Madam Speaker, I would like to point out that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage held nearly 25 meetings, heard 68 witnesses, spent a total of85 hours on committee work, analyzed in excess of 190 briefs. It is unacceptable for Reform Party members to accuse committee members from the government and the official opposition alike of having done a poor job, of having botched this bill, especially when the hon. member saying so chose to absent himself from the committee and to practice empty-chair politics.
He has just voiced concerns about the amendment relating to photographers. I would remind him, since he had difficulty understanding that amendment, that I took my inspiration from the British copyright legislation. There has been much reference to copyrights in other countries. He ought to try to understand the amendment in the light of the British copyright legislation.
Today we must refuse any attempt to dispose of a major bill in its second review phase, which must be revised in five years.
This bill refers to collective societies, which represents authors and creators. We worked very hard on this major instrument, which is aimed at making it possible for these societies to speak with users and reach agreements with them. There is also a copyright board to govern the mechanisms.
I invite the Reform Party to rise above partisan politics and to give this bill a chance to survive, for the good of creators and users both.
This will be a great day if we manage to rise above political interests and to work strictly on behalf of authors and the cultural industry.