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Results: 1 - 15 of 785
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Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
Let me begin by saying,
Mr. Kotto, that I agree with your speech this morning.
That said, I'd now like to look at the motion itself. There are a number of things I'm concerned about with the motion, because we're voting on the motion, not on the wonderful dialogue that flowed immediately after the motion.
I understand also that on November 15 you had indicated that this motion arose out of your opposition to the CRTC's decisions. For the record, Monsieur Kotto, you should know that I also oppose the CRTC's decisions. Unfortunately, those decisions stand right now.
If I look at your motion, I don't know what you really want. You say to “tighten its policies in telecommunications”. Do you mean not requiring an increase in foreign ownership? Again, I hate to keep going back to the Lincoln report. We were very strong as a committee at that time in recommending that we not increase foreign ownership of our broadcasting system.
The argument has always been that it's not just about telecommunications, because telecommunications are over here. It's then about whether we allow the cable companies to have foreign ownership, and then do we allow broadcasting to have foreign ownership, and if we do, why not let the CBC have foreign ownership too?
I agree with you that it's a slippery slope. That was the reason that the committee, in the Lincoln report, decided not to increase foreign ownership.
But again, that's not what it says in your motion per se, so I guess I have a problem more with your motion and the way it is worded, because I don't know what we're trying to achieve by that. If we're going to confirm that we don't want increased foreign ownership, that's great, but it doesn't say that. I think the motion itself is very vague.
On the CRTC decision, Monsieur Kotto, you should know that the CRTC was actually working in a bit of a vacuum at that time when it did make the decisions, because the decisions could not be implemented until both Industry Canada and Heritage Canada reversed their satellite use policy.
If you want to bring a motion to say that we should reverse that satellite use policy, then we should all debate it. That's a good question. But the fact is that the U.S. satellite policy has been changed. Is that what you want to say? That's not just something that Heritage does; it's done in conjunction with Industry.
In fact, Monsieur Kotto, you should know as well that my biggest concern with the CRTC decisions was that we would have to reverse that U.S. satellite policy. I share your concerns about our broadcasting system, but again, I don't think it speaks to the motion.
Did you know that in the United States broadcasts, the Americans do not allow broadcasters to be non-Americans? In fact, Rupert Murdoch had to become a citizen, and do you know why, Monsieur Kotto? It was for national security.
What is it that your motion wants to achieve here? That's what I have a problem with.
Also, to be correct, the CRTC really does have the necessary powers at its disposal to determine whether or not a broadcasting undertaking is operating in Canada. Our Broadcasting Act and Radiocommunication Act already provide us with a solid legal framework governing broadcasting on Canadian territory. In fact, the Radiocommunication Act ensures that only encrypted subscription satellite signals authorized for distribution in Canada can be lawfully received by Canadians. No one may carry on a broadcasting undertaking in Canada without a licence or exemption issued by the CRTC.
In addition, licence-holders need to be Canadian to operate in Canada, and as members of the committee are aware, both CRTC decisions were indeed appealed to the Governor in Council, and after review of the petitions, the government announced on September 9 that it would be upholding the CRTC decisions that permit SIRIUS and CSR to operate satellite radio subscriptions and CHUM/Astral to operate a terrestrial subscription service. The government supports the implementation of the new subscription licences.
The government has also welcomed the requests by both CSR and SIRIUS for the CRTC to amend their licences to enhance their offering of Canadian and French-language programming. The CRTC has held a public process to review these licence amendments that enabled Canadians to express their views on issues such as the impact of new technologies on Canadian content and consumers' choice. SIRIUS and CSR have said they will make a broader range of Canadian and French-language content available throughout Canada.
It's interesting also, Mr. Kotto, that these groups have also said that they are going to be helping Canadian independent artists. You spoke of how a lot of artists in Quebec feel they are at risk. There is this group called Indie Pool, I believe, who claim that they represent thousands of artists and that somehow CSR and SIRIUS are going to help them. I believe Indie Pool actually works with SIRIUS and actually receives some lump sum payment under the CRTC decision, if I'm correct. They also claim that they're going to develop Canadian talent, which could reach over $70 million over the next seven years.
Mr. Kotto, to conclude, if our national broadcaster is to remain relevant, it's important that it use all available technological means to extend its services to all Canadians. In conclusion, the broadcasting system is evolving and will continue to meet our cultural objectives. I do share some of your concerns, personally. But Canada has developed a broadcasting system that gives Canadians a full range of programming in both official languages and other languages, as well as a choice of competing distribution services.
That having been said, Mr. Kotto, while I appreciate the intent of your motion and what you're trying to convey, it is too vague, there are too many things that are left unaddressed, and so I will not be voting in favour of your motion.
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Lib. (ON)
Madam Chair, through you, I would be more than happy to meet with Mr. Kotto and Madam Oda to discuss specific wording.
However, I'm somewhat surprised, Mr. Kotto, after serving on this committee with you, because I think we have all been working in good faith throughout this time, and I think this is not an indication that.... So I'm quite surprised, in light of what I have said, that you would think that I would not be acting in good faith when I have been working with you to move forward. I don't quite understand why you've ever felt that I have not worked with you in good faith.
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Lib. (ON)
I have a couple of questions.
I heard you say that none of the G-8 countries have ratified. Why not? Canada would actually be a leader in this, if we ratify. I'd be interested to find out why the other G-8 countries haven't ratified.
For a point of clarification, Mr. Silva raised the fact about the Taliban and the statues. I think it's important to understand that this legislation would not catch that.
I think it's important that people know what it will catch and what it won't catch. This is not somehow going to be seen as a great way to retrieve the Elgin Marbles and get back into that debate. For the record, I think it's important to ensure what it will catch and what it won't catch.
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Lib. (ON)
If I may, Madam Chair, through you, clause 2 actually extends the jurisdiction for offences committed outside of Canada. Again, this is what Ms. Elliot Sherwood spoke about. The legal framework is in place now to allow that, and that's what we're doing with clause 2.
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Lib. (ON)
Just for clarification, clause 3 amends the Criminal Code to establish the new hybrid offence of mischief in respect of cultural property.
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Lib. (ON)
Again, Madam Chair, through you, clause 4, again, is the key part of the legislation. It amends the Cultural Property Export and Import Act to prohibit certain acts against cultural property that constitute violations of the second protocol to the 1954 Hague Convention and to implement the obligations of the first protocol as well.
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Lib. (ON)
This, again, is a key element. It adds the illegal export offence from an occupied country, without bringing it to Canada, stopping on your way to London.
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Lib. (ON)
I'd like to point out to members, Madam Chair, that this schedule actually gives the definition of cultural property as found in the conventions. That's what this schedule is.
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Lib. (ON)
Clause 7 is a very technical and consequential amendment to the Criminal Code. As acts are being changed, we are going from paragraphs (b.1) to (g), hopefully before some other piece of legislation is passed, otherwise (g) will become something else. So this is very, very technical.
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Lib. (ON)
Again, it's very technical. It just adds an extra initial to what's in the Criminal Code already. So we're adding another thing.
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Lib. (ON)
I've been known to argue titles in this committee before.
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Lib. (ON)
Report it immediately.
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Lib. (ON)
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Lib. (ON)
For the record, Madam Chair, I think this gives the committee an opportunity to bring this bill back into the House as soon as possible. Perhaps we could speak to our own House leaders as to what we do with third reading, times being what they are. I think it would be great to have this bill move forward again. It would show Canada as a leader in the G-8. Since it has come from the Senate, it doesn't have to go back to the Senate, but we do need royal assent. So I would urge all parties to speak to their House leaders, get this before the House and debate it, or just vote on it so it can get royal assent, this week if possible.
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Lib. (ON)
My concern is that we still need royal assent for this to become law, and time may be of the essence.
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