House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam
B.C.

Conservative

James Moore Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Mr. Speaker, if by quoting me the hon. member is trying to sweet talk me into supporting his leadership campaign he is a bit late.

With regard to copyright reform, I would remind the House leader of the official opposition, all the opposition parties in this House, even my colleagues and certainly the public that this effort to modernize Canada's copyright legislation began more than two years ago. This is not legislation that we tabled yesterday and are taking this action on now. This is essential for Canada's digital economy, for our standard on the world scene and to ensure that those who are investing and those who are creating have rights that are clear in the digital age.

It has been 22 years since Canada's copyright regime has been seriously and substantively reformed in this way. We have taken action. We have consulted Canadians widely. We tabled Bill C-32 and re-tabled that legislation as Bill C-11. This debate has been going on for two and a half years. We think it is more than time to move forward. This legislation has been considered more than any other piece of legislation in any one of the last three Parliaments and it is time to move forward.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, what is very clear is that the Prime Minister does not believe in freedom of debate inside the House of Commons. Never before have we seen a majority government take this type of action in order to limit debate.

The government House leader waltzes in and introduces, yet again, time allocation. He does not even have the courage to directly answer specific questions as to why the government continues to limit debate inside this chamber on critically important pieces of legislation.

The government House leader does not have the ability to negotiate in good faith with opposition House leaders and it is at a substantial cost to democracy in Canada. We challenge the government to have the political courage to do the right thing, approach House leaders and sit down and negotiate in good faith. If the government does not have that ability, it is time the Prime Minister changed the government House leader in the House of Commons. What the government is doing is disrespectful--

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Bruce Stanton

Order, please. Members are reminded to try to keep questions and responses to approximately one minute.

The hon. Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:15 a.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, I do not think anybody can credibly stand in this place and suggest that our efforts to modernize Canada's copyright regime has not had substantive debate.

We have had two and a half years of consideration of this legislation. We set up a stand-alone legislative committee, apart from the heritage and industry committees, so that this legislation could be considered in-depth. We heard from tens of thousands of Canadians. We did consultations all across this country. We re-tabled the same legislation from the previous Parliament to continue the debate going forward. We have had days of debate in this Parliament and in a previous Parliament on this legislation.

After two and a years, after having considered amendments, after having amended our own legislation with 11 specific amendments that came from those consultations, I think it is clear that this copyright bill has had two and a half years of substantive, non-partisan, effective debate and it is time to move forward.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Nycole Turmel Hull—Aylmer, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to note that this government, which claims to be democratic and open, is once again moving a closure motion on such an important bill as Bill C-11 on copyright.

I would like to read a 2002 quote from the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages:

Mr. Speaker, here we go again. This is a very important public policy question that is very complex and we have the arrogance of the government in invoking closure again. When we look at the Liberal Party [which was in power at the time] on arrogance it is like looking at the Grand Canyon. It is this big fact of nature that we cannot help but stare at.

I would like to know why, in the past, the Conservatives were completely against limiting debate, whereas today, they are fine with it even though we want to thoroughly debate the bill?

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:20 a.m.

Mégantic—L'Érable
Québec

Conservative

Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)

Mr. Speaker, again, it is not reasonable for hon. members to rise in this House and say there has been no debate on this bill. On the contrary, there has been a tremendous amount of debate on it.

We reintroduced the same bill from the last Parliament in order to continue the debate that was held on Bill C-32 and on Bill C-11. We have been debating this for two and a half years. More than 10,000 consultations have been held across Canada.

My colleague, the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, can confirm that. He and the President of the Treasury Board were in charge of this file in the previous Parliament.

It is time to move into the digital age. What we are hearing in this debate is a skipping record. Vinyl records that skip are a thing of the past. We have to move toward the digital economy. We have to move on to something else and update the legislation.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:20 a.m.

Bloc

André Bellavance Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Mr. Speaker, I just heard the Minister of Industry refer to a skipping record. There is a good explanation for that. Despite what he says and all these consultations he mentioned, the government has not heard the message. It is as simple as that.

What we are telling artists again today in Bill C-11 and what we told them in Bill C-32—and the Minister of Industry said himself that the two bills are the same—is that they will not be paid for their work. Whether we are talking about artisans or more or less famous artists, this change has not been made in Bill C-11. That is why we must continue to listen to people, not just here in Parliament, but in committee, to finally make the government understand the situation.

Time allocation always reminds me of a recent ad campaign for a credit card company, or even Club Med, which shows 30 seconds of sunshine and beautiful people strolling down the beach and asks us to imagine spending a week doing the same. With all these time allocation motions that we have had in just one year of this majority government, just imagine what we are in for until 2015. It is unbearable.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Christian Paradis Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, once again, taking Bill C-11 and Bill C-32 together, at second reading alone, we had 29 hours of debate and 31 meetings lasting a total of over 65 hours, and we heard from over 110 witnesses.

Yes, Bill C-11 is the same as the former Bill C-32, with 11 amendments made following consultation. What people do not want is an iPod tax. That is clear. Yet that is what my colleague is recommending and he is starting to sound like a broken record.

We need to move on. What we want to eliminate is piracy. When people try to cheat and pirate material in the digital era, it will be prohibited. This legislation will comply with the international standards of the World Intellectual Property Organization. People expect that. The legislation needs to be updated. After so many hours of debate, it is time to move on.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

May 15th, 2012 / 10:20 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, my favourite quotation is from the hon. Minister of Public Safety. He said, “For the government to bring in closure and time allocation is wrong. It sends out the wrong message to the people of Canada. It tells the people of Canada that the government is afraid of debate, afraid of discussion and afraid of publicly justifying the steps it has taken.”

Despite Conservative rhetoric, those steps are basically to follow the lead of the United States and make sweeping changes that serve no one, except major rights holders like movie houses and record companies. The real winners in Bill C-11 would be those who hold power.

At the insistence of the Americans, the government has forgotten Canadian consumers and Canadian artists. Why are the Conservatives are not standing up for Canadian consumers and Canadian artists?

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, the hon. member talks about standing up for consumers. Then why is it her party that wants to impose a new tax on consumers whenever they purchase a digital device? Frankly, she does not know what she is talking about. She talks about the Americans because she bashes Americans out of habit. The Americans actually wish our government had taken a different track on notice and notice. They wish that we had notice and takedown. They wish we had taken a number of other measures that we rejected because we chose a Canadian approach.

However, the member is clearly just reading quotes that were handed to by her whip's office. Let me furnish her with another quote, not from Americans or big corporate interests but Canadian workers on the front lines in Canada's cultural industry.

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, workers on the front lines in Canada's cultural industries, said that it applauds the government for moving forward with Bill C-11. It said that this bill will help keep over 16,000 workers in Canada's entertainment industry employed and that piracy is taking money out of workers' pockets. It said, “Canada needs copyright legislation that will protect and create jobs, stimulate the economy and attract new investment.”

That is from workers on the front lines in Canada's creative industries who support this bill, not Americans or big corporations. I wish the member for London—Fanshawe would do her homework.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Chris Charlton Hamilton Mountain, ON

Mr. Speaker, along with my colleagues I must say that I am not at all surprised that we are now dealing with time allocation for the 21st time in this Parliament. I am saddened, not surprised, but definitely saddened. The government seems to suggest that debate is somehow evil, that it is something of an impediment to its legislative agenda. We would think that the government would have learned that every time it has tried to shut down debate in this Parliament, three times already, it has actually benefited from the deliberative process here in this Parliament and ended up having to withdraw its bills or make significant amendments.

The House will remember the Internet snooping law. After debate in the House that bill never even came back because it was so flawed.

The crime omnibus bill that was before the House needed amendment. The government rushed it through with time allocation. In the end the government had to go to the Senate to have it amended.

What we do in this place is important. It improves legislation. The government has a majority and of course it will get its way. However, the deliberative process here matters. The government should respect Parliament and allow us to do our jobs.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, it simply lacks any and all credibility to suggest that we are anti-debate with regard to copyright.

Again, this legislation has been before this Parliament for two years. This debate was started by our government two and a half years ago. There has been an incredible deal of consultation outside Parliament, within Parliament and at two stand-alone legislative committees. We amended our own legislation with 11 substantive amendments that would strengthen this legislation after having debated and consulted with Canadians after we tabled our legislation. This bill has been before this House now for two years. There has been more than enough debate on this. It is time that we move forward.

I am more than pleased to read a number of quotes into the record. Here is what the Edmonton Journal had to say about this legislation, “...something had to be done. It's been 13 years since the last changes were made—arguably 22 years since substantive reform—...it's a different universe out there.”

This copyright bill is a welcome start. It's time to move forward.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Charlie Angus Timmins—James Bay, ON

Mr. Speaker, I have listened to the Conservative backbenchers cherry-pick quotes from testimony that I sat through. I had heard a very different set of testimony from all the people they are quoting. However, it is a larger issue. It is the contempt for Parliament that this government shows again and again.

Yesterday, the member for South Shore—St. Margaret's said that our participation in this debate was not legitimate, that there was no legitimacy for members of Parliament to do their job. The fact is that it takes them a day of having to listen again to the problems with this bill. That is what debate is about.

I ask my hon. colleague to at least be truthful on this. The Conservatives did not work with anybody on amendments. They did not listen, so it is our right as opposition to point out the flaws of the bill. That is the democratic process. If he does not like the democratic process, they should just shut this place down.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:30 a.m.

Conservative

James Moore Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, just because we do not agree with the NDP amendments does not mean we are not open to amendments. In fact, we included 11 amendments in the legislation that did not come from the government. They came from testimony at the legislative committee. We outlined in every single one of those 11 amendments why we put them in, the organizations and individual Canadians who advocated for them, and why they strengthened the bill. These were ideas that came from outside Parliament into Parliament. It was very democratic.

With regard to respecting Parliament, we offered every opportunity for members of Parliament from other parties to participate in this process. We set up a stand-alone legislative committee in the previous parliament and this Parliament so that work would not be interrupted at the heritage and industry committees. Everybody could come together and focus on this legislation in a substantive way.

We have been debating it for two years. This conversation was had by this Parliament for six months prior to that, so for two and a half years we have been debating and considering it, which is more than any other piece of legislation in my 12 years in public life. Therefore, this legislation more than passes any and all standards with regard to transparency, debate and time considered than any bill that has been seen in my lifetime.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation Motion
Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

10:30 a.m.

Green

Elizabeth May Saanich—Gulf Islands, BC

Mr. Speaker, I would agree with the Minister of Canadian Heritage that the bill has had consideration in contrast to a bill such as Bill C-38 that has had none.

My concern is with the approach that the government House leader has taken. We find ourselves on the day of a vote that was not previously on notice. We had notice yesterday of time allocation but we had no idea if it was two or three or four days. There will be extensive votes tonight because there are a lot of substantive amendments to be reviewed.

It would show more respect to opposition members and to all parties in the House if the government House leader were to allow bills to have proper notice. People have plans, such as a charity event in memory of my daughter's best friend. I am sorry to bring up a personal matter. We all sacrifice things so we can stay in the House for late votes. More notice would have shown more respect.