Good afternoon, Madam Chair.
As indicated, my name is Mark Schaan, and I serve as director general of the marketplace framework policy branch in the strategic policy sector of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. While our sector broadly includes such policy areas as innovation, telecommunications, and technology as clean technology, my branch specifically analyzes the role of marketplace frameworks in meeting the department's objectives.
This includes a deep analysis of corporate governance, competition, and intellectual property in their role in facilitating an efficient marketplace and the innovation economy.
Thank you for inviting me to appear today alongside my colleagues from the Competition Bureau.
I understand that there are issues you would like to explore further following your meeting last February 23, at which Paul Halucha, our former associate assistant deputy minister, appeared before you on behalf of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
As Mr. Halucha noted at that time, competition policy as opposed to enforcement falls under the mandate of our department. However, the greater question of Canadian media, its ownership and its future, is a crosscutting matter for us. It is one that touches upon questions of innovation, economic evolution toward the digital world, consumer affairs, and the place of government and regulation in the economy more broadly.
Indeed, these overlap noticeably with the central themes of the inclusive innovation agenda that our minister initiated last June as well as those of Minister Joly's current consultations on the digital future.
Since Mr. Halucha's appearance, our department has, in conjunction with the Department of Canadian Heritage, contracted with the Public Policy Forum to explore the role of media in the current environment, particularly its support of the democratic function and its capacity to seize digital opportunities as an industry.
This was touched on by Monsieur Bernier, the director general of cultural industries at the Department of Canadian Heritage during his appearance before your committee last month. We feel it important that an independent voice with a wealth of industry expertise have the opportunity to share its views so as to inform government policy in addition to the work of your committee. We very much look forward to its findings as well as yours.
I would also like to underscore the efforts underway as part of the inclusive innovation agenda to promote Canada as a world leader in innovative growth and the modern economy.
While recognizing the importance of the current media sector and its role, the consultations have highlighted the unique opportunities afforded by the transformations underway.
While it remains critical to understand the challenges of this disruption, we can also see the opportunities it affords Canada to be a world leader in promoting inclusive innovation and real growth.
I would be happy to respond to any questions that you may have. I understand some of those may be in the zone of access to broadband and broadband, which is why I'm joined by my colleague, Mr. Adam Scott, the director of telecommunications policy within the department. We stand ready for your questions.