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Results: 1 - 15 of 97
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2022-12-13 16:03 [p.10839]
Madam Speaker, 50 years ago there were metal boxes on city street corners where, for 25¢, one could buy a newspaper. Each box had a window showing the top half of the front page if it was a broadsheet and the whole page if it was a tabloid. If one wanted to read anything more, one had to put a quarter in the box and remove a copy of the paper. In our cities, it was common to find three or four such boxes for competing newspapers on the same corners of the downtown of any city. Those newspaper boxes are, for the most part, long gone as the nature of the news business has changed.
Home delivery, one of the mainstays of the newspaper industry, has declined drastically. These days, most people get their news online. The news industry has changed in how news is gathered and changed in how it is delivered to consumers. Gone are the days where most people subscribe to home delivery for the morning and the afternoon.
For those in the news media, the challenge has always been to provide a public service while ensuring sufficient revenue to continue their function. Canadian journalists and publishers have always risen to that challenge.
This is not the first time technology has upended the news industry. As television became popular in the 1950s, many feared the end of print publication or journalism. Newspapers survived the challenge posed by this new medium by concentrating on in-depth reporting, which television, with its constraints, could not do. Quality journalism was still possible back then.
One could say that Google and other search engines function today as the newspapers did in the 1970s. They show the headlines but not the whole story. They provide a link for people to click on. Facebook, the other online giant the Liberals seem to be most concerned about, does the same thing. Providing a link that allows people to access and use websites could be considered by some to be a public service or an aid to the news industry. If people want to read the full article, they have to follow the rules set by the news organizations that publish it.
In the early days of the Internet, many news organizations placed their material online free for anyone who wanted to read it. Most of those now allow limited access to non-subscribers. In some ways, one could argue that the news industry should be paying the tech companies for attracting readers to their articles or their content.
Facebook and Google sell advertising on their websites and have lots of advertisements. Perhaps some of that might have gone to other media in the past. Given the way the Liberals think, it is possible and only natural that the government wants to intervene in what would be a private commercial industry.
Canada's Conservatives believe that the Canadian news media should be fairly compensated for the use of its content by platforms like Google and Facebook. The issue here is how that should happen and what should be the role of government, if any, in the process.
Media companies could inform Google and Facebook that linking to their news sites is no longer allowed and that breaking that rule without permission would be a copyright violation. Media companies deserve compensation for their work, and some have negotiated agreements with the tech companies for the online use of their content, which has me wondering why government feels the need to intervene.
The government, which has in the past shown its willingness to give taxpayer dollars to the news industry, does not seem to understand the difference between public and private. One would think that a billion dollars a year to the CBC would be enough to exempt it from receiving more money under the bill, but it is not.
This is flawed legislation. It seems as if this government has taken a worthy idea, which ensures that Canada has a healthy, free and vibrant press, and brought in a bill for which the ramifications have not been considered.
Why is the CRTC being given oversight? Despite what some Liberals may think, the Internet is not broadcasting. Print media are definitely not broadcasters. Where is the logic in asking the CRTC to oversee something when it neither has the expertise or the resources to do so? Is this all about building a new bureaucracy? Indeed it is.
The online news act is supposed to protect the struggling Canadian news industry. How could anyone disagree with such a noble purpose? Would this bill solve any problems, or would it create new ones? How would fair compensation be determined? Who would be compensated under this act and who would be excluded? Why should a government agency be making such determinations?
The tech giants have widened the reach of Canada's news organizations by bringing their materials to the attention of the people who might not otherwise know of them. I am sure this increased audience has been beneficial to all sides. Mechanisms already exist through which media can be compensated by those using their materials. We have a Copyright Act. Some companies have come to an agreement with the tech giants, so why is more government needed?
There is no need for this bill, except that the Liberals love to meddle in things that do not concern them at all. What other areas does the government wish to shove itself into rather than letting companies work out their own agreements?
If these technology companies feel there is value in linking to Canadian news organizations, why can they not negotiate contracts without government interference? If Canadians are turning to these tech companies for news, then the companies need to find a way to provide content. Short of starting their own news organizations, which strikes me as an unlikely possibility, they have to turn to existing news organizations. If they find value there, they will pay for it. It is very simple.
This bill defines a news outlet as “an undertaking or any distinct part of an undertaking, such as a section of a newspaper, the primary purpose of which is to produce news content”. It is a very nice definition. Those words, however, do not reflect reality. This is a dispute about money, pure and simple.
Producing news content may be the goal of those in the newsroom, those seeking to produce quality journalism for the public good. It may even be why a given publication was first founded, but is not the reason for its existence. The reality is that news outlets, like the big tech companies, exist to make money. This bill is about who gets the biggest slice of the advertising pie, pure and simple.
If news organizations perform a service by keeping the public informed about important issues, that is, in many ways, only a by-product of the business. Those running news organizations are rarely, if ever, journalists themselves. If news organizations thought they could make as much or more money by publishing only chocolate cake recipes, they would do so. Let us not delude ourselves into thinking otherwise.
Bill C-18 is flawed and probably unnecessary legislation, which puts it in line with the rest of the current government's legislative agenda.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2022-12-13 16:15 [p.10840]
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for being such a good Edmontonian and congratulate her for coming this way.
She mentioned the change in the landscape in advertising and of newspapers. The hon. member said what I said in my speech, which is that it is about the money and how big a slice of the pie is going to be. If this is a business deal that has been done in the private sector, why should the government intervene now?
The twist toward the threat to democracy is a bit rich here. The Liberals know where the threats to democracy are, and I think they have been playing to that for the last seven years. I ask them to please spare us on that.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2022-12-13 16:17 [p.10840]
Madam Speaker, this is another twist. This world is full of competition, and big companies are there because they have all the tools needed to be a presence.
Most of us in the House and beyond use the services of Facebook, Google and others to advertise what we do and what we stand for, so I do not think there is anything in the bill to tell us where the money is going to go and whether the money is going to go to support those small local news outlets the hon. member mentioned. That is why the bill is about nothing. It is meaningless. It is about nothing, and it is unnecessary.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2022-12-13 16:18 [p.10841]
Madam Speaker, basically, this bill does nothing to help these industries. Let us make sure we understand what is going on here. This bill does nothing. It is just a symbolic bill that would really do nothing.
If the small industry needs to be a presence, it needs to work on itself and needs to increase its activities in a proper business model.
That is what we support.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2022-12-08 18:54 [p.10701]
Mr. Speaker, I congratulate my colleague on the other side for putting this private member's motion together.
It sheds a light on the importance of awareness, and of analyzing and consulting on the move forward, because we are such a multicultural society. We have all kinds of ethnicities and languages in this country.
What does the member think is the secret recipe that would allow all of us to overcome some of the situations that might happen here?
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2022-12-02 11:59 [p.10358]
Madam Speaker, Edmonton Manning residents are asking why everything seems to be broken in Canada. They say government mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic has fuelled record inflation. It gave $54 million for the useless ArriveCan app, $237 million to a former Liberal MP for ventilators that sit in a warehouse collecting dust and a billion dollars in wage subsidy cheques to corporations that pay out corporate dividends.
When will the Liberal government end its useless spending, which is increasing inflation and which costs every Canadian $3,500 a year?
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2022-12-01 15:31 [p.10308]
Mr. Speaker, we live in a world where every person is increasingly concerned with cybersecurity. So much of our lives is stored on our personal devices, protected by passwords and multi-factor authentication in the hopes of keeping our most private information secure.
Corporations are increasingly at risk. It seems as if every day we hear a new report of companies’ computer systems being hacked and their data held for ransom by thieves who have managed digital anonymity. Law enforcement officials say many such cybercrimes go unreported, with companies paying quietly and privately so as to avoid publicity.
Our public institutions are not immune either. Hospitals have had their computer systems attacked by intruders, putting patients' lives at risk. Emergency services have been attacked, as have the parliamentary computer systems.
Cyber-threats remain a national security and economic issue that threatens the safety and security of Canadians. Government and industry alike have highlighted the need for regulation in cybersecurity. There has been a lot of talk, but not much else.
Currently the Canadian government does not have a legal mechanism to compel action to address cyber-threats or vulnerabilities in the telecommunications sector, yet cybersecurity has become one of the primary issues each person and institution has to address. I am pleased that the government has introduced this legislation to allow us in the House to examine the cybersecurity concerns and needs of our nation.
Bill C-26 would amend the Telecommunications Act as well as other related acts. The intention would be to amend the Telecommunications Act to add the promotion of the security of the Canadian telecommunications system as an objective of Canadian telecommunications policy and to authorize the Governor in Council and the Minister of Industry to direct telecommunications service providers to do anything, or refrain from doing anything that is necessary to secure the Canadian telecommunications system.
I do not think there is anyone in the House, indeed in the country, who would disagree with the objective. As I have already pointed out, there is a problem with cybersecurity in our society, and government has an important role to play in protecting Canadian individuals and institutions. Some may wonder about giving such power to the Governor in Council and the Minister of Industry, but there are rules for the judicial review of those orders and applications. This is not a granting of absolute power, but of limited power subject to the checks and balances needed in a democracy.
The bill would also enact the critical cyber systems protection act to provide a framework for the protection of the cyber systems of services and systems vital to national security or public safety. This, among other things, would authorize the Governor in Council to designate any service or system as a vital service or vital system. It would require designated operators to establish and implement cybersecurity programs, mitigate supply chain and third party risks, report cybersecurity incidents and comply with cybersecurity directions.
One would think that such cybersecurity measures should be common sense and not need to be mandated by government. Is it right to compel private corporations and organizations to use their own resources to invest in cybersecurity? It would seem to me that well-run businesses would put cybersecurity first. Not every aspect of a business generates income, and smart business managers and owners know that. As the cliché goes, they have to spend money to make money.
Implementing cybersecurity measures comes with a cost. There is no doubt about that. It would seem to me, though, that the cost would be considerably less than the cost of dealing with criminals holding their data for ransom after they have invaded their computer system and locked them out of it.
Cybersecurity makes common sense for business. However, given that implementing cybersecurity measures comes with a financial cost with no corresponding revenue, do we really want to rely on those who might put short-term profits first, or does it make more sense in this case for government to step in to save some business owners from themselves?
As someone who has spent most of his life working as a businessman, I am reluctant to suggest that business owners need to be saved from themselves, but as a Canadian I know that sometimes such action is necessary.
We have only to look at the history of one of Canada's most successful companies: Nortel. It is a company that might still exist if those running it had taken cybersecurity more seriously. With more than 94,000 employees worldwide, Nortel was a high-tech leader until its headquarters were bugged, its computer systems breached and its intellectual property stolen. Now it is just a memory. We will never know for sure, but perhaps if cybersecurity had been a higher priority at Nortel, it would still be providing jobs, products and services for Canadian people. If anyone ever asks why we would take cybersecurity seriously, the one-word answer is “Nortel”.
Though I am a little uneasy that this bill would almost certainly increase regulations and red tape, maybe there are ways that some of the excessive paperwork that seems to be beloved by the Liberals can be made reasonable. Certainly there is a need to ensure a level playing field of regulatory burdens for small and medium-sized businesses and organizations. If there is not, then I can see companies being forced into bankruptcy by the cost of implementing government-mandated cybersecurity procedures. I know that is not the government's intention, but as we have seen in the past, sometimes not all the impacts of government rule-making are foreseen. The Minister of Industry especially needs to ensure that the rules are workable and provide protection against attacks by criminals and malicious states.
Indeed, it is perhaps malicious states that we should be concerned about the most. The interconnectedness of computer systems and their use in controlling and maintaining our infrastructures mean we are increasingly vulnerable to a devastating attack. An enemy that could seize control of our electricity grid or our banking system could bring our nation to its knees without firing a shot. The nature of warfare has changed, and as a result we must change our defences.
Canada's national security requires being prepared for the security warfare threats that we face. The government has been slow to address cyber-threats and has seen a number of serious incidents occur, with no substantive legislative response for seven years. I am pleased that the government has finally chosen to act, and I am hopeful that we in the House can help improve this legislation. Cybersecurity is of paramount importance in the modern world. Canada cannot neglect it.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2022-12-01 15:41 [p.10309]
Madam Speaker, I mentioned at the end of my speech that the government was very late in putting forward such a bill. It is a very tough question to answer as to whether or not we can catch up. We know the existing wars and challenges and future wars are mostly around cybersecurity. It will be important in this motion of the House, with this bill, to assess how prepared Canada is for facing future threats.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2022-12-01 15:43 [p.10309]
Madam Speaker, I will answer the end of the question and go back to the beginning of what the hon. member asked.
We are still not there in terms of assessing our preparedness and our cybersecurity position. I do not know if we have enough understanding of those challenges, what our position is and how prepared we are. That is a very important task for the government.
As far as financial penalties on businesses, I mentioned in my speech that such things could put some businesses into bankruptcy, because they would not be able to afford the services that would provide the protection needed for them not to end up in such a disastrous situation.
Therefore, a balance is needed, and this has to be done by working together with the industry. If we are truly prepared, the financial penalties should be less, because the government should have done more in the last seven years, or even the years before that, in terms of looking to the future.
It all remains in the hands of the government that is putting this bill forward. We hope to get some answers.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2022-12-01 15:46 [p.10310]
Madam Speaker, the NDP member always wants to politicize things. This is a very serious issue, and there is not one party that is more serious about this than others. I wish he had stayed within the non-partisan notion of this bill. Let us talk about facts. Let us talk about logic and stop the attacks.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2022-12-01 17:30 [p.10325]
Madam Speaker, what does the member propose for a solution? What are the immediate steps needed to be taken to deal with the pressing issue of cybersecurity attacks we are facing in the country?
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2022-12-01 18:03 [p.10330]
 Madam Speaker, as the hon. member has been very active on this file for a long time domestically and internationally, what advice can he give from seeing what is happening in other parts of the world to make this bill better and stronger?
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2022-11-24 11:41 [p.9952]
Madam Speaker, I want to point out one thing. This bill is not a controversial bill by any stretch. We are all in agreement about the importance of putting this bill back—
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2022-11-24 11:41 [p.9952]
Madam Speaker, the government members should be more receptive to what we are saying on this side and—
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
2022-11-24 13:25 [p.9968]
Mr. Speaker, I am rising on a point of order. If the hon. member for Edmonton Strathcona has an ambition to run provincially and to have a role there, her speech today is not related, by any chance, to the subject of Bill S-4.
I would really appreciate it, Mr. Speaker, if you would point that out to the member.
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