House of Commons Hansard #140 of the 36th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was magazines.

Topics

Personal Information Protection And Electronic Documents Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

All those in favour of the amendment will please say yea.

Personal Information Protection And Electronic Documents Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Personal Information Protection And Electronic Documents Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

All those opposed will please say nay.

Personal Information Protection And Electronic Documents Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Personal Information Protection And Electronic Documents Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

Personal Information Protection And Electronic Documents Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Kilger Stormont—Dundas, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I have had discussions with representatives of all parties. I believe you would find consent to defer the recorded division requested on the amendment of the hon. member for Lévis-et-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière to second reading of Bill C-54 to the expiry of Government Orders on Tuesday, October 27, 1998.

Personal Information Protection And Electronic Documents Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. McClelland)

Is it agreed?

Personal Information Protection And Electronic Documents Act
Government Orders

1:45 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Foreign Publishers Advertising Services Act
Government Orders

October 22nd, 1998 / 1:45 p.m.

Hamilton East
Ontario

Liberal

Sheila Copps Minister of Canadian Heritage

moved that Bill C-55, an act respecting advertising services supplied by foreign periodical publishers, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, Canadian culture is our inheritance from the past. It is our joy in daily lives and it is our gift to the future.

Generations of Canadians who came before us made possible the birth of Canadian television. They did so through extraordinary artistic effort and through an act of national will.

Canadians who went before us made it possible for us to be a world leader in the music industry.

In less that 10 days, I will be in Montreal for the ADISQ gala, hosted by Céline Dion, who is known all over the world not only for her talent, but also for her support of national cultures.

They did so through exceptional talent and through national will.

Canadians who went before us made it possible for books by and about Canadians to be published in Canada. They did so through hard work and again through a collective national decision.

Generations of Canadians who went before us made it possible for us to have our own magazine industry, to have stories about Canadian information, ideas, news, art, talent, culture and voices.

The results produced by those generations of Canadians are really quite spectacular.

They worked hard to make Canada one of the countries most open to foreign cultures, while building a strong cultural identity that unites us all and shines throughout the world.

The sad reality, as world citizens, is that for the first time in history the number of spoken languages is diminishing. This reality should give us food for thought and raise the alarm. The futures of our respective cultures and cultural diversity are at stake.

There were difficult and controversial decisions made by previous governments and by previous members of parliament. Those decisions were taken starting with the creation of a national broadcasting system 60 years ago because successive governments believed that culture is central to our identity. They understood that culture is an element of individual, community and national strength. They knew that culture speaks to our heart, to our mind and to our soul as a country.

Today it is our turn as parliamentarians to rise once again to the challenge. It is our turn to ensure the future flourishing of Canadian magazines. It is our turn to show wise stewardship over our cultural birthright and our future. It is our turn to exercise an act of national will.

Magazines like Canadian Legion Magazine are important to Canada. Magazines like Canadian Legion Magazine survive because of the support of the government.

Bringing Canadian magazines to life requires an industry with imagination, dedication and nerves of steel. Bringing Canadian magazines to life entails a belief in cultural autonomy and a love for the free flow of ideas. Bringing Canadian magazines to life requires policies and actions by the Parliament of Canada.

In some ways the challenges that we face today are even more daunting than those faced by previous parliaments. We live in a more connected world. We live in a time when communication barriers are falling everywhere. We live in a country that thrives on exports and competition. And I repeat that we are the most open country in the world for all cultures of the world. We live in a world that thrives on exports and competition in which technology is turning old thinking and old rules on their ears. We live next door to the world's only remaining superpower and dominant cultural influence.

A member asks why we are putting up barriers. We are not putting up barriers. Canadian Legion is a magazine that deserves the support of the government for its voice to be heard. That does not prevent us from reading the American legion's magazine, but we have an opportunity and a responsibility as the Parliament of Canada to provide some space on the world's cultural shelf for our stories to be written about and to be heard.

We can walk into any magazine store in Canada and we will see more American magazines available for sale than any other country in the world. We are not putting up barriers but we reserve the right as a country to have a small space for our own voice.

Part of the role of parliament is to make sure that this voice is there for future generations. The law of the marketplace does not respect the law of cultural diversity upon which this country has been built and this party will continue to support until—

Foreign Publishers Advertising Services Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Reform

Charlie Penson Peace River, AB

Promotional protection.

Foreign Publishers Advertising Services Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Copps Hamilton East, ON

It is not promotional protection. The challenge is to address those issues of globalization with real solutions, not to snuff out the Canadian voices, not to fall prey to the globalization trend of those who would say that there is no difference between Canadian and American magazines, not to fall into the trap of claiming that we are building barriers.

These same members of the Reform Party who are crying down legislation that would help protect those Canadian voices are the same members of parliament who want the government to support the Canadian Legion Magazine . If there is anyone opposite who does not want us to directly support the Canadian Legion Magazine , I would dare them to stand in their place today, on the eve of Remembrance Day, and tell us they are against the support of the Canadian people to Legion Magazine . I do not see anyone putting their name forward. The truth is—

Foreign Publishers Advertising Services Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

An hon. member

How about censorship?

Foreign Publishers Advertising Services Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Copps Hamilton East, ON

Nobody is talking about censorship. This is not about censorship. This is about multiple voices in a global world.

The truth is that it has never been easy to publish a Canadian magazine. The first one was printed in 1792 by John Howe. The very first magazine was the Nova Scotia Magazine and Comprehensive Review of Literature, Politics, and News . This magazine folded after three years because of high publishing costs, a small domestic audience and the marketing power of far more established publications imported from abroad.

For 206 years Canadians have had to fight hard to ensure the survival and growth of our nation's magazine industry.

I repeat to those who would twist and distort the truth, to those who would sell out the Canadian magazines on the altar of globalization, I want to reinforce the fact that Canada has the most open cultural market in the world. More than 80% of the magazines sold on our newsstands come from other countries. Ninety-five per cent of those magazines are American magazines. And we have no intention of stopping that. We want to see a multiplicity of ideas.

The sale of U.S. magazines in Canada is far and away the largest export of magazines to a single country in any country in the world. There is no other nation that comes within a country mile of our country when it comes to being open to magazines from around the world. If that is protectionist, then I should be a member of the Reform Party.

Foreign Publishers Advertising Services Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Some hon. members

No.

Foreign Publishers Advertising Services Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Liberal

Sheila Copps Hamilton East, ON

That is a thought that would even stop me in my tracks.

This closed market that the Reform Party is talking about should be underscored by the fact that in a small market like Canada there are 71 American magazines with a Canadian circulation of over 30,000.