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

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

NDP

John Rafferty Thunder Bay—Rainy River, ON

Mr. Speaker, Biwaase’aa is the after-school program for aboriginal youth in Thunder Bay. It provides healthy food, recreational activities, first nations cultural teachings and emotional support to some 500 students in seven elementary schools. It does this for $5 per day per student.

By all measurements, it is a program that should be replicated, not cut, yet the government has cut funding after a decade of success. It finds billions for limos, gazebos, jails and jets. That is no problem. Why is it cutting valuable programs like Biwaase’aa?

Aboriginal Affairs
Oral Questions

2:55 p.m.

Vancouver Island North
B.C.

Conservative

John Duncan Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development

Mr. Speaker, our government is focused on ways to maintain the essential work we do to make Canada a better place for first nations, Inuit, Métis and northerners, but in better and more efficient ways. We are achieving reductions by reducing the costs of operations while protecting services in communities as much as we possibly can. We are working closely with all our employees to make sure this transition happens in the least disruptive, most effective and most transparent way possible.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

May 15th, 2012 / 3 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, the government knows that the natural resources sector is a cornerstone of Canada's economy, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and economic growth for small rural communities in every corner of this great country.

These communities are found in British Columbia, in Ontario, in the Atlantic provinces and even in Quebec. I have a question for the Minister of Natural Resources. Can he tell this House about Quebec's latest natural resources plan?

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Eglinton—Lawrence
Ontario

Conservative

Joe Oliver Minister of Natural Resources

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member for that very astute question.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order.

The hon. Minister of Natural Resources.

Natural Resources
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Conservative

Joe Oliver Eglinton—Lawrence, ON

Mr. Speaker, the northern plan explains the important role played by resource development in Quebec. While Quebec is proud of our resource heritage, the NDP leader calls it a disease. The NDP leader must apologize to the hundreds of thousands of Canadians throughout the country who work in the resource sector.

Air Transportation
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

NDP

Élaine Michaud Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Transport met with Quebec's municipal affairs and intergovernmental affairs ministers about the Neuville airport. Finally.

As I have been doing in this House since November, they pointed out to him that the entire region is against the project and asked him to take action on this issue. The minister apparently said he was aware of the many problems that this airport is causing residents. It is about time, because planes have already started flying over the town.

Can the minister tell us if he now intends to meet with the mayor of Neuville and use the authority conferred on him by the Aeronautics Act to intervene in this matter?

Air Transportation
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Roberval—Lac-Saint-Jean
Québec

Conservative

Denis Lebel Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the member will get the same answer that she has had since November.

Yesterday, we did in fact have a meeting with Quebec government ministers about a number of issues, including the Neuville airport.

I would like to point out that the mandate of the Minister of Transport is to promote the economic development of the aviation industry in a manner that is stable and safe. There is no question of safety in this case. Even if there were a regulatory change —and none is foreseen—it would in no way concern Neuville, as it is a matter that we consider settled. If the mayor did not believe in the airport, he would not have signed an agreement after proposing seven possible locations.

Housing
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, the fact that the federal government is withdrawing its funding for affordable housing is shameful. Despite desperate needs, the government is going to terminate operating agreements for these housing units. By 2016, thousands of Quebec families will lose the financial support that helps them afford appropriate housing. This morning, I presented part of a petition, with over 6,000 of a total of 27,000 signatures, condemning these cuts, which will affect the most vulnerable people in Quebec.

Does the government intend to renew this funding or is it going to again make the less fortunate pay for its deficits and absurd budget choices?

Housing
Oral Questions

3 p.m.

Haldimand—Norfolk
Ontario

Conservative

Diane Finley Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, that is completely absurd. It is our government that stabilized the housing market by allocating almost $2 billion over five years for affordable housing. It is our government that helped these people in need. Unfortunately, the Bloc opposed every initiative that we took to help these people.

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

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Andrew Scheer

The hon. member for Gatineau has seven minutes to finish her speech.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

3:05 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to see that so many members will hear my speech on Bill C-11.

Before question period, I congratulated my colleagues from Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, Timmins—James Bay and Jeanne-Le Ber, who are very passionate about this issue, and I congratulate them publicly again.

Why are they so passionate about it? I am going to give you a few facts that can sometimes be a little surprising. We often say that the government opposite does not like arts and culture because they are not big business, like oil and gas; arts and culture are not as important.

The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, or ACTRA, estimates that the arts and culture industries in Canada contribute $85 billion a year to our economy. That represents 7.4% of Canada's gross national income and supports 1.1 million jobs, or about 6% of the Canadian labour force. These industries and the jobs that depend on them can survive only in an environment where intellectual property is protected.

Despite the important contribution of these industries, the average income in 2009-10 for an artist in Canada was only $12,900 a year, which I find very sad. A 2008 report by the Conference Board of Canada indicated that the cultural sector generated approximately $25 billion. We are talking money and taxes. That is three times the $7.9 billion investment in culture by all levels of government in 2007.

How much does the federal government invest in arts and culture? A meagre 1.6% of total government spending.

I was struck by another telling statistic in connection with this entire issue of copyright and the reform of copyright. In 2008, the Statistics Canada survey on household spending found that Canadians spent $1.4 billion on attending live artistic performances, twice as much as on sports events. And we know how much the government opposite likes to talk about sports and how little it talks about arts and culture.

What does such a change mean? When we look at the bill, it seems rather complicated. That is why I strongly disagree with the government's move to once again force the adoption of a time allocation motion. That forces us to shorten the debates and limit my colleagues' speaking time and right to speak here in this House. Most of my colleagues are here for the first time. It is highly likely that this is the first time in their lives they have heard about the Copyright Act.

In the summary of the bill we see that some changes have been made to the Copyright Act to:

(a) update the rights and protections of copyright owners to better address the challenges and opportunities of the Internet, so as to be in line with international standards;

We know that the Internet is now a major player when it comes to copyright because a great deal of created material is on the Internet, including movies, music, books, you name it.

The summary also indicates that these changes to the Copyright Act will also:

(b) clarify Internet service providers’ liability and make the enabling of online copyright infringement itself an infringement of copyright;

(c) permit businesses, educators and libraries to make greater use of copyright material in digital form;...

Thus, these amendments to the Copyright Act change many, many things.

The kinds of changes being made to this legislation can be categorized into three main groups: changes defined as sector-specific reforms, compromise provisions, and no-compromise rules regarding technological protection measures.

The NDP is looking to strike a balanced approach. Our party is seeking a balanced system between the rights of creators and those of the public. I hope that all the members of this House want to ensure that the public has access to as much information as possible while protecting copyright, which goes without saying.

With this bill, and with our friends opposite—with whom we are less and less friendly—we get the impression that any efforts have instead focused on meeting the demands of the big owners of American content. They are the big global players in this area. I am referring to film studios, record companies, developers of video games, and others.

Will Canadians one day have a law that meets their needs? That much is not clear, and this legislation will certainly not do the job.

I only have one minute left, which is very little time. I would have liked to discuss a great many things about this bill, which is riddled with shortcomings and defects. Amendments have been proposed, and it is my hope that they will be seriously considered so as to prevent foolish things from occurring. For example, students who are enrolled in distance education because they reside in remote areas would be forced to destroy their notes after a certain number of days.

There are things in the bill that make absolutely no sense. I want to commend those people who work in the area of arts and culture. I particularly salute those people who work very hard for the City of Gatineau and the Maison de la culture de Gatineau, whose board I had the pleasure to chair for a number of years. They do extraordinary work when it comes to disseminating arts and culture. They help new artists, along with well-known artists, to make a name for themselves.

Let us therefore protect artists and, at the same time, ensure that the public enjoys the best possible access to arts and culture.

Copyright Modernization Act
Government Orders

3:10 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my hon. colleague for her speech and for all the work she does in the House.

We on our side have said from the get-go that copyright legislation should balance the rights of artists and their need to be paid with the rights of consumers and their needs. We feel that, on a number of different levels, the government did not get that balance right.

I am wondering if my hon. colleague could speak to the issue of the importance of fostering a vibrant arts and culture sector in her community and what that means both to the economy and to the community as a whole.