An Act to amend the Copyright Act

This bill was last introduced in the 37th Parliament, 1st Session, which ended in September 2002.


Sheila Copps  Liberal


Not active, as of June 18, 2002
(This bill did not become law.)


All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

February 22nd, 2002 / 1:20 p.m.
See context


Wendy Lill NDP Dartmouth, NS

Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise today to debate Bill C-48. I want to make some comments on the notion of copyright and intellectual property in general, and Internet retransmission in particular.

I will start off by admitting that I have a personal bias to this topic because I write plays. I receive copyright royalties for my plays. Do not get me wrong; my royalties do not make me rich or in any way compensate me for the hundreds and thousands of hours that it actually takes to create a play. However I do know something about the reality of a royalty.

Therefore I ask my parliamentary colleagues to always remember who we are really talking about when we talk about copyright. We are talking about creators, the Canadians who write, paint, compose and choreograph and who tend to be quite frankly very poor.

The Canada Council says that most make a lot less than $20,000 a year and this includes royalty payments. I feel it is safe to say that the money given to creators for their work is almost always inadequate, but the point I want to make is that our approach to copyright should not be simply a question of money. It really is about much more than money. It should be about recognizing creation.

I know that some will not see it this way. I know for example that the Canadian Association of Broadcasters believes strongly that we must have strict copyright laws to protect the property of its members because to them the copyright is intellectual property, like an electronic mortgage that they should have a lien on or a televised mineral right that they are waiting to strip mine.

I know that many believe and have graphs and numbers to show that the western economies excel because of our recognition of intellectual property. However the so-called knowledge economy seems to fail to recognize that knowledge is simply borrowed creation. Without the creator there is no intellectual property.

If we simply follow the definitions provided by intellectual property treaties, they believe that our patent and copyright laws should always equate the act of writing poetry with the act of protecting the international patent for prozac.

I hope that groups like the Media Content Coalition will understand that strict copyright approaches to copyright reform will not always work. Our current law understands this. We already have exemptions for copyright, law relating to churches, educational institutions and persons with disabilities, but the exceptions are very small and restrictive. Churches can use music without paying royalties as long as there is no gain involved.

An individual can use any copyrighted work for research, private study, criticism, news reporting or reviewing as a fair dealing but the source must always be mentioned.

An educational institution can use a mechanical copy of a copyrighted work for display for testing, examination or translation on its premises for instructional purposes.

Creators are compensated through a government program to allow their works to be freely available through our library system. These flexible approaches are ones that creators want, and I hope the corporate copyright community will agree with the flexible approach to the law.

One unique thing about copyright is what is called the moral right. This is one place established in law where the power of the creator still shines and it shows how different a copyright is from a patent, the physical kind of intellectual property.

While the copyright can be assigned or sold by the creator, the moral right is the creator's right to be associated with the creation and the right to the integrity of the work. This right is always kept by the author or creator or his or her estate. Maintaining integrity means keeping their work from being distorted, mutilated or otherwise modified or used in association with a product, service, cause or institution. Otherwise, no one can use their creation for profit with or without their permission.

In a real way, Bill C-48 tries to address the same principle. The Internet provides a new way to communicate, to research, to entertain and to conduct business, but the technology has also created the ability to take, in effect steal, someone's creation and show it on the Internet without permission, without paying a royalty and without paying any attention to the creators. In fact they are stealing the creation and devaluing the creator.

After all, the television program was written by someone, acted out by someone and the set was designed by someone. By simply taking the creation and using a technological loophole, sending it out over the Internet and using it to sell advertising it is quite offensive to my creative sensibilities.

Bill C-48 changes section 31 of the Copyright Act to allow this loophole to be plugged.The bill would do this while still recognizing some of the more progressive collective approaches taken in our copyright law.

Despite the efforts of some in the corporate world, we have a collective approach to a lot of our copyright law. We do not track down every teenager and sue them every time they tape a CD or burn a copy of their favourite song. Instead, we have a very small charge on blank tapes and CDs which makes its way back to the creator. Frankly, as the parent of two teenagers, I know that this pragmatic approach is all for the better.

When a cable company captures a television signal and replays it to its subscribers, a compulsory licence is created and the equivalent of a royalty is paid. This is a good, pragmatic alternative to having every small cable carrier negotiate with every broadcaster to send its signal.

What Bill C-48 does is extend this system to the wide open spaces of the Internet. Some have proposed that this not be allowed or have suggested that retransmission only be allowed through a secure channel. However, we have to start down the road of dealing with the legal aspects of content on the worldwide web.

We have a responsibility to deal with the inaccurate impression that the Internet is a lawless place. We know in our hearts that laws do apply to cyberspace. We arrest and prosecute child pornographers who lurk online. We prosecute hatemongers and holocaust deniers who try and hide behind web servers.

The CRTC has backed off on regulating the net, but it is patently obvious that the government now has to deal with the details of regulating the net. If it fails in this challenge, then our cultural sovereignty will eventually disappear.

In conclusion, I believe that it is time we also applied the basic dignity of recognition for creation, which we do through copyright, to the Internet. I eagerly await the next bill in this area from the government as it proceeds with copyright reform.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

February 22nd, 2002 / 1:05 p.m.
See context


Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

No, they are not. There is also a French language market outside Quebec, but it is even more limited; I am speaking about French language productions as compared to all productions globally. If we increase the number of productions, with the related costs, it has an impact when we want to export in order to recoup the costs. We all know how the Americans do it. When they sell a product outside their own market, their costs have already been absorbed because of the size of their market.

Also, we must strike a balance between protecting artistic creations and encouraging the development of a new type of economic activity which is very important, especially since the opening of borders. Therefore, it is important for that type of economic activity to be better supervised so that we can improve profits and recoup the costs of our artistic productions.

The development of broadcasting on Internet hinges on a clarifying legislation. Internet technologies can enhance the efficiency of businesses and make it possible to develop new value-added services for consumers.

The development of such technologies and services should be fostered but also be very strictly supervised. While supporting the principle of this bill, it is very important to stress that Internet rebroadcasters should have the same obligations as traditional ones.

Actually, it would be unfair to create competition for cable operators while freeing them from the duties imposed to traditional rebroadcasters.

However, questions ought to be raised and I think that we will be able to look into this in committee. In the short and medium term, will Internet rebroadcasters be subject to the same obligations as cable operators and satellite broadcasters? We cannot answer this question. Presently, these questions remain unanswered. Will the new Internet rebroadcasters be forced to provide access to a majority of Canadian stations? Will they contribute to Canadian television development funds? Pursuant to the various regulations that will be tabled and examined in committee, we will be able to see what the scope of the overall bill is.

It should also remind hon. members that section 31 of the Copyright Act was a request from the industry. The Canadian Association of Broadcasters, the Canadian Film and Television Production Association as well as the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association have formed the Media Content Coalition to oversee the use of Canadian television industry by Internet broadcasters.

In order to understand what is in section 31, which will be amended to establish the conditions of licences for the retransmission of works protected from television and radio, it must be said that before 1989, cable networks were not subject to copyright for the retransmission of live signals. Consequently, it was legal for cable companies to retransmit television programs without paying royalties. During the following years, many reports and studies argued that the retransmission of such programs should be subject to copyright. Finally, in 1989, a neutral communication right was created; in other words, the copyright rules would apply to cable operators as well as to Hertzian wave broadcasters.

Section 31 of the Copyright Act was included to comply with section 2006 of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement. Section 31 provides for a mandatory copyright licence, which allows the retransmission of protected television and radio works live without the consent of the holder of the affected rights, as long as the conditions are met, including the payment of all royalties set in accordance with a schedule established by the Copyright Board. In principle, a copyright confers its holder the exclusive right, among other things, concerning the public broadcasting of his work.

A compulsory licensing system deprives the licensee of this right. In other words, it is a system that functions by exception. It is useful, since it ensures equal treatment of program content for licensees, while preventing broadcasters from having to undertake separate negotiations with individual copyright holders.

The change proposed by Bill C-48, under consideration today, would allow cable, satellite and other broadcasters, including Internet broadcasters, without needing to obtain permission from the copyright holders, to retransmit programs that have already been broadcast. However, they would be required to pay the royalties set out by the Copyright Board and respect the other regulatory conditions.

The crux of the matter is that the regulatory provisions will not be known until the parliamentary committee holds its hearings. A number of issues raised by pressure groups will have to be dealt with in the regulations in order to rally the industry. We will outline the challenges during our speeches in the House when the bill is at third reading.

The interest groups that we met with outlined three clear principles that must be kept in mind and with which we agree. First, broadcasting must be limited to within Canada. Second, we must ensure the integrity of the signal by limiting the use of banner advertising, which would be counter-productive in many respects. Finally, measures must be put in place in order to ensure that the technologies being used will allow for the full protection of the integrity of the signal.

However, changes to the Copyright Act will not solve the entire issue. The problem will not be completely settled. Much more will need to be done in the way the Internet deals with copyright.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage has told us that this bill is ahead of its time, that it responds to the era of new technologies, that it is a modern bill. We know that Australia and the United States already have regulations in place that govern the retransmission of programs using new technologies. In Canada, the CRTC excluded the Internet highway from its jurisdiction in 1999, so that only the Copyright Board can set royalties.

Internet pirating must not occur at the expense of owners and creators. We know that creators are artists, those who speak of the soul of a people, those who stir us. Artists, singers, movie and video makers and playwrights, those are the ones that we are thinking about when we want to protect copyright. We want to do it so they have more decent salaries and their creations are better protected.

Hopefully the government will act with diligence on such an important issue as the survival and protection of our creations.

I think that we have our work cut out for us. The bill before us does not cast the kind of light that we were expecting to be able to support it. Over the next few weeks, we will be studying the regulations related to this bill.

In Quebec, this takes on a particular meaning. The minister paid tribute to the Canadian nation and the Canadian soul. For creators from Quebec, the Quebec soul is just as important to preserve and broadcast to the world. Our creations must be reproduced and rebroadcast in the spirit of the people of Quebec, a spirit of openness.

It has been said that Canadian society was open to the world and accepted diversity. The same goes for Quebec society. The phrase “a Quebec that is open to the world” was used in various ad campaigns aimed at expressing the soul of Quebec.

There are also many cultural communities. They add to Quebec society, which also needs the diversity of these cultural communities to grow richer. We are not at odds with this openness. I wanted to include this thought about the soul of the Quebec people in my speech today to pay tribute to our creators.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

February 22nd, 2002 / 12:50 p.m.
See context


Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to this somewhat technical bill. I note that the Minister of Canadian Heritage went a bit beyond merely technical considerations. She gave a lovely speech, which was all about Canadian culture.

At the end of my speech, I hope to have the time to remind her about some of the historic memories of the nations which make up this Canada and this Canadian culture which the government is so interested in supporting, to the detriment of another culture, that of Quebec. I know that the Minister of Canadian Heritage cherishes this notion of Canadian nation building, but it is not for Quebecers. What it means is denying the existence of the other culture. I will come back to this later in my speech. I am going to focus on more technical aspects of the bill.

The purpose of the bill before us today is to create new regulatory powers so that new distribution undertakings, particularly the Internet, can retransmit broadcasts if they respect the terms and conditions of the Copyright Act.

The purpose of the Copyright Act is to provide a legal framework entitling the creators of works and other copyright holders to paternity, control, and remuneration for the use of their works. These works can be films, computer programs, information products, novels or songs. This is what the Copyright Act seeks to preserve.

Copyright therefore establishes an economic and moral right for creators and other copyright holders to control the publication and marketing of their works, to protect the integrity of their undertakings, and to receive adequate remuneration.

The protection of copyright is valid for a limited time, that being the lifetime of the author, plus a period of 50 years after their death. This legislation therefore forms the basis for creative undertakings. There must therefore be a balance between the creation and the distribution of works.

Creation must be protected, but access to works continues to be an equally important challenge in an increasingly connected world. We know that the boundaries between markets are blurring. We must therefore make protected works available, with due regard for their level of protection.

With the amendments to the Copyright Act, Internet based retransmitters will have to prove that they do not broadcast beyond the borders of Canada. The survival of creation in Quebec and Canada is at stake. More on this later.

A second point in the bill is that satellite and cable systems will still be allowed to retransmit radio and television programs if they pay royalties to the Copyright Board and comply with the conditions set out in the Copyright Act. Penalties for offenses are already provided for in the act.

To start with, I would like to say that the Bloc Québécois will support the principle of Bill C-48.

For the time being, we cannot give our full and unconditional endorsement to the bill, though we are supportive of the principle of the bill. The Bloc Québécois would first like to see the content of the regulations, which the government will table in committee.

Witnesses who are interested in the issue of copyright protection could certainly give a useful input. They will appear before the committee. This caveat has also been expressed by various stakeholders and witnesses who are involved with the issue of copyright. Witnesses will give us useful information on the type of regulations put forward by the government, which will be examined in the coming weeks.

For this reason, the Bloc Quebecois will be giving its opinion on the bill in general, while we await for the regulations to be clarified in committee.

At first glance, the introduction of this bill is good news, but we will have to wait to see all of the regulations that will be proposed.

Over the months leading up to the introduction of this bill, consultations were held with interested parties, based on a working document on the enforcement of the Copyright Act, with respect to compulsory licensing for Internet rebroadcasting. This public consultation process lasted four months at most. The committee received 40 briefs explaining the issue of rebroadcasting a commercial product in violation of copyright.

This legislation was based on this, as I said, a number of stakeholders pointed out the urgency of this issue.

I would like to briefly highlight about ten of the presentations that were made, in order to shed some light on the issue of why such a bill is studied by the House today.

A number of interest groups came to make clarifications about the problem of rebroadcasting certain programs on the internet, including BCE, CBC, the Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec, the Society for Reproduction Rights for Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada, the Canadian Cable Television Association, the Société des auteurs de radio télévision et cinéma (SARTEC), the Association des producteurs de films et de télévision du Québec, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada and the Fédération nationale des communications .

Representatives of the BCE family illustrated the rifts within the industry:

As a broadband Internet provider through Bell, ExpressVu and Bell-Nexxia, BCE is interested in the expansion of television via Internet. However, the increase in demand for broadband services has broadened its market. Furthermore, it is in the interests of BCE that the federal government adopt a technologically-neutral policy, so that its broadcast subsidiaries may distribute television signals over the Internet. Yet, as owner of CTV, it is also in the interests of BCE that the legislation also protect copyright.

The CBC is not opposed to the expansion of the mandatory licensing system set up under section 31, which I will explain later, to cover rebroadcasting over the Internet.

For its part, CBC demands that:

—any Internet-based retransmitter that wishes to benefit from the advantages of the regime should first submit convincing evidence to the effect that it has the technology required to ensure that its retransmission operation do not go beyond the limits of Canadian territory.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation also demands:

—that a monitoring mechanism be instituted with regard to the above requirements.

—that Internet-based retransmitters be subject to the same requirements as any other CRTC licensee.

—that Section 31 be amended so that advertising banners be considered as affecting the integrity of the signal.

The Société professionnelle des auteurs et des compositeurs du Québec, the Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers in Canada all agree in favour of compulsory licensing of Internet-based retransmission. Full copyright must be maintained. This is all the more important as the CRTC has not regulated Internet.

For its part the Canadian Cable Television Association believes that Bill C-48 was not necessary. We know that it has a very different impact on its members. They are keeping their options open when they say we do not need Bill C-48.

According to them, the Copyright Act is meant to be technologically neutral and must remain neutral in its implementation. We can see the kind of interest the Association des câblodistributeurs has for this issue. The government must not pass legislation that might limit the opportunities for cable companies to benefit from the many possibilities offered by convergence.

As for the Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma, SARTEC, it has a different opinion. It is against compulsory licensing of Internet-based retransmission.

Exempting Internet-based retransmitters from compulsory licensing does not amount to rejecting a new technology in favour of older ones. It is taking into account everybody's contribution to our broadcasting system.

Requiring compulsory licensing for Internet-based retransmission would unduly benefit third parties who do not contribute to the broadcasting system, do not fund TV production and are not subject to the CRTC regulatory framework, and therefore have no obligation to retransmit a given signal.

As we can see, there are diverging interests. The Association des producteurs de films et de télévision du Québec is of the opinion that a compulsory copyright licensing regime for the retransmission of works through Internet should not be considered within the current Canadian regulatory framework.

In their view, a review of the current regulations was necessary.

As for the Society of Composers and Authors, several holders of copyrights suggested an amendment which would clearly indicate that local or distant signals may not be legally retransmitted over the Internet according to section 31 of the Copyright Act which deals with retransmission. This again supports the argument that Bill C-48 protects creators.

The Fédération nationale des communications said the following:

Radio and TV stations which have acquired broadcast rights and a broadcast licence must be the only ones able to decide whether their broadcasts are to be retransmitted on the internet or by means other than hertzian waves, cable or satellite.

The recent creation of Jump TV, moreover, raises major concerns in the broadcast industry, and does not allow us to conclude with any certainty that we will, once again, be able to block this retransmission of TV programming on the Internet, particularly because of the provisions of the Copyright Act.

Obviously, there are several interests, perhaps opposing interests, but we can see why the Association des câblodistributeurs has certain reservations concerning application of a regulation concerning retransmission of signals on the internet, and why protecting the rights of artists is more or less their primary objective.

Initially, and this is self-evident, it is important for the new copyright legislation to be adapted to the reality of new technologies. This is justified. For the past ten years there has been total upheaval in the field of communications, with the advent of the internet and digital broadcasting.

Second, I would like to point out how vital it is for us to legislate to protect outside markets. We know what goes on within Canada, but our creators also have to be protected elsewhere.

As hon. members are no doubt aware, the income of program producers is based on the logic of geographical markets. If a program such as La Petite vie could be retransmitted, and redistributed over the net, to anywhere in the world, the people involved with the program would lose significant revenue, without the ability to market their products in other countries.

This is reason enough for us to be concerned about the survival of artistic creation in Quebec and Canada. We know our market is already very limited. Therefore, if Internet broadcasts programs without any royalties being paid to authors or owners of copyrights, the survival of the cultural market will be at risk.

This is an important issue for the industry in Quebec and Canada because that industry relies on foreign markets to recoup the costs of large productions which cannot be profitable with only our limited local market. This is why I say that, in Quebec, protecting creation is synonym of protecting the francophone content.

Most of the artistic creation in Quebec is in French, and it must also be protected. Some markets are looking for French language productions. Our market is even smaller than the English speaking market because of sheer figures. It is all a question of balance and percentages.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

February 22nd, 2002 / 12:45 p.m.
See context

Canadian Alliance

Chuck Cadman Canadian Alliance Surrey North, BC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak on the Copyright Act, Bill C-48, at second reading. Since we will be supporting the bill at second reading, I will keep my comments brief and to the bill.

First let me say that I do have a bit of personal interest in copyright because, as some may know, in my younger years I wandered around the country with a guitar making my living writing and playing music so it is something that is dear to me.

Before commenting on Bill C-48 I would like to read into the record the summary provided as part of the package announcing the bill, which states:

This enactment amends the Copyright Act to provide that retransmitters who currently benefit from the compulsory licence regime provided for by section 31 (such as cable distribution undertakings and direct-to-home satellite distribution undertakings) will continue to do so, while allowing other retransmitters who meet the conditions prescribed by regulation to also benefit from that regime.

On December 12, 2001, in a Government of Canada news release, the heritage minister is quoted as saying that:

--this bill will strengthen Canada's already vibrant broadcasting system and protect the rights of Canadian content creators. It will provide much needed clarity.

There is an expression, “there is more to this than meets the eye”. Unfortunately in this case there is far less to this than meets the eye.

The purpose of Bill C-48 is to amend the Copyright Act, which was originally amended under Bill C-32 in 1996. At that time, due to pressure exerted on the committee by the current heritage minister, there were at least two significant deficiencies in the resulting legislation. Furthermore, due to interdepartmental rivalry between the two responsible ministries, heritage and industry, and to a certain extent the personal rivalry between the ministers of the day, the revisions to the Copyright Act in 1996 yielded some questionable results. Those rivalries between ministries and ministers continued into December 2001 and the lack of agreement is reflected in the bill.

Canadian content creators and the broadcast industry deserve better. It is their property and their intellectual property that is being stolen by certain distribution systems and cable and satellite providers. Creators should be covered by copyright provisions. In addition, the industry should have the property for which they have paid good money protected.

It is for this reason that the official opposition will be voting in favour of Bill C-48. We believe in the principle of protection of property rights. However, the heritage minister's statement that the bill will provide clarity could most charitably be described as an exaggeration.

Clause 2, or proposed subsection 31(1) of the Copyright Act, defines retransmitter. In this clause it was anticipated that we would have a specific definition of a retransmitter but let us read the clause:

Paragraph 2(1) (b) states that a retransmitter is:

a person who retransmits a signal and meets the qualifying conditions referred in to in paragraph (3)(b)--

Let us look at paragraph (3)(b), which states:

The Governor in Council may make regulations

(b) prescribing qualifying conditions for the purpose of paragraph (b) of the definition “retransmitter” in subsection (1);--

Before everybody's eyes begin to roll, let me describe the net effect of these two clauses. The effect is to set up the governor in council, which is the cabinet working to the recommendations of the heritage and industry departments, to come out with regulations at some time in the future. The problem is that the Liberal government consistently falls back to creating simple enabling legislation in parliament so that the cabinet, armed with recommendations from the bureaucracy, can enact whatever the bureaucracy thinks is best at some future date.

This creates a situation of removing the decision making process from parliament. We are elected as members of parliament to come here to make decisions, not to create enabling legislation so that bureaucrats can do what they want when they want.

It can be argued that creating precise legislation means that as the technology changes the bureaucrats will have to regularly return to parliament. Therefore, with Bill C-48 functioning as enabling legislation rather than precise legislation, the bureaucrats can be flexible.

While this has a certain intellectual appeal, the result is nonetheless the same. The government is dealing duly elected members of parliament out of the process. A classic example of this situation exists in the previous copyright legislation, Bill C-32. A provision was made for a levy on blank tapes. The levy came into effect on blank tapes with the passing of the legislation. However, regulations were then put forward to the copyright review board.

Since the passing of the original legislation, the board has determined that this levy will apply not only to blank tapes but to blank CD recording medium and it likely eventually will apply to blank DVDs. Furthermore, the original levy has increased considerably based on the submissions to the copyright board by the creators, so the effect is that the parliamentary process and the representatives duly elected by the people have been sidelined by the government. Furthermore, the board is at liberty to continue expanding the mediums to which this levy will apply as well as being free to increase the levy itself.

While the creators, using the revenue base collected from these provisions, can prepare representations to the Copyright Board, directly influencing their decisions, the individual consumer who is impacted by these extra charges could not possibly afford either the time or the money required to develop proper presentation.

In order for the official opposition to vote in favour of Bill C-48 when it leaves committee, we will require one of two things: an amendment that adds to the specific definition of retransmitter, one that will act in a way to protect the property and the intellectual property rights of the creators and the broadcast industry, or at a minimum, the tabling of detailed regulatory information by the heritage and industry departments.

We want to support the bill because we believe in property rights protection. We look forward to either of those two avenues being undertaken by either the government or the departments concerned. Parliamentarians must be returned to their rightful place in the legislative process.

Copyright ActGovernment Orders

February 22nd, 2002 / 12:30 p.m.
See context

Hamilton East Ontario


Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

moved that Bill C-48, an act to amend the Copyright Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Madam Speaker, in technical terms Bill C-48 is about setting modern rules for the retransmission of broadcast signals. In real terms however, the bill is much more than that.

It is about empowering our Canadian artists and children, and telling Canadian stories. It is about keeping Canada on the cutting edge of communications technology. It is about a strong Canadian economy and good Canadian jobs. The bill would strengthen our already vibrant broadcast system and protect the rights of Canadian content creators.

More than 640,000 Canadians make their living from culture. That sector contributes $22 billion to Canada's gross domestic product. We are very proud of 26,000 actors, 3,600 directors, and 2,000 screenwriters. There are more than 14,000 films and videos made in Canada each year. The film and television industry alone generates 134,000 jobs for Canadians: knowledge based jobs, high paying jobs, creative jobs, fun jobs, union jobs, and people jobs.

Canadian film and television production has grown at a staggering rate of 12% per year and represents $4.4 billion annually. The legislation is about ensuring that those jobs and production numbers keep growing. It is about ensuring that royalties are paid to creators whenever their films or song videos are broadcast, no matter what the medium.

For the most part Canadians rely upon television and radio for access to culture, information and entertainment. Thanks to recent developments Canadians are now able to communicate more easily with each other and with the world. We have high speed cable, direct to home satellite television, digital radio and multi-point wireless. Every year new communications technologies are breaking through the world, including my BlackBerry. That is Canadian technology at its finest of which we are very proud.

Of course there is the Internet. The Internet provides an ideal place to tell the world about our country, people and cultures. The Internet allows our children new opportunities to gain access to Canadian stories and voices. It opens up new worlds for Canadian talent and culture.

I am proud that Canada is the first country to have a virtual museums link that will include all of Canada's museums by 2005. During the virtual museum's first eight months, it had 20 million hits from visitors in more than 100 different countries. Thus, it is not only connecting Canadians; it is also our voice to the world.

We should relish those new technologies because they can help us to share our stories. They provide for the kind of cultural diversity and access to Canadian culture that has alluded too many minorities in the country for too long. They help connect Canadians to their heritage and their future.

What is important in this new environment is that we have rules to ensure our artists, singers, filmmakers, creators, playwrights and young video geniuses receive fair payment when their work is used. It is only fair that an Internet service that retransmits broadcast signals should be required to operate on the same basis as the cable provider.

This is an important public policy issue. If our filmmakers do not get paid for their work it is very hard for them to keep telling their stories. If our musicians are not paid for their creations, in the short term we would have cheap music and in the long term we would have few artists.

Royalties are exceptionally important in encouraging the creation and marketing of the widest possible range of Canadian voices. We need rules that are fair, clear and transparent. We need rules that encourage the creation of Canadian culture and access to that culture.

I am proud that Canada has always been on the cutting edge of new technologies. We need only think of the first great communicator of the 20th century, Marshall McLuhan, who predicted back in the 1960s that “the medium is the message”. Living as he did in a country spanning six time zones, with two official languages and over 100 languages from every corner of the globe, he understood that the ability to tell stories, to make connections, to truly respect cultural diversity in telling our stories, is what will put individuals and the country on the leading edge in the 21st century.

For generations we have put in place policies that maximize the benefits of technology to tell our stories.

We were one of the first to have a public broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation—Radio Canada, which started with radio some 60 years ago and added television some 50 years ago. Its creation truly filled a void for the telling of our stories.

We broke new ground with the CRTC and Canadian content rules that allowed artists to have a trampoline for the expression of their music.

From the days of Alexander Graham Bell Canadians have always been leaders in finding new ways to help people communicate with one another. In a country that passes six time zones we owe that to our citizens, not only for them to talk, grow and appreciate their own unique regions but that they can also interconnect with each other.

This legislation would be one more step along the path of support for the creation of stories and interconnection of those stories. It would be one more step in putting Canada at the forefront of the knowledge based economy, and would promote the work of our creators, artists, cultural professionals and technicians.

Another step forward has captivated all the human and economic potential of our culture. I would like to mention that the audiovisual field accounts for more than 134,000 direct jobs in Canada. This represents the largest growth in all employment fields over the last five years. These are jobs in Canada that get people to stay in Canada.

When I visited the riding of my colleague, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, he showed me what impact the movie Black Robe had on the local economy and how the kingdom of Saguenay was the jewel that allowed people in his region to express their culture. But is not only a matter of being able to be heard and to express ourselves, it also has economic benefits.

In the past few years we have doubled the annual number of Canadian television productions thanks to the Canada television fund and a government with a vision that does not create the stories but gives artists the means of expression.

We have undertaken the most important revision in copyright law of the last seven decades. I have to say to those members who will be joining us in Newfoundland for the Junos next April that there are hundreds of musicians across the country who are now receiving direct royalties because of a vision of a revised copyright law.

We have introduced new initiatives in support of book publishing, sound recording, multimedia, cultural exports, periodicals, cultural tourism, the performing arts and our training programs for young artists. We have just created the new Canada feature film fund which would reward success and encourage the creation of new Canadian films for mass audiences. Bill C-48 is one more piece in that puzzle.

The bill would provide clarity and predictability to the retransmission marketplace. It would remove the uncertainty that plagued rights holders and retransmitters over the last number of years. It would maintain and strengthen the protection afforded rights holders, protections which would be undermined without the legislation.

This forward looking law would modernize Canadian copyright law by ensuring that the licence could be rapidly and flexibly adapted to unforeseeable technological change. It would ensure that never again would a change in the method of transmission put rights holders at risk. That is the key to a sound public policy, not to create the art but to support the stories.

We must celebrate and promote the diversity of our cultures, our opinions and our perspectives, which make Canada a rich country on every front, a great country in which to live.

More than ever, Canadians must have a broadcasting system that is a true reflection of who they are and what they feel.

Now, more than ever, it is important to deepen connections between Canadians and each other, between Canadians and our communities and between Canadians and the world. We do that through our creative people and our culture, telling our stories, preserving our heritage, reminding us of our values and reflecting our hopes and aspirations.

I am very pro-Canadian. I underscore the fact that being pro-Canadian does not make me anti-American. I made a statement earlier this week which was interpreted by certain individuals to assume that I was speaking against our neighbour to the south. I was not speaking against our neighbour to the south. I was speaking in favour of a system where a country reflects its diversity in respect of differences.

We have a constitutional monarchy that is unique and cherished, linked to our past, and it is also a way of connecting with more than 40 countries around the globe.

We are part of the Francophonie. We have a direct connection with over 50 countries. That is what makes Canada's diversity. It is not that we want to be against anyone. We want to be in favour of a country that, right from the start—there were difficult periods and easier ones—was built on a revolutionary principle, the principle that two peoples, two languages and two religions can join together to create a nation.

Canada's strength is that we are not afraid of respecting diversity. We have confidence. We are pro-Canadian and proud of it.

What we are doing today is ensuring that this pride that comes from our history is maintained throughout the 21st century, with the technologies that allow our cultural sector to continue to grow.

Business of the HouseOral Question Period

February 21st, 2002 / 3 p.m.
See context

Wascana Saskatchewan


Ralph Goodale LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, we will continue this afternoon with report stage debate of Bill C-5 respecting species at risk.

Tomorrow we will consider report stage and third reading of Bill C-30, the courts administration legislation, and return to third reading of Bill C-27 respecting nuclear safety. Bill C-48, the copyright bill, will be our backup work for tomorrow afternoon if we have time.

Next week, we will return to Bill C-5. We are now in the third day of the report stage of that bill and I should think that the House would want to complete consideration of this bill without much further delay. As early as we can, depending on when Bill C-49, the Budget Implementation Act, 2001, is reported from committee, we will want to try to deal with it at the report and third reading stages.

Thursday of next week, February 28, will be an allotted day.

Business of the HouseOral Question Period

January 31st, 2002 / 3:50 p.m.
See context

Wascana Saskatchewan


Ralph Goodale LiberalLeader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, this is my first reply to the customary Thursday question about House business. I want to thank all the House leaders and deputy House leaders of the other parties for the manner in which they have received this newcomer into their fraternity of House leaders. I look forward to a constructive relationship.

This afternoon we will continue with Bill C-7, the youth justice bill. If this is completed we will proceed to report stage of Bill C-30 respecting courts administration.

Tomorrow we will debate second reading of Bill C-48, the copyright legislation.

Monday we will continue with unfinished business and Tuesday will be an allotted day. Next Wednesday, we hope to be able to start the debate on second reading of the budget legislation.

Copyright ActRoutine Proceedings

December 12th, 2001 / 3:05 p.m.
See context

Hamilton East Ontario


Sheila Copps LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-48, an act to amend the Copyright Act.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)

Canada National marine conservation areas ActGovernment Orders

November 20th, 2001 / 3:20 p.m.
See context


Robert Lanctôt Bloc Châteauguay, QC

Mr. Speaker, normally I would not use the two minutes that I have left, because I had many opportunities to speak this morning. However, given the importance of Bill C-10, to which we are opposed, I will use those two minutes.

Before oral question period, I was saying that there is confusion within the government's own departments, whether it is Fisheries and Oceans, or Environment Canada. Now, in addition to these two, Canadian heritage wants to be responsible for certain areas, this strictly for Canadian unity reasons.

With this much confusion within the federal government itself, it is easy to imagine the confusion there would be at other levels of government. To whom would a provincial government such as Quebec go in connection with the administration of a protected zone? I have no idea.

This confusion gives rise to another problem as well. The problem is a fundamental one. If the departments of a government cannot work together, how can we expect provincial governments to co-operate? It is understandable that the Government of Quebec would refuse to co-operate in this project. The federal government is unable to tell us clearly and precisely why this bill comes from Canadian heritage, when Fisheries and Oceans Canada already has a marine area protection program. The Bloc Quebecois cannot but oppose such an incredible administrative muddle as this.

The way this bill is to be implemented is not clear; it cannot be clear, because of the very nature of its objectives. Canadian heritage is trying to take over jurisdictions that are not its own. It is also trying, with this bill, to take over areas that are not its areas, and thus to meddle once again in provincial jurisdictions and in Quebec's jurisdiction, under cover of the environment. How far will the federal government go in taking over jurisdictions that belong to Quebec and the other provinces?

I reiterate my opposition to Bill C-10 on protected marine areas for several reasons, including the overlap of the responsibilities of departments and especially because of the indirect approach taken in appropriating jurisdictions that belong exclusively to Quebec and the other provinces.

Once again, the federal government has chosen to introduce a bill that ignores action already taken, and successfully. I am talking of course about the agreement regarding the Saguenay—St. Lawrence marine park.

I fear for the future of people who believe in this government, which takes no account of their interests. I fear for the future of our environment when the objectives of a bill put before us ignore its primary focus, the environment.

In closing, I want people to understand what we are saying here. The Bloc Quebecois is in favour of protecting the environment, but we cannot be naive to the point of agreeing to pass this bill. The government tried to get the House to pass similar legislation in previous parliaments through Bill C-8 and Bill C-48. Now we have Bill C-10, which creates overlap and through which the government is trying to use crown lands.

Canada National Marine Conservation Areas ActGovernment Orders

November 20th, 2001 / 1:10 p.m.
See context


Antoine Dubé Bloc Lévis-Et-Chutes-De-La-Chaudière, QC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-10.

Bill C-10 is a rehash of two predecessors, identified at the time as Bills C-8 and C-48. This raises the following question: why did the government not pass C-8? Why did the Liberals, in their third mandate, not pass C-48?

There are a number of reasons why. In the latter case, it is because the Prime Minister decided to call a hasty election in order to catch his adversaries by surprise, particularly the new leader of the Canadian Alliance. He put vote-getting ahead of a number of bills, and this one, along with 22 others fell by the wayside. I remember, because one of those was a private member's bill on shipbuilding.

Now we are only a few weeks away from the anniversary of that election call, at which time that bill on shipbuilding had gone through all the stages, second reading, clause by clause examination in committee and report stage. All that remained was third reading, but the Prime Minister preferred to call an election. I know that my bill was not the only reason; it was primarily to gain political advantage, one might say.

There is another question. If the government had not yet passed this bill on marine conservation areas, it is certainly not because it was a priority. If it was not a priority during the two previous mandates, is it really a priority now? I doubt it. I would tend to believe that the government does not have much to offer to the House in terms of a legislative agenda while the anti-terrorism legislation is still in the planning and consultation stages. In the meantime, it gives us this bill to discuss.

As I recall, when we were dealing with Bill C-8 and Bill C-48, on each occasion I took part in the debate and spoke against those bills for the very same reasons.

We in the Bloc Quebecois often bring up the fact that there is duplication between the federal and provincial governments. This is another case in point. Under the Constitution, natural resources and public lands come under provincial jurisdiction. It is a proven fact.

Nevertheless and in spite of warnings, in spite of the opposition, and in spite of the result of botched consultations, we have this bill before us. If an independent firm were asked to report on the kind of consultations that were carried out on the bill, it would not be very likely that the same company would be hired again. The data is not conclusive.

Moreover, this duplication is, I do not know how to say this, “intrafederal”. We are talking about creating marine conservation areas which would come under the Department of Canadian Heritage, but we already have marine protection areas under the responsibility of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. We also have marine wildlife areas under the responsibility of the Department of the Environment.

It bears repeating: marine conservation areas, marine protection areas, and marine wildlife areas.

This, as my father would say, is a lot of hogwash. It is incomprehensible. By trying too hard to protect natural resources, the government may actually harm them, and I wonder about their motives. Apparently conservation is what they have in mind, but conservation in terms of heritage. I suppose that fish could be admired for their beauty or like any other typically Canadian item.

But these things are related and, during the consultations, people said “Yes, but there is a very distinct possibility when there is a desire to protect natural species for heritage reasons in the same areas as fisheries and ocean's marine protection areas”. But fisheries and oceans officials want there to be more fish and fisheries products to feed us, as well as provide work for people in regions such as the Gaspé or the maritimes. The Department of the Environment is also concerned because all this is very closely related.

And precisely because it is closely related, should these three kinds of areas not come under the jurisdiction of one federal body? Imagine the situation for people in Quebec or in other provinces trying to manage projects or areas under the authority of one or the other of these three departments. The federal government is in the process of inventing a weapon by which it can attack provincial jurisdictions from three different angles. One would think we were in Afghanistan, so intense is the bombardment. This will not do. It is intrafederal duplication.

The member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord is laughing, but I know that he agrees with me. He too thinks it is ridiculous. But now, he can no longer say so because he is sitting with the Liberal majority. He is obviously forced to toe the party line. But when he was on this side of the House, he was in favour. Then, he was right to support the creation of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence marine park.

Why was that a good project? Because there was an agreement between Quebec and the federal government intended not just to protect but to develop this beauty, which the member for Chicoutimi—Le Fjord could still develop.

I could give another example of co-operation that took place, but that is not moving as quickly as we would hope. I am referring to the St. Lawrence action plan, which concerns primarily the shores of the river. Many projects are waiting for funding and money. I saw the tremendous work done by priority intervention zones. The zone in my region is called the Zone d'interventions protégées de Chaudière-Appalaches. Several projects are waiting for money to develop and protect the environment, and to help the ecosystem.

But instead of that, what we have before us is a virtual bill, since it does not target a specific territory. This is an omnibus bill that would allow the government to get involved in jurisdictions that, again, belong to the provinces, this within a framework that does not include public lands alone, but also natural resources that belong to the provinces. This is being done after a rushed consultation process.

When we want a copy of the supposedly 300 pages on the outcome of these consultations, we are given 73. It is as if the protection of these areas were a military secret. It is almost forbidden to say where these areas will be located, as if this were a highly strategic piece of information. If this were a priority, the government would have included it the first time, in Bill C-8, and the second time, in Bill C-48. But it did not do so.

Now that things are quiet and that the government is not ready to go ahead with Bill C-36 because consultations are still going on, it is making us debate this issue in parliament.

I say that it is too bad for the Liberal government. Every time, we tell the government the same thing and say “You are getting involved in provincial jurisdictions. Instead of doing that, put money in your own jurisdictions, in national parks”.

Instead, a report from the auditor general talks about negligence and insufficient staff and funds, before adding that it is an ill-protected area. And the government wants to develop more areas. This just does not make sense.

Canada National Marine Conservation Areas ActGovernment Orders

November 8th, 2001 / 4:15 p.m.
See context


Pauline Picard Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is nice to see that the government has decided to follow up on parliamentary issues that began during the 36th parliament.

National marine conservation areas have already been the object of two bills, namely Bill C-8 and Bill C-48.

Bill C-8 was introduced by Heritage Canada to provide a legal framework for the establishment of 28 marine conservation areas, representative of each of the Canadian ecosystems.

As always, the Bloc Quebecois supports the establishment of environmental protection measures. We supported the government when it introduced its legislation to create the Saguenay—St. Lawrence marine park.

I should point out that the Quebec government is currently taking measures to protect the environment and, more specifically, the seabed.

The Quebec government is also open to joint management, as demonstrated by phase III of the St. Lawrence action plan.

Having said that, we cannot support Bill C-10 for three reasons.

First, contrary to what was done in the case of the Saguenay—St. Lawrence marine park, the federal government wants to act alone by giving itself the right to establish marine conservation areas without any regard for Quebec's jurisdiction over its territory and environment.

Second, the creation of a new structure proposed by Canadian Heritage will duplicate Fisheries and Oceans Canada's marine protected areas and Environment Canada's protected areas.

Third, although it is unable to protect the ecosystems in existing national parks, Canadian Heritage wants to create marine conservation areas.

The bill is consistent with the course set by a federal government, which is increasingly intruding on areas of provincial jurisdiction. Not only is it intruding, but now it is proposing duplication. In fact it would like to duplicate its own responsibilities.

Is it necessary to stress the fact that the bill before us does not respect the integrity of Quebec's territory? One of the main conditions to establish a marine conservation area is for the federal government to be the owner of the territory where it is to be established. The Constitution Act, 1867, states that the sale and management of public lands are an area of exclusive provincial jurisdiction.

Quebec legislation on public lands applies to all public lands in Quebec, including the beds of waterways and lakes and the bed of the St. Lawrence River, estuary and gulf, which belong to Quebec by sovereign right.

In addition, the legislation would provide that Quebec could authorize the federal government to use its lands in connection with matters under federal jurisdiction but only by order in council.

I would add that habitat and wildlife protection is an area of shared jurisdiction and that the Quebec government is planning to establish a framework for the protection of marine areas in the near future.

It would be in the best interests of the federal government to work with the provinces instead of challenging them.

We already have several examples of co-operation such as the protection of the ecosystems in the Saguenay—St. Lawrence marine park and in the St. Lawrence River. All federal and Quebec departments have endorsed the St. Lawrence action plan, phase III.

Can the government explain clearly why it wants clear title to submerged lands to establish marine conservation areas?

Can it give us assurances and commit to respecting Quebec's land claims? Or is it going to ignore them as usual and establish marine areas wherever it sees fit?

It is our opinion that the mirror legislation which established the Saguenay—St. Lawrence marine park must serve as the model. It provides that both levels of governments, in Quebec City and Ottawa, continue to exercise their respective jurisdictions. There was no transfer of lands. The co-ordinating committee, which was struck to recommend to the minister responsible measures to reach the management plan objectives, encourages the involvement of local communities and is part of a Canada-Quebec co-operation framework.

There are other examples of co-operation. The environment is a shared jurisdiction under the Constitution Act 1867, and Quebec's jurisdiction is also recognized in the British North America Act, 1867.

By rejecting the concept of co-operation and by imposing title to the territory as an essential condition for the creation of marine conservation areas, the federal government is disregarding Quebec's jurisdiction over the environment, a further intrusion into areas of provincial jurisdiction.

I would like to illustrate just how complex the situation is in Canada when it comes to bodies of water. I will give an example that I have already given in a prior parliament but I believe it demonstrates just how complex the issues of jurisdiction are in relation to bodies of water, and the duplication between the federal and provincial governments.

Take the example of a fisherman who wants to go fishing on the St. Lawrence River. So far, so good. This fisherman has to ask the provincial government for a fishing licence.

He fishes on a boat he purchased in Quebec but on which he obviously paid a federal tax and a provincial tax. In order to launch his boat he must register it with the federal government.

Up to this point, everything is fine but before launching his boat he gets ready on the shore. He is on a territory under Quebec jurisdiction since the shores come under provincial jurisdiction.

However, the moment he launches his boat he changes jurisdiction because his boat is now on water, which comes under federal jurisdiction.

However, for clarity I must say that the bottom of the river is still under provincial jurisdiction. The fish that swims in the water and that the fisherman will try to catch is, unknowingly, under federal jurisdiction. But its friend, the crab, which is crawling on the bottom of the river, is under shared jurisdiction, even though the bottom of the river is still under provincial jurisdiction.

Once it is harvested, the fish that swims in federal waters will end up at the bottom of a boat. Then it falls under provincial jurisdiction. One must pay very close attention to the regulations, since there are federal quotas for those fish.

If we are talking about commercial fishing, there are federal and provincial laws and regulations regarding food, the environment, safety, equipment and so on. Do members understand? It is very complicated, is it not?

It is even hard for us to find our way through all this, so members can imagine how lost the average citizen who is not familiar with all these jurisdictions feels when he is told to get a licence.

Canada National Marine Conservation Areas ActGovernment Orders

November 8th, 2001 / 11:20 a.m.
See context

Canadian Alliance

Andy Burton Canadian Alliance Skeena, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-10, an act respecting the national marine conservation areas of Canada, at third reading debate on behalf of my riding of Skeena and my party.

I have much to say about this very ominous bill. My comments reflect not only my observations about the bill but those of the witnesses that came before the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage both last month and in late May of this year. My comments will echo the concerns outlined by numerous municipal and chamber of commerce representatives who wrote to the committee but were not afforded the opportunity to present their concerns as witnesses.

It was the government's wish to get the bill out of committee and through the parliamentary process as quickly as possible thereby eliminating debate and discussion. I will endeavour to explain why the government might have wanted to rush the bill through. I hope that the Senate and its committee will take more time to review the bill and consult widely with coastal Canadians before they decide the its fate.

I suggest that members in the other place take the time to travel with their committee to those coastal communities. That suggestion was made numerous times in the House of Commons heritage committee by the communities themselves but it was ignored.

I will speak to the lack of consultation on Bill C-10 by the heritage department and the lack of understanding of the effects of the bill on coastal communities. I am surprised Liberal members representing coastal communities and ridings are not as offended by the legislation as I am. They should take a long look at the impact the bill could have on the economies of their ridings and stand with me in opposition to the bill.

It is worth noting that many times during the clause by clause review of the bill in committee the opposition and a Liberal member or two were united in opposition to a clause or supported an amendment I was making. Unfortunately when it came time to vote the parliamentary secretary called the shots and all the good Liberals fell in line.

They gave the appearance of listening to the arguments of the opposition on issues like guaranteed consultation, jurisdictional concerns and provincial or coastal community vetoes. The record will show that in the end they voted against amendments which would have made the bill far more palatable to coastal communities. Government members were not interested in making Bill C-10 palatable. They were simply tired of the bill dying on the order paper.

Commitments were made that the bill would go through. The government believed that come hell or high water Bill C-10 would see the light of day in this parliament. It is my hope that it will not without serious amendment, and I will speak to that in the body of my speech.

I take exception to claims by government members that we on this side of the House do not care about the environment or parks so why we even consider supporting the bill. This is a totally false assumption on their part.

The Canadian Alliance has a good track record of concern for the environment. We do not, as opposed to the Liberal record, pander to one group over another. We seek a balance in legislation that speaks to the concerns of environmentalists and addresses the realities of industrial and socioeconomic problems.

I consider myself to be an environmentalist. Environmental groups in downtown Vancouver and Toronto may not subscribe to my definition of an environmentalist but that does not make their way any better than mine. I will explain.

I have lived in northern B.C. all my life. When one lives in northwestern B.C., surrounded by coastal mountains, the Pacific Ocean, the Grand Skeena and Nass rivers and blue glaciers, one cannot but have a healthy respect for mother nature in all its glory. Anyone I know that lives in the north respects the environment, not only for its beauty but for what it has given the communities that exist as a result of its riches.

Most northern communities in my riding of Skeena were founded on industries that harvested the renewable or non-renewable resources of nature. Thriving communities erupted as a result of a need for workers because industries took the risk and situated themselves in northern B.C., and the cycle continued.

It is because of one sided legislation like Bill C-10 and poor provincial management by the previous provincial NDP government of B.C. that natural resource industries fled northern B.C. As a result many people in those northern resource based communities had to pack up and leave as well. They had to go where the work was. Unfortunately that has been a reality of much of northern B.C.

I consider myself an environmentalist, not only because of where I am from and my respect for the environment, but because I hunt, fish and camp in that environment. It is in my best interest that I treat it with respect and ensure its strength for future generations to come.

I am not opposed to the creation of marine conservation areas. I am opposed to legislation such as Bill C-10. It was introduced and passed by the federal Liberal government without concern for the effect that it would have on coastal communities and without any real consultation with the people and industries that the bill would seriously affect.

How could bureaucrats in Ottawa really understand what a piece of legislation like Bill C-10 would do to the economies of coastal communities? The reality is that they cannot because Ottawa is too far removed from the issue of life on the coast.

The official opposition would likely have been in favour of the bill had the government taken the time to travel to B.C., Atlantic Canada and northern Canada. It should talked to coastal communities about Bill C-10 before it introduced the bill as opposed to drafting it with only the environmental lobby on hand. We are opposed to the bill because of the Liberal government practice of secrecy at all costs and input at a minimum.

We should not for a second believe what the government says about the environmental record and concerns of the Canadian Alliance. It is just not correct. We are strong on the environment but also strong on balance, and the bill is not balanced.

We have major concerns over the lack of consultation. I will give members of the House some background on the lack of consultation on Bill C-10 prior to it coming back to the House at third reading.

The parliamentary secretary and members of the government will say that in its previous incarnations as Bill C-48 in the first session of the 36th parliament and as Bill C-8 in the second session of the same parliament the subject matter was consulted on widely. Let me clarify that claim by explaining that the government circulated Bill C-48, the predecessor to Bill C-10, to about 700 stakeholders across Canada.

Only a few were ever heard in committee, some of whom came from my riding of Skeena. Many expressed their concerns over the bill's obvious duplication of efforts with the recently created Oceans Act by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

We are told that departmental officials listened to the concerns of those stakeholders and amended the bill accordingly, reflecting their concerns in the new Bill C-10. Not only do I disagree with this claim, because Bill C-10 does not reflect the changes the witnesses asked for, but I find it disturbing that the supposed new and improved bill was never sent back to the original 700 stakeholders to see if the changes met with their approval.

If the government amended a piece of legislation based on comments from the stakeholders from which it had requested comments, it would seem logical that it would take the time to show off how well it listened and acted on their concerns. In this case it did not.

The point could be made by the government that it did not see the point in mailing the new and supposedly improved bill to the 700 stakeholders because it was not new or improved. If the government had done a proper consultation on Bill C-10, it would have found out early on, like its predecessors, that it too was not satisfactory to the identified stakeholders.

I guess the minister did not feel it necessary to tip off opponents to the bill that nothing had changed. She was prepared to push through unwanted, inaccurate legislation that as currently written would have an adverse effect on the economies of most coastal communities in northern British Columbia, particularly in my riding of Skeena.

Many of my constituents and I believe the committee consultation process was equally disappointing. The consultation process prior to the drafting and introduction of Bill C-10 was a farce. I will elaborate.

Bill C-10 was introduced in the House in February and sent to committee shortly thereafter. Initially the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage had every intention to do precious little in the way of consultation and planned to send the bill back to the House for report stage and third reading prior to the House rising for the summer recess. This did not happen as planned and I will explain why.

As a member of parliament representing a coastal riding, representatives of coastal municipalities and various chambers of commerce came to me asking for an opportunity to be heard by the committee dealing with Bill C-10. I immediately expressed this concern to the committee, which had at that point in early May decided to limit the number of witnesses and close off debate. I had to fight hard with the committee members to allow my witnesses to be heard. They used every trick in the book and blamed me, if members can imagine, for my constituents not being heard.

Because I pointed out rather publicly that the committee had only heard from witnesses representing either environmental groups, industries or communities from eastern Canada and had ignored the west coast, the committee reluctantly agreed to re-open the witness list.

Throughout the summer months the concern over certain aspects of Bill C-10 grew in my riding, and in fact all over coastal B.C., to the point where my list of witnesses expanded from a mere 3 or 4 to a full 25 to 30. These were not industry representatives. They were mayors, councillors, presidents of chambers of commerce, small business owners, fishermen and even people currently living close to a marine park on the Queen Charlotte Islands. They all had their areas of concern and all wanted their opportunity to speak to the committee.

Mr. Speaker, you can imagine my surprise when I presented this enthusiastic list of concerned coastal Canadians to the committee and received a less than enthusiastic reply. It was obvious the committee was not pleased with what had transpired over the summer.

I will not single out any particular member of the committee as they know who they are, but I was faced with the committee saying that it could not hear from all my witnesses because it would just take too long. The committee also said that if it heard from all the witnesses from my province then it would have to hear witnesses from other provinces and that there simply was no time.

I think there was a lot of time. If we are going to create a proper bill we should listen to witnesses from all over. If we take the time to do it right there will be a whole lot less opposition to the bill. The committee said that the bill had to be back in the House right away.

Mr. Speaker, I am paraphrasing but I hope you get the picture I am painting about the reluctance of the committee to hear from my witnesses. In the end I was told to negotiate with the clerk of the committee to get my witnesses on the list.

I understand that the committee did decide, reluctantly I believe, to set up video conferencing facilities in my riding and in Vancouver in order to hear from some of these witnesses. It was not enough to open the witness list to witnesses expressing concern for areas of the bill. The government would not be outdone. It filled the witness list with more environmental groups or representatives supporting the bill in order to more than even things off.

In the end the committee heard from more environmental groups supporting the bill than representatives of coastal or affected communities expressing concerns or reservations about certain aspects of Bill C-10.

I have to say that I am particularly disappointed that of my 25 to 30 prepared witnesses I was in the end allowed representation from 12 but only 4 of those were allowed to come to Ottawa. However I will say that those 12 witnesses were very representative of areas in B.C. I had, for instance, the mayor of Prince Rupert, Don Scott; the mayor of Kitimat, Richard Wozney; the mayor of Port Clements, Joan Ann Allen; the mayor of the village of Telkwa, Sharon Hartwell; the chair of the regional district of Bulkley Valley-Stikine, Joanne Monaghan; the regional district of Skeena-Queen Charlottes represented by Paddy Greene; the village of Smithers mayor, Brian Northup represented by Cress Farrow; industries like the B.C. Fishermen's Survival Coalition president, Phil Isaac; and the B.C. Seafood Alliance president, Michelle James. Representatives from the north coast oil and gas task force, Dave McGuigan and Reg Stowell were also present, as was a representative from the B.C. Chamber of Commerce who spoke on behalf of both the B.C. chamber and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, noting that both had concerns about the potential economic effect the bill would have on communities.

I know I am going into a lot of detail about the process of the bill at committee, Mr. Speaker, but to understand just how much distrust there is out there, particularly in my home province of B.C., over the bill and its supposed guarantees of consultation, you need to know how little consultation there actually was and how hard it was to achieve the little leeway I was given for witnesses by the government.

Mr. Speaker, you need to understand that there were a number of letters received by the committee, phone calls to my office, faxes from concerned communities and even a unanimously passed resolution by the Union of B.C. Municipalities. By the way, it is nearly unheard of for UBCM to pass a resolution on the need for further consultation on federal legislation, and to pass it unanimously is an even greater feat. Even with that kind of pressure to slow the process down of approving Bill C-10, and with that strong suggestion from a group of elected officials representing a province with over three million residents, the committee chose to limit debate and discussion and, most of all, testimony from concerned witnesses to a mere 12.

I would suggest that it is no wonder British Columbians take no solace in the federal Liberal government's promise of full consultation with not only the provincial government prior to the creation of an MCA, but there is also no trust in its claim that an MCA will not go ahead if the local affected community is not in favour of it.

I would also argue that the government of British Columbia wanted more time to study the bill. To that end, I believe the B.C. minister of energy himself asked the federal government to delay passage of Bill C-10 until B.C. could complete its study on the potential for offshore oil and gas development in coastal B.C. This was a study planned to be completed by the end of January 2002 and the federal government could not wait a mere three months to appease the province with the largest coastline in Canada.

That is shameful and again exemplifies why coastal communities are simply afraid the federal government will come in with proclamations that it is there to help and charge in with directives and decisions without any concern for the needs and realities of those coastal communities. They believe, and with good reason, that the feds will force MCAs on coastal communities and the reality is that there is nothing in the bill that will prevent it from doing just that.

That brings me to the discussion on the amendments the official opposition tried to suggest in the committee's clause by clause review of the bill and were denied.

First I must say that we certainly did our homework. The official opposition listened to witnesses, read the submitted briefs and reacted. We came to committee prepared with a list of 30 amendments which, in our opinion, would have made the bill more palatable to both the province and, most important, to those affected coastal communities. Disappointedly, the Liberal government dominated committee and voted down all but one of my amendments.

Allow me, Mr. Speaker, to give you a brief synopsis of some of those defeated amendments, what they would have meant to the bill and how they could have been viewed as positive changes by the many concerned coastal communities.

On 10 separate occasions, in clauses 2, 5, 6 and 7, I tried my very best to include amendments that would have guaranteed the provinces a veto over the creation of any marine conservation areas created by the legislation and, as such, by the federal government, on either provincial land or areas where the jurisdiction of the land was under dispute by either the federal or provincial governments.

These were simple amendments that would have allayed any fears of either the province of B.C. or its residents of a unilateral federal government directive to institute an MCA in an area where, quite frankly, either the province did not see the need for one or because the provincial government of B.C. believes in consultation, that the coastal communities obviously did not want one.

In many cases the entire opposition parties were in agreement to these amendments. The Bloc member on numerous occasions expressed her concern about the legislation which once again trounces on provincial rights assured in the constitution. The PC/DR coalition member echoed these concerns as well and yet in the end, as per usual, the government members feigned interest but voted against the amendments.

At first I honestly thought it might be because they realized how good these amendments were and how needed they were to secure the support of coastal B.C. and, believe it or not, I thought the government might actually vote against these amendments in committee to save face and then introduce similar amendments at report stage to make it look like these were its ideas. We all know the government does that all the time with Alliance amendments. However, in this case, unfortunately, it did not.

This speaks to the horrible track record the Liberal government has when it comes to listening to the concerns of Canadians and then acting on them. As I mentioned earlier, it listens and feigns interest but rarely, if ever, does anything unless forced.

Here is an example of the wording of one of these amendments and the rationale I expressed as to why the bill needed to be amended. The amendment, known in committee evidence as CA amendment No. 3, dealt with clause 2. Specifically, we were trying to create a new clause 2, subclause (2) which would have read as follows:

For greater certainty, nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to abrogate or derogate from the existing rights of a province over public lands, including submerged lands, which fall within its provincial boundaries. As such, no marine conservation area shall be created without the specific approval of the affected province.

My rationale for such a simple amendment was simply that many of the witnesses on both sides of the issue expressed concern over not having an explicit provincial veto over MCAs in their province. Although clause 5, subclause (2) explains that the land needs to be the unencumbered right of Canada, it does not specifically address the requirement of the province to agree with the creation of the MCA.

Further to that, I explained that the purpose of adding the new clause in that section of the bill was specifically to mirror the reassurances the drafters of the bill felt necessary to include for the aboriginal peoples of Canada. We simply felt that if it was important for the sense of clarity that protection of rights given to aboriginal peoples in the constitution be included that it too was appropriate for the bill to include the rights of provinces to a veto as well.

It was not my intention to delete the current clause 2, subclause (2) dealing with the aboriginal veto to the creation of MCAs, but to move it to a new clause 2, subclause (3), thereby coming after the provincial veto in the bill. Although in my opinion this was, on the surface, a simple and practical amendment, the government decided to oppose it in committee and take another more negative approach to reassuring provincial rights in the bill. Allow me to explain.

The federal Liberal government members on the committee instead supported an amendment to clause 5 which put the onus of fighting the creation of an unwanted MCA on the backs of the affected province. The following is the government's amendment creating a new clause 5, subclause (3). It reads:

If a court of competent jurisdiction finds that Her Majesty in right of Canada does not have clear title to or an unencumbered right of ownership in lands within a marine conservation area, the Governor in Council may, by order, amend Schedule 1 by removing the name and description of the area or by altering the description of the area.

Further to my comments earlier about how this is the wrong way of going about creating MCAs, meaning that if they are created in an area that the province believes the ownership of that area is disputed and the federal government goes ahead regardless of that claim and creates an MCA, as mentioned, the onus is on the province to challenge the ownership of the federal government to that land. Not only could this process take years and end up costing taxpayers a hefty sum, but in the end a new clause is drafted such that even if the province wins the dispute and requests that the MCA be removed, the clause does not require the governor in council to amend it.

Instead it clearly states “The Governor in Council may, by order, amend Schedule 1”. That clearly is a may and not a shall, meaning that even if the province is successful in the courts, the federal government, through the governor in council, can choose to ignore the results of that court case.

For the record let me state that my amendment was not only much clearer and far simpler but was in the end opposed by the government. I hope the members in the House today and the senators, who hopefully will read this testimony, understand the picture I am painting. There is nothing in the bill explicitly stopping the federal government from imposing a marine conservation area on any province, whether it wants one or agrees to cede its rights to the land or not. This is a blatant abuse of power and is exactly why the federal Liberal government has such a poor relationship with the provinces of this great country.

That brings me to my amendment dealing with the environment and with resource uses within the MCAs. I brought forward, on eight separate occasions, amendments that would have made the legislation more balanced. As it is currently drafted, it is, in my opinion, far too heavily weighted on the environmental side of things and does not take into account the realities of life in coastal communities as well as the realities faced by industries that make their livings from harvesting the resources of the seas.

These amendments were not unrealistic and certainly were representative of the sentiments expressed by the witnesses who testified in committee and in written submissions sent by those who did not speak directly to the committee. Among those amendments, the most palatable to the committee should have been my amendment to clause 13. Clause 13 dealt with the prohibition of exploration and development of hydrocarbons within MCAs. The current clause 13 specifically outlines the prohibition of any exploration, development and exploitation of hydrocarbons, aggregates or inorganic matter from within an MCA. When I asked departmental officials to clarify whether this prohibition also outlawed directional drilling underneath an MCA, I was told that it did.

Therefore, again to allay any fears of coastal communities looking to the development of offshore oil and gas as a potential economic boom to their area, and because the passage of the bill would prohibit in perpetuity the development of that potential, I suggested the following amendment: “That clause 13 be amended to include an exception to the listed prohibitions”.

That exemption was to be a new clause 13.1 and was to read as follows:

The minister may permit the use of directional drilling equipment, in the case of sub-seabed drilling for hydrocarbons, from a point outside a marine conservation area, to a point below the seabed, within the marine conservation area, where the practices are determined by the minister to not pose any serious threat to the existing ecosystem of that marine conservation area.

To explain further, the amendment put the onus on the oil and gas industry to prove to the minister's satisfaction that directional drilling techniques are safe and pose no serious threat to the environment. I really thought this would be a win-win for both the government, or might I say the minister, and for the industry. In my opinion this was not slanted in favour of industry but, if anything, it did not close the door fully to oil and gas exploration but did not leave it wide open either.

However, as with the other amendments, the government summarily dismissed it and steadfastly voted against it in committee. That is why I had to move my report stage Motion No. 6 to delete clause 13. I felt that if we could strike a deal on setting guidelines for offshore oil and gas that the government should remove that clause and not specifically mention it so as to keep the door open a crack, just a little bit, for future consideration.

We can see the pattern. The government cracked the whip and its members one by one stood in their places and opposed this report stage amendment as well.

I could go on at length about the concerns I still have with the bill and about the abuse of power by the government throughout the entire consultation process on the bill but I do not have much time left.

I close by saying that this has been my first attempt at what is called shadowing a government bill. Many members may know that this is my first term in parliament and I am certainly new at it.

For a place which supposedly prides itself on its standards of democracy, on representing the wishes of those who elected its members and on working toward modernizing parliament to make it more effective, I can truly say that based on the experience I have had in dealing with the bill since early this year, this place and its committees are neither democratic nor representative.

I know the federal Liberal government has the seats and therefore the votes to pass the bill without a problem. However I stand here to strongly urge those MPs with coastal communities or MPs concerned about giving too much power to the federal government and the erosion of rights given to the provinces in the constitution, to stand strong with me and my party to oppose this badly flawed legislation. Oppose the bill. Send it back to the drafters for some severe editing.

If the government wants to create marine conservation areas, which I believe is a worthy endeavour, let us ensure it is done the right way the first time. I urge members to oppose Bill C-10 at the third reading vote.

Mr. Speaker, I move:

That the motion be amended by deleting all the words after the word “That” and substituting the following therefor:

Bill C-10, an act respecting the national marine conservation areas, be not now read a third time but be referred back to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage for the purpose of reconsidering clause 10 with the view to ensure that the affected provinces are given explicit veto powers over the creation of marine conservation areas.

Canada National Marine Conservation Areas ActGovernment Orders

November 6th, 2001 / 11:35 a.m.
See context


Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Oh yes, after Lévis. I am not so sure, but anyway.

So, these people took charge and called the attention of the two levels of government to their priorities. Together, they came to an agreement.

As we know the Saguenay—St. Lawrence marine park covers a very large area of several square kilometres. These people set up a co-ordination committee. They said “Since these jurisdictions could be shared between the two levels of government, we will call to task each government regarding their respective responsibilities”.

On April 1, 1990, after all these negotiations, the governments of Canada and Quebec signed the agreement establishing the 29th marine park.

Bill C-10 is about creating 28 marine conservation areas. But both groups of amendments before us tell the provinces “We are going to make the decisions. We are going to set a framework in place”. We are fed up with frameworks. I think we have quite enough of them in Canada.

I do not think any government member has read this agreement, or maybe a few did. I would have liked them to read it and then say “We are going to start from this, and, wherever we want to create a marine conservation area in Canada, we will use identical legislation and we will build on this instead of reinventing the wheel”.

With this bill, we are reinventing the wheel. I think there are more important issues we should be debating. On November 6, 2001, instead of discussing existing legal entities, we should start from there, and respect provincial jurisdictions.

That framework legislation was respectful of entities recognized in the Canadian constitution. It recognized the fact that the sea floor is under provincial jurisdiction. In that context, the Canadian government and the Quebec government could take action in their respective jurisdictions without interfering with one another.

Quebec contributed $11 million plus another $5 million, while Canada put up $9 million. In Saguenay—Lac-St-Jean, phase two has begun. It is working and we are moving forward.

I would like to congratulate my colleague from Quebec for her speech. I applaud her. She pursues this issue with a lot of determination. We cannot allow this government to interfere again in provincial jurisdictions, whether in Quebec, Ontario, the maritimes, the western provinces or British Columbia. Enough is enough. I think that it is time we talked about consultation. With this bill, the Canadian government is not talking about consultation.

They want a new structure. We would need money for all that. The profile of a marine park is very important. It defines the beauty of the area within the park. We should also take into account the priorities of the local population. This is not what this bill is doing; it is creating a top down structure.

The government does not know which bill to present. It does not have a legislative agenda. It brings old things back instead of taking what is on the table and starting from there.

Through our critic, the member for Québec, the Bloc Quebecois will once again be saying that we do not agree. We said that we did not agree with Bill C-48. And we will be saying that we do not agree with Bill C-10.

The Liberal member said that feasibility studies were going to be done. These have been done. We have a basic document. Why not build from there?

Submerged lands belong to the provinces. The framework agreement for the 25th marine park recognized this. Why must we keep fighting to have this government respect the constitution? They said submerged lands belonged to the provinces, they put it in writing and they signed. Why, this morning, must we debate a done deal?

The government thinks that the opposition parties do not realize we have already been down this path. Perhaps the Liberals have nothing to say so they are keeping us awake? All they want to do is interfere in provincial jurisdiction. What is going on here in the House right now is serious. Bill C-10 should never have seen the light of day. It should have stayed where it was.

During the 36th parliament, when this bill died on the order paper, I thought that the government would do some thinking, that officials would read the agreement already signed, that they would have done their homework. I see that the government is a real tower of Babel. No one knows what they are supposed to do. Everyone wants to grab a little bit of power which is not theirs by law.

Enough. I think that this bill should die on the order paper. The Bloc Quebecois will not give its approval to a bill which, once again, creates overlapping jurisdictions. This bill will allow the Minister of Canadian Heritage to create another structure and interfere in the work of other departments. The Department of the Environment and fisheries and oceans will be involved. Several departments are parties to these marine park agreements. The minister is giving herself the power to tell them what to do.

Imagine the confusion this bill will create within the Canadian government. We must see that public money goes elsewhere than into bills that are obsolete and unnecessary.

As the hon. member for Québec said, the Bloc Quebecois will be voting against this bill. And I hope that the majority of members in the House will do the same.

Canada National Marine Conservation Areas ActGovernment Orders

November 6th, 2001 / 11:35 a.m.
See context


Jocelyne Girard-Bujold Bloc Jonquière, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to address Bill C-10 this morning.

I would have thought that the Liberal government, which sponsored Bill C-48 when I was the Bloc Quebecois critic on the environment, a bill similar to the legislation now before us, would have listened to opposition parties and heard what we said during the previous parliament.

Bill C-10 will result in duplication, and the federal government will take over jurisdictions that do not belong to it under the Constitution Act of 1867. This is a mixed bag of things other than what is targeted. The federal government is interfering through the involvement of the Minister of Canadian Heritage in areas that come under fisheries and oceans, and it creates new structures that are not needed.

In 1988, the governments of Quebec and Canada passed mirror legislation. I have a copy of the agreement creating the Saguenay—St. Lawrence marine park. That legislation was developed by the community.

At some point, people decided to do something about their environment. They got together and contacted the two levels of government. They told them “We want to work together to do something for our region”. In my opinion, the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean and the St. Lawrence are the most beautiful regions of the country—

Canada National Marine Conservation Areas ActGovernment Orders

November 6th, 2001 / 11 a.m.
See context


Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québec, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-10. This is not a new bill; it follows two bills that were introduced in the House before that last election campaign, Bills C-8 and C-48.

At report stage, we can present amendments. The Bloc Quebecois has supported many proposals made by the government. The Bloc is not opposed to the protection of the environment, but rather to the way the federal government is acting in this matter.

We were against Bills C-8 and C-48 that were before the House before the election campaign, because they infringed provincial jurisdiction. The Bloc Quebecois proposed an amendment that it would have liked the government to accept. This amendment dealt with the protection of territories. The territory is either federal or provincial; as we know, the sea floor belongs to the provinces, according to the Constitution of 1867. The Bloc Quebecois opposes the principle of the transfer of these rights to the federal government.

Clause 10.1 was an irritant. While we were in favour of requiring negotiations with the provinces, it sets out consultations. This bill is weak when it comes to following through on the government's wishes, and history has taught us to be cautious. Members need only think of the millennium scholarships, and the whole issue of young offenders. The Bloc Quebecois will ensure that all of the necessary safeguards are in place to protect provincial jurisdictions and areas of responsibility.

The amendments moved by the New Democratic Party and the Canadian Alliance could be examined individually; they support the zones established to protect ecosystems. This is not the cause of our concern. My colleagues know this; I have already informed them.

There is the whole issue of overlap between different departments. There are three conservation zones: marine conservation areas, which come under canadian heritage; marine protection areas, the responsibility of fisheries and oceans, and marine reserves, which come under the Department of the Environment.

There will therefore be three different structures to complicate the situation. In the case of negotiations with local authorities or the provinces, there will obviously be a certain amount of confusion. The Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans was quite ineffectual in protecting marine areas, marine protection zones or marine reserves. There are several zones and there are three departments to manage the task.

Not only is there overlap within the federal level—and it is easy to see how this will create confusion—but there is also overlap in some provinces between Environment Canada and its provincial counterpart, such as in Quebec.

In Quebec, we have our own way of doing things. We proposed a number of amendments. We know that it is Quebec that established a memorandum of understanding with the federal government, which takes into consideration a master plan. This plan includes safeguards to protect the environment and ecosystems. Everything is in place.

This bill was not based on this approach, or if it was, it follows the federal government's centralist vision, the same way the government always does things.

Quebec had an innovative idea that made provision for jurisdictions. With this bill, the federal government is totally upsetting the approach of the Quebec government. It had proposed the master plan, and a law was enacted to protect a specific marine area, namely the Saguenay—St. Lawrence marine park.

My colleague, the member for Jonquière, who has often raised this matter in the House of Commons, is very familiar with the matter and knows what is involved in the law and the memorandum between the Government of Quebec and the federal government. A marine area was established in the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region where I come from.

This agreement provides very clearly that the area will not be transferred. It must not be assumed that Quebec will transfer the marine area, which is public land. The constitution provides that the provinces own crown land. This is therefore annoying. It would have been possible, with an agreement, to not go ahead with the land transfer. We would have liked this bill to incorporate the amendments proposed by the Bloc.

As people know, I am not the first to speak to this matter. My colleague from Portneuf is also a vigorous defender of Quebec's jurisdiction and of shared jurisdictions. He too spoke out against Bill C-8, Bill C-48, and now Bill C-10, saying we would not support it.

There are therefore a number of irritants. We also do not agree with extending the scope of the obligations of Canadian heritage. We know the Minister of Canadian Heritage goes in for propaganda a lot. Indeed, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage was saying earlier that they would provide some education on the protection of marine areas. Education is a provincial matter.

Spending is another very subtle way of meddling in the jurisdictions of the provinces. I say spending, because when the government establishes a program, puts an infrastructure in place, we all know there are other officials working on it and setting up programs. The minister could simply say that she would prepare a fine kit for schools on the federal marine areas.

So there is overlapping. There is no agreement to extend the scope of Heritage Canada's obligations. There is also the complexity and inconsistency of the three departments. There is the centralizing goal. We have examples such as the Young Offenders Act, which is contrary to Quebec's legislation. I will come back to this later, since I will have the opportunity to rise several times today.

Thus, the Bloc Quebecois wanted an amendment that went much further to ensure that each marine area, for example, would be debated and negotiated separately. I know that we are not the only ones in the field who oppose the bill such as it is. I do not know how the other parties will vote, but there are several irritants.

We also know that marine areas often disrupt some ways of doing things in other Canadian regions. In the west, we are told that the local economy must be respected. Local economies must also be allowed to develop. Will this be inconsistent with marine areas? There are amendments that tell us we should really first investigate to determine whether a marine area can be established at a certain place. We are not against these amendments. We believe that some of them make sense. But there is more. We can imagine what the major irritant is and the whole underlying principle of this bill, that is that the government seeks to intrude into provincial jurisdictions.