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House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was copyright.

Topics

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, I believe she is talking about the education exemption. As I mentioned in my speech, it is one of the things that we had. There was a lot of input to us about how the education exemption was causing a lot of concern for many of the authors. We listened to them and we realized that there was an argument back and forth as to how much money was involved, whether it was crippling to the university community or crippling to the authors in order to make a living.

This is why I talked about this multi-step process. Some people believe that the six step process is not sufficient. Some people believe that they should use the three step process, which was endorsed under the Berne convention as a way of dealing with it. It set out some really strict guidelines as to how we would deal with fair dealing and what would be considered to be fair dealing. If we have exemptions for a certain group of people, we should subject it to fair dealing. To do that, we have to put in guidelines by which some of the courts can be led through.

We did receive quite a few concerns about this from authors and the artistic community. I hope that discussion continues in the House.

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, I think the hon. member was talking about the education provisions of the act. There are six criteria that must be followed. First, before it even gets to that point, there is a two step process. That is the second step. The first step is to determine whether it is fair dealing in the first place. If the hon. member takes the time to study the legislation, as I know he will, and I look forward to serving on the committee with him, he will see that those criteria are sufficient to enable this important exception to go forward. We heard from witness after witness during the testimony who were in favour of moving forward with this part of the legislation.

While I have the opportunity, his party has moved that we withdraw the legislation completely. That is not what we heard from the witnesses. John Manley, a former prominent Liberal member, has spoken to the urgency of getting the legislation passed as quickly as possible.

How can the hon. member possibly justify, as the member for Timmins—James Bay asked, wiping out the legislation altogether after 12 years of work? The hon. member spoke about the 12 years of “bandying about” to get to this point. How in the world could he justify just wiping out the legislation and starting again?

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Because the government did nothing about it, Mr. Speaker. I said in my press conference this morning, and forgive me if I am infringing on copyright here, that there were 167 submission, that the number of changes was zero and that the political lip service was priceless.

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Conservative

Mike Lake Conservative Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB

Mr. Speaker, I am not sure about the answer to the last question. We could sit here and exchange quotes from some individuals who have said positive things about the legislation and members opposite can bring up negative things. We heard 39 hours of testimony before the committee and we had countless consultations prior to the legislation being put forward in the first place.

If we looked comprehensively at all the testimony we heard before our committee, we would note that a balance was struck. Not everybody liked everything they saw. Not everybody did not like everything they saw. However, we heard over and over again that, on balance, it was the best legislation that had come forward.

Even some of the people the opposition quoted very selectively, criticizing certain aspects of the legislation, spoke very favourably of the balance struck and to the importance of getting the legislation passed.

We heard 39 hours of committee testimony and we had all the consultation. We have moved forward with the same bill because we want to continue that discussion around the same legislation. How many more hours do we need before the hon. member will be happy?

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

Liberal

Scott Simms Liberal Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor, NL

Mr. Speaker, when it actually works and starts to sink in. I do not know why, but for some reason the government assumes to paint this picture that everybody loves this and thinks it is balanced. I received 2,200 emails in 12 hours. If it were that balanced, I would not get any. What would be the point?

I look at elements of this, like WikiLeaks, which put out something that said the former minister told Americans that he would show this to them before he even tabled it. Who actually has the input here?

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

1:45 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, it is my great pleasure to speak to Bill C-11, because I have a special interest in it. I spent nearly 20 years in the recording industry, which has seen some hard times. In our opinion, there can be no objection to reviewing the Copyright Act. Obviously, today, in 2011, we are lagging behind at the international level in terms of modernizing the law. It is high time it was done. The other major western countries have done it and it is our turn. It is really past time.

We deplore the fact that the bill is a little like Swiss cheese: there are a lot of bubbles, a lot of holes, in terms of protecting rights holders and creators. We are talking about this bill in theoretical terms but, in concrete terms, as my colleague was saying, the way we consume cultural products today is different. Before, we bought a record for $15 or $20, we took it home and we listened to it. While the recording industry has kept up its production rate and budgets have declined slightly—since with technological progress we can now record music more cheaply—it is still a cultural industry. Investors, industrialists and consultants who support a creator invest large amounts of money to make a product that will sell.

We are not talking about a minstrel strumming a lute on the church steps. These are people who have created songs, and other people who saw a business opportunity there and said that everyone is going to want that song or that album and will be prepared to pay a price to buy it and listen to it. What the recording industry has experienced is unparalleled in terms of plummeting revenues.

I will give you a brief overview. The complete operation of producing an album, which includes recording, promotion, video clips, launches and so on, calls for a budget of about $100,000. That is a very ordinary budget in an ordinary recording industry. We are not talking about a huge operation like a Michael Jackson album made before his death, that might have cost $1.5 million to produce. We are talking about an album that would have cost $20,000 or $30,000 or $40,000 and all the associated expenses.

To recover that investment, the companies, the recording industry—and that means jobs for people who work in this field, as I was lucky enough to do—would sell the record for between $15 and $20. Today, with modernization, the Internet, digitization of music and the incredible capacity to create master quality copies, this is no longer the same generation as when we were young. Then, we copied music onto cassettes and there was often more background noise than music. That is no longer the case today, and that is the issue.

If a digital version of a song exists, thousands of copies can be made in a few hours and the rights holder will have been deprived of his due. When people today buy music on the Internet, they sometimes buy the complete album but usually they buy the CD in a store. Those who buy their CDs and their music on the Internet very often take a piecemeal approach, by downloading one, two or three songs at a time. The retail price is $1 or $1.49. That means that the recording industry, as it attempts to recoup its production and marketing costs of approximately $100,000, did so based on a price of $15 to $20 per CD. Nowadays it has to make do with $2 or $3.

I sincerely believe that no other industry has experienced such a drop in revenue in such a short time. We are talking about huge percentages, from $15 or $20 to $3. This is unprecedented. The industry is already on its knees. We must enact legislation now on behalf of the rights holders, so that the situation can be corrected.

Copyright is essential. Allow me to quote the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages who, referring to Canada, stated that the cultural sector contributes twice as much as the forestry industry to our GDP.

The arts and culture sector generates spinoffs of over $46 billion and provides work for over 600,000 people. This is an industry, a sector of the economy, that is extremely important.

There are problems with Bill C-11 in relation to YouTube, the education system and other related areas. The biggest problem, however, has to do with the collective copyright collection system, commonly called private copying.

Earlier, I gave an overview of how we used to consume music. We all know that a decade or so ago, the CD-R hit the marketplace. Using an ordinary home computer, it was possible to copy a disc—ideally, one that had been purchased—and immediately make a copy of it that would be identical from a quality standpoint, with only the graphics missing. This craze led to creators, the rights holders, feeling like they were missing out, and they successfully went about putting in place a compensation system. Compensation is the right word here. The private copying system is a form of compensation for losses incurred as a result of the development of a new technology.

This system, which initially applied to audio cassettes, CD-Rs and DVD-Rs, generated significant amounts of money. In 2008, for instance, the figure was $27.6 million. The following year, the amount raised through this private copying compensation system dropped to $10.8 million and it continues to decline. Why? Certainly there are those among you who have purchased CD-Rs at one time or another, and very few people buy them these days. As far as music consumption is concerned—I am talking about legal consumption in a suitable format—people now copy their music onto a portable digital player, an iPod or an MP3. The format the royalty was based on, in other words the CD-R, has become completely obsolete by the current changes.

That is why the copyright owner lobbies have asked that this private copying compensation system be extended to include portable digital players or iPods. As the hon. member was saying earlier, the members opposite reacted by wearing t-shirts that said No iPod tax. This is great. It is a very good response to the creators who were feeling forgotten, cheated and abandoned.

What can we offer those creators today when Bill C-11 does not address the problem of the private copying system? This is certainly the most important aspect of all. We could talk about exemptions for the likes of YouTube, which is increasingly becoming a competitive alternative to the way music has traditionally been distributed. I keep talking about music because it is an area I am familiar with and also because music was the first victim of this digitization and this new accessibility. In a few years we will have the technology to download feature films very quickly. Some may say that is already possible, but it is still not very common.

The thing about music is that the video for the song being copied takes much longer to download. The problem that music is currently experiencing will very quickly spread to the other cultural media we find on the Internet.

I will stop there for now.

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

The hon. member for Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher will have 10 minutes to finish his speech and 10 minutes for questions and comments when the House resumes debate on the motion.

JusticeStatements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Bloc

Maria Mourani Bloc Ahuntsic, QC

Mr. Speaker, Quebec taxpayers and children are the first innocent victims of the Conservatives' omnibus bill. They are being forced to accept measures that conflict with the approach that has made Quebec a model in the fight against crime—its pride and joy. Plus, they will have to put up millions of dollars to pay for these Conservative measures.

The Minister of Public Safety even said that Quebeckers will have to cut $500 million from health and education to focus on the government's priorities, such as criminalizing teenagers.

The Minister of Justice has made a point of ignoring the repeated demands of Quebec's justice minister, who said, and I quote, “I am disappointed that, despite much correspondence and one meeting, the concerns I raised with you have not been addressed in Bill C-10.”

It is clearly going to be harder and harder to ensure that Quebec is heard. May we soon see Quebec's own criminal code.

Kootenay--ColumbiaStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

David Wilks Conservative Kootenay—Columbia, BC

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to give thanks to the people who elected me to represent the great riding of Kootenay—Columbia.

Although I was blessed with a number of volunteers, I would especially like to thank Wilma Croisdale, my campaign manager; Sheryl Stephenson, my official agent; and John Kettle, who was instrumental in fundraising.

The Kootenay—Columbia riding is nestled in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia and is blessed to have a diverse economy which includes Teck coal, the world's second-largest exporter of metallurgical coal, and a number of logging companies which create a vast number of jobs.

My riding boasts four national parks: Kootenay, Yoho, Glacier and Mount Revelstoke. We have world-class ski resorts in Revelstoke, Golden, Invermere and Fernie. Our tourism sector is one of the strongest in Canada.

The Kootenay—Columbia riding is a great example of balancing big industry with nature and recognizing the importance of protecting the environment. I invite everyone to come and visit what we in the Kootenay—Columbia riding believe is one of the greatest places on earth.

Sudbury Food BankStatements By Members

2 p.m.

NDP

Glenn Thibeault NDP Sudbury, ON

Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to honour the hard work of the people at the Sudbury Food Bank and to congratulate them on the imminent opening of their new warehouse facility.

The first employee food drive in Sudbury took place 24 years ago, launched by Edgar Burton. Although we lost Edgar, today the Sudbury Food Bank's Christmas food drive still bears his name.

The 45 member agencies ensure that every month 14,000 Sudburians have enough food to eat. In 2010, over 400 tons of non-perishable food and hot meals were provided to individuals in need.

On October 25, the food bank will launch its new warehouse facility which will allow the food bank to expand into fresh and frozen foods, as well as streamline its current food distribution. It will also aid individuals across northern Ontario by doubling as the northeastern Ontario distribution centre for the Ontario Association of Food Banks.

Although I dream of the day when food banks are no longer needed, I am glad that, until that point, we have wonderful organizations like the Sudbury Food Bank to support our local communities.

Underground RailroadStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Jeff Watson Conservative Essex, ON

Mr. Speaker, October 22 marks the 10th anniversary of the International Underground Railroad Memorial monuments. Established in 2001, the Gateway to Freedom Monument in Hart Plaza in Detroit, Michigan, and its companion the Tower of Freedom Monument across the river in Windsor, Ontario, forever mark the hope, thanksgiving and bittersweet reality of loved ones lost or left behind on the perilous northward journey to freedom in Canada of slaves of African descent fleeing the southern U.S.

As we celebrate our collective heritage this anniversary, let us stand in solidarity to declare that all mankind is created equal; to honour the courage of those fleeing slaves, and all people of good will who were an indispensable part of the underground railroad, and the ultimate abolition of slavery; and resolve to do all we can today to ensure our birthright of freedom is experienced by all.

I call on members of this House to join members of the U.S. Congress, who resolved earlier this week to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the International Underground Railroad Memorial monuments.

Volunteer FirefightersStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Liberal

Geoff Regan Liberal Halifax West, NS

Mr. Speaker, last Saturday the Hammonds Plains Fire Department celebrated a major milestone, its 50th anniversary.

Since 1961, countless volunteers in the department have risked their own safety to protect the lives and property of the people in their community. They sacrificed time with their families to answer the call of duty, regardless of birthdays, holidays or lost sleep. Their commitment is an inspiration for us all.

It was an honour to take part in the celebration along with some of the founding members, current firefighters, and representatives from the Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Service.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Hammonds Plains Fire Department and their supporters for 50 years of service and I invite all hon. colleagues to join me.

OktoberfestStatements By Members

2 p.m.

Conservative

Stephen Woodworth Conservative Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, last week Kitchener celebrated Oktoberfest, the premier North American Bavarian festival. It is a major cultural event and it brings in major tourist revenue. It is all organized by hundreds of volunteers who devote countless hours. A big thanks to all who contributed, including President Vic Degutis and Oncle Hans himself.

To my colleagues who have not yet sampled this celebration, they have to visit Oktoberfest at least once in their lives. Make it next year.

Our Festhallen are the world's best, but there is so much more to Oktoberfest. There is German Pioneer Day, the Miss Oktoberfest Gala, the Tour de Hans Celebrity Dinner, and the Family Breakfast.

Visitors can watch our “So You Think You Can Tanz” competition, join the Great Oktoberfest Barrel Race, or experience an 1890s Thanksgiving at Woodside.

Dirndls and lederhosen are everywhere.

Members should put this event in their calendars now.

It is another reason I am proud to be the member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre. Prost.

Restaurant IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Peter Stoffer NDP Sackville—Eastern Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, today on behalf of all parliamentarians we welcome the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association and all its members to Ottawa for its restaurant summit.

Whether we have a Triple-O at the White Spot in Vancouver, fish and chips at Ches's in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, a clubhouse on brown bread with fries at my favourite, Hella's Restaurant in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, or great bacon and eggs at Dunn's here on Queen Street, it is the Restaurant and Foodservices Association of Canada which promotes over one million Canadians, many of them new immigrants. They bring in millions and millions of dollars to our economy. It is a vital link to our economy.

On behalf of all members of Parliament, we salute the members of the Restaurant and Foodservices Association of Canada. We thank them for coming to Ottawa. We look forward to working with them and solving their issues in the near future.

God love them and thank them.

Agriculture and Agri-FoodStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Ray Boughen Conservative Palliser, SK

Mr. Speaker, earlier this month I was on hand as the Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food announced that a pasta processing plant will be built at the Global Transportation Hub outside of Regina.

Alliance Grain Traders will invest $50 million in a flour milling plant creating 60 full-time permanent jobs and 150 construction jobs. This multi-purpose flour milling facility demonstrates that an open market will attract investment, encourage innovation and create value-added jobs.

Within an open market system Alliance Grain Traders will be able to negotiate directly with farmers, cutting out costly red tape, administration fees and delays. Farmers will be able to decide to sell to Alliance Grain Traders or a different buyer at the time and price of their choosing with maximum revenue in mind within an open market.

I am pleased to announce this investment in Saskatchewan today.

Restaurant IndustryStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Dean Allison Conservative Niagara West—Glanbrook, ON

Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association is organizing its first ever restaurant industry summit on the Hill. I personally would like to welcome to Ottawa CRFA Immediate Past Chairman of the Board Gerard Curran, President Garth Whyte, Executive Vice-President of Government Affairs Joyce Reynolds, and their entire delegation. I congratulate them on this proud achievement.

As a former restaurateur myself, I appreciate the tremendous contribution the restaurant industry makes not only to the economy of Canada, but to its social fabric as well. The experience one gains working in the restaurant industry goes far beyond food and drink. Lessons in customer service, teamwork, organization and commitment all provide skills and training that are vital to success in any job.

Based on a study conducted by the CRFA, 22% of Canadians found their first job in the restaurant industry compared to 16% in retail. Simply put, Canada's restaurant industry puts jobs and economic growth on the menu.

Lucie JoyalStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

NDP

Sana Hassainia NDP Verchères—Les Patriotes, QC

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to highlight the exceptional work of someone in my riding of Verchères—Les Patriotes. Lucie Joyal, a resident of Boucherville, was chosen to receive the 2011 Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case.

She has worked tirelessly to eliminate violence against women and children. Since the 1990s, she has worked to advance research as well the detection and prevention of spousal and family violence throughout Quebec.

In 2005, she helped create the Marie Vincent sexual abuse centre of expertise, the first of its kind in the country. This centre is internationally recognized as an innovative model for improving services provided to young victims of sexual abuse.

In Quebec and elsewhere, she has been described as a visionary in social innovation for young victims of violence.

I would like to congratulate Lucie Joyal for her involvement and her contribution to Quebec and Canada.

Earl McRaeStatements By Members

2:05 p.m.

Conservative

Peter Goldring Conservative Edmonton East, AB

Mr. Speaker, we have lost a great Canadian writer and journalist, Earl McRae, a man I came first to know personally when I took on the task of raising funds to allow war veterans of the Loyal Eddies, Seaforth, Three Rivers, Provost Corps and Royal 22nd, the Van Doos, to return to Ortona, Italy for Christmas 1998.

Earl immediately saw the vision of former foes, Canadian and German, joining together for a re-creation of the 1943 Canadian battlefield Christmas dinner, to reflect and celebrate in the season of goodwill to mankind the years of peace that followed.

His prodigious newspaper columns along with Lowell Green's prolific airwaves plea for help made Christmas in Ortona happen. Earl then travelled with the veterans to Ortona to report on the pilgrimage.

Earl McRae, a friend to veterans, an extraordinary journalist, a champion of what is right. May his deserving soul now rest in peace.

Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons CaseStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

NDP

Françoise Boivin NDP Gatineau, QC

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the six recipients of the 2011 Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case. The following women were honoured at Rideau Hall earlier today: Madeleine Boscoe, Nancy Hartling, Lucie Joyal, Sharon Donna McIvor, Kim Pate and Amber JoAnn Fletcher.

Every October since 1979, this award has highlighted the exceptional contribution of certain Canadian women to the advancement of women's equality in Canada. This year's recipients have long worked to eliminate violence against women, advance equality for their aboriginal sisters and improve the lives of the most marginalized among us.

But the fact that this award exists demonstrates that there is plenty of work to do before there is true gender equality in Canada. We cannot be content with equality on paper—we need to take action, as these six women have done.

I invite all members to salute these great women. They are true models of social justice in our country, and they deserve our sincere congratulations.

Toronto Radio StationStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Terence Young Conservative Oakville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize and congratulate radio G98.7, Toronto's first radio station dedicated exclusively to black and Caribbean music and talk programming which began broadcasting on Monday, October 3. Noting a lack of urban programming on the GTA airwaves, our government welcomed this initiative and G98.7 received its broadcast licence from the CRTC on June 9 of this year.

CEO Fitzroy Gordon announced that G98.7 has officially begun broadcasting to all of Toronto, Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, and areas of Hamilton, Brampton, Aurora and Ajax. G98.7 has begun with music only and will commence full-scale programming in November, including news, sports coverage and talk shows on issues relating to and affecting the black and Caribbean population.

In the GTA and beyond, we are also looking forward to hearing more music with heart and a lot of soul. On the FM dial, that is G98.7.

Barney Danson and Reg AlcockStatements By Members

2:10 p.m.

Liberal

Bob Rae Liberal Toronto Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, this House, the Liberal Party and Canada have lost in the last few days two fine and unforgettable people.

Barney Danson was a member of this House for 16 years. He was a popular minister in many portfolios, particularly the minister of defence, a veteran of the Second World War of great distinction and courage, and a man of great good humour and good will. He passed away peacefully last night surrounded by his family.

Reg Alcock was a member of this House from 1993 to 2006 and a minister in the Martin government. He returned to teaching in recent years and continued to consult widely on issues of public policy. He lived his life with gusto and extraordinary energy and died suddenly last week in Winnipeg.

Barney and Reg shared something greater than their party affiliation, which they wore with great pride; they were politicians and public servants and proud of that as well. They knew it to be a life not without difficulty, but a life of good humour, of great effort and warm fellowship.

Let us put partisanship aside for a moment and say that these were good men. They served their country well and their communities with great pride and great affection.

Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons CaseStatements By Members

October 18th, 2011 / 2:10 p.m.

Conservative

Lois Brown Conservative Newmarket—Aurora, ON

Mr. Speaker, this year marks the 90th anniversary of the “persons” case. In October 1929, a group of determined, forward-thinking women from the Prairies, today known as the Famous Five, rallied and won the right for women to be recognized as persons before the law.

That historic decision reversed the position that had been held until that time that women were not legally persons and therefore could not be appointed to the Senate.

Today, the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case was presented to five outstanding individuals who embody the pioneering spirit of the Famous Five. I would like to join all Canadian women in congratulating and thanking these women, as well as all women who work to improve Canadian communities.

Reg AlcockStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

NDP

Pat Martin NDP Winnipeg Centre, MB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and pay tribute to the memory of a friend and colleague, the former member for Winnipeg South and former president of the Treasury Board, the hon. Reg Alcock.

Reg served in the House of Commons from 1993 to 2006 after serving in the Manitoba provincial legislature. He earned the respect of colleagues from all parties as a decent and civil politician whose competence and intelligence gave him the self-confidence to be gracious and generous in his dealings both inside and outside the chamber.

Uniquely qualified to be the president of the Treasury board with a master's degree in public administration from Harvard, he had a special aptitude for honing the delivery of government services. He believed firmly that e-government would be egalitarian government, and he championed and pioneered many of the innovations that deliver services online today.

Among his other achievements, he was the founder and first chair of the Standing Committee on Government Operations. He was a champion of open government and reform to access to information. He created a school of public service management. He was instrumental in securing the financing for the pride of Winnipeg, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Reg Alcock represented the very best in public life. He served with distinction as an MLA, an MP, a cabinet minister, and as a senior political minister for Manitoba. He performed all these duties with dignity and professionalism, courtesy and respect.

We mourn his all too early passing and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife Karen, and his three children, Sarah, Matthew and Cristina.

Citizenship WeekStatements By Members

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

Deepak Obhrai Conservative Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise today to inform the House that this week is Citizenship Week in Canada.

Our citizenship defines our rights and our responsibilities to one another. It is a shared commitment to our country's core beliefs in freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, values which we all hold dear and which serve as a beacon for other nations.

There is perhaps no better way to remind us of just how valuable our citizenship is than to witness the pride and joy of new Canadians as they take the oath of citizenship. I encourage Canadians to attend the over 60 special ceremonies taking place across the country this week.

During Citizenship Week I encourage all Canadians to reaffirm their citizenship and reflect on what it means to be a citizen of Canada, the greatest country in the world.

Official LanguagesRoutine Proceedings

2:15 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I wish to inform the House that due to an administrative error, a report was not tabled during routine proceedings this morning.

Accordingly, I have the honour, pursuant to section 66 of the Official Languages Act, to lay upon the table the annual report of the Commissioner of Official Languages for the period from April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(3)(f), this report has been permanently referred to the Standing Committee on Official Languages.

I regret any inconvenience this may have caused hon. members.