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Results: 1 - 26 of 26
View Anthony Housefather Profile
Lib. (QC)
Mr. Chairman, I beg your indulgence. I'd like to propose a motion. I listened very carefully to what happened last Friday and I'm hopeful that this motion will end the impasse that we have had.
Mr. Chair, I'd like to propose the following motion:
That the Committee:
1) Ask the Minister of Justice to provide a revised Charter Statement on Bill C-10, as soon as possible, focusing on whether the Committee’s changes to the Bill related to programs uploaded by users of social media services have impacted the initial Charter statement provided, in particular as relates to Section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
2) Invite the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Canadian Heritage accompanied by relevant department officials to appear before the Committee as soon as possible to discuss the revised Charter statement and any implications of amendments made by the Committee to the Bill.
I believe, Mr. Chairman, that limiting the motion to those two points that I've heard every member of the committee support should yield a motion that we can all adopt.
The clerk has a copy of the motion, Mr. Chairman, in both official languages, and I will wait to speak until everybody receives it.
Thank you.
View Anthony Housefather Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Having gone through the last couple of meetings in the hopes of trying to come to a consensus, I would like to move a motion, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to move:
That the Committee:
1) Will consider all amendments proposed on Bill C-10 and should points 2 and 3 below not have been completed at the time the amendments on the Bill have all been considered, the Committee will pause in its deliberations and not dispose of the Bill until points 2 and 3 below have been completed.
2) Ask the Minister of Justice to provide a revised Charter Statement on Bill C-10, as soon as possible, focusing on whether the Committee’s changes to the Bill related to programs uploaded by users of social media services have impacted the initial Charter statement provided, in particular as relates to Section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
3) Invite the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Canadian Heritage accompanied by relevant department officials to appear before the Committee as soon as possible to discuss the revised Charter statement and any implications of amendments made by the Committee to the Bill.
4) Shall take all votes necessary to dispose of the Bill, once points 2 and 3 are completed and all amendments have been considered.
Mr. Chairman, I have sent a bilingual version of the motion to the clerk to distribute to the committee. Then I'll speak to it, when you give me permission and presumably once the clerk has distributed the motion to the committee.
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you for seeking clarification. I very much appreciate that.
Mr. Chair, I wish to return to a motion that was brought forward to the committee on Friday, at the last meeting.
The motion that I moved at that point in time was that we would request the Minister of Justice to produce an updated charter statement under section 4.2 of the Department of Justice Act with respect to the potential effects of Bill C-10, as amended to date, on the rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This motion further said that we would invite the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Justice to appear before the committee to discuss the implications of Bill C-10, as amended to date, for users of social media services, and that we would suspend clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-10, notwithstanding the committee's decision of March 26, 2021, until it has received the updated charter statement requested under paragraph (a) and has heard from the ministers invited under paragraph (b) of this motion.
The reason I moved this motion on Friday was that the bill we are currently debating, Bill C-10, has undergone significant change since it was first brought forward in the fall, and at that point in time, in November, was provided with a charter statement. Of course, that charter statement was up to date at that time. However, because section 4.1 has been removed, and thereby protections for the content that an individual might post to their social media account is now subject to government scrutiny, I do believe that it is in the best interest of this committee to seek another charter statement in order to make sure that it is in compliance.
View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
Really all that I am looking at is imposing a bit of a time constraint on the request to the Minister of Justice to produce the charter statement so that the committee can continue to work once we have received the information back from the minister.
I would be proposing that we would request to have that information back within the next 10 days.
In paragraph (a) of Ms. Harder's motion, it would say: request that the Minister of Justice produce an updated “Charter Statement” in the next 10 days, under section 4.2 of the Department of Justice Act
In section (b), the addition would be:
invite the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Justice to appear before the Committee to discuss the implications of Bill C-10, as amended to date, for users of social media services, in the next 10 days
In section (c), I would be including:
suspend clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-10 for a maximum of 10 days, notwithstanding the Committee's decision of March 26, 2021, provided that it has received the updated “Charter Statement”
It's simply adding a time constraint, because I know everybody on this committee is very keen to get back to work to make sure that we are doing the job that our constituents have sent us to Ottawa to do and that we are in fact improving what I think we can all agree is a very imperfect bill that does need, as Mr. Rayes pointed out, almost 120 amendments from various parties.
That would be my recommendation. I certainly hope that we can move forward and continue to work.
I struggle, of course. I'm a new parliamentarian, Mr. Chair, and I struggle when I see filibustering within committees. Unfortunately, I've experienced it in a number of committees I sit on, so I would hope that we could move forward and make a decision on this and continue our work for the people of Canada.
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Chair, I understand that this committee is doing, I believe, its best to get through this legislation quickly and to move it to a point that it can be voted on in the House of Commons. I believe, however, that there are some things that need to be considered before getting to that point.
As I've outlined previously, clause 3, or proposed section 4.1, was removed from the legislation last week. When that took place, the nature of this bill changed.
There is a charter statement that was provided by the justice department under the name of the justice minister. That charter statement determines whether or not this piece of legislation, Bill C-10, would be in agreement with or within the purview of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
That statement is now null and void, because a significant portion of the bill was removed last week. That being the case, I believe this committee needs to seek another statement with respect to the charter and whether the charter rights of Canadians are in fact being respected within the new outline provided within this bill.
I would draw the committee's attention to a few opinions or viewpoints that have been offered by experts. Most notably, former CRTC commissioner Peter Menzies said that this legislation “doesn't just infringe on free expression; it constitutes a full-blown assault upon it and, through it, the foundations of democracy.”
Mr. Chair, that is an incredibly damning statement in regard to this piece of legislation as it stands now, because that clause was removed last week. That being the case, I believe this committee needs to take the responsibility of seeking another charter statement.
The argument has been made by some members at this table—and by other members of the governing party when this has been raised in the House of Commons during question period—that Canadians shouldn't worry; that there would never be an imposition on their freedom and what they post on social media.
At the end of the day, however, if it's not there, it's not there. In other words, if the protection isn't granted, then there's no protection. It's that simple. If the protection is not outlined in this legislation, then there is no protection for Canadians.
We're talking about a regular component of their daily lives. We're talking about a video they post of their cat, about a video they post of their kids, about a conversation they're having with a friend on a social media platform. This is a new form of public square, and based on the charter, our right to freedom of expression should not be imposed upon.
I would argue, and many other experts have argued, that they are being imposed upon. That being the case, I believe we need to seek a new charter statement based on this legislation as it stands now.
I want to move a motion for this committee's consideration. If I may, I would like to read it into the record.
It reads:
That, given that the deletion of section 4.1, clause 3 of Bill C-10, would extend the application of the Broadcasting Act to programs uploaded by users of social media services, which in turn could violate paragraph 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
and given that the current “Charter Statement” required under section 4.2 of the Department of Justice Act with respect to the potential effects of Bill C-10 directly states that “users of social media who upload programs for sharing with other users and are not affiliated with the service provider will not be subject to regulation” as part of its argument that Bill C-10 respects section 2(b) of the Charter, the committee:
(a) request that the Minister of Justice produce an updated “Charter Statement” under section 4.2 of the Department of Justice Act with respect to the potential effects of Bill C-10, as amended to date, on the rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
(b) invite the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Justice to appear before the committee to discuss the implications of Bill C-10, as amended to date, for users of social media services; and
(c) suspend clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-10, notwithstanding the Committee's decision of March 26, 2021, until it has received the updated “Charter Statement” requested under paragraph (a) and has heard from the ministers invited under paragraph (b).
Mr. Chair, that is the end of my motion. I would reiterate how vitally important it is that this committee composed of legislators do its work responsibly and seek this statement from the justice minister.
View Jamie Schmale Profile
CPC (ON)
I'd like to move a motion to call the justice minister to the committee at his earliest convenience, before we do clause-by-clause if possible. Potentially, that could mean before Thursday. We have a few more days. I don't know the availability of the room, but I'd like to see him appear before clause-by-clause.
View Gary Anandasangaree Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Chair, first of all, apologies to the committee. I know Mr. Lametti was scheduled to be here. Regrettably, something has come up that's completely unavoidable and therefore he is not able to join us.
I worry about the timeline. Minister Bennett has had co-carriage of this file from the outset. I think she, as well as a number of officials who have been working on this issue for many years, will be well positioned to go through with this committee and to outline the issues members might have around Bill C-15.
That said, if the minister is available before the scheduled time for the clause-by-clause on Thursday, we can try to get him here, but I don't believe it's prudent for us to wait, because the number of witnesses we have today can ably address any issues the committee might have.
View Jaime Battiste Profile
Lib. (NS)
My intervention is going to be along the same lines as Gary's, but I would like to get to line-by-line on Thursday. I'm not in favour of extending it any further, because we want to get to royal assent. We don't want any more stalling for what indigenous people have waited far too long to get.
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
With all due respect to the witnesses, I'm sure they're very capable and very knowledgeable, but at the end of the day, this is the minister's bill. It is the minister who has spoken on this bill in the House on a number of occasions. It is the minister who has defended the time frames and the invoking of closure.
It's imperative that we hear the minister before the committee speaks to this legislation. I would support Mr. Schmale's motion on having the minister appear before we begin clause-by-clause consideration.
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you, Chair.
It's highly disappointing that Minister Lametti is not here today. It brings a whole level of unnecessary discussion, when we don't have much time to waste. I would be happy with a written submission from the minister, in advance of the next committee meeting, whereby we can review and submit questions to the minister independently, and move toward clause-by-clause by Thursday.
View Bob Bratina Profile
Lib. (ON)
Mr. Schmale, would you agree to put off the discussion on the motion until after we've heard witnesses today, and then, before the end of the meeting, make a decision on your motion?
View Jamie Schmale Profile
CPC (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'll try to be quick. I know people have places to be.
It is in regard to Minister Lametti's appearance today. Obviously he wasn't here. We would like to, on this side anyway, hear from the minister, as he is the sponsor of the bill. He is the one, as Mr. Vidal pointed out, to invoke closure on the bill within the House of Commons during debate.
To meet Mr. Battiste's concerns in regard to timelines, I could be wrong, but I don't think it will take two hours to go clause by clause through the bill. It's not overly long. I don't think there are a ton of concerns.
If possible, I'd like my motion to be that the chair and the clerk attempt to secure Minister Lametti's appearance at the next committee meeting, April 22 at 11 o'clock.
View Bob Bratina Profile
Lib. (ON)
It's an important clarification, because there is almost no possibility of setting another meeting for Wednesday. The next open slot is on Monday. So the question, as you outlined it to committee, is whether we are willing to spend a few minutes at the beginning of the Thursday meeting to hear from the minister?
I see a number of hands up: Mr. Anandasangaree, Ms. Gazan, Mr. Vidal and Ms. Gill.
Leah, go ahead, please.
View Leah Gazan Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I would like to respect my colleague MP Schmale's proposal in principle and suggest that instead of a personal appearance, members of the committee are provided with an opportunity to submit questions to the minister, which he is to respond to, or his office is to respond to, before our next committee sitting.
View Gary Vidal Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Chair, I'm striving to be a bit facetious here. In my long and distinguished career as a member of Parliament and a member of this committee for the whole 18 months I've been here, I don't believe there's another example of having a witness appear and be able to give their submission without being questioned by the committee. I would be concerned about the precedent that sets.
The importance of this legislation and the importance of having the minister himself appear is crucial to moving this forward. I would obviously speak in support of Mr. Schmale's motion to ensure that Minister Lametti appears before we move to clause-by-clause.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Often, I do not hear you when you call on me, just because the interpretation continues. I hear two voices at the same time.
I just wanted to say that I support my colleague Mr. Schmale's motion about the minister's appearance.
Of course, I do not want our business to be unduly extended, but I would like him to appear before the committee.
View Gary Anandasangaree Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I definitely appreciate everyone's comments here.
I think Ms. Gazan's suggestion is quite reasonable. Right now I think Minister Bennett has already read the statement that Minister Lametti was supposed to present today. I propose the opportunity for questions, and given the makeup of this committee, we'd have five questions for the Conservatives, five for the Liberals, four for the Bloc and four for the NDP, with a response deadline of five o'clock tomorrow. The information could then be presented and accepted as formal submissions to this committee.
It's fair to say that Minister Lametti regrets not being here. He's been very engaged on this file. We've had a number of discussions over the past several weeks, and I know he regrets not being here. I think it's important and imperative that the information provided by our witnesses today, which has been exhaustive.... If further clarifications are needed, the suggestion that Ms. Gazan made, with minor modifications, would and should suffice to ensure that the minister's comments are on the record.
View Bob Bratina Profile
Lib. (ON)
By the way, I'll excuse our witnesses. Thank you very much. I wondered if perhaps there would be some reference to the staff, but if you folks are fine, then we'll allow you to depart the meeting.
What we have before us is a motion, and the discussion about the motion was a new suggestion. The first thing we have to deal with, if it's our intention to go along with Ms. Gazan's proposal, is the motion.
View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
I did not want to interrupt you. I just wanted to clarify one thing. We were told that four people voted for the motion. In fact, the votes were Mr. Melillo, Mr. Viersen, Mr. Schmale, Mr. Vidal and myself. That makes five people. I wanted to make sure that the five votes had been counted.
View Gary Anandasangaree Profile
Lib. (ON)
With that in mind, Mr. Chair, questions are to be posed by 5 p.m. today, with the response from the minister by 5 p.m. tomorrow. In the meantime, on the number of questions, I had suggested five, five, four and four. We just need agreement on that.
I think a 24-hour turnaround time is sufficient, given that the response will be in both official languages.
Results: 1 - 26 of 26

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