House of Commons Hansard #144 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

Copyright Act
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Comox—Alberni, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to continue in the vein of my colleague on used books.

The government is proposing a penalty on used books. Used text books which are largely used by college students or universities could not be imported.

Copyright Act
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

An hon. member

That is false.

Copyright Act
Government Orders

1:35 p.m.

Reform

Bill Gilmour Comox—Alberni, BC

A member across is saying it is false. We do not share that opinion. We feel this clause should be deleted. It is redundant.

Who does this penalize? It penalizes the students. I also address my comments to the nine pages in the House. These students spend time in the House learning about our parliamentary system and at the same time they attend university. These pages should not have to pay double for textbooks.

However, there is a deeper picture here. Why is the government penalizing students? Why is it not letting business take place? Business should operate on its own and should not be subsidized by government. If it cannot do that, it will go under.

On the one hand the government is saying it is going to charge students $5 million more for books. On the other hand there is an $87 million gift to Bombardier. What kind of picture does this paint of the Liberal idea of business? It is absolutely wrong.

This will be pushed forward. The Liberals will have loaded up the Senate. There will be no restriction in the Senate because the Liberals will push it through, another dysfunctional system.

I would like to go back to my university days. When I was in university books were a major cost. The fact that I was able to sell those books the next year either back to the university or to other students was part of my accounting for going into the next year. If I was not able to sell those books it would have been an additional cost, a cost I could not afford.

I again go back to where the Liberals are coming from. Why penalize students? Look at the pages here. Why should they be forced to pay another $5 million because the government wants to penalize them? It is absolutely wrong.

There is nothing wrong with recycled books. A book can be used many times. Why should it only be used once? It is because these people across the way are saying they will subsidize the publishing industry. That is basically wrong. This motion is redundant, wrong and should be deleted.

Copyright Act
Government Orders

1:40 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay East, BC

Madam Speaker, I think it might be of value to take a look at part of the proposed act here that we are saying is redundant and wrong.

Clause 45 states that notwithstanding anything in this act, it is lawful for a person to important copies made with the consent of the owner of the copyright in the country where they were made of any used books. As far as that goes, that is fine, but the government is adding "except where textbooks of a scientific, technical or scholarly nature for use within an educational institution in a course instruction". How can the government say it is not relevant or not redundant?

It defies any logic to understand how even in a place like this where there is heckling from time to time, certainly not from our side, government members can possibly heckle and say that this clause does not have anything to do with textbooks. How can they say it does not have anything to do with the words I just read when those are the words they want to put into the act?

The result of this is going to be very detrimental not only to students but to businesses serving students who presently have a situation where there is a flow of textbooks back and forth. We have an open border situation that works very well. In fact, there are thousands of people who are either part time students or who are working on campus who are involved in this particular business. There is a business going back and forth. What the Liberals want to do, for whatever reason, is stop this business. The result is it will not only cost students many tens of thousands of dollars and perhaps millions of dollars additional to the cost of their being able to get themselves educated with the textbooks prescribed by their institutions, but it is also going to put in jeopardy literally thousands of jobs of either part time students or people working on the campus serving the students.

How in the world can government members turn around and say that it does not have anything to do with textbooks when the amendment states "textbooks"?

To give the House an idea of where some of these concerns are coming from I will read from a news bulletin put out by the CAUT entitled "Ambushed by the Heritage Committee": "Angst, combat, defeat and endurance, rather than terms describing warring nations or Olympic co-operation, have been the hallmarks of the proposed Canadian copyright legislation known as Bill C-32". For those who are just tuning in to the copyright saga, angst refers to the cumulative facts of the CAUT, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, the Canadian school boards and the Canadian Teachers Federation. These people are deeply concerned not only about this part of the copyright law but other parts of it. Let us just stay on this part.

What is the net result of the entire process? It is being held together with chewing gum and baling wire. As a matter of fact the scotch tape is starting to show. This entire process has been so flawed that the members cannot even read the bill where it says "except textbooks of a scientific, technical or scholarly nature".

These people who are after all educators or are involved in higher education in Canada state, as is pointed out in this article: "The manner in which the amendments were pushed through the committee in just a few hours, many without prior consent from representatives of the jointly responsible Industry Canada, left onlookers aghast".

We are involved in a process that the government does not seem to understand. I will admit to a degree of partisanship when I speak about the heritage minister and the way that she has handled this, but really this bill has nothing to do with partisanship. This bill has everything to do with attempting to create a balance between the creators and the users of material, whatever that material is, whatever those creations are.

To give the House an idea of what I am talking about, there was some discussion in committee about another section of the bill and the term "commercially available". This has a real impact as well on universities and teaching institutions.

For example, under educational institutions, section 29.4, because of the committee amendments to commercially available, would impact educational institutions if they were to photocopy a poem or any document created by Margaret Atwood for an

overhead projection in a high school class. That would be an infringement of copyright.

If an educational institution was to make a photographic slide of a painting by Alex Colville, a living Canadian artist, that could be projected on to the screen for purposes of teaching an art class, that would be an infringement of copyright.

If that institution was to photocopy a chapter from a very hard to find book and the class was asked to write a short literary criticism or an explanation of that document, that would be an infringement.

If, as part of an examination students were required to translate a poem into French, this invokes both reproduction and translation under section 29.4(2).

Libraries and archives or museums are being impacted if they make a cassette production for use by patrons of an original recording of a Canadian artist, now deceased, reading his own poetry in the early sixties, the condition of the original is such that it could not be handed directly to the patrons. This entire bill is patchwork and many of those patches, many of the holes do not even line up any more.

I return to my original thesis. I do not know the reasons why this clause was inserted into the bill. It is going to create a very serious situation for students. We will be increasing the costs to people getting an education as a result of the oversight or the accidental inclusion of this clause. There does not seem to be any particularly good reason for the inclusion of it.

The problem is that the entire bill from stem to gunnel is a patchwork that is falling apart and the scotch tape is not going to do the job.

Copyright Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Madam Speaker, I wish to intervene because what I am hearing is totally wrong, and people should not be allowed to say such utter nonsense.

First of all, this morning I took great pride in being in this House to consider Bill C-32 which concerns phase II of the copyright modernization process. For many years, the performing arts community has been waiting for this bill, and the government had to do something to update the existing legislation.

As I said this morning, in committee we worked long hours and heard more than 65 groups of witnesses from across Canada, people representing performers, radio, television and various educational institutions and museums. We did a very thorough job in committee because we felt that all the groups and associations that appeared before the committee had important things to say and some very specific recommendations to make.

We made a point of carefully listening to and considering what was said, bearing in mind the objective of Bill C-32 on copyright, which is to introduce new rights, including neighbouring rights, for performers, to add other mechanisms and forms of legal recourse for artists, and, as far as book distribution is concerned, to make some major changes to prevent parallel imports.

We also did a major job in committee when we considered this bill with all the amendments. The Bloc Quebecois alone proposed 75 amendments. The government also worked very hard on proposing amendments after hearing all these groups. However, I must say that while the committee worked very hard on this bill, the Reform Party members were conspicuous by their absence. They did not attend the discussions on the amendments, and were absent throughout the process of determining what was useful and what should be included in the bill. Today, they stand up and say that this bill was hastily cobbled together and that there were some last minute amendments.

I may recall that this bill goes beyond political considerations. This bill concerns performers and the very important cultural industry, and the official opposition will not tolerate members in this House criticizing the work of a committee and its approach, while they were conspicuous by their absence.

Today, people who worked with very specific objectives in mind are being accused of proceeding with undue haste and proposing amendments at the last minute. Speaking for the official opposition, I say no, that is not what happened.

I wanted today to be a memorable day in this House when, at last, the Copyright Act, which goes back to 1924, was revised the first time in 1988 and is aimed at serving the interests of creators and authors as well as the interests of those who use their works, will now follow the legislative process and move on to third reading.

I strongly urge the Reform Party to rise above its own partisan considerations and this attempt at obstruction, and work on this bill, instead of trying to make political mileage at the expense of creators, young people, students and our pages, no less. Talk about rhetoric!

Copyright Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Reform

Jim Abbott Kootenay East, BC

Madam Speaker, a point of order. I realize I am listening to the English translation, but I believe the member used an unparliamentary word which was translated as demagogues. I wish he would withdraw that word.

Copyright Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

My understanding is that it was said in a general context and not directly at a member in particular.

Copyright Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Gaston Leroux Richmond—Wolfe, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to point out that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage held nearly 25 meetings, heard 68 witnesses, spent a total of85 hours on committee work, analyzed in excess of 190 briefs. It is unacceptable for Reform Party members to accuse committee members from the government and the official opposition alike of having done a poor job, of having botched this bill, especially when the hon. member saying so chose to absent himself from the committee and to practice empty-chair politics.

He has just voiced concerns about the amendment relating to photographers. I would remind him, since he had difficulty understanding that amendment, that I took my inspiration from the British copyright legislation. There has been much reference to copyrights in other countries. He ought to try to understand the amendment in the light of the British copyright legislation.

Today we must refuse any attempt to dispose of a major bill in its second review phase, which must be revised in five years.

This bill refers to collective societies, which represents authors and creators. We worked very hard on this major instrument, which is aimed at making it possible for these societies to speak with users and reach agreements with them. There is also a copyright board to govern the mechanisms.

I invite the Reform Party to rise above partisan politics and to give this bill a chance to survive, for the good of creators and users both.

This will be a great day if we manage to rise above political interests and to work strictly on behalf of authors and the cultural industry.

Copyright Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

The Speaker

My colleagues, we will get back to this if necessary after Oral Question Period.

It being almost 2 p.m., the House will now proceed to Statements by Members.

Violence
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Paddy Torsney Burlington, ON

Mr. Speaker, this morning we all awoke to the horrifying news that six youngsters in Israel were murdered in an ambush today. Our hearts go out to the families, friends and those who were injured. So too our hearts are heavy with the knowledge that on this day one year ago 16 children and their teacher were massacred in Dunblane, Scotland.

While these incidents and others such as the massacres in Montreal and Tasmania are always heart wrenching, they are even more so when children are the targeted victims. Innocent children in Israel and in Scotland were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The world lost unrealized potential and some of its innocence.

We much each make a renewed commitment to ending violence in the world and in our own backyards.

The Late Paul-Émile Robert
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Maurice Dumas Argenteuil—Papineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, Montreal has just lost one of its leading citizens, with the death at age 76 of Paul-Émile Robert, the "figurehead of the nationalist movement", as he was referred to in yesterday's Le Devoir .

I had the honour to know Paul-Émile Robert when he was president of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal in the early 1960s. I held the same position for Saint-Jérôme, so we had occasion to meet regularly.

In 1965, this ardent nationalist spearheaded the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montréal's commitment in favour of Quebec sovereignty.

His militancy in defence of the French fact led him to create a foundation for the defence of francophones outside Quebec, the Fondation J.-Donat Langelier. He was also involved in the Montreal municipal scene, where he was a municipal councillor for close to 15 years.

I extend my most sincere personal condolences, as well as those of the Bloc Quebecois, to those who mourn the passing ofMr. Robert.

Endangered Species
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Reform

John Duncan North Island—Powell River, BC

Mr. Speaker, Canadians of all walks of life and persuasions agree on a vision which includes protecting endangered species.

When the government first proposed endangered species legislation last year it entered into consultations and a committee process. The consultative process excluded rural Canada and Canada east of Ontario.

The way the bill has been amended in the most recent version has changed the thrust of the legislation so significantly that original supporters are now in open revolt.

A grand coalition including business, workers and communities in British Columbia is appealing for the bill to be scrapped and replaced with responsible endangered species legislation. It feels strongly that species protection must be designed both by scientists and democratically accountable officials and not in the courts.

We do not want to obtain the same results that were obtained south of us where there has been massive social and economic hardship and 25 years of ongoing litigation.

I ask the minister to scrap the bill.

Rural Development
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Len Taylor The Battlefords—Meadow Lake, SK

Mr. Speaker, I thank members of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources who participated in the preparation of the report on rural development tabled yesterday in the House.

The report identifies a fairly well defined road down which we can travel to restore economic health to rural communities. The problem is that the prescription is three years too late.

Even the Liberals understand that their own policies during the last three years have taken a lot out of rural communities. For us on the prairies the loss of the $720 million annual contribution known as the Crow benefit means that every rural elevator point on the prairies loses about $1 million in local farm income every year.

Liberal government decisions like that one have made it difficult for rural communities to maintain the jobs they currently have let alone work to create new ones. It is important to acknowledge how valuable rural Canada is to the overall well-being of our nation. We must work toward rebuilding it, but let us not forget that the Liberals created a lot of the obstacles we now have to jump over.

Chaplin Family Ymca
Statements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Janko Peric Cambridge, ON

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate the city of Cambridge, the Ontario government and the many individuals and businesses that worked together to complete the new $10 million Chaplin Family YMCA in Cambridge.

Citizens and local businesses generously contributed a total of $3.1 million toward the project. The Chaplin family of Cambridge alone contributed more than $500,000.

This co-operative effort shows the people of Cambridge are in touch with the concerns of the greater community and that notions of civic responsibility and giving back to the community are what make Cambridge a great place to live.

John Craig
Statements By Members

March 13th, 1997 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

John O'Reilly Victoria—Haliburton, ON

Mr. Speaker, I take this opportunity to congratulate John Craig, a student from Haliburton Highlands High School.

At the age of 16, John has started his own business. John's business is a fitness facility in the village of Haliburton, Ontario. Along with the business, John gets great grades, plays on the football and cross-country teams, participates in drama and works weekends at an electronics store.

The idea for the business came when the old fitness facility in Haliburton closed. John leased the facility, brought in weights from his house and purchased additional ones. All this cost him $5,500 and if he gets an aerobics class it will cost him another $700.

His brother, Dan, has helped him considerably, along with his friends. His rent is considerably less than that of the last tenant but the most important factor will be his client base. John is working on that by placing flyers around the community and placing ads in the local paper.

I wish John all the best with his small business endeavour.