Thank you, Mr. Chair.
There are a few points about which I'd like to comment or give my perspective.
Ever since the Friday on which the committee voted in favour of removing proposed section 4.1, we've been able to see the turmoil that resulted. Ever since, I've believe that proposed section 4.1 ought to be reinstated in the bill and amended in a manner that would exclude the regulation of social media users, but not the social media themselves with respect to their commercial broadcasting purposes. For the sake of the cultural industry, the cultural community, and artists, social media must be subject to regulation with respect to their commercial broadcasting activities.
Nevertheless, we afterwards succeeded in putting forward a number of amendments. Even though there were not that many, they got things back on track.
From the very outset, people from the cultural industry and the cultural community, with whom I have frequently held discussions, have been convinced that reintroducing proposed section 4.1 into the bill would be a mistake. They feel that as things stand now, user freedom of expression is in no danger at all.
We heard expert opinions from both sides. As my colleague Mr. Rayes was saying earlier, legal and other experts have given us diverging opinions. In fact, the problem I see with respect to this committee's work is that there are many lawyers and other experts defending a point of view, but we've not heard from the judges. If a judge were to rule on our current debates, it might be easier to find a way of settling our disputes.
In view of the comments made by these experts, I still believe that in the current circumstances, and with the amendments that have been adopted, there is no attack on user freedom of expression. I think it's a mistake to believe that there is and to try to convince people of it.
I'd like to take a few seconds to speak about net neutrality, a subject that's been on the agenda quite often of late.
Here again, on behalf of those listening to us or perhaps watching us online, I want to say that net neutrality has nothing to do with Internet content. Net neutrality is a principle that guarantees that the speed at which my aunt Gertrude's video chats are transmitted is no slower than the speed at which online content from a broadcaster is transmitted.
This principle therefore applies to telecommunications. It applies to service providers who send data through Internet "pipes". Because of this principle, Mr. Champoux's aunt Gertrude's video chats are not transmitted any more slowly than a Netflix program to the same destination.
It has nothing to do with content or with the fact that some people might be discriminated against because of their opinions. It's important to clarify this point.
Mr. Rayes Spoke earlier about artists who earn their living through online media. More and more people are doing just that. Online media give us access to terrific content. People are creative, and that's all to the good. However, based on the standpoint from which I look at the situation, my conclusion is that these artists will be able to continue to create and disseminate their creative work through their platforms. Nothing we are doing now will prevent this or control it. On the contrary, we might even be helping them, if they want it, to acquire more visibility.
The broadcasting act is designed to apply to broadcasting undertakings that have an impact on the Canadian broadcasting system and on the cultural industry. YouTubers or artists who use their own platforms to disseminate content are not affected here.
I believe that these ongoing fears about freedom of expression survive simply because people are being told that it could be attacked. If instead they were told to take the trouble to read what is written in or proposed in this bill, I think many of them would be reassured. At least that's my impression.
The arts and culture in Quebec and Canada urgently need us to continue to study the proposed clauses and amendments of the bill we are studying. We need to do as much as we can in the time remaining.
That's all I wanted to say about this amendment. I too will now give the floor to others.