I want to go back to Bill C-76 for a minute.
When we talk about technology, innovation, the digital economy, the first people I think of are not public servants at the Privy Council Office; they are not public servants at Elections Canada. When I think of the digital economy and things like that, I think of companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter—those that are innovating.
In your testimony, you mentioned that you weren't consulted by the drafters of the legislation. I find that troubling. Government is probably one of the worst offenders for keeping up with technology, especially when drafting legislation, when they're not consulting with those within the industry.
You mentioned that the decision not to advertise was largely a technical decision, based on the requirements of obtaining that by June 30, July 1. I can accept that, and I want to put on the record the reason why I accept that.
Elections Canada themselves said that the provisions in Bill C-76 ought to have been in law with royal assent by April 30, 2018. On April 30, 2018, the legislation was only just tabled in the House of Commons. It did not receive royal assent until December 2018.
If Google, YouTube, your private businesses decide tomorrow that you no longer want to stream cute cat videos, there is nothing that the Government of Canada can do force you to do so. I would assume it would be the same with any type of advertising. If you decide not to advertise for any reason outside of human rights violations, there is nothing requiring you to do that.
What I find fascinating, though—and it is more of a rant than a question—is that the Government of Canada, in their rush to implement this legislation at the very last minute of the time period they're able to do it within, never consulted with those who would be implementing a large portion of this legislation.
The changes were done in clause-by-clause. There were 200-plus amendments in clause-by-clause. I was part of those discussions. I missed a few of them for the birth of a child, but I was there for most of the discussions. Then, they were table-dropped at the very last minute, after the witnesses had the opportunity to discuss....
It's not a question, but you're welcome to comment on that. I am just incredulous that the government would rush this legislation—the very last possible period of time to have it implemented before the election—and then expect every private business to comply with the rules for which they have had no opportunity to, (a) be consulted or (b) make suggestions during the period that clause-by-clause happened.
I'd be happy if you have any comments on that.