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View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
Welcome back, everybody.
This is meeting number 28 of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.
Pursuant to the order of reference of Tuesday, February 16, the committee resumes its clause-by-clause consideration of Bill C-10, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts.
We are doing this, of course, virtually—
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Chair, I wish to move a point of order. It has come to my attention that this committee was provided with a charter statement from the Minister of Justice, and that this charter statement was prepared on the bill based on its original form on November 3.
At that point in time, our party was largely in favour of making the proposed amendments to the Broadcasting Act and other acts in order to modernize them and create a level playing field between streaming services like Netflix and the Canadian broadcasters, and the justice minister's charter statement was in good standing. However, that was before the bill was amended, and as you know, there are some significant changes that have since taken place.
One of the things that was stated in the justice minister's charter statement was that, and I quote, “clause 3 would specify that the Act does not apply in respect of programs uploaded by unaffiliated users [for example, you and me] to social media services for sharing with other users, and in respect of online undertakings whose only broadcasting consists of such programs.”
When the bill was amended, however, to remove clause 3—the portion that I just read his opinion on—the entire scope of the bill was changed. Given that the entire scope of the bill has now changed with the removal of that clause, the statement no longer stands as accurate.
Last Friday, those changes were made, taking away the protection for individual users—again, such as you and me—for the things we post on Facebook, the things we post on YouTube, the things an aspiring artist posts and the cat video that my grandmother posts in order to share with her friends and engage with them. When this change was made, it removed the protections that were once offered to individuals who use these platforms.
View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
Ms. Harder, just one second. I appreciate the recognition of the content that you're providing here with the removal of the clause.
Can you get a little more specific about how this is counter to—
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
Yes. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The removal of proposed section 4.1 from Bill C-10 fundamentally changes the legislation and dissolves the ground on which the charter statement stood to justify charter compliance. Therefore, the original charter statement should be considered null and void if this committee wishes to do due diligence. Therefore, I would propose to you that we need a new charter statement from the justice minister, based on the transformational edit that was done on Friday.
Mr. Chair, I believe this is extremely important, because it's about protecting Canadians and their freedoms.
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
I have a point of order.
View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
Ms. Harder, could I get you to summarize what you're reading right now, very quickly, so that I can go to Ms. Dabrusin? It sounds like you're going into the arguments on the content of what you're talking about. I need you to, again, be specific as to the point you're trying to make. I assume you're trying to withdraw or cease what we're doing right now. Is that correct?
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
No, I'm not. If you'll just oblige me for a moment here, I need to outline my case, and then I am happy to summarize or to conclude.
View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
At the end of the day, this is about Canadians. This is about standing up for their charter rights and freedoms. I understand that this committee wishes to get to clause-by-clause. However, I believe that in the best interests of Canadians and respecting their charter rights, the bare minimum we can do is to take the next three minutes and allow me to explain why this is of such crucial importance.
Protecting Canadian's rights and freedoms and making sure—
View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
Hold on, everyone, one moment.
Ms. Dabrusin, I'm going to let you step in. Go ahead.
View Julie Dabrusin Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you.
We are midway through a clause-by-clause, and in this virtual world, it's a little different from when we normally do it. We would be through it quite a bit more quickly, but we are still midway through in this clause-by-clause process. I am not sure what this member is seeking to bring forward, but don't believe she has clearly stated what she wants to do. At this point, it seems that it is putting the cart ahead of the horse, as far as what we're working on.
View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
View Alain Rayes Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
To follow up on the remarks of my honourable colleague, Ms. Dabrusin, I feel that Ms. Harder has the privilege of speaking in committee and that she has something important to bring to our attention. As we see it, both the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and freedom of expression itself were cast aside when the committee adopted an amendment to the bill to eliminate a section that it was proposing to add to the Broadcasting Act.
I feel that Ms. Harder deserves a few minutes to express her point of view and to tell us what she wants to propose. The least we can do as a committee is to listen to her arguments and then decide together. Mr. Chair, if I may, she has a perfect right—
View Scott Simms Profile
Lib. (NL)
Mr. Rayes, I'll get to her point, but I have to move on from you in order to do that. I see what you're saying.
Before I go back to Ms. Harder, I have a question.
Were you about to move a motion?
View Rachael Harder Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Chair, I will be seeking support from the committee.
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