House of Commons Hansard #34 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was artists.

Topics

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

NDP

Joe Comartin Windsor—Tecumseh, ON

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member is completely right. That is what the government's bill does. It is clear that the government completely ignored the consultations and testimonies from the last Parliament.

As the hon. member said, the evidence and testimonies are there, but the Conservatives completely ignored them.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:45 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise to talk about the bill before the House.

Since I have spent more of my life as a teacher in a university than as a politician, I thought I would focus on the implications for the university and college sector.

In this regard there is both good news and bad news. The bill gives the educator something positive and in another way takes that back. I am referring to the new fair dealing rights and exceptions, where education is now included. This will make it somewhat easier for teachers in the classroom to use certain materials without arduous cost.

Some of the producers have objected to this, but my impression is that it is a positive thing. Some teachers want to innovate. An example would be teachers who want to show a one-minute clip of a movie to make a point, but currently they cannot do that without paying very high copyright fees.

The impact of this new education right on producers will be less negative than some have claimed. This is because in determining what is considered fair, our courts use a two-step test created by the Supreme Court of Canada to determine whether a use is fair or not. The first step is to determine whether the use of a work is for one of the fair dealing purposes listed in the act. The second step is to assess the fairness of the use against six factors, including the amount of the work used and the effect of the use on the market for the work. Using this test, our courts have consistently determined that the scenarios envisioned by creators, unmitigated free copying with no payments, is not fair and thus is not permitted.

A clear definition of what is fair should be included in the act. One way to accomplish this would be to embed the Supreme Court's two-step test into the act itself.

That overall is positive, fair, reasonable and balanced. The problem comes with the issue of the digital locks.

Bill C-11 introduces new rights for Canadians to make copies of copyrighted works for personal use, such as format shifting, time shifting and making backup copies, but Bill C-11's new digital lock provisions override these new rights. In other words, under this new law, if a company puts a digital lock on a CD, the person who buys the CD cannot circumvent the lock to put the music on to his or her iPod without breaking the law. This exact issue was a highly controversial change which was fought when the Conservatives' previous copyright bill was introduced.

A long list of leading academics, educators, librarians, archivists, documentary filmmakers and citizens have expressed legitimate concern that digital lock provisions will undermine the balance that copyright law is intended to strike between creators and users, completely undermining a user's ability to use copyrighted works that they have purchased.

Several experts, including Canadian research chair, Professor Michael Geist, have suggested an easy way to fix this would be to amend the bill to make it okay to circumvent a digital lock if the purposes for which a lock was circumvented were lawful. This would be an easy amendment to make to the bill. It would preserve that better balance which I think most of us are seeking.

Because restrictive digital locks can effectively undermine consumer rights articulated in the copyright law and the very balance copyright law seeks, and because the Conservatives have made no attempt to change their stance on digital locks, that is sufficient reason for the Liberals to oppose the bill.

Going back to my example of education, the bill makes it easier for educators to use materials in their classrooms, but then it negates that advantage by bringing in these digital locks which, under certain circumstances, would make it illegal for the professor to produce the clip or other material which he or she wished to use in class. It would be lawful to use that material in the class, but because of the digital locks, it would be unlawful to produce the material which it is legal to use. That makes no sense. That is why we in the Liberal Party are extremely concerned about this issue of digital locks.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

Conservative

Scott Armstrong Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley, NS

Mr. Speaker, I, too, as an educator had great concerns about the copyright legislation. I looked into it and talked to people in the educational community. They are very satisfied with the way the bill is now. In fact, the Association of Universities and Colleges supports this bill. It said:

This bill reflects a fair balance between the interests of creators and users of copyright works and is a positive step forward for university communities across Canada.... [The bill] clarifies important questions and will help ensure students and learners have access to the content they need, including digital material.

As my colleague across the way mentioned, the law now says that teachers can use any media to show these types of products. Before it specifically indicated they could be used in overhead projectors and flip charts, but now it takes away references to specific technologies so that modern technology can be used in the classroom. The universities and colleges are very happy with this legislation. They say it is fair treatment protecting both creators and users. It also improves the technological availability to our classroom teachers across Canada. I would hope that the member across the way, as a former teacher, would support that.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, the most charitable response is to say that my colleague's quote by the Association of Universities and Colleges is incomplete. It is not completely happy with this bill.

I happen to have with me a direct quote by James Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. Here is what he said:

We are pleased that the Bill reflects the priorities of Canada’s academic and research community to expand fair dealing specifically for educational purposes.... This represents a genuine effort to introduce balance into Canadian copyright law.

That is the part that my hon. colleague likes. Mr. Turk went on to say:

At the same time we are disappointed that the legislation makes it illegal to circumvent digital locks, even for lawful reasons such as fair dealing.

That was precisely my point and it is precisely stated by the executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Raymond Côté Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened closely to the hon. member's speech. I, too, am very worried about digital locks and anti-circumvention measures. Last spring, ironically enough, the members across the way were tearing their hair out during the debate about Statistics Canada and prison terms related to the long form census.

In Bill C-11, people who try to bypass a security measure could be fined $1 million or sentenced to up to five years in prison. Given that the omnibus bill will make it even more difficult for someone sentenced to jail time to be rehabilitated, could Bill C-11 have serious consequences?

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

John McCallum Markham—Unionville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with the point raised by my colleague. It is not a good idea to put people in jail for such reasons. But Bill C-11 is not surprising given that the Conservatives want to put almost everyone in prison.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

NDP

Raymond Côté Beauport—Limoilou, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act. Modernizing copyright is a legitimate goal, but how we achieve that goal is what must be debated. However, before I focus on any specific aspects of what the Conservatives are proposing, I would like to take a moment to share a little story.

Please allow me to illustrate the injustice suffered by our creators with an example taken from the reality facing wheat producers in the west. Imagine that a company has invented a revolutionary way to duplicate wheat to allow the synthesis of an equally high-quality flour used in a simple, practical, compact machine that makes sliced bread. Thanks to a sophisticated device, the wheat can be duplicated almost exactly, so well in fact that once it is milled into flour, the illusion is complete and the machine can produce tasty, fresh, aromatic bread. But it does not end there. The machine is quickly improved. It becomes more compact, lighter and easier to use. It can now even make buttered toast with a choice of toppings: peanut butter, jam or, my personal favourite, honey. It is easy to carry around so you can have breakfast anywhere; you can have a nice piece of bread in your car, on the bus or at the office. As a bonus, all of these places then smell like fresh bread or buttered toast, to everyone's amazement and delight.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but it is time to proceed to statements by members. The hon. member will have eight minutes to finish his speech after question period.

Soccer
Statements by Members

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Shelly Glover Saint Boniface, MB

Mr. Speaker, I am so excited to rise today to celebrate and to congratulate some very extraordinary young female soccer athletes from Winnipeg.

Two teams, the Bonivital Flames girls under 16 years and the Flames girls under 14 years, both won their Manitoba Soccer Association cup earlier this month. Coincidentally, both had to face their talented rivals, the Football Club Northwest, in their final matches. Victory was sweet and this was the perfect way to end their exceptional season. Both teams went on to the nationals, achieving their goal of placing higher than they did last year.

As an avid soccer player and a soccer coach myself, I know how hard these girls had to work. I am so proud of their efforts.

Congratulations to all of our tremendous players, their proud families and, of course, their dedicated coaches, Stan Kern for the girls under 14 and Terry Schultz for the girls under 16.

Keep up the great work, and go, Flames, go.

Duncan
Statements by Members

11 a.m.

NDP

Jean Crowder Nanaimo—Cowichan, BC

Mr. Speaker, my hometown of Duncan just took over the least coveted spot in British Columbia, the town with the highest unemployment rate. Unemployment has jumped to 11.6%, while the average in B.C. is only 6.7%.

There are many reasons why. A downturn in construction and agriculture has left many people looking for work. The high cost of the ferry service means it is less affordable to start new manufacturing anywhere on the Island. We are still waiting to hear if the government will invest in the Island corridor railway to help reduce freight costs. A ruinous forestry policy has kept local mills closed, while raw log exports continue to climb. Most disturbingly of all, youth unemployment is two times higher than the average.

Duncan has a large population under 25 years of age, many of them from the Cowichan first nation. We need to invest in these youth to ensure they have the skills to fill any available openings. The best way is a skills training program that is locally provided and focuses on the needs of the employers in the area.

Those youth are waiting for the government to take the issue of high unemployment seriously and develop a jobs plan that will help them and all others still looking for work in Duncan find a job.

Municipal and Regional Governance
Statements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

David Wilks Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, last month at UBCM, which was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, two politicians from my riding were recognized for their contributions to municipal and regional governance.

Jim Ogilvie has been serving the city of Kimberley for 43 years. He was the mayor from 1965 to 2002 and 2005 to present. He has served on the Regional District of East Kootenay for countless years in a number of capacities. His knowledge of policy and procedure at the municipal and regional levels is outstanding.

Sharon Fraser is a councillor for the District of Sparwood and has served her community for 25 years. As mayor, I had the pleasure of working with Sharon for six years. Her no-nonsense approach and colourful language always kept me on my toes.

I would like to especially congratulate these two individuals, as well as all municipal politicians, for their contributions to grassroots politics municipal government.

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day
Statements by Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

Frank Valeriote Guelph, ON

Mr. Speaker, World Hospice and Palliative Care Day was last Saturday, October 8, and I am pleased, as a founding member of the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care, to call attention to the noble goals of this international day of action.

Non-communicable conditions like cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular diseases account for 60% of death worldwide. That is why this year's theme of “Many diseases, many lives, many voices—Palliative care for non-communicable conditions” draws attention to the all too frequent incidences where palliative care is not available for the medical, emotional and social needs of those suffering through an illness and their families.

This year, advocates for more and better palliative care gathered at events across 70 countries to raise funds and increase public awareness. I encourage all my hon. colleagues to join me in applauding their efforts and to take this opportunity to recommit, as elected representatives and as leaders, to finding ways to ensure that where there is need, palliative care is available.

Hungarian Canadians
Statements by Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Corneliu Chisu Pickering—Scarborough East, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Canadians of Hungarian descent on this 55th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian uprising.

The freedom fight of 1956 was a bold attempt by Hungarians to establish solidarity away from the long arm of Soviet and Communist rule. After this uprising, over 200,000 Hungarians fled their homes into neighbouring countries, and 38,000 were welcomed in Canada with warmth and compassion.

The bloodshed 55 years ago bears powerful witness to the unwavering spirit of freedom that resounds in the hearts of the Hungarian people.

Today I invite all hon. members to join me in commemorating the shining example of idealism, patriotism and sheer courage that is the immortal legacy of the freedom fighters of the Hungarian revolution.

God bless Canada és Isten áldja Magyarországot.

Honoré-Mercier
Statements by Members

11:05 a.m.

NDP

Paulina Ayala Honoré-Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to take a moment to commend a colleague from my riding of Honoré-Mercier, the mayor of Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles, Chantal Rouleau. I want to acknowledge her courage in how she carries out her duties. She recently publicly condemned the collusion and corruption she has observed in the construction industry for years. In so doing, she has restored the confidence of people who had become disillusioned by politics, and I congratulate her for that.

I would also like to commend two organizations in my riding that work to improve people's lives and that just held their benefit gala on October 15: Génération Éducation, whose mission is to help elementary school students from disadvantaged neighbourhoods by providing financial and moral support tailored to the specific needs of each student, and the Quebec Latin-American Chamber of Commerce, an agency that showcases the contributions made by immigrant professionals and entrepreneurs.

Finally, I want to congratulate the people of Tunisia on their first free election since 1956.

Democratic Reform
Statements by Members

October 21st, 2011 / 11:05 a.m.

Conservative

Maurice Vellacott Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, our Conservative government has committed to moving the House of Commons toward fair representation. We are committed to ensure that any update to the formula for allocating House of Commons seats will be fair to all provinces.

We will increase the number of seats now and in the future to better reflect the growth of faster-growing provinces and we will ensure that the number of seats for the other provinces does not fall.

We expect the support of all members in the House for this important democratic move. That great statesman and Father of Confederation, George Brown, was passionate about securing the principle of representation by population in Canada. Today's members of Parliament should do no less.

A move toward fair representation by population would give more seats to the growing provinces, while protecting the seat counts of all the other provinces.

We are governing for all Canadians.