Interventions in the House of Commons
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View Serge Cardin Profile
View Serge Cardin Profile
2011-03-24 14:08 [p.9199]
Mr. Speaker, a group of students at the University of Sherbrooke recently took part in “Five Days for the Homeless”. They collected thousands of dollars to support services for homeless persons.
For five days, nine students slept outside and relied solely on the generosity of the public to meet their needs. Through this initiative, these young people were able to raise awareness of homeless and poverty among people in their community
People who work with the homeless took this opportunity to remind me of their fears for the future of the HPS program. Unfortunately, their fears were confirmed by the 2011 budget, with the Conservatives still refusing to index and improve programs to combat homelessness as well as social housing programs.
The Conservatives should spend a few days sleeping in the open air, and then they would realize, given the miracles that the workers achieve with these funds, that the minimum we owe them is indexing and a funding increase.
View Serge Cardin Profile
View Serge Cardin Profile
2011-03-21 13:35 [p.9003]
Mr. Speaker, I am obviously pleased to be speaking today. This may be the last time we see each other before the upcoming election.
Bill C-60, as it is called by the government, has to do with self-defence and citizen's arrest. These are fundamental aspects of our everyday lives, but they can also involve diverse and extreme situations. How do we interpret legislation like this? How do we determine how far people can go in defending themselves and making arrests?
To give you a little background, the legislative summary of Bill C-60 states the following:
This enactment amends the Criminal Code to enable a person who owns or has lawful possession of property, or persons authorized by them, to arrest within a reasonable time a person whom they find committing a criminal offence on or in relation to that property. It also amends the Criminal Code to simplify the provisions relating to the defences of property and persons.
The bill significantly broadens the notion of self-defence and slightly broadens that of citizen's arrest. As I said earlier, the question revolves around the scope of these two notions, how this can be interpreted or how far people can go. Should we be setting the stage for abuse that is not prescribed and certainly not desired: abuse of the ability to defend oneself or abuse of the ability to make a citizen's arrest? Regardless, every person in our society should expect to have the full use of their property without having someone try to steal from them. That is obvious. Every person in our society should also expect to be able to move freely without worrying about being attacked and put in danger.
If someone tries to rob you, that is one thing. If someone tries to physically attack you, that is another thing. In these two cases, there are also elements that dictate how far we can go. That is why the Bloc would like to examine Bill C-60 in committee. It has to do with self-defence, which is a very sensitive and important subject.
For the Bloc Québécois, people have a basic right to defend themselves and their property within reasonable limits. This is already the case under the current legislation, but it is too restrictive. We are therefore in favour of a statutory amendment to allow honest citizens to defend themselves and their property or defend other people. However, we do not want to see an increase in the amount of violence in our societies. Quebec must not become the far west of old. Everybody would lose.
Some provisions are disturbing and could result sooner or later in situations that no one wants to see. We are therefore eager to study this bill in committee.
I am not a lawyer. I am not an expert in crime and certainly not a criminologist, but when this bill refers to defence of property or self-defence, certain things come to mind. For example, it was said that people could not use excessive force, or more force than necessary, to defend themselves or their property.
I have also heard it said that people could be prosecuted and sentenced for failing to assist someone in danger. When we speak about defending others, the following questions arise. What is excessive force when I am protecting my property? What is the extent of my responsibility to assist others in danger? There is my responsibility, but there is also my ability to do something. The context is important and must be specified, if we want to avoid excesses in either direction.
On February 17, the government introduced a bill broadening the concepts of self-defence and citizen’s arrest, especially to protect one’s property. This bill was in reaction to an incident that occurred in Toronto, where a shopkeeper was arrested and charged for having captured and detained a man who had stolen from him. The public was outraged by this arrest of an honest citizen, who had requested police help several times without always receiving it. In Toronto, and in Quebec as well, many people have the feeling—it is just a feeling, but it is an important factor nonetheless—that criminals are mollycoddled and the law does more to protect them than to protect honest citizens.
It is not surprising that the hon. members for Trinity—Spadina and Eglinton—Lawrence introduced bills to broaden the concept of citizen's arrest. However, these two bills only slightly broadened the notion of citizen's arrest whereas Bill C-60 substantially broadens the notion of self-defence.
As for citizen's arrest, Bill C-60 would amend the law to allow a property owner to make an arrest. Basically, a property owner would be given the right to arrest, within a reasonable time, a criminal who committed an offence, if the property owner has reasonable grounds to believe that it would not be possible for a peace officer to make an arrest under the circumstances.
Bill C-60 does not make many changes with regard to citizen's arrest, even though that is the pretext for the bill, but it makes sweeping changes with regard to self-defence. It takes away the requirement of necessity—the requirement of not killing an attacker unless absolutely necessary—and adds the possibility to defend oneself in reaction to a threat without defining what type of threat is likely to lead to legal violence. That is why I referred to determining the amount of force that can be used for self-defence and to the ability to defend oneself. Either way, we need to evaluate the ability to defend oneself as well as the force that can be used in these kinds of circumstances.
One potential concern about citizen's arrests is that the amendment could be misunderstood and things could get out of hand. In fact, Halifax's deputy chief of police has suggested that the federal government urge caution in the use of citizen's arrest. This is not only to ensure that a well-intentioned person does not commit a crime, but also to remind people that an arrest involves risks and that an ordinary person is not as likely as a police officer to be able to get control of someone who has committed a crime.
I would like to use the minute I have left to repeat what I said earlier, which is that everyone has the right to possess property without the fear of having it stolen from them by other people, and everyone should be able to live freely and without fear in our society. For this to happen, we need a responsible government that can ensure prevention, information and rehabilitation. This comes by integrating people socially and economically into society.
It was surprising that people did not resort to looting in Japan, which has suffered such terrible catastrophes, although that is often what happens here in North American society.
Thus, this happens through education, prevention and rehabilitation.
View Serge Cardin Profile
View Serge Cardin Profile
2011-03-21 13:46 [p.9004]
Mr. Speaker, the very essence of my speech was clearly about our concerns regarding the fact that the use of force is open to interpretation and regarding the reasonable time. I find it hard to imagine someone who is robbed, or the victim of an attempted robbery, spending the rest of his days trying to track down and arrest the robber, and physically defending himself under all kinds of pretexts.
We must be very careful about how this bill is implemented. Above all, the public must clearly understand that these interventions have time limits, of course, but also limits in terms of the amount of force that can be used, whether during a theft or a physical assault, very simply.
The Bloc has said so again and again: we want this bill to be examined in committee to measure its impact and the potential that the public could misinterpret what it is allowed to do.
View Serge Cardin Profile
View Serge Cardin Profile
2011-03-21 13:49 [p.9005]
Mr. Speaker, obviously when a citizen is wronged and this results in significant expenses, everyone tends to think that they should receive some compensation. I would like to come back to the idea of necessary force, whether in the event of a theft or personal and physical attack.
Will we go so far as to consider someone innocent if they shoot a thief over a bag of chips? There are limits. We must create very specific limits. The use of force to protect property or to defend oneself against a physical attack remains a grey area and it must be clarified.
View Serge Cardin Profile
View Serge Cardin Profile
2011-03-02 14:05 [p.8537]
Mr. Speaker, two days before Valentine's Day, on February 12, 1906, Mr. Pronovost was born and was named Roméo. He was a horticulturalist by training and moved to the Eastern Townships in 1934, where he worked with area farmers. He was the man responsible for the apple trees in Compton and the strawberry and raspberry plants that are the pride of our region.
I was very pleased to be able to celebrate the 105th birthday of the oldest man in Sherbrooke. This political enthusiast has stories to share about the likes of premiers Alexandre Taschereau, Maurice Duplessis and René Lévesque.
The wisdom of this venerable Sherbrooke resident is matched only by his great clarity and unfailing political judgment. Thus, it is no surprise that he is the oldest member of the Bloc Québécois. Although he never knows whether he will make it until his next birthday, he did not hesitate to renew his membership card for three years.
Mr. Pronovost, on behalf of all of our colleagues, we wish you all the best on your 105th birthday.
View Serge Cardin Profile
View Serge Cardin Profile
2011-02-16 14:40 [p.8229]
Mr. Speaker, on December 10, 2009, the Minister of Industry instructed the CRTC to determine “whether the impact of these wholesale requirements unduly impairs the ability of incumbent telephone companies to offer new converged services”.
How can the minister explain his flip-flop on usage-based billing when barely a year ago he was asking the CRTC to better protect the interests of Bell and Rogers, at consumers' expense?
View Serge Cardin Profile
View Serge Cardin Profile
2011-02-16 14:42 [p.8230]
Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives' stubbornness on the Globalive issue is disconcerting. Even though the Telecommunications Act, the CRTC and the Federal Court contradict the Conservative government, it is launching an appeal. The Conservatives must stop wasting public money and admit that Globalive is a corporation controlled by foreign interests.
When will the Conservatives comply with the Telecommunications Act rather than selling our airwaves to foreign corporations?
View Serge Cardin Profile
View Serge Cardin Profile
2011-02-02 14:58 [p.7588]
Mr. Speaker, the CRTC's recent decision to implement usage-based billing will have a devastating effect on Internet services for people and small businesses. The end of unlimited Internet packages will have a significant impact on access to new technology and on the competitiveness of businesses, especially those outside large centres.
Will the Minister of Industry demand that the CRTC reverse this decision and take consumers and the regions into account?
View Serge Cardin Profile
View Serge Cardin Profile
2010-12-09 18:31 [p.7058]
Mr. Speaker, in Canada and Quebec we have the Library Books Service. What, exactly, is that? It is a program that allows all libraries to send library books through the mail to other libraries in Canada, at rates that are lower than regular parcel rates. This is available to recognized public libraries, university libraries and other libraries that are maintained by non-profit organizations or associations and are for public use in Canada.
The primary purpose of the Library Books Service is to enable libraries to exchange books. Over 2,000 libraries—90% of public libraries and over 60% of university libraries—have access to this service, which can benefit a million Quebeckers and Canadians per year. This represents over 3 million packages every year. This is a vital service for all libraries, especially those in remote regions. Small non-profit or academic libraries can easily access all of the books available in Canada.
To ship books at the library book rate, a library must complete the application form found on the website of the Canadian Library Association. Delivery rates are available only through a special electronic shipping system.
Videocassettes, CD-ROMs and DVDs cannot currently be sent through the library books service, and the bill would include these materials in this service.
Also known as the library book rate, or LBR, this service was established in 1939 and originally was directly funded by the Government of Canada. Canada Post gave preferential postal rates for certain types of periodicals under the publications assistance program, PAP, which was created and subsidized by Canadian Heritage.
Because of a 1997 World Trade Organization decision that preferential postal rates given to Canadian publications had to be paid directly to publishers and not via Canada Post, the cost of this rate then had to be absorbed by the crown corporation.
For the good of the public, Canada Post provides funding for the PAP within the framework of a government guideline. While Canada Post provides postal services to all Canadians, it does not have the mandate to promote Canadian culture by subsidizing postal rates for Canadian publications. This is the responsibility of the Department of Canadian Heritage. It should be said that postal subsidies from the PAP will end on March 31, 2010.
Since the library book rate is not considered part of the PAP, this program does not currently fall under the political authority of any federal department. Bill C-509 amends the legislation so that the crown corporation can reach an agreement with Canadian Heritage in order to maintain the library book rate and ensure the continuity of the service.
Consistent with Canada Post's obligation to ensure universal service, the service charter for Canada Post introduced in the fall of 2009 states:
As required by the Canada Post Corporation Act, Canada Post will charge postage rates that are fair and reasonable and, together with other revenues, are sufficient to cover the costs incurred in its operations.
The delivery rate offered in the context of the library book service is not funded by the federal government and Canada Post must therefore absorb the cost. Being a crown corporation that must support itself financially, the reduced rate can always be called into question and there is no regulation or legislation at this time to ensure that the reduced postage rate can be maintained in the long term.
It should be noted that in the past 30 years, the Canada Post Corporation has undertaken a major restructuring of its services in order to boost profits, even if that means going against the principle of universal postal service accessible to all and making continued attacks against the public postal service.
Although it says it continues to make a profit, CPC continues to engage in major restructuring that is having a direct impact on sectors it considers less profitable and public postal service. The library book rate is in itself a heavy burden for a company, and getting rid of the reduced rate might be a natural step for a company that is streamlining.
If the preferential rates given to libraries were eliminated or significantly increased, libraries could no longer continue to offer those services. In that case, postage could increase from $1 to over $14 a kilogram, and public libraries would have to absorb that increase, reduce services or have library patrons pay for postage.
A number of concerns have been raised with regard to maintaining the reduced library book rate. In 2005, Canada Post confirmed the possibility of putting an end to the inter-library loan program, a service that has been renewed year after year.
A brief published as part of the strategic review of Canada Post indicated that there was no official requirement for Canada Post to provide the library book rate, but that public pressure to do so has always been strong. In 2007, the crown corporation estimated that it had lost $6 million in revenue by maintaining this program.
Thanks to pressure from libraries and organizations in the library sector throughout the country, Canada Post agreed to renew the rate on an annual basis. The latest renewal will expire on December 31, 2010. After that, the future of the library book rate is uncertain, which is why Bill C-509 is so important.
Bill C-509, An Act to amend the Canada Post Corporation Act (library materials), sponsored by the Conservative member for Brandon—Souris, in Manitoba, was introduced twice as Bill C-458 in 2007 and another time as Bill C-322 in 2009. It would reduce the rate of postage for library materials under the library books service.
First, the bill broadens the definition of “library materials” to make audiovisual materials, such as videocassettes, CD-ROMs and DVDs, eligible for Canada Post's library book rate, which currently applies only to books.
The second clause amends subsection 19(1) to enable the corporation to “[provide] for a reduced rate of postage for library materials” by order of the Governor in Council.
Currently, the CPC can make regulations:
(g) providing for the transmission by post, free of postage, of
(i) letters, books, tapes, records and other similar material for the use of the blind, and
(ii) mailable matter relating solely to the business of the Corporation and addressed to or sent by a person engaged in that business;
Lastly, the bill adds subsection 21(1), which enables the crown corporation to maintain the library book rate otherwise than by regulation by agreement with the Minister of Canadian Heritage regardless of regulations made under subsection 19(1) quoted above.
The Bloc Québécois supports the principle underlying Bill C-509.
The Bloc Québécois believes that access to knowledge and information is a pillar of society and the knowledge economy. That is why all Quebeckers and Canadians, whether they live in rural or urban communities, must have free and easy access to a broad selection of books.
The Bloc Québécois also believes that providing a reduced postage rate is part of Canada Post's obligation to ensure universal, accessible service.
This service has proven very useful.
Audiovisual material is becoming more and more important nowadays, and the Bloc Québécois believes that there is good reason to include it in the definition of “library materials” so that these items can also be eligible for a reduced rate.
Therefore, the Bloc Québécois supports Bill C-509 in principle.
View Serge Cardin Profile
View Serge Cardin Profile
2010-11-30 14:14 [p.6629]
Mr. Speaker, approximately 100 artists from Quebec are on the Hill today to tell the Conservatives that they do not want Bill C-32 as it is presently constituted. If significant amendments are not made to it, Bill C-32 will serve only to impoverish our artists while making big businesses richer.
When 400 industries, 38 multinational companies, 300 board of trade associations and 150 chief executives are all supporting the minister and applauding Bill C-32 as it now stands, it is because they stand to benefit greatly from the bill at the expense of our artists. Close to $75 million in royalties and copyright will no longer be paid to artists and artisans if Bill C-32 is passed.
These members of Quebec's creative community are here to remind the Conservatives that the fruit of their labour is not free and that the government should not abandon our artists and our culture, since our culture is the self-expression of our people and of the Quebec nation.
View Serge Cardin Profile
View Serge Cardin Profile
2010-11-26 11:37 [p.6508]
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Industry is preparing to open wireless spectrum auctions to foreign carriers. The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology examined this issue last spring and arrived at the conclusion that foreign ownership of telecommunications companies would not increase competition and would only jeopardize Quebec and Canadian content broadcasting.
Will the minister realize that authorizing foreign takeovers of telecommunications companies will open the doors to mergers and acquisitions in this sector and will not increase competition?
View Serge Cardin Profile
View Serge Cardin Profile
2010-11-26 11:38 [p.6509]
Mr. Speaker, workers in the telecommunications sector are very worried about this government's stubborn resolve to relax restrictions on foreign ownership in the telecommunications industry.
When will this government admit that increasing foreign ownership of Quebec and Canadian broadcasters will mean fewer jobs and less protection for our culture?
View Serge Cardin Profile
View Serge Cardin Profile
2010-11-23 11:31 [p.6286]
Madam Speaker, I rise here today to speak to Bill C-28, once known as the Fighting Wireless and Internet Spam Act.
I would like to begin by saying that the Bloc Québécois is in favour of the principle of Bill C-28, which was previously known as Bill C-27, but which died on the order paper at prorogation. A number of minor changes have been made, but the overall text, its objectives and key elements remain the same.
New legislation that specifically targets unsolicited commercial electronic messages has been needed and requested by society as a whole for some time now. Governments, Internet service providers, network operators and consumers are all affected by the problem of spam. Preserving the efficiency of legitimate electronic commerce is a vital and pressing issue. Not only are commercial emails sent with the prior and ongoing consent of the recipient important to electronic commerce, but they are also essential to the development of the online economy.
The Bloc Québécois is pleased to see that Bill C-28 takes into account most of the recommendations in the final report of the task force on spam. On the other hand, we are upset that the legislative process has taken four long years. Computer technology is evolving at astonishing speeds, and spammers keep finding new ways to achieve their goals. Accordingly, consideration of the bill in committee should give many industry stakeholders and consumer protection groups an opportunity to express their views on the proposed Electronic Commerce Protection Act. A number of other points also need to be examined in committee and I will come back to those points later on in my speech.
The task force on spam was struck in 2004 to look into this problem, which is constantly evolving, and to find ways of dealing with it. The task force heard from Internet service providers, electronic marketing experts and government and consumer representatives.
In all, more than 60 stakeholders took part in the discussions, providing input on issues such as legislation and law enforcement, international co-operation, and public education and awareness. In addition to launching an Internet-based consumer awareness campaign entitled “Stop Spam Here” to inform users of steps they can take to limit and control the volume of spam they receive, the task force on spam presented its final report to the Minister of Industry on May 17, 2005.
Entitled “Stopping Spam: Creating a Stronger, Safer Internet”, this report calls for new, targeted legislation and more rigorous enforcement to strengthen the legal and regulatory weapons that Canada could use in the global battle against spam.
The report also supports the creation of a focal point within government for coordinating the actions taken to address the spam issue and other related problems like spyware.
Among the report's key recommendations are more vigorous legislation and enforcement and legislation to prohibit spam and protect personal information and privacy, as well as computers, emails and networks.
The proposed legislation is designed to allow individuals and companies to sue spammers and hold any businesses whose products and services are promoted using these means partially responsible for spamming activity.
In addition, new and existing resources of the organizations responsible for the administration and enforcement of anti-spam laws should be strengthened.
The task force recommended creating a centre to coordinate the government's anti-spam initiatives. This focal point would coordinate policy and education campaigns and support law enforcement efforts. It would also receive complaints and compile statistics on spam.
To curb the volume of spam reaching users, the task force developed a series of industry best practices for Internet service providers, network operators and email marketers. Examples include allowing ISPs and other network operators to block email file attachments known to carry viruses and to stop emails with deceptive subject lines.
As well, email marketers would be required to obtain informed consent from recipients to receive emails, provide an opting-out mechanism for further emails and create a complaints system. The report recommends that these groups voluntarily adopt, regularly review and enhance the best practices.
To help change people's online behaviour, the task force created an online public education campaign called “Stop Spam Here”. Launched in 2004, the website offers consumers, volunteer organizations and businesses practical tips for protecting their personal information, computers and email addresses. The task force recommended that all partners continue to enhance the site's content.
Since most of the spam reaching Canadians comes from outside the country, international measures to stem spam are vital. Therefore, the task force proposed that the government continue its efforts to harmonize anti-spam policies and to improve cooperation among all countries to enforce anti-spam laws.
Four years later, on April 24, 2009, the Government of Canada finally introduced new legislation to protect electronic commerce, namely, Bill C-27. Inspired primarily by the final report of the task force on spam, Bill C-27 established a framework to protect electronic commerce. To achieve that, the bill would enact the new Electronic Commerce Protection Act, or ECPA. Basically, this act would set limits on the sending of spam.
Spam can be defined as any electronic commercial message sent without the express consent of the recipient. It can be any electronic commercial message, any text, audio, voice or visual message sent by any means of telecommunication, whether by email, cellular phone text messaging or instant messaging. Considering the content of the message, it would be reasonable to conclude its purpose is to encourage participation in a commercial activity, including an electronic message that offers to purchase, sell, barter or lease a product, goods, a service, land or an interest or right in land, or a business, investment or gaming opportunity.
Note that the following types of commercial messages, which appear in clause 7, are not considered to be spam: messages sent by an individual to another individual with whom they have a personal or family relationship; messages sent to a person who is engaged in a commercial activity and consists solely of an inquiry or application related to that activity; messages that are, in whole or in part, an interactive two-way voice communication between individuals; messages sent by means of a facsimile to a telephone account; messages that are a voice recording sent to a telephone account; a message that is of a class, or is sent in circumstances, specified in the regulations.
This means that, under this legislation, sending spam to an electronic address—email, instant messenger, telephone or any other similar account—would be prohibited. The only circumstances under which it would be allowed is when the person to whom the message is sent has consented to receiving it, whether the consent is express or implied
In addition to being in a form that conforms to the prescribed requirements, the message will have to make it possible to identify and contact the sender. Lastly, the message must include an unsubscribe mechanism, with an email address or hyperlink, so that the recipient can indicate that he or she does not want to receive any further commercial electronic messages from the sender.
The bill would also prohibit altering the transmission data in an electronic message so that it is delivered to destinations other than that specified by the initial sender. In addition, the bill would prohibit installing a computer program on another person's computer and sending an electronic message from that computer without the owner's consent.
There are provisions for administrative recourse. Anyone who contravenes, even indirectly, any of these provisions would be liable to an administrative monetary penalty, or AMP, if the computer used is located in Canada. The maximum AMP is up to $1 million for individuals and up to $10 million in all other cases. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the CRTC, will be responsible for investigating complaints and, when necessary, imposing the penalties. Furthermore, the CRTC will have the authority to apply for an injunction if it finds that a person is about to or is likely to carry out a violation.
In order to carry out these inquiries, the CRTC would have interesting powers. It could require a person to preserve transmission data, produce a copy of a document that is in their possession or prepare a document based on data, information or documents that are in their possession. It could even conduct a site visit in order to gather such information or, if necessary, to establish whether there was a violation under clauses 6 to 9. Note that it will have to get a warrant from a justice of the peace prior to entering premises.
An individual who refuses or fails to comply with a demand under clauses 15, 17 or 19 will be guilty of an offence and subject to a fine of up to $10,000 for a first offence and up to $25,000 for repeat offences. Businesses will be subject to a fine of up to $100,000 for a first offence and $250,000 for repeat offences.
There are also private remedies. Bill C-28 provides for the creation of a private right of action, modelled on U.S. legislation, that would enable businesses and individuals to initiate civil proceedings against any person who contravenes clauses 6 to 9 of the new act.
If the court believes that a person has contravened any of these provisions, it may order that person to pay an amount corresponding to either the loss or damage suffered or the expenses incurred. If the applicant is unable to establish these amounts, the court may order the applicant to be paid a maximum amount of $200 for each contravention, up to a maximum of $1 million.
Bill C-28 also proposes an extension of the co-operation and information exchange powers for anything that has to do with the Competition Act, the Telecommunications Act or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
For example, any organization to which part 1 of that act applies may on its own initiative disclose to the CRTC, the Commissioner of Competition or the Privacy Commissioner any information in its possession that it believes relates to a violation of the act. The CRTC, the Commissioner of Competition or the Privacy Commissioner must also consult with each other and may share any information necessary to carry out their activities and responsibilities in accordance with the act.
Over the years, unsolicited commercial electronic messages have turned into a major social and economic problem that undermines the business and personal productivity of Quebeckers. Not only does spam impede the use of email for personal communication, but it also threatens the growth of legitimate e-commerce.
The Internet has become an essential tool for commerce and communication in general. According to the government, the online marketplace represents an important segment of the Canadian and Quebec economies. In fact, there was $62.7 billion in sales in 2007. In 2009, e-commerce reportedly surpassed $8.75 trillion. But the Internet and e-commerce are also becoming increasingly vulnerable and threatened.
Spam accounts for more than 80% of global electronic traffic, which results in considerable expenses for businesses and consumers. Spam is a real nuisance. It damages computers and networks, contributes to deceptive and fraudulent marketing scams, and invades people's privacy. On a larger scale, spam directly threatens the viability of the Internet as an efficient means of communication, undermines consumer confidence in legitimate e-businesses and hinders electronic transactions. And in the end, everyone loses.
The need for new legislation dealing with unsolicited electronic messages has been urgent for far too long. The Bloc Québécois is pleased to see that Bill C-28 covers most of the recommendations made by the task force on spam. However, we deplore the fact that the legislative process has taken four long years. Computer technology is evolving at astonishing speeds, and spammers keep finding new ways to achieve their goal. In terms of information technology, four years is an eternity.
Consideration of the bill in committee should give many industry stakeholders and consumer protection groups an opportunity to express their views on the relevance of new electronic commerce protection legislation. The committee should also study the exchange of information between the CRTC, the Commissioner of Competition and the Privacy Commissioner. And while we want these exchanges to take place in order to maximize the efficiency of the ECPA, any personal information that is shared must always remain confidential. This is even more critical because this information could be shared with foreign states. The question of vigilance in relation to protecting commercial ties between businesses and consumers will also be studied in committee. And although the ECPA's provisions on this subject may seem to be sufficient, industry evidence must be considered because this legislation cannot slow down the use of the Internet as a catalyst for and facilitator of trade.
View Serge Cardin Profile
View Serge Cardin Profile
2010-11-23 11:53 [p.6288]
Madam Speaker, we support Bill C-28 in principle, even though it contains certain elements that we must come to terms with. As I said, it has taken too long to pass this kind of legislation to protect all of our networks and individuals, while the Internet and computer industry are evolving with lightning speed.
We must always remain ahead of the game, because those who use the Internet and spam to do business and hassle people know how to move quickly. As soon as we find solutions, they find new ways around them.
We need to work together. A great deal of spam is sent to Canada and Quebec. It is therefore important to raise people's awareness about this problem.
I have to wonder if users are perhaps too tolerant. They should act quickly as soon as they receive spam that invades their computers and their lives. It should be a spontaneous reaction.
Existing legislation and international agreements do not go as far as they should, but there is always room for improvement. That is precisely what the Bloc Québécois wants to do.
View Serge Cardin Profile
View Serge Cardin Profile
2010-11-23 11:58 [p.6289]
Madam Speaker, clearly, there are provisions for fines and, the member is right, there is no indication that any jail sentences will be handed down. Clearly, we need to create legislation that includes deterrents to prevent people from committing such crimes. How can we do so at this stage, and more importantly, how do we determine the sentences that should apply? Unfortunately, I did not consider that aspect. I am open to suggestions, however, and perhaps even amendments from the member. We will be able to have a closer look at this, analyze it and perhaps even make some recommendations regarding sentences that could go along with the fines imposed.
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