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House of Commons Hansard #76 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was creators.

Topics

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4 p.m.

NDP

Andrew Cash NDP Davenport, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is no doubt that copyright legislation is complex. In fact, the first time I came to Ottawa as a creator and I met with the minister of Canadian heritage and the industry minister, it was not the two individuals I see before me today.

We know that it has been discussed a lot and that it is complex. That speaks also to the reason it is important that we get this right. It speaks to the importance of members being able to weigh in on the bill.

What we are really talking about right now is the government's credibility on transparency, of which the Conservatives have absolutely none. I want to speak to one clear example of the hypocrisy of the government's moving time allocation. The pooled registered pension plan came before the House. The government moved time allocation on the first day of debate after only the second speaker from the opposition.

We have a serious problem around transparency with the government and once again time allocation. This is a blunt instrument of democracy and the government is using it way too often.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, with regard to transparency in this legislation, I have been a part of this bill from its very inception in the previous Parliament as Bill C-32.

We had webcasts and copyright.gc.ca. We had open forums where the public could attend in Quebec City, Montreal, Halifax--I was there--Vancouver, Calgary, here in Ottawa and over in Gatineau. More Canadians participated than I ever thought would participate. There were tens of thousands, and all their submissions were put on the web for free. We made it accessible to everybody. They were freely available for people to see them, download them, debate, disagree. To be honest, it was a fantastic conversation. It was wide open, like something we have never seen before.

Let us move forward with this. Let us make it work. If my hon. colleague thinks there should have been more time used in the House and more MPs should have spoken, as he spoke on the bill twice, maybe he should have given one of his two speaking spots to one of his colleagues who did not get a chance to speak.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

NDP

Pierre Nantel NDP Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, QC

Mr. Speaker, I find what is happening with Bill C-11 to be really pathetic. If there is one bill where members ought to be walking on eggshells, this is it. Do members agree that this is a really complicated bill? This is the perfect proof of this government's lack of foresight. The government wants to move quickly and says that the opposition has said enough. It is outrageous. I am very familiar with this bill and I can say that it is very complex. Everyone has something they want to say about it.

What is outrageous is that the government is once again imposing a gag order. Clearly, everyone has something to say. It affects me, my colleagues from other ridings, everyone. We want to have choices on cultural issues, and I know that the ministers opposite know this. We are talking about art and inspiration, but this bill is not inspired. The government is telling us that this bill is balanced, but it is just as balanced as a car where the front is a Jetta, the back is a Chevrolet Impala and the middle is some other car. This bill is a nightmare. It is flawed. It is a series of incoherent intentions. It is a major problem. We have things to say and the government is bulldozing us once again.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

Christian Paradis Conservative Mégantic—L'Érable, QC

Mr. Speaker, this bill is balanced. More consultations were held than ever before. This is the most debated bill since the anti-terrorist measures in the early 2000s. Is everyone happy? No. Is everyone angry? No they are not, because the bill is balanced. Everyone benefits, whether it be authors, creators, consumers, IT and communications workers, intermediaries, institutions or the education community. That is what we tried to do.

With all due respect, the hon. member is coming out of nowhere and wants to change everything. We have been talking about this bill for two Parliaments. Consultations were conducted by my colleague, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, and by my predecessor. There have also been many speeches here. The hon. member is asking us to mark time, to stay in the era of VHS tapes and vinyl records and not meet our international obligations. It does not make any sense.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Liberal

Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I want to put aside the issue of the bill itself and talk about the process. The government House leader, not once or twice, but more like 14, 15, or 16 times has walked into the chamber and moved time allocation. The time allocation rule is being abused by the government House leader. The government House leader needs to negotiate in good faith with opposition parties to allow people who want to speak to the legislation to do so. The government House leader needs to do the job that he is being paid to do.

Would the minister across the way agree that the government House leader has a primary responsibility to negotiate and talk with opposition House leaders so that things can be done in a more appropriate fashion?

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Conservative

James Moore Conservative Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, BC

Mr. Speaker, with regard to this bill, we have been more than open. We have given our speaking slots in the House to the opposition parties. We have ceded our time to the opposition members so that they can speak, make their points and arguments. I think that is pretty fair.

As a matter of fact, I invited the opposition critics to my department to have a full briefing on the legislation when we tabled it so they could understand the intricacies of it and the direction in which we are trying to go so that they could plan their amendments, so that when Parliament came back and we re-tabled the same bill, we could get down to work and they could consider the direction in which they wanted to go.

With regard to this bill, it is not an overstatement that there has not been a single piece of legislation in my 12 years here where there has been more open co-operation and good faith demonstrated between the government and the public, and the government and the opposition in trying to get their views on how we can move the bill forward. That includes the next step after this process, which is to go to a legislative committee, hear from witnesses, and get this done. Creators deserve it. Consumers deserve it. Canada needs it. Let us get on with it.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

It is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 38, to inform the House that the questions to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment are as follows: the hon. member for Scarborough—Guildwood, National Defence; the hon. member for Vancouver Kingsway, Citizenship and Immigration.

It is also my duty to interrupt the proceedings and put forthwith all questions necessary to dispose of the motion now before the House.

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

All those opposed will please say nay.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Bill C-11—Time Allocation MotionCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:10 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Conservative Bruce Stanton

In my opinion the nays have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members.

(The House divided on the motion which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #122

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion carried.

I wish to inform the House that because of the proceedings on the time allocation motion, government orders will be extended by 30 minutes.

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Liberal

Marc Garneau Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie, QC

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. If I am not mistaken, I believe the Minister of National Defence rose to vote in this particular vote. I know that the Chief Government Whip is usually very meticulous and conscientious about these kinds of things. I trust he will ensure that the vote count is corrected accordingly.

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Gordon O'Connor Conservative Carleton—Mississippi Mills, ON

Mr. Speaker, the precise rule in this House is that once the Chief Government Whip sits down and the Speaker then begins to define the issue, in the moment between, someone can sit down. Mr. Speaker, you had not said any words.

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Speaker Conservative Andrew Scheer

Order, please. It is the rule and the standard practice of the House that once the Speaker begins to put the question, then at that moment no member is allowed to take their seat and then have their vote counted. As I saw events, the Minister of National Defence sat down before I began to put the question, and so I do not think there is anything untoward there.

The House resumed from December 12, 2011, consideration of the motion that Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the motion that this question be now put.

Second ReadingCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to see that the motion passed, as we now have the opportunity to have further debate. There has been significant debate already on this bill and I am pleased to have the opportunity to rise today to speak on the copyright modernization act.

This bill proposes amendments to the Copyright Act. As my colleagues know, our government made a firm commitment in the Speech from the Throne to introduce and seek swift passage of copyright legislation that balances the needs of creators and users. Our government is delivering on this commitment. We all know there has been significant debate on this issue. In the last Parliament, I had the opportunity to chair the special legislative committee on Bill C-32, the exact same bill now before the House as Bill C-11.

I am happy to see that our government has taken this commonsense approach to modernizing the copyright laws in Canada. We have crafted a bill that differentiates between positive activities and illicit activities in the digital environment. Furthermore, this bill would make Canada an attractive location for creators, innovators and investors. In short, it is a key element of our government's commitment to help create jobs and build the industries of the future.

Our government recognizes that Canada must keep in step as countries around the world respond to the new realities posed by rapid technological change. Every day there is something newer, something faster or better out there for creators and users. Determined new competitors are rising. We need to keep pace. Canada must be prepared to compete in this global economy. This bill is an important tool in accomplishing this.

A modern copyright framework would strengthen Canada's competitive position. The copyright modernization act would bring our copyright law in line with advances in technology and current international standards. It would give Canadian creators and innovators the tools they need to keep Canada competitive internationally. It would implement the rights and protections of the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization's treaties, also known as the WIPO Internet treaties, which represent an international consensus on the standard of copyright protection.

I am sure that hon. members will recall that in the early 1990s, international discussions were initiated by WIPO member states on the type of copyright protection needed to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the Internet and other digital technologies. These treaties established new rights and protections for authors, sound recording makers and performers of audio works. They built on existing international frameworks found in the Berne and Rome conventions.

All these agreements established a minimum level of rights granted to creators under the national laws of WIPO member states. These WIPO standards have been implemented in more than 80 countries worldwide. Complying with them just makes sense. All of our major trading partners have ratified or acceded to these treaties, including the United States, the EU and its member states, and China, Japan and Mexico.

This bill seeks to protect the rights of Canadian creators in a number of areas that are as diverse as the works they create. To this end, the bill institutes new rights, such as the distribution right to control the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials; the making available right for performers and producers of sound recordings, who would enjoy an exclusive right to offer copyrighted material over the Internet; and moral rights for performers to ensure, for example, that a work is not altered in a way that harms an artist's reputation.

The bill would also provide new protections for our artists and creators. For example, it prohibits the circumvention of digital locks, as well as the removal of rights management information such as digital watermarks. It would also establish new rules that would prevent the manufacture, importation and sale of devices and services to break digital locks. In addition, with this bill the term of protection for sound recordings of performers and producers would be extended to 50 years from the time of publication of a musical performance.

I would also note that the bill would make photographers the first owners of the copyright of their photographs. The copyright would be protected for 50 years after the life of the photographer, harmonizing the treatment of photographers under Canada's copyright law with that of other creators. It would also harmonize with it the laws of many other countries. This would allow photographers to take advantage of opportunities in the global marketplace. At the same time, the people who commission photographs would be able to make personal or non-commercial use of the photos unless there were a contract that specified otherwise.

The bill would strengthen the ability of rights holders to control the use of their works online so that they can prevent widespread, illicit use and to promote legitimate business models. Such provisions include the creation of a new category of civil liability that targets those who enable online piracy.

The bill is also about meeting the needs of users. For example, under the fair dealings section, the bill adds education, parity and satire as purposes for which copyright works could be fairly used provided the use of the work does not unduly harm the legitimate interests of the copyright owner.

Finally, the bill introduces technological neutrality. By promoting creativity and innovation, our government is enabling the members of Canada's creative community to assume their rightful place alongside the best in the world.

Before I wrap up, I will say that there have been significant opportunities to debate this bill. In the last Parliament, there was Bill C-32 and there were previous bills in previous Parliaments. There has been more public consultation on this bill than on any other topic that we have dealt with in this House.

In the last Parliament, we saw that the committee, for which I had the honour of chairing, worked well together. The election was called and we never had the opportunity to have amendments to the bill at that point. I know the government is open to amendments and to some potential changes to this bill. We will have another couple of days of debate on this issue. I look forward to seeing this bill getting in front of committee. In the last Parliament the committee did work well together and there were opportunities to hear different viewpoints. This is a bill that is very complicated.

For those who are new members of Parliament, they will hear from a lot of different people about the various parts of this bill. There are many technical things to this bill. It does take a lot of effort to get up to speed and understand this bill. I encourage members to take the time to learn about this and the digital economy. I know many do know a lot about it.

We put this bill forward in the last Parliament and are now putting it forward in this Parliament to help create jobs and to protect jobs in Canada. I encourage the opposition and all members in this House to see this through to committee. I know that when this bill gets passed through second reading, the committee will do good work. I know there are many members of the public and many organizations who want to be in front of the committee to bring their concerns forward.

I look forward to this bill passing because it is something that is long overdue. It will be good for Canada, good for the economy, good for all people in Canada and good for creating jobs.

Second ReadingCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

NDP

Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. colleague for having provided some clarification, given his experience working with the legislative committee. Based on his experience, can he further explain the amendments he would have made to improve the bill, since we want to save time? Also, what were the major shortcomings the committee identified in Bill C-11 compared to Bill C-32?

Second ReadingCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, what we want to hear right now from the opposition members is how they feel we can improve this bill. I know there are some very contentious parts of this bill, specifically the digital locks and the education exemption. Those things are definitely controversial. We want to hear from the opposition. I know the government is open to amendments on this. This is something we will be dealing with for a long time. This is an ongoing situation. The name of the bill is the copyright modernization act.

One of the key things in this bill, which is a very positive thing, is the fact that part of the bill calls for a mandatory five year review. This may never be a perfect bill but being that it is in the bill that the law can be reviewed five years later, this will take into account additional technological changes that are sure to happen in the next five years.

Second ReadingCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

NDP

Anne-Marie Day NDP Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles, QC

Mr. Speaker, since the member has opened the door, let us go through it. We are proposing amendments to withdraw from the bill all clauses that criminalize the removal of digital locks for personal, non-commercial purposes. We support reducing penalties for those found guilty of having breached the Copyright Act, since that would prevent excessive prosecution of the public, a problem that exists in the United States.

Is the government prepared to accept these amendments?

Second ReadingCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

5:05 p.m.

Conservative

Gord Brown Conservative Leeds—Grenville, ON

Mr. Speaker, one of the key things in the bill is that it would protect our creators. It would allow us to have the opportunity to go after the enablers. The bill is not necessarily targeted at the kid in the basement who might be downloading a song, although we should not be encouraging that kind of stealing. The bill is targeted at the enablers, those who are allowing those things to happen, those who are setting up sites like The Pirate Bay and others and are just out and out stealing the works of creators. We want to support culture and our creative industries here in Canada and this legislation would make it very difficult to steal their works.

Second ReadingCopyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

5:05 p.m.

Ajax—Pickering Ontario

Conservative

Chris Alexander ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence

Mr. Speaker, I, too, congratulate my colleague from Leeds—Grenville for his work in the previous Parliament to bring this important bill to fruition in the form that we now find it before the House.

Would my colleague not agree with the statements that the minister made in the House before the vote we just had and with the whole spirit of the government's approach to the bill, which is that time is of the essence?

There will be amendments and there will be hard work in committee. There are some issues on which there will never be unanimity in the country. However, to protect creators from the scourge of piracy, especially when it involves organized crime, and to protect the rights of millions of Canadians who want full legal access to copyrighted products in the digital age, we need to move forward on the bill. It is a question of jobs, competitiveness and the future of this country. Would my colleague agree?