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 copyright.

Topics

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Madam Speaker, it is a privilege and honour to speak to Bill C-11, the copyright modernization bill. This bill was designed to address the interests of Canadians, from those who create content to the consumers who benefit from it.

I am also glad to see how the efforts of parliamentarians on all sides have moved the bill forward and have earned the support of Canada's creative community. Parliamentarians heard from many who contributed to the committee process through testimony and submissions. We heard a clear message that copyright laws play a critical role in protecting and creating jobs in Canada's digital economy.

We all know that a strong copyright regime is critical for the growth of our digital economy and our information and communications technology sector. Combined with other legislative initiatives, as well as innovative measures by the private sector, this bill will contribute to a well-functioning digital economy by instilling trust and confidence in consumers and creators. I cannot reinforce enough the fact that we need to instill trust and confidence in consumers and creators.

One of the key pieces to a strong digital economy is the safeguarding of intellectual property. This legislation will provide these safeguards.

A myriad of witnesses testified over the last couple of years through a few iterations of this legislation. I am glad to say that the following associations have shown support for aspects of the current bill: the Canadian Council of Chief Executives; the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; the Canadian Photographers Coalition; the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network; the Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations; the Entertainment Software Association of Canada; the Canadian Independent Music Association; Association des producteurs de films et de télévision du Québec; and many more.

I would like to take some time now to discuss other important aspects of this bill.

The bill introduces a new remedy for copyright owners against those who knowingly enable infringement of copyright. This new remedy supplements existing criminal powers to deal with pirate sites by adding stronger tools for copyright owners and makes liability for enabling of infringement clear. I think it is important to bring clarity to this matter and that is what the legislation sets out to do.

We are making sure to protect copyright holders in order to give them the ability to defend themselves. Canada's creative industries will also benefit from an amendment made at the committee stage that clarifies statutory damages for copyright infringement. Copyright owners will finally have stronger legal tools to pursue online pirate sites that facilitate copyright infringement. The amendment will facilitate targeting those who participate in wide-scale violation of the rights of creators.

Another amendment will also eliminate the safe harbour for those who infringe author's rights. Canadian creators, performers and artists will benefit from the rights and protections that are part of the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO, Internet treaties, including the exclusive right to control how their copyrighted material is made available on the Internet.

Consumers will benefit from this bill as well. It legitimizes activities that Canadians do every day, such as downloading music and certain kinds of format shifting, such as when people use PVRs to record shows and watch them later. Canadians will finally be able to record television, radio and Internet programming in order to enjoy it at a later time with no restrictions as to the device or media they wish to use. Once again, the legislation is providing clarity and certainty.

The big issue is that this legislation speaks to the balance we have achieved. It is fair and it is balanced. Canadian consumers will also be able to copy legitimately acquired music, film or other works onto any device or medium, such as MP3 players, for their private use. They will also be able to make backup copies of these works.

Those are just a few examples of the common-sense changes within this bill. That is one reason I am so supportive of this legislation. Those examples show why this bill is so important.

Right away we can see that the bill is technologically neutral. We were told time and time again by stakeholders across the spectrum that we need legislation that is not rendered obsolete by new advancements in technology, as the current act is. There have been three different attempts over the last 15 years, since 1997, to bring the legislation into the 21st century. This is what we are about to do with this legislation moving forward. The fact is technology is advancing all the time. It will be something that we will be addressing as we move forward as well.

Canadians with perceptual disabilities will be permitted to adapt legally acquired material to a format they can easily use. We have heard time and time again about the difficulty perceptually impaired Canadians have accessing works in Braille or in a format they can enjoy more fully. I am proud that we have taken the step in this legislation to allow for some conversion.

Our government also understands the difference between a large-scale violator and an ordinary consumer. The legislation introduces the concept of proportionality in statutory damages. It revises current provisions for statutory damages to distinguish between commercial and non-commercial infringement. That is very important. This bill reduces an individual's potential liability in cases of non-commercial infringement to a one-time payment of between $100 and $5,000 for all infringements that took place prior to any lawsuit being launched.

It is through these types of measures that we will finally provide real protection for the intellectual property created by Canada's creative industries. It is through these and other steps we can see the meticulous balance that has emerged.

Even better, the bill also includes a statutory five-year review. As I mentioned, technology is advancing all the time, and it is important that we continue to review this legislation and have a proviso in the legislation so if that balance is upset at any time, or if an unforeseen consequence of the legislation occurs, changes can be made to improve the act in the future. We know that perfection in copyright legislation is elusive, so having the opportunity to make changes just makes sense.

In closing, I want to take some time to connect this bill to other steps our government has taken to promote and create innovation in our economy. I represent the constituents of Kelowna—Lake Country, an innovative, technologically sound and vibrant community. We are encouraging the private sector to create and adopt new digital technologies. We are developing tomorrow's digital workforce. For example, in budget 2012, acting on the Jenkins report, we announced $1.1 billion to directly support research and development; $500 million for venture capital, something we have heard a lot about the need for; $37 million annually for Canada's granting councils; $10 million for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research; $500 million for the Canada Foundation for Innovation; and much more. Members can see this funding helps to provide the basis of a strong, connected digital economy.

I would encourage the opposition to join us in putting Canada's economy and Canadian jobs first. This bill is on the right track to do just that. It is time to get it passed.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Malpeque, PE

Madam Speaker, we can see what is in Bill C-11. People have a number of concerns, especially about the ability to purchase music and make a copy to have in their car or whatever.

The member for Kelowna—Lake Country is also a member of the trade committee. He and I were just at a meeting. It seems there is a possibility that Bill C-11 is just the first step. The Europeans seem to be claiming that Bill C-11 does not go as far as they want it to go. I wonder if the member could tell us how far the government is willing to concede to the Europeans, which would go well beyond Bill C-11 and might create some concerns for Canadians. As the member is on the trade committee, I wonder if he could give us some perspective on that.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague from Prince Edward Island and I do work together on the trade committee. Trade is very important. One in five jobs in Canada and 60% of our GDP are based on trade. We continue to expand our trading opportunities. One of the ways to do that is to ensure that Canadian creators have the certainty and protection that this balanced legislation provides. As my colleague just alluded to, we attended a workshop session on intellectual property and CETA, looking at the agreement with the European Union.

That is why it is so important, as I mentioned in my speech, to have the five-year review of the legislation. Situations could be brought forward. Technology is changing all the time. We want to ensure that we have the right legislation to meet the needs of Canadians from coast to coast to coast today. As I mentioned, this is the third attempt since 1997 to try to bring this legislation into the 21st century. I am very confident the legislation balances the rights of creators and the interests of consumers today and for the future.

(Bill S-1003. On the order: Private Members' Business:)

May 1, 2012—Second reading and reference to a legislative committee of Bill S-1003, An Act to authorize Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to apply to be continued as a body corporate under the laws of Quebec—Ms. Hélène LeBlanc.

Act to Authorize Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to Continue as a Body Corporate
Private Members' Business

4:40 p.m.

NDP

Hélène LeBlanc LaSalle—Émard, QC

Madam Speaker, I believe that if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for the following motion:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practices of the House, Bill S-1003, An Act to authorize Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to apply to be continued as a body corporate under the laws of Quebec, be deemed to have been reported favourably by the Examiner of Petitions pursuant to Standing Order 133(3); and that the bill be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to a Committee of the Whole, deemed considered in Committee of the Whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage and deemed read a third time and passed.

Act to Authorize Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to Continue as a Body Corporate
Private Members' Business

4:40 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Act to Authorize Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to Continue as a Body Corporate
Private Members' Business

4:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Act to Authorize Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to Continue as a Body Corporate
Private Members' Business

4:40 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Act to Authorize Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to Continue as a Body Corporate
Private Members' Business

4:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Act to Authorize Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to Continue as a Body Corporate
Private Members' Business

4:40 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

(Motion agreed to, bill read the second time, considered in committee of the whole, reported without amendment, concurred in, read the third time and passed)

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-11, an act to amend the Copyright Act, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

4:40 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

There are two and half minutes left for questions and comments.

The hon. member for Halifax.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

4:40 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie Halifax, NS

Madam Speaker, my question for my colleague is about the rights of creators. In answer to the last question, he said that the bill balanced rights. I disagree with him.

I am from Halifax where we have a lot of creators. Creators are not necessarily the owners of copyright. Therefore, what is in the bill that stands up for creators? There is this long list of exceptions in the bill that do not adequately recognize the rights of creators. The Conservatives are creating new ways for people to access copyrighted works, which then leaves creators out in the cold.

What exactly is in the bill that works for creators, because I do not see anything?

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

4:40 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Madam Speaker, that is an excellent question. We are concerned about finding the right balance.

I agree that the legislation encourages new ideas. It protects the rights of Canadians. Research, development and artistic creativity strengthen our economy. Artists from coast to coast to coast are a big part of our creative economy. We are providing that certainty for them to ensure they have the protection.

As I mentioned, we just looked at a section within our trade initiatives locally to ensure that each of our provincial and territorial parties worked together and to ensure that if someone writes a song or produces a piece of art, it has not only the protection but also the support of our government in marketing it.

I came from a background in music. I was a fledgling musician. I still have some albums available. If anyone would like to buy them, I could market them. I had a long history in the music industry in helping artists. I know this is important for young, aspiring artists and creators in the gaming industry.

Also, as I mentioned, I come from one of the best wine producing regions in Canada, but we also have some of the best technology. The silicone vineyard of the Okanagan Valley and Kelowna Lake country will want to ensure that this legislation has that balance.

For example one organization, the Balanced Copyright For Canada, says, “We welcome the reintroduction of copyright reform and encourage all Parliamentarians to work together for its quick passage”.

The Canadian Publisher's Council has said, “we all benefit from strong and precise copyright legislation that provides incentives to protect rates holders—

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

4:40 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker Denise Savoie

Order, please. Unfortunately, the hon. member's time has lapsed.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup.