House of Commons Hansard #78 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was balance.

Topics

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, obviously my colleague was not listening. I just finished talking about how we did substantially amend the copyright legislation in the late 1990s. Significant changes were made. New rights were introduced. New levies were introduced. I remember at the time those in the commercial radio community were saying it was the end of them, that they could not do it, that those were neighbouring rights which were being introduced. However, from then on commercial radio in our country has never done better.

The answer is we did as a government introduce legislation. It was passed. It was amended in committee, incidentally, to be more constructive and more balanced. My colleague is wrong. We did as a government at the time do what we needed to do in a balanced manner, in respect of Parliament, parliamentarians and those who testified before our committee.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

NDP

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the hon. member for his speech. He mentioned, among other things, that no changes had been made to the bill in committee, which is not really surprising. We are dealing with yet another time allocation. This is a fine example of the government's failure to listen.

Earlier, I asked the hon. member for Cumberland—Colchester—Musquodoboit Valley to name a single concern of Canadians with regard to Bill C-11, but he was unable to do so. He could not name a single suggestion that had been made in committee to improve this bill.

Perhaps my colleague was listening a bit better. Could he provide some examples of suggestions that were made to improve this bill, in order to illustrate that the committee members worked together and listened to experts and the public?

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mauril Bélanger Ottawa—Vanier, ON

Mr. Speaker, one of the main reasons we are at an impasse is the issue of digital locks. Some very constructive suggestions were made that would deny large companies the right to install digital locks, a right that would effectively override consumers' rights and not enhance protection for the artistic community. That is one of the elements that we wanted to change.

Another suggestion was to establish a fund to offset the artistic community's reduced earnings because of the elimination of certain rights.

We thought these were very constructive amendments. They were suggested and supported by many of the witnesses who appeared before the committee. We hoped that the government would listen and make some changes to its bill, but nothing changed. They were not interested and were not swayed by the witnesses, which leads us to believe that they will not be paying any more attention this time around.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:40 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in my place today in the second reading debate on Bill C-11, the copyright modernization act.

Canada's Copyright Act applies in both digital and non-digital environments. The rapid evolution of digital technologies and the Internet has revolutionized the way Canadians produce, reproduce and disseminate copyrighted works. We need to bring the act in line with today's needs. We need to make it flexible and forward looking enough to respond to tomorrow's changes and challenges.

Clear copyright rules support creativity and innovation and underpin economic growth and jobs. In the digital age it is becoming increasingly vital to ensure that our laws can adapt to future technologies and balance the demands of both creators and consumers. The bill before us delivers that balance.

On the one hand, the bill would ensure that the Copyright Act would foster innovation, attract investment and create high-paying jobs in communities like mine in Kitchener—Waterloo and across the country. At the same time, it recognizes that consumers are a key component in copyright, and grants exceptions to copyright where important public interest objectives must be served.

Just as important, the bill before us puts measures in place that would help our copyright laws keep pace with technological change and its impact on intellectual property. The amendments in the bill are technologically neutral. They are intended to be flexible and adaptable to new developments. They would continue to offer the appropriate protections to both users and creators.

The list of industries and groups that depend on copyright is long, and includes authors, performers, producers, the software and video game industry, photographers, visual artists and publishers. They contribute significantly to economic activity in our country and they support this bill.

Here are a few things that have been said by the Entertainment Software Association of Canada:

The government is fulfilling a promise to modernize an outdated law and support the development of new and innovative...business models....this legislation will help provide a framework...and allow creators and companies to distribute their works in the manner that best suits them. We strongly support the principles underlying this bill....

That support is important because it speaks to the economic strength of this sector and why it needs a modern, flexible, legal framework. For example, in 2007, copyright industries in Canada contributed some $50 billion to Canada's GDP. That is 4.7% of our GDP. They employ over 900,000 people. That is nearly one million Canadian jobs that rely on strong and fair copyright laws to reward them for their creativity and innovation.

Every day of delaying tactics by the opposition represents another day where those almost one million jobs, that $50 billion contribution to our country's GDP, and those creative communities are left without modern legal protection.

At the same time, many sectors of the economy benefit significantly from exceptions to copyright through such measures as fair dealing. These include the educational and library community that use copyright material in support of education, training and developing the skills of tomorrow's leaders.

Education in the future will increasingly incorporate publicly available material on the Internet for purposes of teaching and education. It will build on lessons that are enhanced by the latest technologies. It will rely on course materials and library loans that are delivered in a digital manner.

The users also include researchers and innovators in the information and communications technology sector. They are concerned about protecting their own intellectual property, but at the same time they benefit from making reproductions of copyrighted materials for their own research and the development of new products. Accordingly, we can see that users of copyright are increasingly creators of copyright and vice versa.

A modernized Copyright Act must take into account everyone's needs and reflect a balance in the public interest.

I would like to draw to the attention of the House the provisions of the bill that would give business the tools it needs to take risks, invest, and roll out cutting-edge business models. That is what all of us want. In these ways the bill is part of this government's long-standing commitment to productivity and innovation.

Innovation builds on existing ideas to solve new problems. Intellectual property laws, including copyright, play an important role in providing an incentive to create. However, copyright can also be a barrier to the development of innovative products and services. Let me give the House an example. In the 1970s when the VCR was created, it was challenged by copyright owners in the United States as a device that could potentially be used for copyright infringement. The U.S. courts ultimately ruled in favour of the new technology, paving the way for future technologies like the personal video recorder. Today, DVD sales are a major source of income for copyright owners.

We want to encourage innovation. We want to eliminate some of the uncertainty that innovative businesses face when it comes to copyright issues.

Some of the provisions in this legislation are aimed in particular at the information and communications technology industries. The bill would allow, for example, third-party software companies to undertake reverse engineering for interoperability, security testing and encryption research. As a result, for example, companies could test software for security flaws and then develop and sell patches. These companies could develop new products and software solutions, even if they needed to circumvent digital locks to do so.

The bill also clarifies that there are no copyright implications for reproductions made as part of a technical process, such as to enable content to be viewed on a smart phone like the BlackBerry. This is all part of ensuring that Canada's copyright law is technology-neutral and can adapt to new technologies.

The bill also supports innovation by creating a safe environment in which to roll out new business models.

It would protect against piracy by targeting those who promote and profit from copyright infringement. The bill would prohibit the sale or import of tools or services to enable hacking of access or copy controls. The bill focuses on those who engage in this illegal activity for profit, while it lightens the penalty regime for those who have infringed copyright for non-commercial purposes.

This element of this legislation has strong support. Let me read some remarks by Caroline Czajko, the chair of the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, who says they are pleased that the government is getting tough on IP crimes:

Piracy is a massive problem in Canada which has a tangible economic impact on government revenue, legitimate retailers, and consumers.

Bill C-11 would also add to the exceptions allowed for those who would use copyrighted material for certain acceptable purposes. Parody, satire and education are added to the category of fair dealing, a long-standing feature of Canada's copyright law.

I hope we can move ahead quickly with these amendments to the Copyright Act update. I think we can all agree that there has been enough debate in this place and in the public domain. It is time to move this forward. It is time for a special committee to continue the work we started in the last session of Parliament. By encouraging business innovation and the creation of digital content, these amendments are key components of that strategy, and we need to get them into law.

I encourage all hon. members to join me in voting for the bill.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:50 a.m.

NDP

Tyrone Benskin Jeanne-Le Ber, QC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member pointed out a list of people supporting the bill in its current form. Each time I have heard that list, the only people who have been drawn upon are from the video gaming industry.

As an artist for 30 years, I have known full well, from following the bill since its incarnation as Bill C-32, that the vast majority of the artistic community does not support the bill. Artists do not support the bill because it would take away their remuneration and rights. The bill would basically usurp the rights of the creators.

I would like the hon. member, if he would, to answer the question why or what proof he has that the majority of artists support the bill. In addition, I would hope that he would not think this is a delaying tactic, because a considerable number of Canadians do not support the bill. I think it is only right to debate it until we can find that balance and consensus.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is indeed a very long list of groups and stakeholders that support Bill C-11 and supported Bill C-32 in the last session of Parliament, including artists and creators.

I spoke in my comments about the entertainment software industry. Let me go on, as the hon. member wishes to hear the full list.

Our bill is supported by 400 film, television and interactive media companies across Canada; 150 chief executives across Canada; 38 multinational software companies; 300 Canadian businesses, associations and boards of trade; and 25 university student associations across Canada.

Let me quote a great Canadian musician Loreena McKennitt. She said that the changes proposed in the bill are “fair and reasonable” and that “By fair, I mean establishing rules that ensure artists...are paid for their work.... By reasonable, I mean rules that allow consumers to fully enjoy music...that people like me produce.”

I want Canadian artists--

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I will have to stop the member there, to allow another question.

The hon. member for Winnipeg North.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, Bill C-11 has been a very controversial bill. Unfortunately, we have seen the government put in time allocation to limit debate. The member made reference to the fact that we are trying to stall debate. The Liberal Party has said that it has a number of concerns and wants to deal with these through debate and has suggested that eight of its members would speak on this particular bill. Yet, the government has said those are too many people, unfortunately.

We need to recognize there are widely varying opinions about Bill C-11 and that the government has done a disservice to this chamber by preventing adequate debate on this particular bill as it passes through the House. Let us not try to give the impression that the bill has been debated for hours and hours since it was introduced for second reading this time around.

My question for the member is, does he not acknowledge the need to at least allow political parties a few hours of debate prior to the bill actually being passed? If we have waited so long, what is the great hurry and why does debate on the bill--

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I will have to stop the member there because there is only a minute left, and I will return the floor back to the member for Kitchener—Waterloo.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Peter Braid Kitchener—Waterloo, ON

Mr. Speaker, I must admit that I am astounded by the hypocrisy of the question. We are debating Bill C-11. Currently, we have hours allocated for just that. There will be almost 75 speeches. Bill C-11 is exactly the same bill as Bill C-32.

I was on the special legislative committee in the last session of Parliament. On the government side, we wanted to sit day and night to get the bill passed. The opposition members, all of them, sat on their hands and twiddled their thumbs. They wanted to have nothing to do with moving the bill forward. Finally, we have the opportunity to move the bill forward to support innovation and creativity in this country. I look forward to getting that done.

Pensions
Statements By Members

10:55 a.m.

Conservative

Bob Zimmer Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, the current path of our nation's old age security program is unsustainable. We have all seen the figures. With our aging population, the cost of the program will increase from $36 billion in 2010 to $108 billion in 2030. As a recently released Macdonald-Laurier Institute report states:

Canada will either proactively implement solutions to this coming problem or react, probably in crisis, when the full weight of the costs of an aging society fully confront our society.

Canadians like my parents, Ernie and Mary Zimmer, who are currently receiving old age security, or those who are close to retirement age, will not be affected by our long-term sustainability planning. We will also ensure that those who will be affected, meaning those not yet near retirement, will have plenty of time to plan for their future.

Our government will do what nearly every other advanced country has done. We will ensure that my generation and all future generations have a sustainable public pension system.

Diabetes
Statements By Members

February 10th, 2012 / 11 a.m.

NDP

Matthew Kellway Beaches—East York, ON

Mr. Speaker, a week ago a lovely kid called Michael came to see me for some pins and a flag, because he is off to Italy in March. Michael, just 11, has been scouted by the Italian soccer club Roma and invited to try out for its boys club. Michael is a modest kid with a competitive glint in his eye. I know he will do us all and, most importantly, himself proud.

However, Michael also came to see me for another reason. He has type 1 diabetes. He came to ask me to urge the government to continue its funding partnership with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. That partnership, just created in 2009, is already making new technologies and treatments available to Canadians like Michael. This partnership ensures that kids like Michael get an opportunity to choose the talents they want to pursue and to realize their dreams. Canada has a long, storied history in diabetes research and treatment. Let us not stop it now.

Finally, I ask the House to join me in wishing Michael good luck in Italy.

Canada-China Relations
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

Eve Adams Mississauga—Brampton South, ON

Mr. Speaker, our Prime Minister is leading a successful mission to China, promoting Canada's interests. This visit will deepen trade and economic ties between our two countries and set the foundation for long-term economic growth in Canada. Under our government, Canada's exports to China have increased by 85%. Thanks to our government's securing approved destination status last year, the number of Chinese tourists coming to Canada this year has increased by 25%. These are real dollars coming into Canada and keeping Canadians working.

Our two nations have agreed to jointly fund science, technology and innovation research in human vaccines and clean transportation. We will also strengthen our ties in the areas of energy, natural resources, agriculture, science and technology and education, as a new strategic priority.

We look forward to continuing to strengthen our strategic partnership with China and maintaining a frank and respectful—

Canada-China Relations
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. The hon. member for Scarborough—Guildwood.

Child Soldiers
Statements By Members

11 a.m.

Liberal

John McKay Scarborough—Guildwood, ON

Mr. Speaker, February 12 commemorates the day on which the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict entered into force as international law. Hundreds of thousands of children have been robbed of their childhood, killed, maimed, raped, drugged and otherwise abused and forced to do the same to their families and communities while under the direction of adult combatants. Soldiering is not a career option for a seven-year-old who is barely taller than his gun. In spite of international law, this tragedy continues to unfold in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma, Sudan and others.

As we mark the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers, let us commit to ending the use of children in armed conflict and criminal activities and let our actions speak louder than our words. Our friend and colleague, Senator Roméo Dallaire, has worked tirelessly on this issue. He has been a world leader in the fight against the use of child soldiers. In partnership with Dalhousie University, he has led research on failing states, as well as conducted training for military police—