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View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2020-12-11 10:04 [p.3321]
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Madam Speaker, we are debating Bill C-10, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act.
I want to wish everyone in the House and those watching a very merry Christmas.
The bill that we are debating today is a potential gift for all Canadians, something we all hold dear, and there needs to be a timely change to the Broadcasting Act. Things have changed so much in the last few years with digital content that change is something I think we can all get behind.
Being as it is a potential gift for all Canadians, I tried to consult the expert on gifts for all Canadians at Christmastime. Who did I try to get in touch with? It was Santa Claus. I have to say that it was a little more difficult this year. I want Santa to know that I tried to get in touch. I am wearing my favourite Christmas tie that he gave me and I want to thank him very much. It reminds me of Christmas. I wanted to get Santa's opinion on this bill, because this is a potential gift for all Canadians.
As kids around Canada are watching this debate intently, I want them to know that Santa is working hard this year. He is making sure the elves in the factory are kept very safe. He is following all of the protocols. He wants people to remember the Christmas message of being kind to our neighbours, to reach out to somebody who may be in need, and that this is a time about love and community. This year has certainly been a tough year, so I think all parliamentarians can get behind that statement.
Because I could not get in touch with Santa, I have to give my own opinion on this bill we are debating today. As I said, I would love to be able to support it because it is a great gift, but I think I am going to have to give it a lump of coal, unfortunately, that might increase greenhouse gases too. Because there are so many faults in this bill, it really is very difficult for me to figure out where exactly I can start.
Maybe I will start with last night. Like many Canadians, my wife and I were at home doing things that Canadians do. We were not drinking Sortilège and eating tourtière. I think everybody would like to be doing that, but we were streaming a series that my wife likes. We were bingeing on a series called Virgin River. It is a very interesting romantic drama series, a series I would normally not want to watch, but when wives say they want to watch a romantic drama series, it is really important that their husbands pay attention to that.
I was watching the show and I suddenly realized I knew actors and actresses. It was set in northern California, but it was beautiful.
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View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2020-12-11 10:07
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As we were sitting around binge-watching, I thought I recognized what I was seeing. I googled it and I found out this show Virgin River actually has numerous Canadian actors and actresses in it and takes place in British Columbia. I thought how appropriate it is we are actually debating this bill, because Netflix is a company that already knows the quality of Canadian actors, sets and scenery. As far as it doing business in this country, there are not a lot of rules.
I have listened to some of the debates, and some of the parliamentarians here feel that big giants like Netflix are actually the bad guys. I actually think it is a great business. If someone had asked me a few years ago how I would watch TV, this was not the way I thought we would be doing it. It is the new way. If we can attract more of its investment in this community to take Canadian scenery and Canadian actors and actresses and spread it out around the world, would it not be wonderful for Canadian culture?
In this House, I think most of us disagree with the Prime Minister when he said that Canadians have no core identity, we have no distinct culture, we want to be the first post-national state. We are proud of our culture and we want to make sure going forward in this new technology, this new digital format, we will be winning in the world and not being set behind.
For companies like Netflix, one of the reasons I cannot support this is because this bill is not clear on the rules. We know Canadian providers need to have 25% to 40% Canadian content and participate with 5% of their profits into the Media Fund, but new technologies need new rules and this legislation falls short.
I want to talk about the vagueness of this bill. It is really important to have fairness and equity put into our system, but this bill would not ensure web giants such as Google and Facebook, for example, would have to compete on the same playing field as Canadian companies. Because it does nothing to address the inequity between digital and conventional forums, it is very difficult to support this bill.
On decision-making, while other countries have an arbitration board, decisions would be made with orders in council. In other words, the Prime Minister and his cabinet would be making decisions on this bill. Right now, Canadians are a bit edgy about the government making all these decisions.
This bill would also allow the CRTC new broad powers, with no clear guidelines, which increases the uncertainty. Like I said, for Canadians to flourish in this new environment, they need certainty. Investors need certainty. When we are competing around the world, if Australia has its system figured out but Canada does not, where do we think these large international platforms are going to be doing their work?
I want to talk about fairness. In the last couple of weeks I was contacted by the local newspapers in my riding. There are two really great local newspapers in Oshawa. One is The Oshawa Express, run by sisters Kim Boatman and Sandy McDowell. It is a great entrepreneurial business run by women. The other one is Oshawa This Week, and I was contacted by Barb Yezik.
They were talking to me about this legislation and how important it is to get it right. Right now with COVID, these businesses are struggling. We need to make sure when we implement a new piece of legislation we get it right, but also that it is done in a very timely fashion. They explained to me that the primary issue is how their business model is disrupted by the web giants like Facebook and Google.
For example, Oshawa This Week and The Oshawa Express are not paid for their content. As far as the process of which they are a part, it really is not transparent on revenue sharing and advertising splits. A statistic that really concerned me when I heard it, and I think it concerns all of us in here, is that Facebook and Google pocket up to 80% of the ad revenue in Canada. Think about that. That is a huge amount of money that goes outside of this country. It is huge, and especially during this time of COVID, it is affecting them more severely.
The Oshawa Express and Oshawa This Week basically have their bricks and mortar in my community of Oshawa. They pay their local taxes, pay their national taxes and pay reporters to go out and get these stories.
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View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2020-12-11 10:14
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It is so important that we support these small businesses, these entrepreneurs. Right now we are stuck with so much uncertainty and lack of traditional income. I am really happy we are acting on this, but again, this bill does not provide a framework or certainty as to how these businesses are going to be able to continue. We need to make sure they are viable, because it is local media that really tells the truth about our communities. They come out to our events. They support Canada and Canadians in everything we do in our communities.
I only have one minute left, but I want to mention that I think yesterday Australia passed its legislation. That has given businesses that operate in Australia clear guidelines and a way to arrange their competitiveness not only in Australia, but to get an idea of how they will be able to compete around the world, because the world is getting smaller every single year.
We wanted this bill to talk about fairness, competitiveness and how it would ensure content producers are treated fairly. Unfortunately, we do not have that.
Madam Speaker, I would love to talk a bit longer, with a bit of time to talk about Santa Claus, but with that, I wish a merry Christmas to you and all of my colleagues in the House.
I am available for questions.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-12-11 10:14 [p.3322]
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Madam Speaker, in the spirit of Christmas, I want to add a few thoughts of appreciation and thanks. To the individuals who protect the House of Commons, those looking underneath the clerk's table on their hands and knees, walking around making sure we are in a safe environment, to those who record our Hansard and whether they like it or not have to listen to my speeches, to those who provide us the meals, especially the one kind lady who produces that special fudge, which is the best fudge in the world, to our pages, to the clerk table officers, to those in television and in particular the people who make the hybrid system work, there are so many people who make our democracy work here in Ottawa, and I know I am missing so many, on behalf of myself and the Liberal caucus I want to express our appreciation for all the things they do to make this work.
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View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2020-12-11 10:16 [p.3322]
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Madam Speaker, whenever the parliamentary secretary gets up, it is always very difficult to add to what he says, but I want to take this opportunity to add a few of my own thoughts about the Christmas season.
We know this has been a very difficult year, and I want to say thanks to all of my colleagues in the House. This has been a tough year, and I think all of us have worked together. Just like Santa is making sure the elves are safe in the factory to make sure they can get things out and everybody can have a wonderful Christmas, we have have been working together very well to make sure that Canadians have a wonderful way forward in 2021.
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View Marilène Gill Profile
BQ (QC)
View Marilène Gill Profile
2020-12-11 10:16 [p.3323]
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Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his speech.
I would like to ask him if he agrees with the Bloc Québécois that the francophone portion of production should be significant, around 40%. Does my colleague agree with the Bloc's position on that?
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View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2020-12-11 10:17 [p.3323]
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Madam Speaker, I think all my opposition colleagues believe, as I do, that Quebec culture is Canadian culture, and that it is very important to support Canadian culture.
I said in the opening of my speech that we would love to be sitting at home having some Sortilège and tourtière. That is one of my family traditions and part of my culture.
This relates to one of the flaws of the bill, and I want to thank my colleague from the Bloc for bringing it up. Quebec culture is Canadian culture, and we love our country. We love Quebec and every province in our wonderful country. We need to support that moving forward.
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View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
NDP (QC)
View Alexandre Boulerice Profile
2020-12-11 10:17 [p.3323]
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Madam Speaker, I am very happy to hear the Conservative Party rally to the NDP position this week and say that web giants should have to pay tax too.
We agree that the 28-year-old Broadcasting Act needs to be changed, updated and modernized. Everyone who benefits from the system should contribute to content production.
Unfortunately, the Liberals' bill is only a partial solution and does not apply to many of the players, such as internet service providers, social media like YouTube, and future broadcasting platforms. Does my colleague think these players should also do their part and contribute to the system?
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View Colin Carrie Profile
CPC (ON)
View Colin Carrie Profile
2020-12-11 10:19 [p.3323]
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Madam Speaker, we want to have a level playing field. I am going to say something that is a little controversial, perhaps, to the NDP and the Liberals: There are other ways of doing that.
As I mentioned in my speech, this is a new world. We have to be competitive internationally. One of the ways we could do that, as my colleague said, is maybe to increase taxes and tax everyone. However, there is another approach. Traditionally the Conservatives say that we should lower taxes and allow the playing field to develop the way it should in that regard to make Canada, all across the board, more competitive.
How do we move forward on this to level the playing field? I know we are in huge deficits right now and we may have to work together in this challenging environment to come up with a good solution. However, what is important is that everyone is treated fairly and equitably, and Canada becomes competitive. We have the talent here and have the resources to compete around the world. Would it not be great to see more Canadian talent around the world?
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View Kenny Chiu Profile
CPC (BC)
View Kenny Chiu Profile
2020-12-11 10:19 [p.3323]
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Madam Speaker, I am glad the government has finally brought this long-awaited modernization of the Broadcasting Act, also known as Bill C-10. Too often government regulations have fallen far behind human innovations and progress, such as those for unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, and various forms of the sharing economy, and it is definitely encouraging to see, 15 years after its founding and 10 years after YouTube reached one billion views, that the act is being updated for social media platforms. However, my initial excitement was doused with a bucket of cold water when I saw some of the half-hearted measures and the complete abdication of responsibility. We missed a great opportunity to genuinely reform the act for the 21st century, and I therefore find it challenging to cast my support for it.
Let me explain. In my research preparing for this speech, I came across Dr. Michael Geist's criticism of the faults of the proposed changes in Bill C-10. In fact, there are so many problems, he has a daily blog called “The Broadcasting Act Blunder”. Allow me to mention a few highlights from this blog.
First, Bill C-10, as a broadcast reform bill, could spell the end of Canadian ownership requirements by removing Canadian ownership and control requirements from the Broadcasting Act, yet the heritage minister says the bill would safeguard cultural sovereignty. Second, the bill in no way prevents online streaming services from operating in Canada or requires them to be licensed. It instead requires registration, which may result in nondescript additional regulations and conditions that are “virtually indistinguishable from licensing requirements”.
When the Liberals claim it ensures that online broadcasting is covered under the act, why is it covered in such indecisive terms? The bill creates uncertainty, increases consumer costs and creates a risk for tariffs and blocking content from Canada. However, the government calls the bill a matter of fairness.
Michael Geist is not one of those regular Canadians who the elitist government looks down upon. He is a Canadian academic. In fact, he is the Canada research chair in Internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa and a member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society. He holds multiple law degrees from prestigious institutions and has taught around the world. It would be fair to take his misgivings on the bill seriously.
Let us take a closer look at fairness. The Liberals say they are updating broadcasting and regulatory policies to better reflect the diversity of Canadian society. How is it fair to virtual signal with much empty aspirations about gender equality, LGBTQ2+ people, racialized communities, persons with disabilities and indigenous peoples without specifying how the changes will help them? Is it fair to arm the CRTC with new enforcement powers through an administrative monetary penalty scheme that, when translated into English, means government's overreach could potentially end in a windfall of cold hard cash?
Speaking of cash, is it fair that the government has used the pandemic to repeatedly seek more unchecked power for itself, all the while drowning Canadians in a projected $1.2 trillion in national debt? That is a credit card debt of more than $63,000 for each of Facebook Canada's alleged 19 million registered users in this country. Estimates indicate that if online broadcasters are taxed for Canadian content at a rate similar to that of traditional broadcasting, the new framework would create an $830 million government windfall in three years, by 2023.
In addition to power grabs, the government also wants a cash grab, but the obvious other side to this is increased costs. When someone is going to pays for fees that are projected to run into hundreds of millions of dollars, it is only obvious the burden will fall on Canadian consumers. None of this is fair to Canadians, and Bill C-10 follows a pattern we have become all too familiar with this year: bold intentions, little clarity, empty promises and a failure to deliver meaningful changes.
I, for one, am tired of seeing our government feeding Canadians word salad for every meal. It is past time for a meaty and substantial policy to be put forward.
Bill C-10 would hand massive new powers to the CRTC, Canada's telecommunications and broadcast regulator, to regulate online streaming services, opening the door to mandated Canadian content, also known as CanCon, payments; discoverability requirements, even though we have no issue discovering Canadian content on any capable search engine today without it; and confidential information disclosures, all backed by new fining powers.
Many of the details will be sorted out by the beefed-up CRTC bureaucracy long after the legislation is gone. The specifics will take years to unfold, meanwhile leaving Canadians in uncertainty and insecurity. Some are estimating it will take nine months alone to undertake the very first regulatory phase.
Thankfully, from where I am sitting, it appears that Canadians are not being fooled this time. They are calling for beneficial legislation that would tax multi-billion dollar foreign corporations such as Google and Facebook. They realize the bill would kick the legs out from under small content creators. They know the bill would be the surrender of any meaningful priority.
My office has been receiving notices from online campaigners asking to compel the CRTC to regulate online broadcasters, update the CBC mandate and governance structure and make sure social media companies are responsible for the illegal content they broadcast. They say, “Any updated Broadcasting Act that doesn't tackle these key issues isn't doing enough to defend Canadian broadcasting, culture and journalism.”
The bill also lacks definitions to clarify applications for social media services and user-generated content. For example, if a friend of mine sets up a subscriber-funded online broadcasting app to live-stream programs of Canadian current affairs and commentaries, unlike the author of this act seems to assume, he is doing this on his own and not relying on any of the big box social media platforms. His single-operator platform would be subjected to CRTC's mercy to allow his exercise in freedom of expression and speech, at best, or it would get buried out of business under the mounds of bureaucratic red tape, at worst. It is clear Bill C-10 does not meet the concerns of regular people.
I believe government control should be adequate and not overarching. As Andrew Coyne writes in The Globe and Mail, “But just how far the state's regulatory tentacles will now extend will depend in large part on how the CRTC interprets its new powers—and the bill's language gives plenty of room to worry.” I agree.
He is not alone in holding this view, though. Laura Tribe, executive director of OpenMedia, an Internet watchdog group, has issued an urgent warning, saying, “[The minister] has created an artificial sense of crisis around Canadian cultural content—content that is surviving and flourishing in the 21st century.” Amid all the other crises we have experienced this year, I hardly think now is the time or place to be manufacturing a new one to hive that policy.
When it comes to bills, like Bill C-10, that make claims as bold as they do, I agree with Andrew Coyne when he says, “You can lead a horse to culture, but you can't make it watch.”
On the last sitting day of the House, I wish you, Madam Speaker, and every member of the House of Commons a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah and happy holidays.
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-12-11 10:29 [p.3324]
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Madam Speaker, I tend to disagree with the member's comments about the CRTC and the importance of Canadian content. I believe the CRTC has done exceptionally well for Canadians over the years. When we look at the importance of Canadian content, we see that not only does it provide opportunities for the wonderful, talented people whom we have from coast to coast to coast, but it also creates thousands of jobs.
This is the type of legislation that will move us forward in ensuring we have Canadian content. Good, middle-class jobs will even flow out of it. There is so much good within the legislation.
I wonder if the member could indicate whether, after the bill gets to committee, where we hope to see it go, he will have some amendments that would make it better legislation, from his perspective.
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View Kenny Chiu Profile
CPC (BC)
View Kenny Chiu Profile
2020-12-11 10:30 [p.3325]
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Madam Speaker, perhaps, unlike the member, I do not live in a zero-or-one world. I believe there is a balance that we have to strike. The CRTC definitely has historically been delivering value to Canadians, and we have seen that it does good work, but that does not mean that we should give all the powers to the CRTC, even overarching powers. It is interesting that the movie I enjoy most about Canadian cultural duality is actually a Hollywood movie called Bon Cop, Bad Cop, and I am still rewatching that.
I thank the member for his suggestion. I will take it to heart.
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View Denis Trudel Profile
BQ (QC)
View Denis Trudel Profile
2020-12-11 10:31 [p.3325]
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Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his comments.
There is one rather important aspect that is not addressed in Bill C-10.
The current crisis has been particularly hard on artists. Quebec has a fairly large dubbing industry that provides a living for artists, and I spoke with someone from that sector. She was telling me that if all the taxpayer-funded, English-language productions, like the ones produced in Toronto and Vancouver, were dubbed in Quebec, that would provide artists with work for years to come, and we would not even need American films. It is incredible.
However, that is not happening. Films and TV series that we pay for ourselves are dubbed in France. That makes absolutely no sense.
Does my colleague not think that, any time Canadian taxpayers' money is being invested, films should be dubbed in Quebec to provide work for our own people?
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View Kenny Chiu Profile
CPC (BC)
View Kenny Chiu Profile
2020-12-11 10:32 [p.3325]
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Madam Speaker, I believe Quebec is a nation that is a great part of Canada, in a united Canada, and that is why, if there is any way we can bring jobs back to Canada, I will be in full support of it. There are other provinces, I might add, that also have francophone Canadians living in them, like New Brunswick and northern Alberta, just like there are many anglophones living in Quebec as well.
I think together we are stronger in the cultural duality of Canada. I think the francophone and anglophone cultures will make us win more contracts and create more jobs in Canada.
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View Gord Johns Profile
NDP (BC)
View Gord Johns Profile
2020-12-11 10:33 [p.3325]
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Madam Speaker, one thing that my colleague did not really talk about is the monopolistic anticompetitive practices of Facebook and Google and how they are taking over the share of revenue. We know that in the bill it is not captured how we can protect the lifeline of newspapers and journalists in our country, but Australia has put forward new legislation that will require no government funding to ensure that local content is protected, and they get a share of revenue from those web giants.
Does the member agree that the web giants are not paying their fair share and they need to pay more and protect local journalism, like Australia is doing?
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View Kenny Chiu Profile
CPC (BC)
View Kenny Chiu Profile
2020-12-11 10:34 [p.3325]
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Madam Speaker, I think it is a worthy consideration for any Canadian government to take into consideration.
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View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
2020-12-11 10:34 [p.3325]
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Madam Speaker, as the member of Parliament for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, I take this opportunity to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
I thank my constituents for all of their support. It is a great honour to represent them in the Parliament of Canada.
I welcome this opportunity to express the concerns of my constituents regarding Bill C-10, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts.
The challenge I have as a legislator is this: Do the changes to the Broadcasting Act, which was originally enacted under a previous Conservative government, outweigh the concerns of Canadians regarding the steady erosion of free speech in Canada?
When the Minister of Canadian Heritage started talking about hate speech and fake news, it pandered to the less tolerant, the alt-left crowd. Their agenda is to silence the diversity in the voices in Canada. Canadians have every reason to be concerned. The Prime Minister goes to the United Nations and says one thing, and then denies his own words when questioned about his version of the great reset he has planned for Canada. It is not in the best interests of Canadians to turn the CRTC into some kind of censor board beyond the reach of Parliament.
I proudly speak today as a member of Parliament for the Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke riding, which is rife with Canadians and their stories, together with the storytellers. Canadians are proud of our stories. The storytellers want to share their stories with the world. The government claims Bill C-10, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act, would support the Canadian storytellers. We all know that it would not support all Canadian storytellers, just the government-approved storytellers.
What is the price to support these government-approved storytellers? According to the government, the financial price is close to $1 billion, but what about the cost to freedom of expression, regulating the Internet, demanding control over algorithms and restricting foreign programming? Is this really a price Canadians wish to pay to not watch central, committee-approved, bland television productions? If Canadians knew the real costs and consequences of the Liberal bill to regulate the Internet, what they are really were, they would reject it entirely.
There are three things that Canadians need to understand about the bill. First, it is a deception. The Liberals would change the very definition of the words in order to grab some money for their friends. Second, it is an attack on freedom of expression. Mandating speech is the same as restricting speech. Third, in proclaiming to support diversity, the government would reduce the diversity of stories that Canadians have access to, and this would have a particular set of consequences for new Canadians and refugees who speak neither of the two official languages. This is what happens when governments strip our liberties away. The least powerful pay the highest price, but we all bear a cost. That is the reason for this deception. The Liberals cannot be honest about what they are doing, because what they are doing violates the charter. It violates freedom of expression.
We have the deception, the attack on free speech and the attack on diversity. I will begin with the deception, and for that we need to go back to why we have a Broadcasting Act.
Why is there a Broadcasting Act regulating television and radio but not a newsprint act regulating newspapers? It is because newspapers use their own print and paper to express their views. Broadcasters use public airwaves to broadly cast out electromagnetic signals that televisions and radio receivers can pick up. Airwaves are a classic public good. Broadcasters cannot use the same frequency or their signals become lost. Frequencies have to be allocated by the government or else everyone would broadcast on every frequency and nobody would get a signal.
For-profit broadcasters cannot charge customers for the signal after they have already broadcasted out, but the broadcasters were introduced to advertisers, and they all made a lot of money. The government later told these broadcasters that, in return for making huge profits from public airwaves, they would be required to support Canadian storytellers, artists and musicians. Canadians were largely supportive of using Canadian airwaves to support Canadians.
Even when cable came along, the government had a role in regulating cable monopolies for the public good. This arrangement was good for the companies, good for the government–funded, committee-approved storytellers and good for the advertisers. Any Canadian with a radio, TV and some rabbit ears could watch or listen to the free entertainment. The business model was simple: Cast out the programs to the broadest audience possible and then sell the viewership to advertisers.
Canadian consumers of music and stories received quantity over quality. Then the Internet came along and changed everything. It changed everything for advertisers. Just ask the newspapers that, ironically enough, are now lobbying for a newsprint act to bail them out. It changed everything for musicians and storytellers. Just ask Justin Bieber if he would have his globe-spanning career were it not for YouTube. It changed everything for consumers. No longer did they have to sit at a specific time to watch a somewhat decent program. Now they can watch when they want but, more importantly, they can watch what they really want.
For nearly 70 years, the biggest change in broadcasting was colour TV. Then in the last 20 years, everything from production to distribution has been revolutionized. In response to this tremendous revolution in technology, entertainment and opportunities, in response to all this change, the government’s only play is to fall back on 1970s-era protectionist talking points and slap 1930s-era legislation on a 21st-century technology. It is old, it is tired and it is a deception. These companies do not use public airwaves to broadcast out a signal. It is ridiculous to call them broadcasters.
The only reason the government is doing this is to stretch the justification of regulating public airwaves into a justification for regulating private viewing. As I said in my initial remarks, it has to commit this deception to hide the truth. This is regulating expression. It is a limit on speech. Our freedom of speech and our freedom of expression are not just about the right to be heard. It is also about our right to hear, to listen, to see and to understand. It is a human right, not a Canadian privilege.
What is a privilege is to live in a time and place where we can experience stories from any human on earth. The Internet has turned all of us into both broadcasters and receivers. The government seeks to regulate that. It seeks to control it. It wants to put the toothpaste back into the tube and turn the clock back to the seventies. It wants to bring back The Beachcombers, but it is not going to happen. It is 2020 and if there has ever been a year when Canadians appreciate the ability to watch what they want when they want it, it is now.
The government has different plan. It wants to regulate what people can watch. They want to charge a tax on these streamers to even have the opportunity to offer Canadians any kind of programming.
These new taxes and regulations will cut Canadians off from a growing, rich, diverse array of new streaming services from across the world. The Liberal attack on freedom of expression is an attack on diversity. The Liberals claim that this tax will help them fund a new film school of grads with diverse backgrounds, but what about the thousands of diverse Canadians who lose out?
Does the Liberal government really believe an Indian Bollywood streaming service is going to stay in the Canadian market if it is required to produce an unprofitable amount of programming? The grandmother who recently arrived on a family reunification visa had sure better hope so. She might be in luck, due to the millions of Canadians who watch those films, but what about new Canadians from different countries? Will every foreign-language streaming service in every country be required to produce Canadian content?
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View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
Lib. (MB)
View Kevin Lamoureux Profile
2020-12-11 10:44 [p.3327]
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Madam Speaker, Bill C-210, or Bill C-10 is a good piece of legislation to amend the Broadcasting Act. We need to recognize that things have changed since many of the shows the member referenced were filmed. When we factor in the Internet and the importance of ensuring there is Canadian content, the member needs a better realization of how important it is for the Government of Canada to recognize that Canadian content matters to Canadians. The government has a role, and Bill C-10 would ensure there is an ongoing role.
I wonder if the member could be a little more transparent in what she believes. Does she believe that the CRTC and the Government of Canada have any role in ensuring Canadian content?
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View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
2020-12-11 10:45 [p.3327]
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Madam Speaker, my colleague does not realize we are discussing Bill C-10, not Bill C-210, and does not seem to understand either that it is a bit like apples and oranges. The government can pass a law renaming oranges as online apples, but it will not cause oranges to grow in Canada. It is not just the diversity of languages, but the diversity of genres. There are streaming services for anime, horror, documentaries and classic movies. It is going to be quite a challenge for a classic movie service to produce new Canadian content.
The Liberals might be hoping these protectionist barriers will allow Canadian-owned streaming services to start up. They think these Canadian companies will be able to afford the rights to stream all of our foreign shows. That may be for some of the big genres, but they will never have the same catalogues of shows.
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View Andréanne Larouche Profile
BQ (QC)
View Andréanne Larouche Profile
2020-12-11 10:46 [p.3327]
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Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for his speech on this critical issue.
Bill C-10 has a direct impact on radio and community media. In my riding, there is a co-operative radio station, M105. News stories broadcast during the pandemic showed just how hard this station had to work to survive, but they also proved that this model can work with the help of the government. When I met with representatives from the radio station, however, they talked about how the government invested more in social media than in community media. I would like to hear my colleague's comments on that.
Again in my riding, a journalist from La Voix de l'Est wrote an extraordinary book entitled Extinction de voix: plaidoyer pour la sauvegarde de l'information régionale, which does a great job of explaining the importance of maintaining local news coverage. It helps to preserve our democracy and ensure the survival of local businesses. I would like to hear what my colleague has to say about that as it relates to Bill C-10.
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View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
2020-12-11 10:47 [p.3327]
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Madam Speaker, that was the rationale behind the taxpayer-funded CBC, but CBC pulled out of all the local communities and is now broadcasting out of Toronto. Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke lost its only local broadcaster, which then went to Ottawa and became part of another conglomerate. This is a way to get local news. Many Facebook groups and start-ups produce the local news that people are interested in hearing. This broadcast act would do nothing to help local content.
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View Heather McPherson Profile
NDP (AB)
View Heather McPherson Profile
2020-12-11 10:48 [p.3327]
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Madam Speaker, my colleague spoke about the CBC and the fact that the CBC is no longer in local communities.
I wonder if the member would be supportive of contributing more funding to the CBC and doing more to protect our cherished public broadcaster so that it does not have to minimize its participation in our local communities, but also does not have to resort to tandem broadcasting on our public platforms.
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View Cheryl Gallant Profile
CPC (ON)
View Cheryl Gallant Profile
2020-12-11 10:49 [p.3327]
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Madam Speaker, what I would really like to see is perhaps a CBC station back at the empty radio station that we have right now.
Insofar as wanting to fund CBC more, it is already rebroadcasting CNN and not doing anything with the money it has right now. It is just copying news from the States. We might as well be watching those other stations. CBC is not putting any original content on.
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View Todd Doherty Profile
CPC (BC)
View Todd Doherty Profile
2020-12-11 10:49 [p.3327]
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Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise and speak to Bill C-10, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts. Bill C-10 comes out of the Yale report that was filed in February of 2020. There were 97 recommendations in it, which deal with communications in Canada, social media, copyright, taxation, web giants and advertising fees to ensure the sustainability of traditional media. However, Bill C-10 is limited to one portion of that, which is the Broadcasting Act.
We have all sat through this debate and we have talked about it time and again. The last time the Broadcasting Act was amended was 28 years ago. In 28 years, a lot of things have changed. I probably had hair way back then, believe it or not. I was not a grandfather yet, but I was a father.
The Internet was just coming through and I can still remember the sound of the dial-up at that time. Did I get through? No, I am still waiting, and uploading took some time. Amazon was not available. Netflix was not available. We could not dial our phones to call for Popeyes chicken, as my office did just the other day to surprise us. There are a lot of things that have changed.
As Conservatives, we believe this act should be changed and amended to bring us into the modern age. Sadly, what we have seen is that there are a lot of flaws in this piece of legislation. It does not go far enough. Just as we have seen time and time again, we are getting the “just trust us” line. They are saying we will get the amendments through and work together.
I mentioned some of the online companies, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Google. There is nothing to force companies like Facebook and Google to pay their fair share. The bill does not address royalty sharing by these companies for content delivered via their digital platform.
Our colleague from the Bloc mentioned local content. I live in a rural area, and I remember we could turn on CBC Radio and there would be messages from one community to the next about road closures and to families about somebody being sick. Giving a heads-up is what local content is for when one lives in a rural area. That is what our national broadcaster served us in those days.
I remember fondly locally produced movies and television shows, such as The Beachcombers and The Littlest Hobo. Does anybody remember The Littlest Hobo? We are getting away from our roots, and we all believe and know there should be more Canadian content. Bill C-10 just scratches the surface as to what we should be looking at more.
The minister will no doubt argue it is difficult to amend legislation quickly, which I will agree is a tough job to do. As legislators, as the 338 members of this House, we are sent here to do a job. We are sent here to be the voices of those who do not have a voice. We are sent here to ask hard questions of the government, and we are sent here to work collaboratively with the government on issues that matter most to Canadians.
Over the last while in working on the mental health file as the special adviser on mental health and wellness to our official opposition leader, I have been looking at the CRTC closely for the last little while. One of the things Bill C-10 does in this latest iteration is that it would give the CRTC a lot of powers.
I bring members back to 2006. In 2006, the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention went to the CRTC and asked for changes to the Telecommunications Act to allow Canada to have a three-digit suicide prevention hotline. I ask members to imagine all the lives we could have saved in the last 14 years. When minutes count, help should be only a simple three-digit number away.
Suicide is a non-partisan issue for me. I have spoken to it in this House a number of times, whether it is related to mental health, mental illness or mental injury. I believe that as parliamentarians, we can do more. We can leave a legacy of action. Legislatures and Parliaments from across the world are filled with shelves of books and studies that just collect dust.
I remember prior to coming to the House in 2015, my predecessor, the former MP for Cariboo—Prince George Dick Harris, told me that we never know how long we are going to be in this role, so we should make it count and leave a legacy of action. I hope people see that that is what we do every time we are here, and every time we speak. We speak with sincerity, and we speak with the passion of those who do not have a voice. We bring their voices to this House.
Now, more than ever, the mental health of Canadians is being tested. Throughout this pandemic, we have seen higher rates of anxiety, depression, domestic violence, substance abuse and alcohol abuse. We are seeing higher rates of suicide and suicidal ideation.
The suicide crisis within our first nations communities is getting close to epidemic levels. I remember my very first emergency debate in this House. It was on the Attawapiskat first nation suicide epidemic. There was a member across the way who said he had been in this House for about 10 years, and sadly, the very first emergency debate that he participated in was on the suicide epidemic in our first nations. His comment was that not much had changed in the 10 years that he had been in the House.
I believe we can leave a legacy of action. I do not believe in doing things in half measures. Bill C-10 is a half measure. The Conservatives believe that there are things we should look at and changes that need to be in place. Ten Canadians will die by suicide today alone. That number is rising. We know the statistics are likely higher. When there is an emergency, dialing 911 is instinctual. We know that. When someone is in need of help, in times of a crisis, they do not want to dial a number and be put on hold, or get a recording.
The same could be said for someone who may not want to end their lives. They may be seeking help. When they are ready to seek help, they should be able to access it immediately. Let us clear up the confusion and give Canadians a simple, easy-to-remember, three-digit number to turn to. That is real, concrete action that will save Canadian lives. Help should only be three digits away.
Now, getting back to Bill C-10, if the CRTC had said yes to the original request to have a three-digit suicide prevention hotline back in 2006, we would have been miles ahead of the United States, our counterparts. They have managed, in the crazy partisan way they have down in the U.S. with their politics, to come to an agreement in a bipartisan way to secure and launch a national suicide prevention hotline, a 988 suicide prevention hotline. However, as I stand here today, 14 years after the very first time it was presented to the CRTC in 2006, the U.S. is ahead of us. I think we can do better.
One of the issues that we have in terms in Bill C-10 is that it does nothing to get social media sites, such as Facebook and Google, to pay their fair share. There is nothing to address the issue of royalties, sharing to media content and sharing digital media. It does nothing to actually provide guidelines to how we are going to increase our French content.
It just skims the surface. As I said before, in 2015 I came here not to do things in half measures, but to do things in full measures. I also believe that we should continue to examine this bill. I hope the minister will accept the various amendments that will be brought forward by all opposition parties. Let us bring 988 to Canada, and let us do better with Bill C-10.
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View Carol Hughes Profile
NDP (ON)
View Carol Hughes Profile
2020-12-11 10:59 [p.3329]
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The hon. member will have five minutes for questions and comments after question period when we resume this debate.
It is now time for statements by members. The hon. member for Mississauga—Lakeshore.
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View Sven Spengemann Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Sven Spengemann Profile
2020-12-11 11:00 [p.3329]
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Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the many individuals in Mississauga—Lakeshore who have demonstrated so much generosity during these difficult times.
My heartfelt thanks go to our local health care professionals at Trillium Health Partners and all other health care and front-line workers in the fight against COVID-19 for their service and courage; Armagh House; Interim Place; The Compass food bank and our faith-based groups and community organizations for their work to protect the most vulnerable; local businesses, restaurants and initiatives like Feed Mississauga for preparing thousands of meals for those in need; Mississauga–Lakeshore Constituency Youth Council for its leadership; and the Mississauga Seniors' Council for its tireless advocacy for the rights and needs of seniors.
Let us draw comfort and strength from all the amazing ways in which our community has come together in the face of this pandemic.
Merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah and happy Kwanzaa, and my very best wishes to everyone for the holiday season and the new year.
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View Brad Redekopp Profile
CPC (SK)
View Brad Redekopp Profile
2020-12-11 11:00 [p.3329]
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Madam Speaker, in Saskatoon, the University of Saskatchewan is home to VIDO-InterVac, Canada’s very own solution for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Last January, VIDO-InterVac researchers were among the first in the world to isolate the COVID-19 virus and were testing a prototype vaccine in animals by March. VIDO asked the federal government for funding to speed up its development timeline, but its request has not been approved.
Why have we not heard any more about this made-in-Canada vaccine, while massive multinational companies are getting theirs approved? The simple answer is this. The Prime Minister has decided not to support made-in-Canada vaccines and has instead signed billion dollar contracts with foreign multinational corporations.
The Liberals are putting the financial gain of the pharmaceutical industry first, at the expense of Canadians, Saskatoon and VIDO-InterVac. The result is that the United Kingdom and the U.S. are producing their own vaccines. In Canada, the Prime Minister has put us at the mercy of other countries. Shame on him.
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View Steven MacKinnon Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Steven MacKinnon Profile
2020-12-11 11:01 [p.3329]
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Madam Speaker, 2020 was not the year we were expecting.
In response to the pandemic, our government took exceptional measures to provide assistance. In Gatineau, that represents $6.8 million for seniors, a more generous Canada child benefit for nearly 20,000 children, emergency assistance of more than $1 million for food banks and community organizations, 211 summer jobs for young people and invaluable help, such as the CERB and the wage subsidy, for businesses and workers.
These measures would never have been possible without the extraordinary work of our federal public servants. Gatineau has also made significant progress on a number of projects, including the Gatineau 2 Project preservation centre, the Rapibus Lorrain station, the redevelopment of a Service Canada centre and the confirmation of the need for a sixth crossing through an NCC study.
Once again the people of Gatineau have shown great resilience in 2020 and thanks to everyone's efforts, better days are ahead.
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View Alistair MacGregor Profile
NDP (BC)
View Alistair MacGregor Profile
2020-12-11 11:04 [p.3329]
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Madam Speaker, V2V Black Hops Brewery is an amazing social enterprise in my riding that raises funds to help with military and first responders PTSD programs. However, because it is a relatively new business, it has not qualified for the wage subsidy and was prevented from accessing the commercial rental assistance program. It is also unable to qualify for the new rental subsidy.
In July, I raised this issue with the Minister of National Revenue. I gave a copy of that letter to her parliamentary secretary in September. I followed up with both of them with an email in October. I also notified the minister of small business of this issue in November. Here we are in December and I have still yet to receive any reply, let alone an acknowledgement.
The Liberals quickly provided billions of dollars for large corporations, but have not budged when asked to improve the programs for new small businesses. This is an unacceptable lump of coal for this Christmas and I again urge the government to step up and fix these programs.
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View Ruby Sahota Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ruby Sahota Profile
2020-12-11 11:05 [p.3330]
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Madam Speaker, this holiday season has been unlike any other and has brought unique challenges while exacerbating older ones.
Food insecurity in Brampton and all across Canada has only increased due to the pandemic. While our government has invested another $100 million to support food banks and food security groups, I am grateful to all our local organizations working hard to provide the essentials that families need to get by.
In my riding of Brampton North, the Heart Lake Baptist Church food pantry has done amazing work, providing fresh, healthy foods, handmade scarves and hats, and baby supplies to those who need it most.
The Heart Lake Baptist Church is a prime example of how important faith-based organizations are in helping us get through this pandemic. The Heart Lake Baptist Church truly embodies the Christian principles of generosity of spirit and of helping thy neighbour. I thank all of them for their hard work. I wish them all a very merry Christmas.
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