Good morning, and thank you for this opportunity to come before the committee to speak on Bill C-32. I'm joined by my colleague, Paul Taylor, who will also be speaking to the committee.
The IATSE was founded in 1893—1898 in Canada—and now has nearly 120,000 members, 16,000 of whom reside in Canada, making it one of the largest trade unions in the entertainment industry. The IATSE represents workers in a number of crafts, with the majority employed in motion picture and television production. Our members are integral to the production, distribution, and exhibition of motion pictures and television.
The number of individuals employed in the production of a given motion picture may be anywhere from 100 to 1,000 employees. They are not in front of the camera, but they supply the absolutely necessary labour to make the movies. Our members include men and women who work on big-budget foreign service productions from the United States, such as The Twilight Saga: New Moon in Vancouver and Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor in Montreal, as well as on domestic television and motion picture productions, such as Republic of Doyle in St. John's and Heartland in Calgary.
How this government deals with digital theft will have a direct impact on our membership. For our members, there is no job security. They depend on a healthy industry to find enough employment to make ends meet. When the industry suffers because of digital theft, that is, when movies do not get made because of digital theft, our members suffer because they find themselves out of work.
The IATSE supports the strongly worded objectives of Bill C-32. Hundreds of our members wrote to their MPs before the introduction of the bill urging them to support strong copyright reform and, following the introduction of the bill, to support the bill's objectives. In particular, we welcomed the government's promise, made at the time of the bill's introduction, that the bill will provide a framework that is forward-looking and flexible, which will help protect and create jobs, stimulate our economy, and attract new investment to Canada.
However, we have serious concerns that the bill, as drafted, will fall short of meeting these objectives. We have prepared written submissions, which I understand have been circulated, but I would briefly summarize our position as follows.
I'll turn to my colleague, Mr. Taylor.