House of Commons Hansard #170 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was amendments.

Topics

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Question No. 204
Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Dawn Black New Westminster—Coquitlam, BC

With regard to detainee handling in Afghanistan: (a) at what time was Canada first granted formal access to Afghan monitor detention facilities in Kandahar; (b) how many Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) officers were in Kandahar in August 2005, and what was the number for each month since; (c) did CSC direct their officers to specifically monitor detainees taken by Canadians and held in Afghan custody, and, if so, what form did that direction take; (d) what type of investigation was begun by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces following the publishing of reports of torture in the Globe and Mail on Monday, April 23, 2007, and when was it commenced; (e) what is the number of detainees transferred to Afghan custody since the signing of the December 18, 2005, “Arrangement for the Transfer of Detainees Between the Canadian Forces and the Ministry of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan”; (f) following the processing of transfer documents and the release of a detainee to Afghan authorities, how are National Defence Headquarters, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) and the Minister of National Defence informed of this transfer respectively; (g) when was information about the Department of Foreign Affairs country reports, starting in 2002, describing torture and inhumane treatment in Afghan prisons as “common”, first released outside of the Department and when were i) the current and previous Foreign Affairs Ministers made aware, ii) the current and previous Defence Ministers made aware, iii) the current and previous Prime Ministers made aware; (h) when were negotiations begun on the arrangement for monitoring access announced by the Minister of National Defence on Wednesday April 25, 2007, and i) when were negotiations concluded, ii) when was the CDS made aware of the arrangement, iii) when was the Minister of Foreign Affairs made aware of the arrangement, iv) when was the Prime Minister made aware of the arrangement; (i) what monitoring and capacity building has taken place on the part of the Government of Canada with respect to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC); and (j) what has the AIHRC reported to Canadian officials regarding the condition of prisons and prisoners in Kandahar, and what have they reported regarding the treatment of detainees transferred by Canada to Afghan custody?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre, SK

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand.

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for Returns
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre
Saskatchewan

Conservative

Tom Lukiwski Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform

Mr. Speaker, I ask that all notices of motions for the production of papers be allowed to stand.

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

Is that agreed?

Motions for Papers
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Devils Lake Diversion Project
Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

The Chair has received a request for an emergency debate from the hon. member for Winnipeg North. I will now hear the hon. member.

Devils Lake Diversion Project
Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

NDP

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise under Standing Order 52 to ask you to agree to an emergency debate on the operations of the Devils Lake outlet in the state of North Dakota.

I believe we do not have a minute to lose. The situation is extremely serious, with the tap having been turned on and the gates opened at 2 p.m. this past Monday, June 11, so that water is now flowing through the Devils Lake outlet into the Sheyenne River and into the Red River, making its way into Canadian waters, meaning that a death sentence for the sixth Great Lake in this country in effect has been delivered.

We are talking about the largest inland fresh water fishery in Canada, with contaminated water moving our way containing foreign materials and at least three parasites not found in Canadian waters.

Two years ago this issue came before the House on a crisis basis. That crisis was averted through work by all levels of government on both sides of the border in seeking a cooperative arrangement and ended up with governments agreeing to an approach that involved the installation of an advanced filter system that was supposed to have been installed beginning in August 2005. That installation of a sophisticated filter system has not occurred and the crisis is now back.

We are dealing with the possibility of polluting an entire Canadian ecosystem, with very invasive species making their way into the Red River and Lake Winnipeg. We are talking about the possibility of serious contamination and pollution of our water systems and we are talking about a brewing international incident.

The premier of Manitoba has spoken out and indicated that he is very disappointed by the decision of North Dakota to operate this prior to the installation of permanent and effective treatment measures. He is talking now about retaliatory measures and we have a very serious situation brewing.

The premier of Manitoba has mentioned that this has been an issue raised by the Prime Minister of Canada with President Bush on two separate occasions. He mentioned that the Prime Minister of Canada raised this matter directly with Governor Hoeven of North Dakota last year in Gimli.

This is a matter with serious consequences for all in this country. It is a matter of great urgency. I beg of you, Mr. Speaker, to consider arranging for an emergency debate at the earliest opportunity.

Devils Lake Diversion Project
Request for Emergency Debate
Routine Proceedings

3:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Peter Milliken

I thank the hon. member for Winnipeg North for her submissions on this point. I am going to take the matter under advisement and I will return to the House in due course with a decision with respect to the debate.

The hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs is rising on a point of order.

Alleged Conduct of Member for Calgary East
Privilege
Routine Proceedings

June 13th, 2007 / 3:40 p.m.

Calgary East
Alberta

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, last Friday the member for Brampton—Springdale raised what she called a question of privilege concerning a conversation at a meeting held last Thursday.

I leave the issue whether this is really a question of privilege in your wise judgment, Mr. Speaker, which I know will be fair based on my past experiences of your rulings.

I know the member for Brampton--Springdale was hurt that she was not successful in her attempt to become the president of the Canada-India Parliamentary Friendship Group. I know she blames me for that. However, the decision was for the members to make.

Mr. Speaker, I at no time acted or intended to act in any manner to intimidate the member for Brampton--Springdale. I believe we are here to work for our country.

I call on the member for Brampton--Springdale, and equally applying to me, to work together to support the new office bearers.

Criminal Code
Government Orders

3:40 p.m.

Niagara Falls
Ontario

Conservative

Rob Nicholson Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

moved that Bill C-59, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (unauthorized recording of a movie), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to open up the debate on Bill C-59, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (unauthorized recording of a movie).

Camcording is the most significant threat facing the motion picture industry. One good camcorder can trigger an avalanche of illegal downloads and result in bootleg copies in street markets around the world.

In recent months, there has been well-publicized criticism of Canada from some in the United States film industry claiming that Canada is a haven for illegal camcording. For example, in January of this year the Globe and Mail reported that the Hollywood-based president of domestic distribution for one of the major U.S. movie studies had sent a blistering letter to the chief executive of Cineplex Entertainment, Canada's biggest cinema chain.

The letter identified Canadian theatres as a source of illegal camcording and threatened to stop sending copies of all its films to 130 Cineplex movie houses or push back Canadian release dates.

It is also true that the United States trade representative and other American politicians have expressed concerns about Canadian camcording.

Last Thursday, after the government gave notice that it would be introducing anti-camcording legislation, an article entitled “Ottawa muscles in on video piracy ” appeared in the Globe and Mail. The article recalled that Canada was placed on a United States government watch list for a lack of intellectual property rights enforcement, along with the notorious film piracy hubs such as Lebanon, China, the Philippines and Russia.

It might be argued that we are responding to the United States motion picture industry to take action against camcorders, but I would like to emphasize that this issue is important to Canadians as well. The motion picture sector is an important component of Canada's cultural industries. Canada not only has a vital domestic film industry creating films by Canadians for distribution domestically and internationally, but it is also an important part of the U.S. film industry which locates much production in Canadian locales.

Canada is also part of the U.S. domestic market for film exhibition with Canadians enjoying the first release of major motion pictures at the same time that they are released in the United States.

Unfortunately, this makes Canada an attractive venue for camcording: the making of unauthorized copies of first release films that are in high demand around the world where these films have yet to be released.

Digital technology and the Internet have facilitated the illicit reproduction and distribution of films.

Canadian films are also subject to piracy as the notorious example provided by the pirated version of the Canadian blockbuster Bon Cop, Bad Cop available before its official release on DVD.

A decision by Warner Bros., announced on May 8, to cancel all preview screenings in the country out of concern over piracy further illustrates the impact that this problem is having, and the problem is growing.

I do not want to leave members with the impression that under present Canadian law it is open season for camcording in Canada. I have pointed out on a number of occasions that there are provisions within the Copyright Act of fines up to $1 million and imprisonment up to five years for anyone who copyrights material with intention to commercially use that.

However, we are responding to a growing problem, one that I believe has international repercussions since Canada is seen as a source for providing illicit copies of films for the worldwide market.

It is for this reason the government feels it is necessary to act. We are not in the business of facilitating this type of activity.

There is broad-based support from across the film production, distribution, and exhibition industry in Canada for an explicit legislative measure to stem the flow of illicit copies of films that are made and put into circulation. Accordingly, the government has taken decisive action that would make camcording movies in theatres illegal.

In doing so, Canada is joining in international efforts to protect the intellectual property interests of the film industry in Canada and abroad from those who would make unauthorized copies of newly-released movies either for their own use, with or without participation of others, for the purpose of selling, renting or other commercial distribution of pirated films.

In the time left to me today, I would like to say something about the proposed amendments to the Criminal Code contained in Bill C-59.

The proposed legislation is aimed at deterring unauthorized camcording activities in movie theatres in Canada. Our main purpose in amending the Criminal Code instead of the Copyright Act is to ensure that local police and not merely the RCMP are engaged in an effort to stop camcording.

At present local police forces are not accustomed to enforcing the Copyright Act and therefore are reluctant to respond to calls from theatre owners. They are also reluctant to respond because of the difficulty in obtaining the evidence to prove the intent of camcording for commercial gain, as I indicated. That is a deficiency in the current law.

Currently, the Copyright Act only provides offences against camcording when it can be linked to copyright infringement and that is not what happens in these cases. They get these individuals, slip them a couple of hundred dollars to do the job, and they are not in the business of commercial redistribution, so that is what the bill takes aim at.

It would amend the Criminal Code to create two new offences; first, which we can call simple camcording that would prohibit the recording of a movie in a movie theatre without the consent of the theatre manager; and second, we can refer to as camcording for the purpose. That would prohibit the recording of a movie in a movie theatre without the consent of the theatre manager for the purpose of selling, renting or other commercial distribution of a copy of the recorded movie.

Simple camcording would be a hybrid offence punishable on indictment by imprisonment for not more than two years or on summary conviction by six months imprisonment or a fine of $2,000, or both. It would establish a clear prohibition on conduct which is a precursor to the more blameworthy criminal activity of camcording for the purpose, or camcording as part of the DVD piracy operation under the Copyright Act.

Camcording for the purpose of sale, rental or other commercial distribution of a copy of the motion picture is a more serious offence. In addition to proof that the accused engaged in the unauthorized recording of a motion picture in a movie theatre, it requires proof that the individual did so for the purpose of selling, renting or other commercial distribution of copies of the film.

Camcording for the purpose would also be a hybrid offence but would be punishable on indictment for not more than five years imprisonment.

Bill C-59 would also provide the court with the authority to order the forfeiture of anything used in the commission of these offences such as the camcorder itself.

Camcording may constitute the first step for both copyright infringement and fraud, and in this context a person engaging in such activities could be found to be engaging in conduct that constitutes a criminal organization offence.

Criminalization of this activity in the Criminal Code could enhance the capability of Canadian law enforcement to combat transnational organized crime activities pertaining to the fabrication and trafficking of pirated videos. The enforcement of these new Criminal Code offences would primarily be the responsibility of the local police who are better positioned to respond to calls from local theatre owners and would be prosecuted by provincial prosecutors.

It is worth noting that on May 24 Japan's parliament passed legislation which criminalizes the camcording of motion pictures in theatres. Scheduled to go into effect in August of this year, the legislation prohibits the use of any recording device in cinemas and is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.

Mr. Speaker, I will end my remarks by thanking my colleagues, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Industry for their assistance, and of course the Minister of the Environment who was good enough to second this piece of legislation because I know of his concern in this particular area, as well as in many others. I know that all members of the House will want to support this piece of legislation.