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

Sponsor

Status

In committee (Senate), as of June 29, 2021

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-10.

Summary

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.

Elsewhere

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.

Votes

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

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

June 14th, 2021 / 10:50 p.m.
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NDP

Heather McPherson NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I have been in the House for some time listening to the debate tonight, so it is an honour to finally stand and speak.

This past year, we have seen the very best and the very worst of government in our system of democracy. When all parties were working together as the committee of the whole to address the COVID-19 crisis, we saw how well the government could work together. I am going to talk about some of the ways it worked well before I get negative and talk about the ways it has not been working.

I want to make it clear it is not that all opposition party members supported everything the government did during the COVID period. I, for one, have stood in this House many times repeatedly challenging the government to do better, particularly when it came to protecting Canadians from COVID-19 and all of the detritus that came with it. I stood in the House to make sure there were public health rules in place, that there was sick leave, that Canadians could stay home if they needed to, that there were things in place to help fight the virus in Canada and around the world without having to choose between their own well-being and the health of others. I will keep doing that. I will keep standing in this House of Commons as an opposition member to urge the government to do a better job taking care of Canadians. I will stand in this House and get it to close loopholes in its legislation.

There is a company in my riding, Cessco Fabrication. I have brought up probably a dozen times in the House that the government's wage subsidy program is being used to pay for scab labour so that this company does not have to negotiate with its workers. I have brought it up time and time again, and I will continue to do that.

It is really important that I push for students, seniors and people with living with disabilities.

One thing members have heard me say so many times is that if we do not vaccinate people around the world, none of us is safe, and that I am disappointed in the government's response to that.

The government itself adopted many of the opposition solutions that were offered. The government did bring forward the 75% wage support, the CERB was $2,000 a month and there was limited support for students and paid sick leave. This is how the government should work. The government should propose and opposition members should make it better. I am proud, as a new parliamentarian, that I was able to do that. I am honoured to have been part of that effort.

However, this has not been the case with Bill C-10. In fact, the entire process, including the debate this evening, is an example of the worst forms of democracy and government. It started with an extremely flawed bill that the minister himself could not explain. When the bill was tabled in November, it was immediately apparent to everyone, the government included, that it was a flawed piece of legislation. The Yale commission clearly identified Canadians' concerns with how web giants were dominating our broadcasting and culture, but were excluded from the current Broadcasting Act and, thus not subject to oversight, not held to the same standards as Canadian companies and, worse yet, not contributing taxes or funds to the Media Fund. The bill, as it was tabled, ignored all of those issues and I stood with my colleagues in the NDP and said on the day that bill was tabled that this was going to be problem and we needed to fix this.

Facebook, YouTube, companies that make billions of dollars in revenue from Canadians and Canadian content were excluded from the bill. For anyone who was worried about what that proposed section 4.1 was, it was excluding social media. It was letting Facebook and YouTube off the hook. It was saying that they could use Canadian content and they did not have to pay for it. It was selling out our cultural sector. We needed to fix that legislation.

I was worried because we know that Facebook has lobbied the minister and the department over 100 times. Their incessant lobbying seemed to pay off. Representatives met over and over again and then, all of a sudden, they were not in the bill. The minister floundered in responses to questions about the bill and the lobbying. He was unable to answer questions about his own bill to Canadians, unable to answer questions about its application in committee and unable to defend its rationale from critics.

The result was a committee review process that at the very best of times was disorganized and at the worst was completely dysfunctional. I know that because I was there. I was on that committee.

Immediately, 121 amendments to the bill were filed. The minister has said that perhaps this is a normal number of amendments for a bill of such of complexity and the breadth and depth of this legislation means it is not surprising, but what was surprising was the number of government amendments filed. The government knew this legislation was flawed, so it was a clear indication the bill was not ready when it was tabled and that the minister was not ready to endorse and oversee it.

Still, and this is the most important point, Canadians need a broadcasting act. We have heard it time and time again in this House from everybody but the Conservative Party. We have a 30-year-old Broadcasting Act. It is well overdue for us to have legislation in this country that will fix the holes in the Broadcasting Act. Canada desperately needs an updated Broadcasting Act.

Canadian broadcasters, media companies, producers, filmmakers, writers and artists all need an updated Broadcasting Act. Canadians who value Canadian news and Canadian content need and want a broadcasting act as well. It was absolutely vital that we roll up our sleeves in committee and we fix this bill to create a broadcasting act that would work for Canadians. It was an excruciating process, because instead of working with my colleagues, many of whom I admire and who worked very hard in this committee, politics kept getting in the way.

Again, this is what I mean when I say the worst of government and democracy. The Conservatives saw a weak minister with a flawed bill, and rather than roll up their sleeves and do the work that needed to be done so we could fix this legislation, they smelled blood in the water and attacked. They took advantage of the committee process and the flaws in the bill to spread disinformation about the bill far and wide, and then they filibustered the committee so we could not even get to the amendments that would fix it. We could not even fix the things they raised as concerns because they would not stop filibustering the committee to allow us to do that.

All across Canada we were hearing the most outrageous accusations about the bill. I had one constituent tell me he had read that individual Canadians' tweets would not post until they had been reviewed for Canadian content by the CRTC. The things that were being told to Canadians by the Conservatives were absolutely outrageous.

I listened to the member for Lethbridge yell “freedom” so many times that I was in a panel with her and I thought maybe I was on a panel with Braveheart. All this did was waste time and confuse Canadians, and with a minister who could not adequately explain his bill, the disinformation campaign found oxygen it never should have had.

It brought us here to this evening to the last-second attempt to rush this bill through before the session ends. The government had six years to update the Broadcasting Act, and in the end, it served up a flawed bill that took so much work for us to fix.

As a member of the heritage committee, I worked very hard with my fellow members to close the Liberal loopholes and fix problems in the legislation. I voted in favour of a Conservative motion for a second charter review to ensure the Broadcasting Act would not infringe on personal freedoms of expression, and that review was done.

I supported a motion to force the ministers of justice and heritage to appear at committee to address concerns over freedom of expression. I proposed that the committee meet more often and for longer hours. I proposed to extend the deadline so more work could be done. I voted against closing debate and I even put forward a motion asking the committee to debate the bill through the summer months so we could get this work done. All the parties voted against that.

In the end, the Liberals closed the committee debate and we were forced to vote on amendments without even discussing them. It is not my idea of good government.

I fully welcome the attention that Bill C-10 has aroused in Canadians. The Broadcasting Act affects us all on a daily basis, and I am heartened to see so many Canadians engaged in the legislative process. It is true that many Canadians are profoundly misinformed about the bill, which is, of course, in no way their fault. I would say it falls very much on the shoulders of some of our members of Parliament who have taken great joy and have done an awful lot of fundraising off the idea, the misinformation that they are spreading and the fear that they are sowing among Canadians.

The issues addressed in Bill C-10 are complex and every country in the world is grappling with those issues right now, attempting to find a way to protect their own citizens, their own content, their own identity and their own media platforms from web giants that do not have to follow the same rules as everyone else, web giants that pull in hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue without giving anything back and companies that leave a swath of local and national media and entertainment venues languishing in their wake.

While I am dismayed by the disinformation permeating the debate on this bill, some of it coming from the web giants themselves in an attempt to resist and avoid regulation, I will vote for Bill C-10 because I worked so hard to fix this legislation. I worked so hard to make sure that people's freedom of expression was protected and that in the end web giants were held to account and that they were contributing to our broadcasting sector.

I have said it before and I will say it again: It is vital that we modernize the Broadcasting Act. The current version of the act was updated in 1991, before the Internet and before streaming services. The Broadcasting Act cannot, as it stands, address the new landscape. It cannot protect Canadians or Canadian content and it must be updated.

For me and my fellow New Democrats, the goal has always been to make sure that we had a bill that would make web giants like Facebook, YouTube and Netflix follow the same rules as Canadian companies and contribute to Canadian content just like Canadian companies are required to do. We have fought both to protect freedom of expression and to ensure that web giants are on an even playing field with Canadian companies. Canadian media and content are under extreme pressure and the web giants have a competitive advantage right now. That competitive advantage must end with this legislation.

Thanks in part to the amendments offered by all parties, Bill C-10 now would utterly protect individual rights to freedom of expression on all platforms. The CRTC powers are limited by this bill to broadcasters and the bill specifically excludes individuals from regulation. Users who upload content to social media services would not be subject to the act. In fact, the bill now contains four sections specifically exempting individuals from the act, and this bill would protect Canadian culture and heritage.

Arts and culture are at the heart of who we are. They are what make us Canadians. It is how we listen to and understand each other better. It is how we connect across the vast distances in our country and it is how we celebrate our identities. It is how we share our incredible stories with each other, in both official languages and with the entire world. We must protect our heritage and support a strong, independent arts and culture industry. Without that protection, Canadian talent will not thrive. We need Canadians to succeed on both digital and traditional platforms. Here at home and around the world, Canadian artists should be able to earn a decent living from their art, and this bill has an important role to play in making sure that the wide range of Canadian voices with stories to tell are those stories that we see on platforms.

When Bill C-10 is enacted, the next step is to increase the funding for CBC and Radio-Canada to help reverse the damage done by decades of funding cuts and unequal rules that have favoured foreign competition.

Our public broadcaster has a remarkable legacy of connecting all points of our country, and it needs a stronger future to help make sure Canadians have access to accurate, relevant information no matter where they live and no matter what language they speak.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

June 14th, 2021 / 11:10 p.m.
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Bloc

Martin Champoux Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate my colleague from Edmonton Strathcona on her speech.

We have the pleasure of serving together on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. She and I have managed to move the bill forward and improve it, sometimes with opposing views, sometimes converging views, sometimes through excellent co-operation. It needed a little help to become a good bill.

Over the past few weeks, after the removal of clause 4.1, which actually had been strengthened with other provisions to ensure that social media users were protected, we have seen a slew of Conservative Party pundits suddenly take an interest in Bill C-10, although we have been working on it for months now. This is a complex bill that takes time to understand. It must be properly analyzed, and it is important to have a good grasp of the subject. Nevertheless, over the past few weeks, we have had a number of experts come to us to give their opinions and tell us that we have done our job all wrong.

I would like the member for Edmonton Strathcona to comment on this. How should we take this wave of insults from colleagues?

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

June 14th, 2021 / 11:10 p.m.
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NDP

Heather McPherson NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is very interesting to me that we are told that there are experts. I have a letter here that was written by 14 lawyers who have said that Bill C-10 would do none of the things that we have been accused of doing to it. We have gone through the legislation tooth and nail, and I have a document here that outlines every single time freedom of expression is protected. I could tell members exactly where in the act and where in the bill; if they want me to name it, I can. I know that is not the case with most of the members in the House this evening, but I can certainly tell them exactly how freedom of expression is protected, and I am deeply offended that any member of this House would think that my priority would not be to ensure that Canadians' freedom of expression is protected at all cost.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

June 14th, 2021 / 11:10 p.m.
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Conservative

Warren Steinley Conservative Regina—Lewvan, SK

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments from my colleague for Edmonton Strathcona. I believe her heart is in the right place and I always enjoy listening to her speeches.

We are talking about the amendment. I am wondering how she felt about the amendment put forward that says to delete all words after “notwithstanding any standing order, special order or usual practice of the House” and substituting the following: “Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, be referred back to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage....”

I believe that the member is very studious. Does she think there should be a bit more conversation around Bill C-10? I have heard a lot from constituents in Regina—Lewvan and from across not only Saskatchewan, but western Canada, who have some concerns. I believe that the member is honest and forthright and that she takes those concerns seriously.

Would it not be right to have a bit more conversation around this bill? I know my colleague for Saskatoon—Grasswood said 40% of the amendments were not even discussed at the committee. Could there be some more work for the committee to do?

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

June 14th, 2021 / 11:15 p.m.
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NDP

Alistair MacGregor NDP Cowichan—Malahat—Langford, BC

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank my colleague for Edmonton Strathcona for her amazing work on this bill. When I look at how the discourse around Bill C-10 has been so poisoned, I draw a parallel to the subject of climate change. We can look at Conservative discourse on climate change over the last decade. There was also a recent Angus Reid poll from April that showed only 41% of Conservative voters believed climate change was a threat compared with 90% and above for all of the other parties. The Conservative Party bears a lot of responsibility for that number because of the way it has spoken on this important subject.

Does my colleague see a parallel with the Conservative discourse on Bill C-10? The Conservatives bear responsibility for how poisoned it has become and the incredible amount of misinformation. Does my colleague see any of those parallels or have any thoughts on that particular comparison?

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

June 14th, 2021 / 11:15 p.m.
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Conservative

Greg McLean Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Madam Speaker, I am splitting my time tonight with my hon. colleague for Langley—Aldergrove.

It is my honour to address the House this evening and to address another faulty bill being pushed through Parliament by the Liberal government: Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts. To begin, let us look at the title of this bill, which says “to make related and consequential amendments”. They are consequential in that they have consequences.

In this case, it is safe to say that this bill, if passed as written and subsequently amended at committee by the government, will have serious consequences for Canadians. We could have a discussion about net neutrality, which Canadians have enjoyed largely in their online consumption choices these past decades. This bill would, in fact, seek to upend the very nature of what Canadians can do on the web. Of course that is not the intent. No, it could not be. It has merely been written that way, and amended and partially changed through a process Canadians became aware of through the efforts of stalwart parliamentarians: my colleagues in the Conservative Party in the House of Commons and the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. They identified the intrusion in not only the use of the Internet for uploads and downloads, and the overreach in regulating this activity, but the consequences it would have on the very notion of freedom of speech, one of the rights Canadians have enjoyed—

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

June 14th, 2021 / 11:25 p.m.
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Conservative

Greg McLean Conservative Calgary Centre, AB

Madam Speaker, we were talking about the very notion of the freedom of speech Canadians enjoy, one of the rights Canadians have enjoyed since being introduced by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in 1960 and embedded in Canada's Constitution in 1982. Freedom of expression in Canada is protected as a fundamental freedom by section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The charter also permits the government to enforce reasonable limits.

I would say from experience that a large amount of Canadian communication between parties, individuals, businesses and organizations of all types, even governments and their agencies, happens via the Internet. Where does the problem arise in this legislation? Bill C-10 creates a new category of web media called “online undertakings” and gives the CRTC the same power to regulate them that it has for TV and radio stations. What is an online undertaking? Whatever one uploads onto the web is an online undertaking, such as videos, podcasts, music and websites. It is a huge regulatory stretch. However, Canadians should not fret as the CRTC will not act in the way the legislation is written, or so it has said.

Let us look back at that notion of freedom of expression and how we as legislators are supposed to ensure the legislation we consider abides by this fundamental piece of protection embodied in our constitutional bill of rights and freedoms. The Department of Justice Act requires the justice minister to provide a charter statement for every government bill that explains whether it respects the charter. The charter statement for Bill C-10 directly cites the social media exemption in its assessment that the bill respects this part of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Then, poof, at committee the Liberals removed the cited exemption from the legislation. When my Conservative colleagues rightly asked for a new assessment based on the new wording of the legislation, the Liberals decided to shut down debate at the committee.

At this point, I think Canadians would ask where the Minister of Justice is on this issue and why he will not seek and provide the legislative charter statement from his department. I have watched the Minister of Justice and let me illustrate how he operates in my opinion.

Regarding Bill C-7, an act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), admittedly no bill is perfect, yet this bill passed through committee here in the House of Commons and members from all parties voted in a free vote to pass the legislation. The legislation passed with the input of witnesses who wanted to respect the rights of disadvantaged Canadians and it worked through this House. The minister, despite that democratic process, manipulated the legislation with an amendment at the Senate and forced an amended bill back to this House, a bill that disrespects the input he received through witnesses and parliamentarians in the process. It was pure manipulation.

Regarding Bill C-15, an act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, after one hour of debate on a bill that my indigenous constituents are asking for clarity with respect to the defined terms in Canadian law and how it affects them, the Minister of Justice shut down debate, saying it had been debated enough.

Perhaps it is unparliamentary to state openly here that the minister's remarks are completely disingenuous. I have watched him during question period while he brazenly denies that his judicial appointments have nothing to do with Liberal Party lists. That is disingenuous. I know why Canadians are losing faith in governments.

Now we have this, the refusal to provide an updated charter statement. Shame on the minister.

Coming back to the bill, if passed, Canadian content uploaders will be subject to CRTC oversight. Yes, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission will be looking at uploads all day long. That is in fact who is writing the bill and in fact the government organization trying to gain some relevance with it, but Canadians do not have to worry because it will not enforce the law as it is written.

Let me quote Timothy Denton, a former national commissioner of the CRTC, who now serves as the chairman of the Internet Society of Canada, who stated:

...their fundamental [principle here] is...that freedom of speech through video or audio should be in the hands of the CRTC — including Canadians’ freedom to use the internet to reach audiences and markets as they see fit.... The freedom to communicate across the internet is to be determined by political appointees, on the basis of no other criterion than what is conducive to broadcasting policy — and, presumably, the good of our domestic industry. As always, the interests of the beneficiaries of regulation are heard first, best, and last. Consumers and individual freedoms count for little when the regulated sector beats its drums.

Finally, let me congratulate the government on this one step. We have been through 15 months of an unprecedented time in our modern history, with lockdowns, economic dislocation and devastation, and literally a pandemic. The press does not cover what happens in the House and the myriad mistakes the government has made because governments make mistakes in unforeseen, unprecedented times. Canadians have given the government some benefit of the doubt about these mistakes and so do all people of goodwill, but it is our job in opposition to do our utmost for the country in oversight and to provide solutions to make our outcomes better.

I thank all my colleagues for the work in helping Canadians during these unprecedented times. I should thank the Liberal government for providing a coalescing issue that has Canadians from all backgrounds and political beliefs in my riding united in reaching out to make sure the bill does not pass. The bill and the government's responses to reasonable amendments to protect Canadians' rights show its ambivalence to Canadians and their rights.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

June 14th, 2021 / 11:35 p.m.
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Conservative

Tako Van Popta Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Madam Speaker, I guess it should not have come as a complete surprise that the Liberal government would make strategic procedural moves to limit my freedom of speech as a member of Parliament wishing to speak up on exactly that topic: freedom of speech. I have heard from so many of my constituents that they were shocked at the government's attempt to limit their freedom by regulating the Internet, which, until now, has been a new-found tool of freedom of expression. People are starting to understand what the term “net neutrality” means and they want it protected. They are also starting to wake up to the prospect that their government wants to regulate this forum, the new public square.

The government members say they want to level the playing field. Canada's Conservatives support competition between large foreign streaming services and Canada's broadcasters, and we champion Canadian arts and culture, but a Conservative government would do so without compromising Canadians' fundamental rights and freedoms. We are calling on the Liberals to withdraw Bill C-10 or to amend it to protect freedom. If this is not done, a Conservative government would stand up for Canadians and repeal this deeply flawed legislation. While the NDP and the Bloc may be willing to look the other way on the freedom of expression, Canada's Conservatives will not.

What went wrong? The deeply flawed draft legislation, Bill C-10, became even more problematic after the Liberals had their way at committee. We have heard them say in this chamber on many occasions that user-generated content would not be regulated under the legislation, and they refer us to proposed subsection 2(2.1), which specifically exempts users from the new limiting regulations. However, proposed section 4.1 would have exempted social media sites like YouTube and TikTok, which consist of only user-uploaded programs, except that in committee the Liberals voted down this very important freedom of speech protector, even though their original draft legislation contained it.

Where does that leave us? Well, people using the Internet, speakers, are exempted, but the platforms they use are not, so the freedom really becomes illusory. That is what people are upset about with Bill C-10, and that is why Conservatives are fighting hard against it.

We have heard the Liberals say also that they just want big tech to be paying its fair share. In principle, we support that. The Conservative members of the heritage committee proposed an amendment to Bill C-10 that would have limited these limiting regulations to online undertakings with revenue of more than $50 million a year and 250,000 or more subscribers in Canada. If that amendment had passed, Bill C-10 would apply only to large streaming services, but the Liberals rejected it. I do not know why. This is a common-sense compromise put forward by the Conservatives to save the initial intent and the integrity of this legislation while still protecting Canadians' freedom of expression.

We have heard quite a bit about this. The idea of the CRTC regulating traditional media for Canadian content is deeply entrenched and widely accepted in Canadian culture, so why not the Internet too, which arguably is becoming the new preferred media? At first blush, that may make sense, but here is the problem. The legislation would regulate Canadian content by means of discoverability regulations that would require social media sites like YouTube to change their algorithms to determine which videos are more or less Canadian, all depending on a bureaucrat's opinion as to what is sufficiently Canadian.

We say, let the market decide. This is not what the Internet is, and it is not what Canadians want. We are hearing “hands off”. We are hearing about the democratization of the freedom of speech. The Internet is a new invention and it has given people, anybody with a computer, anybody with an iPad, anybody with a smart phone, the ability to publish on the Internet and to be heard, and it has led to the success of many, many artists, including Canadian artists.

Does that mean that the Internet and the contents posted on it should not be regulated at all? Of course not. The Internet is subject to all laws of general application, such as laws against promoting hatred and laws against inciting violence. There are laws for the protection of children, and there are laws against slander and libel, just to name a few.

Our freedom of speech, as protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is not unlimited. As my law professor explained on the first day of constitutional law, freedom of expression does not give a person the right to yell “fire” in a crowded movie theatre. Section 2(b) of the charter says everyone has the fundamental freedom of expression, but section 1 of the charter says that those rights and freedoms are subject to “such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

Until the Liberals started talking about Bill C-10, that is what everyone understood to be the nature of this new medium called the Internet. The laws of general application should apply. Every other free and democratic country in the world understands that to be the case, and only Canada would go so far as to tell user-content social media platforms what to promote and what to demote. Therein lies our contention with Bill C-10.

We do not stand alone. This is what Peter Menzies, the former commissioner of the CRTC, had to say about Bill C-10 in its current state:

It’s difficult to contemplate the levels of moral hubris, incompetence or both that would lead people to believe such an infringement of rights is justifiable.

University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist stated:

In a free, democratic society we don’t subject basic speech to regulation in this way. Of course there are limits to what people can say, but the idea that a broadcast regulator has any role to play in basic speech is, I think, anathema to free and democratic society where freedom of expression is viewed as one of the foundational freedoms.

With the support of experts such as these, the Conservative Party has been promoting its opposition to Bill C-10 aggressively and, I might say, effectively. What is the government’s response? It is to shut down debate. Last week, with the help of the Bloc and the NDP, the Liberal government shut down debate at committee, and now it wants to shut down debate in Parliament. One has to love the irony of that. Here we are debating free speech and the government is aggressively shutting down parliamentarians’ right to be the voice for their constituents: Canadians who have come to appreciate the freedom, flexibility and effectiveness of having their voices heard on this 21st-century platform. Social media platforms are the new public square, and free speech on those platforms in the form of user-generated content must not fall under the regulatory purview of the CRTC.

Only the Conservative Party is standing up to protect this fundamental right that all Canadians enjoy. The government has misled Canadians about this bill. Exempting user content was a key part of Bill C-10's limitations. It was something we accepted and that helped get it through the parliamentary reading stages and committee without more dissent, but removing that exception at the very last minute makes Bill C-10 unacceptable. It is the most breathtaking power grab over online speech we have ever seen in Canada. The Liberal government wants to limit our rights to fight against that, and that is why Conservatives are standing up.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

June 14th, 2021 / 11:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Tako Van Popta Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Madam Speaker, the Green Party is representing its constituents very well and effectively in Canada's Parliament.

Bill C-10 was better before, because it was more effectively protecting individual users and their content. With the amendment that removed section 4.1, it took a lot of that freedom away. A lot of the benefits of this act have been destroyed because of that, and we would be better if that were put back in. The freedoms the minister keeps talking about are illusory. It is one thing to say content providers, people who add content to YouTube and platforms like that, are not being regulated, but if the platform is being regulated, then that freedom is illusory.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

June 14th, 2021 / 11:50 p.m.
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Conservative

Gerald Soroka Conservative Yellowhead, AB

Madam Speaker, tonight I will be splitting my time with the member for Regina—Lewvan.

On February 5, I spoke to Bill C-10 before it was referred to the heritage committee on February 16. Here I am speaking to Bill C-10 again, a few months later, now that the bill has returned from committee. Most times when a bill returns from committee, we see a couple of amendments here and there to fine-tune it before passing it along to the Senate, but with BIll C-10, it is not a vew changes here and there. This bill is completely different than its previous form.

What is even more abnormal about this is the fact that so many of the amendments came from the Liberals, the ones who introduced the bill in the first place. The government owes it to Canadians to explain why so many amendments were introduced after the fact and why it is pulling every trick in the book to try to push legislation through without proper debate and while ignoring legitimate concerns.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage is using tactics to make people believe that Conservatives are anticulture and standing in the way of Bill C-10, when in fact, many experts who testified at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage agree this bill is flawed and needs further review.

Protecting Canadian content is important for Canadians, but what good do rules around Canadian content do, if Canadian content is not properly defined. The minister recently demonstrated in committee that even he does not know what classic Canadian movies actually count as protected Canadian content under this legislation.

Over the past month I have received countless emails and phone calls from constituents in fear of the government's legislation. They want to know what they can do to stop it. One man even said to me that this legislation embodies the same police-state-like control he emigrated to Canada to escape.

The question I get most often is, “Why?” Why does this legislation contain an amendment giving the CRTC this much power. Why is the government trying to push this through so quickly? Why does the government think it has a mandate to police the Internet?

Conservatives recognize that the Broadcasting Act is in need of updates. No one is arguing against that. When Conservatives raise legitimate questions about user-generated content being affected by this legislation, instead of providing answers, the minister diminishes our concern and proceeds with his carefully scripted paragraph about why the Broadcasting Act needs to be updated, even though we are already agreeing that it needs to be done.

I have to point out the irony in the fact that we are being censored here in the House of Commons on a debate regarding censorship. Instead of allowing Bill C-10 to go through full and proper review, the Liberals moved a time allocation motion to shut down debate on Bill C-10 early, and effectively censored our debate on censorship.

Here we are, around midnight, mid-June, speaking for the last time to a bill that would have the power to limit our freedoms and could change the way Canadians are able to use the Internet. The government imposing time allocation on this bill, which is fundamentally flawed, is wrong because it attacks freedom of expression. The minister is attacking our freedom of expression as parliamentarians, who are just trying to do their jobs. Instead of telling us Conservatives that we are preventing work from moving forward and that we are anticulture, the government members should be explaining to Canadians how they can possibly justify this time allocation motion, when the committee still has many amendments to review. This is deeply concerning to not only me, but also to many Canadians.

I also want to talk about the precedent legislation like this could create for the future. In a society that values freedom of speech and freedom of expression, Bill C-10 would leave the door open to a massive abuse of power concerning the rights of Canadians.

It is not enough for the minister to stand in the House of Commons and claim this bill is not meant to target ordinary Canadians. Words spoken by the minister mean nothing if they do not coincide with the wording of the actual legislation.

The amendment regarding user-generated content aside, Bill C-10 creates a regulatory mess of a streaming and broadcasting industry in Canada. There are real harms that could come with this legislation as it currently stands. This bill is far broader than many Canadians realize, and certainly broader than the minister has claimed. This has led to a lack of understanding of the consequences of the bill as it relates to the general public.

With so many amendments being brought forward in such a short timeframe, it is hard for the public to keep up and stay informed. One thing we must always remember as parliamentarians is that we work for the people. It is our duty to keep our constituents informed and to seek their input on legislative matters. With this amendment being added, and this legislation being rushed through the legislative process so quickly, I fear many members will not have adequate time to properly inform and consult their constituents on this issue.

It is with extreme disappointment that I am speaking on this legislation tonight, knowing that so many voices have been silenced and important dialogue on this bill will not be heard. The government claims that limitations are integrated into this bill, so that it is not too overreaching.

The minister said in the House of Commons, “user-generated content, news content and video games would not be subject to the new regulations. Furthermore, entities would need to reach a significant economic threshold before any regulation could be imposed.”

This claim made by the minister is false, as there is no specific economic threshold that is established by the bill, which means that all Internet streaming services carried in Canada, whether domestic or foreign owned, are subject to Canadian regulation. That would mean if someone has Canadian subscribers, this law would, regardless of where the service provider is located, apply to them.

The limitations the minister is referring to are that the bill gives the CRTC the power to exempt services from regulation. It also leaves it entirely up to the CRTC to establish thresholds for regulations once the bill is enacted. This is dangerous, and while I have confidence in the work that the good people working for the CRTC do, it is our duty to legislate, not the CRTC's, and that means properly defining the term “significant economic threshold”.

Bill C-10 now has over 120 amendments, of which about a quarter were put forward by the government itself, even though it wrote the bill. My Conservative colleagues at the heritage committee did everything they could to fix the problems with Bill C-10 in the time they had. My colleagues say that in review stage, the work at committee was going well and progress was being made. That is until the Liberals decided to bring forward an amendment to include social media.

This amendment was so large it changed the scope of the bill entirely. It was at that point people, including experts, former CRTC commissioners and thousands of Canadians across the country, starting raising objections.

As I wrap up my speech, I am thinking of all the flaws contained in this bill and worry for the future of freedom of expression. While I do not suspect this bill was brought forward with malicious intentions, the wording in this legislation could set a terrible precedent.

It is okay for the government to admit when it is wrong and when it has gone too far. Now is the time for the government to acknowledge that it needs to take a step back, re-evaluate and correct the course.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

June 15th, 2021 / 12:05 a.m.
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Conservative

Warren Steinley Conservative Regina—Lewvan, SK

Madam Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I stand today, and I hope my colleagues will indulge me for a moment.

This is the first time I have been on my feet in this place since a tragic accident in Saskatchewan where we lost a member of the RCMP, Constable Shelby Patton, who was killed in the line of duty. I send my deepest sympathies to his family, friends, colleagues and all of his brothers and sisters in the RCMP. Our hearts are with them at this very difficult time.

Constable Patton was killed in the line of duty at a traffic stop at Wolseley, Saskatchewan, and the people who committed this crime have been captured. Our hearts go out to the family of the slain hero and RCMP officer. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.

Moving on to Bill C-10, I think about everyone who enforces the rule of law in Canada and how everyone is able to express their opinions and say what they want. The member for Calgary Skyview just said that a lot of people from around the world see Canada as a beacon: A place where they can come without fear of censorship or of not being able to express themselves. I think this country should always be known as a beacon of that light and freedom. This is why we on the Conservative side are trying to fight so hard to make sure that Bill C-10 is right.

My colleague and friend for Yellowhead talked about some of the things in the bill that need to be reviewed. The Broadcasting Act has not been reviewed in 30 years, and a lot has changed in this country over that time. Conservatives are not disagreeing with renewing and reviewing legislation to make sure that it is up to date and current with the times—

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

June 15th, 2021 / 12:10 a.m.
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Conservative

Warren Steinley Conservative Regina—Lewvan, SK

Madam Speaker, I will start from the beginning because I do not think we can pay honour to our fallen RCMP officer enough. For colleagues who missed it, this is the first time I have been on my feet since an RCMP officer in Saskatchewan was run over and killed in the line of duty. My thoughts and prayers are with Constable Shelby Patton's family.

I know his brothers and sisters are thinking about him. When one member is lost, the whole team is affected across the country. On behalf of the constituents of Regina—Lewvan, all Conservatives and all members in the House, our thoughts and prayers are with the Patton family. God bless them, and hopefully they can get through this very difficult time.

Moving on to Bill C-10, the bill talks about how we have to really make sure the rule of law is in place in our country. The member for Calgary Skyview brought up some very good points when asking the member for Yellowhead a question. There is a very diverse community in Calgary Skyview and the member talked about how many people have come to Canada because they see it as a beacon of light, a beacon of freedom, where people are not afraid to express themselves. They are not afraid to get in trouble with their government if they say something. We should always strive to be that beacon of freedom in Canada, where people are allowed to express themselves and have the freedom to put whatever they want online, where people can have independent thoughts without fear of government reprisal. A lot of the speeches on this side of the House have covered that topic again and again.

Our colleagues on the opposition and on the government side have asked why we are so against this bill. One of the fundamental beliefs in the Conservative Party of Canada is the belief in the freedom of speech. I have given a first reading speech on Bill C-10 as well. It is a 30-year-old piece of legislation, so there are some things that need to be renewed. Members on all sides of the House agree legislation does have to be renewed and reviewed in a timely manner. There are some areas where we agree.

One of the things that just came forward is that in the updated legislation, the Liberals have taken out the part that would regulate individual content and now the CRTC would have the power to take down content from individuals. We have no way of knowing if any of the amendments that were passed address this issue because there was a gag order put on the amendments and we do not know what is involved with them all.

Like my colleague, the member for Yellowhead, said, there are 120 amendments to this piece of legislation and a quarter of those were brought forward by the government that introduced the bill in the first place.

We are rushing through this and the government has brought in time allocation so we cannot study this bill to its final conclusion. I was in the legislature of Saskatchewan for eight years and have been here for two years. I do not remember seeing any piece of legislation in my 10 years that had 120 amendments to it. On its own, that shows there were some issues early and often with this piece of legislation.

Talking about time allocation and the duty of this House, I know my colleagues and friends from across the way, as well as the member for Kingston and the Islands and a few other of my Liberal colleagues, talk about us playing political games. They say that Conservatives are trying to waste time and are using stall tactics.

As this bill has to do with freedom of speech, we did a little run down of what has been going on in a few of the other committees lately. At the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, the Liberals have been filibustering for 73 hours and for more than four months. At the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, the Liberals have been filibustering for 43 hours. That is a long time. At the Standing Committee on Finance, the Liberals have been filibustering for 35 hours. At the Standing Committee on National Defence, in its study looking into sexual misconduct in the military, the Liberals have filibustered for more than 16 hours and the Chair suspended unilaterally more than 23 times. That is impressive.

I know my colleagues in the Bloc bring up Mr. Harper and the disdain for Parliament. I do not know if Mr. Harper's government had a chair who unilaterally closed down debate 23 times.

The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs was filibustered for 10 hours over three months, February, March and April, to prevent a study into Canada taking from the COVAX vaccine supplies.

This august House is where we are supposed to have debate and be able to talk about different ideas, whether it be Liberal, Conservative, Bloc, NDP. Right now, we are going through a time when the government continues to say the opposition is holding up debate, when we can clearly see, in committees, that the Liberals are trying to stifle any dissent among opposition parties on what kind of bills they are trying to bring forward. I have not even mentioned that the government prorogued Parliament for months because of the WE scandal.

Now, we are here talking about Bill C-10, about stifling debate, and I have given 12 examples of how the government has stifled discussion and debate in committees and in the House of Commons, in Parliament.

When we talk about this, why are Conservatives so against Bill C-10? It is because we are hearing it from our constituents. People are scared. They see Bill C-10 as a very slippery slope of what could be in the future. Many people have come to my office wondering what their kids are going to be able to put on the Internet to express themselves in five years. Are they going to be able to have any free, independent thoughts? Are they going to be able to criticize the government, or is someone in the CRTC, the czar, going to be watching content on YouTube or Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or TikTok? Are they going to get a knock on the door or a call to take down their content because it does not agree with the government's position? That is what people are actually calling about and what their concern is.

People can groan and say, “Oh my, how is that possible?” We are here to represent the people of our ridings, not to carry the water for the government. That is another thing. The government members are acting like it is up to the opposition side to pass bills. We listen to the Minister of Finance saying it is time for the opposition to help them pass bills. When has it been the government asking this and saying it is the fault of the opposition that it is not getting its legislation through? That is like a teenager who went out partying the night before blaming her friends for not getting her homework done. It is not our responsibility to make sure that the government implements its agenda. It has never been the opposition's responsibility and it never will be. It is time that the government took responsibility for its own actions.

Possibly, the Liberals are not getting their legislative agenda through because they prorogued Parliament, because they filibustered committees again and again, and that is why legislation never got to third reading and never got to this House. At some point in time, a member of the government will have to stand up and say that maybe they are responsible for the games they are playing now with time allocation, especially in committee, where it has not been done in 20 years. That could be a fact as to why the Liberals are not getting their agenda through.

Finally, one other thing that makes people concerned about Liberals bringing forward legislation that would regulate their free speech is the fact that even if it is not going to be this bill, people just do not trust the current government. Members may not believe this, and I was shocked myself when I found out, but since 2015 there have been over 35 failed Liberal promises. If they wonder why people do not trust the government, it is because it does not keep its word.

This is from a long-serving Liberal in Saskatchewan, and this is really when we get into the psyche of a Liberal politician. I will never forget this. He said, “You know what it means when you break your promise? It means you won.” That is unbelievable, because if they win they are able to break their promises. It is something that will stick with me for as long as I serve in this chamber.

When it comes to Bill C-10, the Conservatives will continue to stand up for the average Canadians to make sure their voices are heard.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

June 15th, 2021 / 12:25 a.m.
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Conservative

Nelly Shin Conservative Port Moody—Coquitlam, BC

Madam Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.

I would like to present today's speech based on the perspective I bring from my previous profession as an artist.

Being a professional artist, whether a composer or writer, is an extremely difficult vocation to pursue, attain and sustain. There is a huge gap between those who have talent but have not been able to get their big break, and those who have found stardom. Secure gigs as staff writers or contracts to long-term projects are limited and competitive, and most artists pursue other careers to pay their bills.

As a composer, I have been around creative people most of my life. Artists are dreamers with a lot of discipline with their art and tireless hope to find their rainbow's end. They give their best performances whether for a three-member audience at an open mike or at an outdoor concert with hundreds of listeners. Artists do not tire of doing their best and following their dreams, because they are driven by the love of creating and the dream of sharing their work with a captive audience. For most artists, it is a labour of love.

A talented artist gets their big break when they are discovered by a large enough following that will help their career become sustainable. That is why songwriters want their music to eventually make its way to radio, television and film, and writers want their stories on TV and the big screen. However, anyone who has navigated the entertainment industry knows that there are gatekeepers who ensure media platforms give precedence to major players and minimal opportunity to the small players. They also base their content on market reach and capital.

At the end of the day, we call them the arts, but they are a business that uses the arts for capital. I am speaking neither for nor against this. There is room for commerce and art to contribute to economic prosperity together. What I am concerned about is the inequity of opportunity when industry gatekeepers determine the culture of a nation because of their mass reach. It is not a level playing field for artists who have a lot of talent and simply want to express themselves without having to succumb to the matrix for marketability that large corporations define.

Broadcasters and artists continue to have a symbiotic relationship, but not all artists are welcome to participate in this symbiotic relationship. Having CanCon regulation is a good thing to the extent that it safeguards Canadian content, but in practice CanCon is applied by corporations to Canadians who have already found their success to a large degree and who fit the marketability matrix. Fortunately, with or without CanCon, Canadians artists are still rising to the top and I am pleased by the diversity of content that broadcasters are tapping into today. There has been progress.

The digital world turned the entertainment industry upside down. It allowed independents to enter the arena without having to pass through gatekeepers. With fewer CD and DVD sales, big-name entertainment corporations and independents turned to download sales, but download sales were hurt by pirated content. With the shift to online streaming, the revenue source for creative content producers has become fluid with the prominence of Internet usage. Now Canadian broadcasters are also threatened by foreign players, as foreign content enters the Canadian digital market.

In response, the government may have thought to update the Broadcasting Act by increasing discoverability for artists and levelling the competition for broadcasters, and voila: here is Bill C-10. Originally, Bill C-10 was supposed to level the playing field by regulating large online streaming services, such as Disney+, Netflix and Amazon, to meet Canadian content requirements, just as for Canadian radio and television stations.

Through the Broadcasting Act, the CRTC is given power to issue broadcast licences to allow radio and TV stations to operate, and to regulate broadcasting while meeting conditions on the kinds of programming they can air and community standards. A portion of their programs, often 20% to 40%, is allotted to be Canadian content, and broadcasters can also be mandated to pay licence fees and contributions to the Canada media fund: a federal agency that subsidizes Canadian television and film.

The update that Bill C-10 proposes is a new category of web media called “online undertakings”, which would give the CRTC the same power to regulate the web that it has for traditional TV and radio stations without having to apply for licences. It seems simple and straightforward, but there is a glitch that could turn this seemingly benevolent piece of legislation into a Trojan horse.

Bill C-10 defines web media as “an undertaking for the transmission or retransmission of programs over the Internet for reception by the public by means of broadcasting receiving apparatus”. This definition is so vague that it could include everything from Amazon Prime to anyone with a website or a podcast. Programs under the Broadcasting Act are defined to include images, audio or a combination, of which written text is not predominant. This would refer to podcasts, photos, videos and memes, but not the written content on news articles and posts. It could include everything from a multimillion dollar film produced for Netflix to a 15-second pet video on TikTok.

I was shocked to learn that, while Conservative heritage committee members proposed an amendment to Bill C-10 to set some safeguards to limit regulations to online undertakings with more than $50 million a year in revenue and 250,000 subscribers in Canada, which would apply only to large streaming services, the Liberals rejected it. That means that not only was the government aiming at big companies but also that broadcasting is now being used to control everyday Canadians.

Section 2.1 and section 4.1 were two exemptions in Bill C-10 for social media. Section 2.1 refers to users who upload onto social media platforms. Thus, the user would not be subject to conditions like Canadian content requirements or contributions to the Canada Media Fund, which the CRTC would impose.

That exemption remains on Bill C-10, but section 4.1 was taken out of the bill. It dealt with the programs that users upload on social media, indicating that the CRTC and the Broadcasting Act could not regulate programs that only consist of user-uploaded programs, but the Liberals removed that section in the bill.

In summary, section 2.1 regulates speakers, while section 4.1 regulates speech. With the deletion of 4.1, the CRTC can regulate the content uploaded on social media and also regulate the social media platforms that allow users to publish content, just as it regulates content licensed on regular traditional stations.

The Liberals keep telling Conservatives that 2.1 will safeguard users, but the absence of 4.1 removes a safeguard from content. Bill C-10 has expanded the powers of the CRTC and the Broadcasting Act to provide grounds for the CRTC to adopt regulations requiring social media sites such as YouTube to remove content it considers offensive and discoverability regulations that would make them alter the algorithms to determine which videos are seen, more or less. Violations for these regulations could be very high for the individual and the corporation. These are the details of concern. I take issue on the infringement of personal freedoms and freedom of expression of Canadians. Even the B.C. Library Trustees Association is saying it needs clause 4.1 back. These are librarians and libraries.

As I mentioned earlier in my speech, the gap between artists and their audience is discoverability, but if the discoverability is regulated through controlled algorithms, then it creates yet another barrier for artists. Why should the CRTC define what listeners should discover instead of allowing audiences to determine that for themselves? Why is the government trying to bring a barrier between artists and their audiences?

The minister keeps saying they want Canadians to tell their stories, but why is there a gap in the bill that would allow someone or an entity to determine which stories are to be discoverable? Artists have already faced an industry that was dominated by large companies to determine what was worthy of discovering and promoting through broadcasting giants, so why should the CRTC be given access to gatekeep discoverability?

The minister says he wants to protect the languages of minorities, but the minister should know that much of ethnic programming is created by underfunded, independent producers who never see any advertising money because it goes straight to the network. Where is the support these independent grassroots producers need? Again, the small players are left behind.

The minister says artists have said Conservatives are not supportive of them, but who is the minister speaking with? I do not think he has the numbers of small players on speed dial. Were they consulted for this bill? If any artist thinks that Conservatives are not supportive of artists, it is because the Liberals have created this wedge by refusing to reinstate 4.1. They are forcing Conservatives to bow for democracy, and we are the only ones who seem to be doing that. The Liberals have created a custody battle that I do not want to be a part of.

I want to support content, and I want to support our broadcasters, but why does it have to be a battle between choosing between them and democracy? We put forward a motion at committee calling for new charter statements to be provided, but the Liberals voted to shut it down.

I cannot help but wonder if the Liberals have an agenda for omitting 4.1. Artists who are still striving to find a rainbow are discriminated against and exploited. They face financial instability for following their hearts. Most will never get fully compensated for the investments they have made in their careers.

If the Liberals had simply fixed 4.1, I would not have my suspicions. The fact that they have not done something so simple with something that was originally there, makes me come to the conclusion that they are playing political games against Conservatives, at the expense of struggling artists.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

June 15th, 2021 / 12:40 a.m.
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Bloc

Martin Champoux Bloc Drummond, QC

Madam Speaker, how is this possible?

At the beginning of her speech, my colleague said that she was an artist, a composer, so how can she not automatically be excited about the idea of promoting the talents of Canadian and Quebec artists? That is the purpose of Bill C‑10. The bill is designed to ensure that multinational digital corporations, the web giants, are subject to the same regulations that the traditional Canadian broadcasters have almost always been subject to. Bill C‑10 is good for artists and good for the cultural community.

I sincerely wonder why my hon. colleague does not support and embrace this bill, like the majority of Canadian artists do.

Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

February 16th, 2021 / 4:45 p.m.
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Conservative

Gérard Deltell Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am very happy with the outcome of the two motions adopted earlier. If you seek it, you will find unanimous consent of the House:

That, notwithstanding any standing or special order or usual practice of the House, the amendment to the second reading motion of Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, standing in the name of the member for Regina—Wascana, be withdrawn; and that the motion for second reading of Bill C-10 be deemed adopted on division and that the bill be referred to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.