Mr. Speaker, I am absolutely delighted to rise today to speak on the third reading of Bill C-48. This is a piece of legislation that went to committee, was amended at report stage and received unanimous support from all parties of the House. We are delighted to be here today at third reading. It also shows, as my dear colleague, the vice-chair, the hon. member for Toronto--Danforth, has always said, that we as parliamentarians need to have impact on public policy.
Very quickly I want to tell the House why some amendments were made, why they were the right amendments and why we are pleased to have them supported today by both the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Industry.
Section 31 of the Copyright Act is what Bill C-48 deals with. This is about a compulsory retransmission licence. Some people might wonder what that means and why it is important. It addresses whether or not Internet transmitters should be allowed to retransmit and rebroadcast over the air radio and television signals without properly compensating the rights holders.
The legislation that was proposed was originally enabling legislation which would lead the determination of whether there should be an exemption or whether the Internet provider should have a compulsory licence exemption as well. We as a committee decided that it was very important to put a new media exemption in the legislation. We agreed to that for many reasons. We think it is the right thing to do. It brings into balance all the rights holders and the broadcasters. It addresses those rights. It addresses concerns of the Americans. We feel that the committee as a whole has made good public policy by currently putting this media exemption into the act.
Having said that, let me say that both ministers also advised the committee that they would ask the CRTC to reconsider its 1999 new media exemption. The CRTC will continue to do that and will report back to the committee, at which time both ministers have agreed that should draft regulations and conditions be brought forward so that if Internet retransmitters such as Jump TV, or iCraveTV in the United States, want to qualify, we would be able to do so.
With this legislation today, I think we have shown how all the members of a committee can work together for the benefit of good public policy. I want to thank the chair, the vice-chair and all the members of the committee for their hard work. I want to thank the Minister of Industry and the Minister of Canadian Heritage for their support and for listening to the committee. I know that we will continue to work together as regulations go and as the CRTC reviews its exemption order. Should we one day find that we do allow Internet retransmitters to have the benefit of a licence, I look forward to doing so, but after we as a government have looked at those regulations.
Once again I am delighted to be able thank all members of the committee for their great work. We look forward to passing the legislation immediately.