An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts

This bill was last introduced in the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session, which ended in August 2021.



In committee (Senate), as of June 29, 2021
(This bill did not become law.)


This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Broadcasting Act to, among other things,

(a) add online undertakings — undertakings for the transmission or retransmission of programs over the Internet — as a distinct class of broadcasting undertakings;

(b) update the broadcasting policy for Canada set out in section 3 of that Act by, among other things, providing that the Canadian broadcasting system should serve the needs and interests of all Canadians — including Canadians from racialized communities and Canadians of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds — and should provide opportunities for Indigenous persons, programming that reflects Indigenous cultures and that is in Indigenous languages, and programming that is accessible without barriers to persons with disabilities;

(c) specify that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (the “Commission”) must regulate and supervise the Canadian broadcasting system in a manner that

(i) takes into account the different characteristics of Indigenous language broadcasting and the different conditions under which broadcasting undertakings that provide Indigenous language programming operate,

(ii) is fair and equitable as between broadcasting undertakings providing similar services,

(iii) facilitates the provision of programs that are accessible without barriers to persons with disabilities, and

(iv) takes into account the variety of broadcasting undertakings to which that Act applies and avoids imposing obligations on a class of broadcasting undertakings if doing so will not contribute in a material manner to the implementation of the broadcasting policy;

(d) amend the procedure relating to the issuance by the Governor in Council of policy directions to the Commission;

(e) replace the Commission’s power to impose conditions on a licence with a power to make orders imposing conditions on the carrying on of broadcasting undertakings;

(f) provide the Commission with the power to require that persons carrying on broadcasting undertakings make expenditures to support the Canadian broadcasting system;

(g) authorize the Commission to provide information to the Minister responsible for that Act, the Chief Statistician of Canada and the Commissioner of Competition, and set out in that Act a process by which a person who submits certain types of information to the Commission may designate the information as confidential;

(h) amend the procedure by which the Governor in Council may, under section 28 of that Act, set aside a decision of the Commission to issue, amend or renew a licence or refer such a decision back to the Commission for reconsideration and hearing;

(i) specify that a person shall not carry on a broadcasting undertaking, other than an online undertaking, unless they do so in accordance with a licence or they are exempt from the requirement to hold a licence;

(j) harmonize the punishments for offences under Part II of that Act and clarify that a due diligence defence applies to the existing offences set out in that Act; and

(k) allow for the imposition of administrative monetary penalties for violations of certain provisions of that Act or of the Accessible Canada Act.

The enactment also makes related and consequential amendments to other Acts.


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.


June 22, 2021 Passed 3rd reading and adoption of Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
June 21, 2021 Passed Concurrence at report stage of Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts
June 21, 2021 Passed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.22; Group 1; Clause 46.1)
June 21, 2021 Passed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.18; Group 1; Clause 23)
June 21, 2021 Failed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.13; Group 1; Clause 10)
June 21, 2021 Failed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.8; Group 1; Clause 8)
June 21, 2021 Failed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.5; Group 1; Clause 8)
June 21, 2021 Passed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.4; Group 1; Clause 8)
June 21, 2021 Passed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.10; Group 1; Clause 8)
June 21, 2021 Failed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.2; Group 1; Clause 7)
June 21, 2021 Failed Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (report stage amendment — Motion No.1; Group 1; Clause 3)
June 7, 2021 Passed Time allocation for Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts

Motions in amendmentGovernment Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 21st, 2021 / 9:30 p.m.
See context


Alain Rayes Conservative Richmond—Arthabaska, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague who sits with me on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage and who works very hard, as we all do. To answer her question, unfortunately I do not at all agree with her.

At first, we agreed on the principle of Bill C‑10. The bill had several flaws and we were in a hurry to find common ground, but sadly, the government amended it along the way. I believe that is where the problem lies. The government, without notice and despite a pretense of collaboration, was paving the way so that social media could become official broadcasters with all the consequences that could have.

Even worse, the government's willingness to play partisan politics, by framing the issue as being between freedom of expression and the artists themselves, offended many people. Under no circumstance could we let the Liberals get away with that. We will always work to protect freedom of expression.

Motions in amendmentGovernment Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 21st, 2021 / 9:35 p.m.
See context

Winnipeg North Manitoba


Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, it is a shame that I only get 10 minutes to speak to this legislation, with all those amendments. I will try to be as concise as I can and provide some thoughts in regard to the last speech and, in particular, that last amazing question from the Conservative member.

It is important to recognize at the beginning that the very core of Bill C-10, from my perspective and I believer the way my caucus colleagues look at it, is to promote Canadian music, storytelling and creative works. The bill is about fairness and getting American web giants to pay their fair share and contribute to our cultural sector. That is absolutely necessary.

Before I expand on that, it is a bit much to hear the Conservatives refer the legislative agenda and say that it has been mismanaged. It is somewhat ridiculous that the Conservative members would even suggest such a thing when they are at the core of the problem. The Conservatives will say that they do not have enough time to debate and will ask why the government is bringing in different forms of time allocation, yet it is the Conservative Party that consistently wastes time on the floor of the House of Commons. Last Thursday, we were just getting under way and the Conservatives tried to adjourn debate for the day, they wanted to stop debate. They did not want to work anymore, and we were only on a Thursday morning.

What about the motions for concurrence the Conservative Party continuously raise? What about the raising of privileges and points of order as a mechanism to filibuster on the floor of the House of Commons? Government business, unlike Private Members' Business or opposition days, has a process that makes it very vulnerable to opposition parties. Whenever there are 12 or more members, it makes it very difficult for government to pass legislation if one of those opposition parties wants to make it difficult.

The Conservative Party of Canada members in the House of Commons have made it their mission to prevent the government from passing anything. We have seen that destructive force in the House of Commons. I do not think they have a case whatsoever to complain about debate times on pieces of legislation. We tried on numerous occasions to bring certain bills up or to extend hours to facilitate their needs, but the Conservatives have said that if they cannot get what they want, they will waste time. The government then has to bring in some form of closure or time allocation or nothing will ever get passed. We have seen that, and Bill C-10 is one example. They need to wake up.

The minister has done a fantastic job of bringing forward to the House legislation that would modernize an act that has not been modernized for three decades. Is it absolutely perfect? There was some need to make some modifications. Some of those modifications have, in fact, occurred. However, the spin that the Conservatives put on this is that it is terrible legislation that should never, ever see the light of day. We know the legislation would never be able to pass if it did not get the support from at least one opposition party.

It is not the Government of Canada ramming the legislation through. Often it feels as if it is the Government of Canada pleading and begging opposition to recognize the value and try to drum up support within the House. Fortunately, once again, at least one political party is prepared to see this legislation advance. I truly do appreciate it.

Bill C-10, as I said, is, at the core, promoting Canadian music, storytelling and creative work. The Conservatives argue against it, that somehow it limits freedom of speech, and they cite a number of examples. However, the Department of Justice has done an analysis of the legislation and has clearly indicated that it is consistent with the charter guarantee of freedom of speech, and that is coming from civil servants.

I wish the Conservatives would recognize that the bill would ensure that the act would not apply to users of social media services or to social media services themselves for content posted by their users. However, to listen to what the Conservatives are saying, one would not think that, because it does not fit their narrative.

The bill aims to update some critical elements of the broadcasting policy for Canada. For example, it would ensure that the creation of Canadian content is reflective of Canadian society and accessible to all Canadians. The bill would also amend the act to ensure that there is a greater account for things such as indigenous cultures and languages. It would also recognize that Canada's broadcasting system should serve the needs and interests of all Canadians, including racialized communities and our very diverse ethnocultural backgrounds, socioeconomic status, abilities, disabilities, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions of age.

I can tell my Conservative friends, in particular, that things have changed since the act was really updated. The Internet was in its infancy. When I first got the chance to speak to the legislation, I made reference to the fact that when I was first elected 30-plus years ago as a Manitoba parliamentarian, the Internet was accessed by dialing up through the telephone, and I think it was on a 256-kilobytes Compaq computer. Actually, I started off with a small Apple computer that I put floppy disks into. Contrast that to what the Internet is today and how advanced technology continues to push us. We, at least on the government benches, recognize that this is change that needs to take place.

Unlike the Conservative Party, we recognize the true, intrinsic value of culture and heritage, and Canada's diversity continues to grow on a daily basis. We need to modernize the legislation. It is there for all Canadians, which is the reason this government is bringing forward this legislation, as well as other important legislation, whether it is Bill C-6 or Bill C-12.

This is solid, progressive legislation that is going to make a tangible difference, and this is why it is so sad at times when we see the unholy alliance of opposition parties trying to frustrate the government in getting through a legislative agenda that we can all be proud of before the summer break, which is something that is done all the time in June when government gives that final push before the summer break.

I would ask members to get behind this legislation and do what I and my Liberal caucus colleagues are doing: support it, and let us move on to more legislation.

Motions in amendmentGovernment Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 21st, 2021 / 9:50 p.m.
See context


Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Madam Speaker, there are a number of amendments on the table. I understand there was somewhat of a filibuster, but a great discussion that occurred at the standing committee. I do not want to say that I know all of the details per se, but what I do know is that, all in all, this is good, solid legislation. At the end of the day, it is legislation that is needed, and the vast majority of Canadians would support it. We have seen examples, from the Quebec National Assembly to not only the government of the day, but also at least one and possibly even two opposition parties. Once again, the Conservatives seem to be on the outside. They are trying to frustrate the government from being able to pass any type of legislation, especially Bill C-10.

Motions in amendmentGovernment Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 21st, 2021 / 9:55 p.m.
See context


Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise to speak today to Bill C-10 on behalf of the constituents of Nanaimo—Ladysmith and the Green Party supporters across Canada.

It has been 29 years since the Broadcasting Act was updated, so this legislation is long overdue. I have decades of experience in music, film and the television industry, so I have a keen interest in seeing this update done correctly. However, Bill C-10 was critically flawed from the beginning.

More than 120 amendments were put forward to fix this bill, including 18 from the government itself. I submitted 29 amendments to Bill C-10. Two of these amendments passed, and another two passed with subamendments. The focus of my amendments was to ensure that industry stakeholders outside of the big media conglomerates are properly represented in the act. This included non-profit community broadcasters; independent producers who work outside of the traditional broadcasting system; small, independent production companies that create much of the content that we watch on the big networks; and independent networks, like APTN, which are not part of the media conglomerates like Bell, Rogers or Shaw.

Some of the key amendments I put forward ensured that the community element is recognized under the Broadcasting Act. The community element consists of hundreds of non-profit community TV and community radio stations across Canada. In Nanaimo, we have CHLY radio, which is a community-based campus radio station with a non-profit mandate that supports local, commercial-free programming.

When I started out in the broadcasting industry, there was a large network of community TV stations across the country, which were originally tied to the local community cable companies. As those small cable companies were swallowed up by Bell, Rogers and Shaw, the community broadcasting element was slowly pushed out. As the cable giants became more vertically integrated, buying up channels and production companies and expanding service into cellular, they started to use their community stations as a way to promote their own products.

Community media plays an important role in a free and democratic society. These stations are not owned and controlled by commercial interests, and their mandate is to provide a platform to community voices that would otherwise be squeezed out of commercial radio and television. It is important to have the community element recognized as the third major element of broadcasting in Canada. I was glad to have some of my amendments regarding the community element pass, although it was disappointing to see the term “non-profit” removed from the definition, because that is precisely what the community element is, a non-profit element of our broadcasting system.

There has been a lot of talk by the government about the objective of this bill being to level the playing field and protect Canadian cultural producers in their relationship to large Internet giants. According to the Yale report, which was presented in committee, the playing field also needs to be levelled in the contractual agreements between independent production companies and large broadcasting or streaming services.

Much of what we watch is created by small, independent productions companies that bring their program ideas to the big companies. There is a power imbalance in the system that needs to be corrected. Two amendments I put forward were recommended by the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the Alliance des producteurs francophones du Canada, and the Canadian Media Producers Association. Had they passed, those amendments would have created market-based solutions to a market-based power imbalance.

The U.K and France both have similar systems in place, which are working quite well. After the British Parliament passed legislation, the U.K. regulatory agency required negotiations of codes of practice between independent producers and the public service broadcasters. Every code of practice agreement was worked out by the players themselves, rather than dictated by the regulator. The result was a tripling of the size of the domestic production industry in under a decade. France implemented similar measures, with the effect being that the volume of independently produced productions has continually increased, including those commissioned by web giants like Netflix and Amazon.

In Canada, the CRTC has never attempted to directly regulate the commercial relationship between producers and broadcasters. It has always taken the position that codes of practice should be negotiated by the market actors concerned. It is essential, however, that the CRTC be given explicit authority in this area so that it can require players to negotiate codes of practice between themselves. Unfortunately, those amendments, which would have provided more protection to small producers, were opposed by both the Liberals and the Conservatives and did not pass.

There is no doubt that the Broadcasting Act needs to be modernized and we need to level the playing field to ensure that digital giants pay their fair share. For decades now we have had a system in which the broadcasting industry supports the creation of Canadian content, and this should extend to the Internet giants.

Currently, the streaming and social media giants get away with not paying their fair share of taxes in this country. They also contribute nothing to the creation of content except that which they choose to produce.

The Conservatives have been busy sowing a great deal of confusion about what is and what is not Canadian content and how that is determined. Our Canadian content rules are very straightforward. For music to be deemed Canadian content, there is the MAPL system.

To qualify as Canadian content, a musical selection must generally fulfill at least two of the following conditions: M, or music, means that the music is composed entirely by a Canadian; A, or the artist, is for when the music or the lyrics are performed principally by a Canadian; P, or performance, is when the music selection consists of a live performance that is recorded wholly in Canada or performed wholly in Canada and broadcast live in Canada; and L, is when the lyrics are written entirely by a Canadian.

If we fulfill two out of those four categories, we have Canadian content. It is pretty straightforward. Canadian content rules have made stars out of some great Canadian bands such as The Tragically Hip, a band whose lyrics are distinctly Canadian. Tragically, The Hip never made it big in the U.S.A., but it is great that they have become such Canadian icons, thanks to Canadian content regulations that led to the production of films that were later picked up by Canadian broadcasters and went through the procedure of having the film certified as Canadian content.

It is an attestation-based process where one makes a declaration, and it may or may not be audited in the future. There is a point system where people have must score six out of a possible 10 points. They get two points for a director, two points for the screenwriter, first and second lead performers at one point each, and points are awarded for production design, art design, the director of photograph, camera chief, camera operator, musical composer, etc.

The Conservatives spent a lot of time filibustering at committee asking how anyone could figure out if a production is Canadian or not. In question period, the member for Lethbridge wanted to know if Canadian Bacon was a Canadian film based on the name and one of the lead actors, John Candy, being Canadian. However, Canadian Bacon was produced and directed by Michael Moore, an American, and it was produced mostly with an American crew.

Yes, John Candy was one of the stars, and there was another lesser known but also great Canadian actor Adrian Hough in the film, but other than that, there was a long list of American stars like Alan Alda. According to the formula, Canadian Bacon was not a Canadian film, but it is a very straightforward system.

Social media users are exempt from Bill C-10 and the Broadcasting Act, but the content they upload to social media platforms would be covered under the act. It should be noted that under current CRTC rules, productions under five minutes or less do not require certification as Canadian content. TikTok videos and Instagram videos, which are all less than five minutes, would not fall under the current regulations for discoverability as Canadian content.

Can regulations under the act change? Yes, they can. Does the CRTC think it is a good idea to regulate TikTok and Instagram videos for Canadian content discoverability? I really doubt it. There is an ongoing debate about whether freedom of expression is protected under the Broadcasting Act. In the 1991 Broadcasting Act under part 1, the general interpretation, it states, “This Act shall be construed and applied in a manner that is consistent with the freedom of expression and journalistic, creative and programming independence enjoyed by broadcasting undertakings.”

This part of the act still stands. The CRTC is going to have to respect our constitutional right to freedom of expression under the act. That is just a fact. If it does not, then there will be grounds for a legal challenge to the bill, and it seems pretty clear that freedom of expression will be respected.

In conclusion, Bill C-10 is still flawed and there could be a lot more in the bill to protect small, independent producers and production companies, and to ensure that independent networks such as APTN get their products on those streaming services, so we need to do more to protect Canadian producers and defend them in their relationship to the big companies, and not just the big Internet companies, but also the big Canadian broadcasters.

Motions in amendmentGovernment Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 21st, 2021 / 10 p.m.
See context


Heather McPherson NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Madam Speaker, it was a pleasure to work with the member on Bill C-10. He obviously cares about the Broadcasting Act, the broadcasting landscape, our creative producers in Canada, our artists, our writers and our community broadcasting stations. That was something that I was fighting for at committee, so we were often working hand in hand on some of that work.

However, that was not the case with all members of our committee. In early spring, we saw the Conservatives begin to filibuster, and I believe that was as a result of the minister's mishandling and inability to defend his own legislation. Does the member think that the Conservatives actually found an opportunity to fundraise off this? Does the member think that is why they in fact stopped being productive and stopped trying to fix the legislation and just obstructed the legislation?

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 21st, 2021 / 11:45 p.m.
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Toronto—Danforth Ontario


Julie Dabrusin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on the third reading of Bill C-10, a bill that would modernize the Broadcasting Act. This bill fulfills our government's promise to artists and creators, and will make Canada's broadcasting system more inclusive, accessible and equitable for all Canadians.

The Broadcasting Act has not been updated for 30 years. During that time, foreign web giants have stepped into the void. They have made money in Canada without contributing to our cultural creative industries. Bill C-10 seeks to modernize our broadcasting system and to level the playing field between our traditional broadcasters and these foreign web giants.

A modernized Broadcasting Act is urgently needed. It puts in place the right framework to support Canadian creators, producers and broadcasters to maintain the vitality of Canadian content creation and diversity of voices in the creative industry at large. It ensures that foreign web giants and streaming services contribute fairly to the Canadian broadcasting system, like our domestic broadcasters have for decades, and strives for fairness in the new digital world.

Even before tabling the bill, we heard from people who worked across the entire spectrum of the broadcasting sector about the importance of modernization. In June 2018, our government appointed a panel to review the broadcasting and telecommunications legislative framework. We received over 2,000 written submissions and heard directly from many people through conferences across the country. The Yale Report was released in January 2020, making recommendations based on this intensive study that created the framework for Bill C-10 and the modernization of the Broadcasting Act.

I want to underline this point. The consultations leading to this bill includes the work done by that esteemed panel that produced this report. Even before second reading, the heritage committee agreed to a pre-study and it ultimately took on the study of this bill. There were suggestions that we heard from people working in the industry as to how the bill could be improved. We have listened to these concerns and we took action.

Government and opposition parties proposed amendments. In many cases, more than one party proposed pretty much the same amendments, which were moments when there was better collaboration as we worked through them. In other moments, we had very heated debate and ultimately a Conservative filibuster, which kept members from being able to discuss improvements that could be made. Ultimately, the parties were able to work through the stack of amendments we had before us and to present an amended bill to the House.

Bill C-10 would level the playing field, supporting community broadcasting, inclusion and diversity and providing the CRTC with the proper tools to fulfill this modernization. The modernization includes bringing social media companies, and not their users, into the framework. This is because social media companies, for example, Youtube, have become major distributors for music in our country.

Users uploading content to social media are specifically excluded and the CRTC powers over social media companies themselves are restricted to only the following: first, request information from social media companies about the revenues they earn in Canada; second, require that they contribute a percentage of those revenues to cultural production funds; and third, make our Canadian creators discoverable on their platforms. I will break that down.

The first is to request information from social media companies about the revenues that they earn in Canada. Right now, we do not even know how much revenue these platforms such as Youtube generate in Canada. This seems like a reasonable step to take. I cannot see why the opposition parties, such as the Conservatives, want to let foreign platforms continue to operate in Canada without having to disclose this information. This is money made by foreign companies right in Canada.

The second requires that social media companies contribute a percentage of their revenues made in Canada to our cultural production funds. This goes to the core of supporting our artists. Broadcasters and radio pay into FACTOR or Musicaction to support our artists under the traditional system. It is time for these web giants, which have been getting richer during the pandemic, to pay into these funds as well.

The third is to make our Canadian creators more discoverable on their platforms. I would like to clarify on this point that the discoverability requirement is not the same as the one that applies to traditional TV and radio broadcasters. Social media companies do not need to show or play a proportion of Canadian shows or music. The discoverability requirement for social media companies is only to make our creators discoverable. This simply means to include them as suggestions in playlists, for example, or something of that type.

I would like to make one more point on the CRTC's restricted powers regarding social media companies. The CRTC will not have any powers relating to broadcasting standards that could be imposed on social media. Its only powers for social media companies are the three I have listed.

In debate at committee and in this place, there has been much that was raised about freedom of expression, and I want to address this point. The Broadcasting Act includes a specific clause that it must be interpreted in a way that respects freedom of expression and journalistic and creative independence. That has been there for the past 30 years.

At committee, we added a further clause that repeats this protection specifically for social media companies. The charter statement and amendment analysis from justice confirms that Bill C-10 does not impinge on freedom of expression. Bill C-10 levels the playing field and requires web giants to contribute to Canadian shows and music. It does not infringe freedom of expression.

Today, we are discussing a bill that will improve the representation of all Canadians in the programs that they watch. When most of the programming available to Canadians does not reflect their actual lived experiences, something needs to change.

That is why Bill C-10 makes advances to ensure that the Broadcasting Act promotes greater diversity. Programming that represents indigenous people, ethnocultural minorities, racialized communities, and francophones and anglophones, including those who belong to official language minority communities, the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities will no longer only be provided as resources become available. The offer and availability of such programming is essential for self-actualization.

The policies set out in the Broadcasting Act will ensure that our broadcasting system reflects Canadian society and that diverse and inclusive programming is available to everyone. That is essential so that the Canadian broadcasting system can help broaden people's perspectives, spur empathy and compassion for others and celebrate our differences, while strengthening the common bonds that unite our unique Canadian society.

Many of these aspects of broadcasting that have been simply migrated online have happened, and we need to bring them into the Canadian fold. It does not cover the whole of the Internet, as some might say. Bill C-10 includes clear authority for the CRTC to exempt certain classes of undertakings from regulation and to avoid regulation where such an imposition would not contribute in a material manner to the implementation of the broadcasting policy objectives.

Much debate has occurred about social media. Social media has clearly become an important tool for self-expression for Canadians. The bill would not interfere with the lawful use of this medium to express one's self.

The Conservatives stated that they would oppose this modernization of the Broadcasting Act even before changes were made at committee. While they raised issues about freedom of expression, which I addressed earlier, it seems like the objection from the start, and to this time, was about something else. A member of the Conservative caucus called artists who received support “niche groups”, that all of them must be stuck in the early 1990s because they had not managed to be competitive on new platforms and were producing material that Canadians just did not want.

I wonder if the member for the Conservative opposition was referring to shows from Alberta, such as Heartland, or Little Mosque on the Prairie, or maybe successful Canadian shows like Murdoch Mysteries, Kim's Convenience, Corner Gas, or Canadian musicians like Jessie Reyez, Gord Downie and the Arkells, all of whom received support through our cultural production funds.

Our government has crafted a carefully considered bill, and Bill C-10 would ensure our distinctively Canadian stories continue into the future.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 21st, 2021 / 11:55 p.m.
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Damien Kurek Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Madam Speaker, I find it troubling that we are being forced into closure, once again, on a debate that many have raised the concerns of censorship. It seems that the government is more worried about Conservative opposition to this than actually fixing what is deeply flawed legislation.

The minister has said that all artists support the legislation, and that is patently false. I have heard from some in my constituency and others across the country as well as those who I know have reached out to the minister directly, saying that they have concerns.

I am wondering if the member is willing to correct the record and acknowledge that there is not universal agreement from artistic communities on Bill C-10.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 2021 / midnight
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Kerry Diotte Conservative Edmonton Griesbach, AB

Mr. Speaker, Toronto's CN Tower is a Canadian landmark that is known worldwide. When it was completed in 1976, it was the highest free-standing structure in the world. It is 553 metres tall, or about 1,800 old-fashioned feet high. That is the length of five and a half football fields. It has actually been named a wonder of the modern world, right up there with the Golden Gate Bridge and the Empire State Building. The CN Tower gets a lot of attention, and tons of people visit it: two million a year.

Some of those visitors got more than they bargained for on July 16, 2001. On that day, two radical activists decided to do a dangerous illegal stunt. The two men scaled the outside of the tower and unfurled a banner. That banner bashed the Liberal government and the U.S. government for allegedly being killers of the planet. Not doing enough to fight climate change was the charge. The men had to be rescued by firefighters, and they were later charged and convicted for their dangerous stunt. The court heard that the whole ordeal cost CN $50,000, but the two men only had to pay $3,000 in fines in total. I guess the punishment did not quite fit the crime.

Who were those two men who created such havoc and made headlines worldwide? They were both Greenpeace activists. One was a British guy, Chris Holden. The other fella has really climbed to new heights. He is now a Liberal cabinet minister, the heritage minister. Two decades after his last dangerous stunt, this radical guy is pulling another one. In some ways, it is even more dangerous than his first stunt. He wants to censor our online free speech.

By now many Canadians have heard of Bill C-10. It is actually interesting that hundreds of bills are discussed in the House and most people do not pay attention. If we mentioned a random bill, the average Canadian likely would not know what it is about and probably would not care. We realize that a bill is controversial when regular folks know about it and know it by name and number. I did a virtual meeting with students from a grade 6 class a couple of weeks back and they knew about Bill C-10. They were very concerned about it. They should be.

I have a special interest myself in Bill C-10. I worked as a journalist for three decades in radio, TV, newspapers and news magazines, so free speech is in my DNA. For many years I was an opinion columnist for the Toronto Sun chain. Opinion columnists at Sun Media were the lifeblood of that organization. Every survey we did showed that many people bought the newspapers, and sometimes just to read one of the regular columnists.

I am not going to bore anybody by dissecting the intricate legalese of Bill C-10. Lots of lawyers and legal experts have argued the finer points in detail. I know the government will tout this bill as being all about supporting Canadian content. It has already done that. It claims it is not out to stop free speech in any real way, but I do not believe it. Most Canadians do not either. It is no wonder that we do not believe it. The government has earned a reputation, and it is not a good reputation. It cannot be trusted. I do not trust it and Canadians do not trust it.

The Prime Minister and his Liberals have a long string of botched files, ethics violations, broken promises and cover-ups. They failed to quickly close our borders when COVID hit. Then they failed on quickly getting Canadians vaccines. They tried to do a deal with the communist Chinese regime to get vaccines. Of course that failed miserably.

The Liberals have failed on many, many fronts: the SNC-Lavalin affair, the WE scandal, cash for access, cancelled energy projects, disgraced cabinet ministers and MPs, blackface, the trip to the Aga Khan's private island, no serious plan to open our international border and cover-ups galore. Ler us consider a recent one. It is about the Winnipeg National Microbiology Lab and a refusal to provide vital documents to a key parliamentary committee. Look for that to be in the headlines for a long time.

Is it any wonder that Canadians do not trust the Liberals? Is it any wonder they cannot be trusted with something so sacred as free speech? Is it any wonder that people do not trust the minister proposing Bill C-10, a guy with a radical past, a guy who got hauled off in handcuffs and was convicted by a court of law?

We have already seen censorship raise its ugly head on the Internet. It is already happening at an alarming rate. I bet every Canadian with a computer knows someone who has had a social media post flagged or deleted by big tech. It could have been for something as simple as a personal opinion about COVID rules. I bet many of us know people whose social media accounts have been suspended or even shut down by big tech. It is ridiculous that some self-appointed 20-something is a judge at a big tech firm like Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

It also seems like conservative voices are the ones often targeted by these censors. It is strange how that works. Can members imagine what kind of censorship will happen if the Liberal government controls our online speech? I shudder to think of it.

Some people might say that since I am a member of the official opposition, of course I will slam any Liberal bill. Well, it is not just the official opposition. There are a lot of people against this Big Brother bill. Every constituent I talk to wants me to fight against the bill. I cannot recall one person coming to me to say, “Hey, Kerry, you have to support Bill C-10.” In fact, I have heard so much opposition to the bill that I decided to start an online petition against it. I was inundated with people signing it. I told them that I would send a letter of protest directly to the Prime Minister on their behalf, and that is exactly what I did.

Speaking of opposition to Bill C-10, members should check out what Tim Denton said. He is a former national CRTC commissioner, and he is also the current chair of the Internet Society Canada Chapter. Mr. Denton had this to say:

C-10 is clearly intended to allow speech control at the government’s discretion. Ignore the turn signals, look at where the wheels are pointed. They are pointed at your right to communicate freely by means of the internet.

This is scary stuff. Who would members trust to pass judgment on this bill, our heritage minister, with his radical past, or Mr. Denton? I know who I would trust.

How about the comment from Peter Menzies? He is a long-time journalist and former CRTC vice-chair. I worked in journalism with Peter. He is a good guy, a smart guy. He has summed up the Liberal bill really well. He said that Bill C-10 “will place the internet under the control of the...CRTC. Its nine unelected, unaccountable commissioners will decide if your Facebook post or Youtube video is appropriate internet content.” My former colleague goes on to point out that the heritage minister “has promised more legislation to establish another regulatory panel to oversee what sort of things people may say on social media. All of this constitutes an outrageous abuse of government authority”.

We can see where this legislation could go. Maybe a person does not like a government program or a policy or a politician and speaks out. Maybe they will get blocked or cancelled. There is a lot of cancel culture out there to go around, and the legislation before us would only make things worse.

The bottom line is that the Liberal government cannot be trusted with our free speech. The minister, with his radical, checkered past, cannot be trusted with our free speech. Our free speech is too sacred to be imperiled by this terrible, dangerous legislation. Canadians are saying that loud and clear. Bill C-10 must be defeated. Our very democracy in Canada is at stake.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:10 a.m.
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Heather McPherson NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I did notice the member spoke almost not at all about the bill, which is interesting because that is why we are here. Since I am sure he has read the bill and has read the act, he knows there are numerous places in both the act and the bill where freedom of expression is explicitly protected.

While the Liberals may not be trustworthy, members will recall that the Bloc, the Green Party and the NDP also support this legislation. New Democrats have always stood up for freedom of expression. They have a long history of that, and they have always stood up for net neutrality. The only party that is against this legislation is the Conservative Party.

I have heard from one Conservative MP that he has raised over $3,000 by fearmongering abound Bill C-10 in his riding. Would the member share how much money he has raised in his riding by fearmongering on Bill C-10?

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:10 a.m.
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Martin Champoux Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech, and I must say that it was shockingly chock full of fearmongering. I have seldom heard anything like that. On top of that, these words are from a former journalist. He himself said that he had been a journalist for 30 years.

I remind my colleagues that facts are important in journalism. They have clearly chosen party lines over the facts in this debate.

My colleague mentioned a few times that he was interested in Bill C‑10 and that he was fairly familiar with it. My colleague from Edmonton Strathcona said that there are numerous places in Bill C‑10 and in the act where freedom of expression is explicitly protected.

Could my colleague explain exactly which clauses in Bill C‑10 could potentially undermine freedom of expression? What are the specific sections he is referring to?

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:15 a.m.
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Martin Champoux Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have finally reached the end of this bill on which many people have worked very hard in the past few months. I commend the members of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage who have been working hard since Bill C‑10 was introduced.

As we have said many times, this bill was not perfect when it was introduced. I used a metaphor, comparing this bill to a brand new paint by numbers. We had a lot of work to do.

The way it works is that we all vote in favour of a bill and agree to send it to committee. The House of Commons speaks and democracy does its job. At that point, it is our responsibility to work on improving the bills that are introduced and that must be studied in committee, and we made the decision to work on this bill, even though the task was, quite frankly, monumental.

We decided to do this work even if the task was altogether daunting. We committed to do it and we did. It was going relatively well until the withdrawal of clause 4.1 gave the Conservatives the opportunity they had been waiting for. It was the perfect opportunity to speak out against a possible attack on freedom of expression.

The support of various experts who already did not have a very high opinion of this bill, which obviously had an impact on web giants, was all it took for the Conservatives to come down on Bill C‑10 like a ton of bricks by pointing out all of the problems with the bill and demonizing it as much as possible.

I am rather pleased that we are in the final stages of this bill, particularly because we have pretty much covered all of the arguments and the list of witnesses and experts on which the Conservatives based their fearmongering.

My colleagues have said this repeatedly, and I will reiterate that the Broadcasting Act and Bill C‑10 contain several provisions that specifically exempt social media users, regular people like us and the people we care about, from the Broadcasting Act regulations.

The provisions in Bill C‑10 apply only to broadcasting undertakings. However, if entities that use social media sites like YouTube also engage in broadcasting, we have to regulate those broadcasting activities.

That excludes the activities of users who share content and little videos with each other or who have somewhat more organized channels that might even earn them an income. This does not apply to those people, as specifically stated in Bill C‑10.

The campaign of fear has run its course. It has slowed the progress of this extremely important bill since April, with what is commonly known as organized filibustering. Who will pay for that? The artists, creators, culture and the cultural community in Quebec, but also in Canada. The only ones to profit from it are the Conservatives, who oppose the bill, despite the fact that the other parties of the House are working hard to improve it and move it forward. I remind members that this bill was imperfect, but certainly not as bad as what the Conservatives have been saying for weeks and weeks.

There is another principle that I would like to revisit. I am reminded of the mother who watches a military parade go by and notices that one soldier is walking in the opposite direction, against the parade. Upon realizing that the soldier in question is her son, she wonders why everyone else is marching in the wrong direction. That is kind of what this reminds me of.

Sooner or later, when someone realizes that they are the only one who thinks something and nobody else thinks what they think, they might consider a little open-mindedness. They might accept that they have expressed their point of view, that others disagree, that we are all working in a democratic system and that the majority is supposed to rule. They can tell themselves that they fought hard and that, even though they tried hard to defend their point of view, they now have to be a good sport and stop trying to sabotage things.

That is not what happened, however. This attitude prevailed to the very end. We saw the filibustering, at times very disgraceful, and we have reached a point where Bill C‑10 may be in jeopardy. We will have to keep our fingers crossed. I intend to stay hopeful until the end, but I think this could have gone better. We could have done much more and been more noble in what we needed to accomplish. Again, it is our artists and culture that are at stake.

The web giants are earning billions of dollars on the backs of our creators. It is only fair to subject them to the same rules as broadcasters operating in Canada and Quebec.

How many times have the Bloc Québécois been criticized for throwing up their hands and supporting closure with the Liberals? It is awful. I must say that we had to swallow our pride since we are against the use of closure motions. Nonetheless, it is a parliamentary tool that exists. It is not perfect and it is certainly not noble, but neither is systematic filibustering.

Sometimes, the only way to respond to a questionable tactic is to employ another tactic that may also be considered questionable. It definitely is frustrating to come up against a gag order. We have been there as well. However, a bill for artists, for culture and for the industry deserves the right tools. If someone is standing in the way, we will use the procedural moves at our disposal.

The Conservatives will probably take the heat for a long time for scuttling the bill, if it were to fail. Quebec's motto, on all of its licence plates, is “Je me souviens”, or “I remember”. Quebec artists and those who have a lot of influence in the cultural sector will remember.

Culture does not cost anything. In an interview with a local paper in her riding, the member for Lethbridge said that Quebec artists were outdated, that they were stuck in the 1990s and that they were reliant on grants because they produce things people do not want. That is not true. Canada's cultural industry generates billions of dollars in economic spinoffs every year. The industry costs nothing; it brings in money. The industry is valuable, and not just in terms of money. We are talking about our identity here.

I will end my speech on a positive note. Just now, we voted for something positive.

Bill C‑10 was not perfect, and the Bloc Québécois believed that it was important not to wait another 30 years to amend the Broadcasting Act.

This evening, we voted to include a sunset clause in the bill, which ensures that the act must be reviewed every five years. We live in a world that is evolving at an incredible pace. Where will technology be in five years? We have no idea.

It is very important to set a limit and to give ourselves shorter deadlines for a mandatory review of the Broadcasting Act. It should be reviewed more frequently than every 30 years. In my opinion, it is one of the best ideas that we have had. We will have the opportunity to review the bill every five years and to correct whatever flaws may remain in the legislation, if it is passed.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:30 a.m.
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Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to take part in the debate this evening on such an important issue.

I just complimented my colleague from Drummond, and I also have some kind words for my colleague from Edmonton Strathcona. She did a masterful job on Bill C‑10 at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. Her assistant, Laveza Khan, also worked very hard on it, and my assistant Samuel Fortin-Pouliot worked very hard too. I commend everyone. They truly put in the work, as they say.

I agree that we absolutely needed to amend the Broadcasting Act. It has been 30 years since that act was passed. It had become completely archaic and obsolete, and it still is. It does not fit with today's reality and the current context with the new digital broadcasters. I think we need to keep that in mind when we debate this bill.

That is why the NDP has always worked and remained in touch with various actors and stakeholders in Quebec's cultural sector, in particular the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and also ACTRA, Unifor and Music Canada. They have always counted on us. We worked with them to try to improve this very important bill.

Since the Yale report was released a few years ago, we have come to understand how necessary it is to update the Broadcasting Act and bring it into the 21st century. As progressives and New Democrats, we agreed with the broad strokes of the Yale report. It is so important, because it is a matter of cultural sovereignty. What we need to do is ensure that major new digital broadcasters participate, invest and contribute to the production of original Canadian and Quebec content. That is not what is happening.

It is vital to understand the ecosystem that we have been dealing with and continue to deal with, in the hope that it can change, and why the principle of this bill is so important in the first place. We have a system based on conventional broadcasters and cable companies that contribute to a fund to ensure we can invest in telling our stories on television, in film and other media.

However, big players, new players who are no longer quite so new today, had not contributed at all. It is great to be able to bring them to the table and force them to contribute to the growth and development of Quebec, Canadian and indigenous culture in general, just like conventional broadcasters.

Unfortunately, the bill that was presented to us was botched from the beginning. The NDP was prepared to collaborate. We have always been prepared to collaborate, to make amendments and improvements, to resolve the problems with the bill so that it best meets the needs of the cultural industry and our artists, artisans and technicians. We also want to make sure it best meets the needs of the public, because we need cultural content that brings us together and that we have some control over so that we can tell our stories, which our fellow citizens in Quebec and Canada love to hear. Think of all of the big television, movie and music success stories that we know of.

Unfortunately, we had to deal with very bad communication from the Minister of Canadian Heritage, who on numerous occasions could not for the life of him explain his own bill.

He was attacked under various pretexts by the Conservative Party and was unable to reassure the public and to continue in a constructive and positive direction for this bill.

Obviously, there has been a lot of talk about freedom of expression. It is an important issue, and we are not going to sweep it under the rug and say we do not care about it. As members of the NDP, as New Democrats and progressives, if there were a bill on the table that called into question the freedom of expression of people, of Canadians, we would obviously be very concerned.

The NDP has a strong track record when it comes to protecting freedom of expression and the rights of Canadians. This is not something we take lightly. We did our work in committee, as well as in the media, in the public sphere and in the House, to raise these issues and to take the time needed to get legal opinions, to hear from experts and to get the notices of compliance with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms from the Department of Justice. Those notices actually came twice, before and after the removal of clause 4.1.

We have always been in favour of the principle of the bill. We hope it will pass because our cultural sector will benefit when Internet giants contribute to and help fund the production of original works that tell Canadian and Quebec stories.

We did our work. We were open to arguments because we wanted to be absolutely sure we were protecting freedom of expression. That is what we did, and the NDP is committed to supporting the cultural sector and our artists, artisans and technicians. At the same time, we wanted to be absolutely sure everything was charter compliant and would in no way interfere with individuals' right to keep expressing their opinions and posting whatever videos they wanted on social media. Doing that work was very important, and we did it in a reasonable and responsible way. Unfortunately, there were some closure motions that prevented debate in some cases and violated our rights as parliamentarians.

The way the Liberals have been managing this bill strikes me as rather strange. They imposed closure on a committee, which has only ever happened three times. Despite this gag order, they had to resort to a supermotion. The Liberal government treated this bill as if we had neglected it and taken it lightly, while it was too important for equity in our Canadian programming ecosystem and for the defence of programming and content in French, as well as in indigenous languages.

We want our television, film and musical artists to have the chance to pursue their activities and be properly paid for the work they do, especially musicians on YouTube, and we want them to continue to tell our stories. It is a question of jobs and a very important economic sector. The cultural sector accounts for tens of thousands of jobs across the country.

What is more, culture is what defines us. It says who we are, what our vision of society is, how we approach the issues, social discussions and debates. It also gives us a chance to change our perspective and world view, and a chance to change the world.

I find it sad that on June 21, we still have to talk about this. The Liberals should have managed their agenda better.

However, I think that this bill does ultimately achieve the objectives that matter to our cultural sector, our artists and our artisans. The NDP will always be there to defend them.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:40 a.m.
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Heather McPherson NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have watched my colleague in meetings with stakeholders. I have watched him in the House. I have watched him in the media, and he really is a friend who is fighting hard for the cultural sector in Canada. The work that he has done to stand up for our artists and our writers and folks who are in the creative sector is outstanding. While I am disappointed by the Conservatives' attempts to derail this legislation, I am not surprised. We know that they have never been friends of the cultural sector. That has been very clear all the way along. I am surprised by how badly the Liberals have managed this.

Could the member speak a little more about what he would have done to make sure this legislation was treated with the urgency and the importance that I know he thinks Bill C-10 has?

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:45 a.m.
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Paul Manly Green Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and privilege to rise again tonight to speak to Bill C-10. It is always an honour to speak from the unceded traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, and to serve the community of Nanaimo—Ladysmith within the traditional territory of the Snaw-naw-as, Snuneymuxw, Stz'uminus and Lyackson First Nations. Hych'ka Siem. It is National Aboriginal Peoples Day today, a day to celebrate the rich cultural heritage, the languages, the governance structure and the traditions of the indigenous people of Canada.

I spoke to many organizations about this bill. As an independent party called the Greens, we do not have the same ability to question witnesses in committee, so I held my own meetings and asked my own questions. One of the meetings I had was with APTN and indigenous producers. I want to talk tonight about the importance of indigenous voices in our broadcasting system. If we left this content up to the United States, our views of indigenous people would continue to be the Disneyfied view seen in Pocahontas and spaghetti westerns. It is really important that indigenous voices are heard.

In the early 1990s, my father found a letter written by a woman in 1898 named Elizabeth Shaw. She wrote a scathing 18-page letter about the residential school system and the abuses that were happening at the Port Simpson school. We made a documentary film about her and a number of indigenous people were involved with it.

Afterward, indigenous people told me about some of the other experiences they had and they wanted to make films as well. I said that it was not really for me to tell their story. That is what they should be doing and I helped facilitate it. I worked with a lot of indigenous producers, young people and older people. These people were interested in getting into media production, and I facilitated training and mentorship so they could tell their stories.

What came out of that? I worked with a young guy, Don Claxton. I worked with his sister Dana Claxton as well, who is an indigenous artist, and played music with their sister, Kim Soo Goodtrack. They had an idea for a show. That was in the late 1990s and, lo and behold, APTN, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, was born. We produced a pilot for the first preschool show on APTN. I worked with them, a whole bunch of first nations and an indigenous technical crew, who we trained, to create 64 episodes of a show called Wakanheja.

The idea behind CanCon is to hear these important indigenous voices. We need to make sure that the independent producers creating Canadian content have access to the Canada Media Fund when they are producing for social media streamers like Netflix and others, rather than just for the Canadian broadcasters, because that is where a lot of this production is going.

I heard a lot of discussion about freedom of expression and that some YouTubers have to go down because Canadian content goes up, that somebody has to go down because somebody is going up. I do not know how many times I heard that at committee during filibusters. A Conservative member gave a great example of somebody they know who does coupon clipping and gives how-tos, and that is great. I looked at the top 100 Canadian YouTube producers and there were people doing nails, gaming commentators and spoof videos. There was lots of content that could be produced anywhere. People knew it was Canadian because they would drop an “eh”, say “get 'er done” or say “about” wrong, but that is not what the idea behind CanCon is all about.

This commercial content drives advertising dollars, and that is what the commercial Internet giants are all about: selling advertising. That is what the algorithms are designed to do. What is important in CanCon is indigenous voices, stories from Canada's north, Canadian documentaries, stories of new Canadians and emerging Canadian musicians. These are the programs that need to be discoverable, and that is what discoverability is about. It is about learning about each other and about Canadian stories, not being inundated by American culture or the dominant culture.

I missed my late show tonight. I want to talk about a Canadian story that needs to be shared and understood. In recent decades, Canadians have learned more and more about our former government's attempt to commit cultural genocide, to commit genocide, to wipe out indigenous cultures through the residential school system. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has reported extensively and provided a path forward with 94 calls to action.

What most Canadians are unaware of is a parallel set of institutions, the racially segregated Indian hospital system operated by the federal government between the 1940s and 1970s, and those hospitals have their own horror stories. I first heard about the Nanaimo Indian Hospital about 15 years ago, and many people in my community have no idea it ever existed.

In 2013, I was commissioned to produce a film for the Hul'qumi'num Health Hub about cultural safety in the health care system within the Hul'qumi'num speaking areas. Part of that film was to give health professionals an understanding of the history of institutional racism in health care and why indigenous people did not seek help when they needed medical attention.

I interviewed elders who spoke about the trauma they experienced in the Nanaimo Indian Hospital. I heard about painful treatments and I heard about people going into the hospital who were never heard from again. As part of the research for the film, I spoke with researcher Laurie Meijer Drees, who is the co-chair of the First Nations Studies Department at Vancouver Island University. She has documented the oral stories of people who have been in these hospitals, and wrote a book entitled Healing Histories: Stories from Canada's Indian Hospitals.

Of course, not all these stories were bad. Some people went to the hospital sick, were given antibiotics and returned home feeling better, but the horrific legacy of the Indian hospitals was based on treating all indigenous people as wards of the state. Consent for medical treatment only came into being for the general public in the 1960s. However, as wards of the state, indigenous people were not asked to consent for their hospitalization or treatment. The system patronizingly viewed them as lacking the capacity to give consent.

An indigenous person could be arrested by the RCMP for not going to the hospital if instructed to do so by a doctor. That twisted, racist mentality facilitated and led to women being sterilized without giving consent and patients being subject to experiments with medication without their prior knowledge.

These hospitals were underfunded and understaffed. Family members and communities were not updated on loved ones in the hospital. People died, children were shipped off to residential school or adopted out and family members were never informed. Some children were taken to hospital and years later no longer knew who they were, what their real names were or where they came from.

Most of what is known about this dark history comes from oral accounts told to researchers and shared through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but the medical files are locked and researchers have not been granted permission to access them. Apparently the reason given is that those records contain personal information. It is important to protect personal information, however, we do not need to expose personal information to get to the bottom of what happened.

To heal from those past traumas, we need to know the truth. The truth is sealed in those medical records, and it is incumbent upon the government to give researchers and independent adjudicators appropriate clearance, access and analysis of this data to conduct a full independent inquiry. I am looking forward to a first nations producer, an indigenous producer, creating a documentary about this and having members of this place finding this through discoverability on YouTube. These are stories we need to hear. These are the truths we need to hear. We also need to hear about the rich cultural heritage of indigenous people.

Let us talk about censorship. We are worried about censorship. The real concern about censorship is these large corporations. On May 5, red dress day, the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, family, friends and loved ones were posting about their missing loved ones. Thousands of those posts disappeared.

Right here in my community, I know Lisa Marie Young went missing years ago. What happened to all these posts? They were all pulled by Instagram. This is happening with other things like Black Lives Matter, Israel and Palestine, Sheikh Jarrah and SOS Colombia. I heard one of the Conservatives say that their posts were missing, right-wing posts, but this is clearly not Conservative posts.

Freedom of speech is important to me and we need to uphold it, and this bill would do that.

Bill C‑30—Time Allocation MotionBudget Implementation Act, 2021, No. 1Government Orders

June 14th, 2021 / 12:05 p.m.
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Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Madam Speaker, unfortunately, for the second time in only a few days, the government will shut down debate to keep parliamentarians, the elected representatives of the people, from doing their job and participating in a fair and balanced debate where every point of view can be properly heard. Once again, as it did with Bill C‑10, the government is shutting down debate on Bill C‑30, an act to implement certain provisions of the budget.

It is never a win for Canadians when the government does this. Unfortunately, it has done this twice: last week on Bill C-10, which is an attack on freedom of speech; and today, on a main issue of the government, which is the debate on the budget.

Why did the government not do its homework?

Why did it not let us debate Bill C-30 when required? Why did the Minister of Finance move an amendment last week in the House when she very well could have done so at the parliamentary committee?