Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing for her great work on this issue and on all the other issues that she takes on in the House of Commons. She is one of the bright lights of the class of 2008, a new member of Parliament, who shows incredible experience and depth to everything she brings to the House of Commons. We expect great things from her, as she is doing in the present, in the future.
I want to follow up on her question around artists. The bill would allow the big corporations, the folks who do not need the protection, to basically use a pitchfork against consumers. I mentioned that with the digital locks. The NDP offered what was the essential compromise to expand the levy to ensure that new technologies would be included, such as musical players and recorders, and that would allow the levy to come back to small artists. We are talking about a very small amount but, with the sales in the millions, that amount makes a difference between an artist making a living or being literally a starving artist.
Two major newspapers commented on this levy. The first one, the Edmonton Journal, said that the NDP offered a perfectly reasonable compromise and that the Industry minister misrepresented the contents of the NDP's bill, on a bill that is thoughtful and “upholds the basic Canadian values of straight dealing”.
The National Post, which is certainly not a friend of the NDP, as it takes largely a right wing orientation on news, but the National Post said that “the government's nonsensical, 'Boo! Hiss! No new taxes!' response … is just dumb”.
Those are some of the things that daily newspapers have said about how the Conservatives reacted to what was a sensible compromise put forward by the NDP that would have allowed not only the consumers to access the material, the information and the music of Canadian artists, but would have also allowed Canadian artists to continue to make a living and contribute to Canada in the way that they do so effectively.
As usual, the NDP is bringing very thoughtful ideas to the House of Commons and will continue to push the government to end its ineptitude and to put into the bill some of the provisions that would actually guarantee balance on copyright.