are attacking the cultural community.
We are not attacking the cultural community. We want to prevent freedom of expression from being restricted. Furthermore, we are speaking on behalf of thousands of Canadians across the country.
Does the minister think that these Canadians have the same right—
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-07 14:12 [p.8015]
Mr. Speaker, the prestigious President Cup of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is back in my region.
Nineteen years after their last victory, the Victoriaville Tigres were tournament champions on Saturday, thanks to a spectacular victory against the Val-d'Or Foreurs. I would like to sincerely congratulate them.
Well done to the players, who were exhilarating to watch over the past months, despite COVID-19. I would also like to acknowledge the work of Carl Mallette. Nineteen years ago, he shot the winning goal in the final game as captain of the team. This weekend, he raised the cup as its head coach. Bravo, Carl.
Congratulations to his assistants, Maxime Desruisseaux and Sébastien Charpentier, to the general manager, Kevin Cloutier, to the president, Charles Pellerin, and to all those who contributed to the team's success.
On behalf of myself and all of their fans, I say, “go, Tigres, go!”
You are champions and we are proud of you.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-04 10:21 [p.7960]
Madam Speaker, the minister is using every trick in the book to make people believe that the Conservatives are anti-culture and standing in the way of Bill C-10. We all know the bill is bad. Many experts who testified at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage said so.
The bill now has over 120 amendments, more than one-quarter of which were put forward by the government itself, even though it wrote the bill. Every member of the committee did everything they could to fix the problems with Bill-C10. What the minister is not telling us though is that the work hit a roadblock when he decided to amend the bill midstream to include social media. That was when people, including experts, former CRTC commissioners and thousands of Canadians across the country, started raising objections.
The only reason why it is taking so much time to study a bill with over 120 amendments, not to mention all the proposed ones, is the work of the minister himself, who introduced a bad version of Bill C-10.
The government is therefore imposing time allocation on a bill that is fundamentally wrong because it attacks freedom of expression. The minister is attacking the freedom of expression of parliamentarians who are trying to do their job. I would like to know one thing. Instead of telling us that we are preventing work from moving forward and are anti-culture, could the minister explain to us how he can justify imposing—with the help of the Bloc Québécois, I might add—time allocation on parliamentarians while we still have 40 amendments to study together?
In committee, the main problem was that the Liberals opposed our request to hear from the Minister of Justice for two weeks before finally agreeing. If they had agreed from the beginning, we would have had two more weeks to work on this. If they had agreed to reinstate section 4.1 of the Broadcasting Act, as we tried to get them to do, we would be moving forward in a logical manner to try to fix this bad bill. How does the minister explain his mistake and his mismanagement of this file, which has brought us to a complete dead end?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-04 11:35 [p.7973]
Madam Speaker, in Bill C-10, the Liberals are attacking freedom of expression and net neutrality. Now, they are attacking the freedom of expression of the parliamentarians who are examining the bill in committee by imposing a gag order. That is unbelievable. The problem with the bill has to do with freedom of expression, and to solve it, they are imposing a gag order with the help of the Bloc Québécois.
Is there a Liberal in the House, a single one, who will have the courage to speak out against this undemocratic move?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-04 11:37 [p.7973]
Madam Speaker, what the minister is doing here, trying to silence the Conservatives with this gag order, is unacceptable. In doing so, the Liberals are ignoring the advice of experts, university professors, former CRTC commissioners and thousands of Canadians who have been standing up for freedom of expression and net neutrality since the very beginning of this study. I would be ashamed to be a Liberal member today.
How can they show so little respect for all these Canadian citizens and experts by muzzling parliamentarians in committee?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-04 11:38 [p.7973]
Madam Speaker, the minister is spreading misinformation. We have nothing against culture, but we do oppose this minister's and the Liberal's censorship.
Today they are showing us that they are opposed to net neutrality, they are attacking Canadians' freedom of expression on social media and they are using any means they can to give more power to the CRTC. If we do not think like the Liberals, then we deserve to be silenced.
To make things worse, the Liberals have been trying for six years to make us believe that committees are independent and today they are imposing time allocation. How—
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-02 15:05 [p.7826]
Mr. Speaker, through Bill C-10, the Liberals are attacking freedom of expression and web neutrality. On Monday, the Liberal members of the committee voted against our motion to protect Canadians' freedom on social media.
Can the Prime Minister tell us why he insists on giving the CRTC more power to regulate the web and thereby attack the freedom of expression of thousands of Canadians?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-02 15:06 [p.7826]
Mr. Speaker, here is what Canadian Heritage officials said. They clearly stated that removing proposed section 4.1 allowed the CRTC to legislate the content of social media platforms, training apps, video games, websites and even audio books. Former senior CRTC officials said it was a big mistake. Experts in the field have condemned the Liberal attempt to attack net neutrality, and thousands of Canadians have spoken out against the Liberal government's attempt to take control.
Why is the Prime Minister refusing to listen to common sense?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-06-02 15:08 [p.7826]
Mr. Speaker, it is depressing to hear our Prime Minister. The fact is that he is proving his opposition to net neutrality, he is attacking the freedom of expression Canadians enjoy on social media and he is looking for any means possible to give the CRTC more powers.
If he had been sincere in his desire to help the country's artists, he would have accepted our amendment on Monday. The Prime Minister is himself solely responsible for the failure of Bill C-10, along with his Minister of Canadian Heritage.
Why is he insisting on going down this path?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-05-31 14:33 [p.7621]
Mr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of Canadian Heritage suggested that Bill C-10 would not limit net neutrality in any way. However, in Bill C-10, the Liberal government is giving the CRTC more powers to regulate social networks, blogs, online gaming sites, apps and even audiobooks.
Does the Minister of Canadian Heritage honestly think that regulating these platforms is in keeping with the principle of net neutrality?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-05-31 14:34 [p.7621]
Mr. Speaker, an internal memo sent to the minister clearly stated that apps like YouTube, TikTok, Amazon Prime, NHL.TV, TVA Sports en direct, RDS Direct, Sportsnet Now, PlayStation and many others will be subject to the CRTC rules.
I repeat my very simple question: Does the Minister of Canadian Heritage honestly think that regulating the platforms I listed and all of the others is in keeping with net neutrality?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-05-27 10:49 [p.7463]
moved for leave to introduce Bill C-300, An Act to amend the Excise Tax Act (books by Canadian authors).
He said: Mr. Speaker, today, it is an honour and privilege for me to have been chosen and to have the opportunity to introduce a private member's bill for the second time.
I am sure people will remember that my first bill sought to equip all emergency vehicles across the country with defibrillators. It was unanimously passed by all members of the House.
Today, I am back again with a new bill that I hope will have the same success so that all Canadian book authors—including digital book authors, because this is the digital age—who write and share their passion and knowledge with us will be able to sell those books without charging GST. That would make our authors more competitive and help them sell more books, since Canadians could buy more books with the money they save.
This is an initiative that will help culture and Canadian book authors. I hope that I will have the support of my colleagues from across the country as this bill moves through the legislative process so that we can help the cultural and artistic communities in Canada and Quebec, of course.
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-05-26 14:52 [p.7372]
Mr. Speaker, we were shocked yesterday to hear the Minister of Canadian Heritage say that Bill C-10 would not limit net neutrality in any way.
However, in Bill C-10, the Liberal government gives the CRTC more powers to regulate social networks, blogs, online gaming sites, apps and even audiobooks.
I have a very simple question for the Prime Minister. Does he believe that regulating these platforms is in keeping with the principle of net neutrality, yes or no?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-05-26 14:53 [p.7372]
Mr. Speaker, I invite the Prime Minister to open the dictionary and look up the definition of net neutrality. I think he will get a good idea of what it is.
His Minister of Justice stated on May 22, 2018, that the Liberal government supports net neutrality to ensure that all Canadians have the power to express themselves freely and access the legal content of their choice.
The government cannot say it supports net neutrality while introducing measures in a bill that restricts it. Is the Prime Minister on the side of his Minister of Justice, who is in favour of net neutrality, or on the side of his Minister of Canadian Heritage, who is undermining freedom of expression on the Internet?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-05-26 14:54 [p.7373]
Mr. Speaker, an internal memo given to the Minister of Canadian Heritage by senior officials clearly states that applications such as YouTube, TikTok, Amazon Prime, NHL.TV, MLB.TV, RDS Direct, Sportsnet Now, Google Play, Cineplex, PlayStation and many others would be subject to CRTC rules.
Can the Prime Minister tell us if he really thinks it is a good idea to regulate all these applications, yes or no?
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
View Alain Rayes Profile
2021-05-26 14:56 [p.7373]
Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to the Prime Minister, unfortunately, he did not read Bill C-10 and did not follow the committee's work. If he had, he would have seen that, by removing clause 4.1, the government was clearly attacking freedom of expression by legislating the Internet.
I read out a whole list of apps that did not come from Conservative offices but from an internal memo from senior officials that was personally given to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
The Prime Minister needs to do his homework, look at the document, stop attacking the Internet and the freedom of expression of all Canadians, and stop leading people to believe that there are members in the House who are against culture.
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