Madam Speaker, I have been very impressed with the minister's openness to listen, his demeanour and his tone. A more partisan person than I might say that he could share that message with the member for Kingston and the Islands, but I would never say that.
I am honoured to speak on a subject I am very passionate about: the update to the Broadcasting Act. Before I get into my content, I will tell the minister directly that he seems very open, and I congratulate him on his tone. He has been great to work with. I want to put another plug in for the Capitol Theatre in Port Hope, if he could please help us out there.
My big ask, in terms of an amendment, would be protecting those smaller operators. We need tighter rules. We cannot leave this up to the CRTC. There are fabulous professionals working there doing the best they can, but we need to make sure there are solid protections.
There are some great arguments, and this act desperately needs to be updated because it has not been in 28 years. In that very long time, we have seen the evolution of the Internet, and the introduction of big players such as Facebook, Google, Netflix and Spotify. In light of this innovation, it is important that we upgrade the bill. However, as I said, I have serious concerns that the bill may inflict harm more than do good.
One of the fundamental changes in the communications sector in the last 28 years has been the democratization of access. Canadians are no longer limited to a couple of voices coming through their televisions. They can now listen and express themselves through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and many other platforms. In many ways, these platforms are closer to going out to the public square in the 1800s and expressing oneself, and anyone who wants to listen, can.
Many of the individuals who participate through YouTube or other platforms contribute a lot to our national discourse on matters like politics, philosophy, culinary arts and health. Having this cacophony of voices that brings with it life experience and perspective not only enriches our lives, but makes our society better. Combatants enter the arena of ideas and have the opportunity to put their theories and ideas out there, and our society decides whether they are enlightened or maybe missing the point.
I am thankful for those who share their great ideas, because they make our country better. Those who lose in the battlefield of ideas can look at the Republic, and what Socrates says. He said those who lose an argument are the better for it because they walk away with knowledge, which often happens to the member for Kingston and the Islands. He should be particularly thankful.
Just like everything, there are bad actors in the world, and there are bad actors in the broadcasting sector. There are individuals who spread hate, lies and conspiracy theories. This behaviour is reprehensible, abhorrent and disgusting. The legislation has the laudable objective of curating online content to protect Canadians against hate and promote quality Canadian programming.