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House of Commons Hansard #124 of the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was chair.

Topics

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:25 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Madam Speaker, it is a privilege and honour to speak to Bill C-11, the copyright modernization bill. This bill was designed to address the interests of Canadians, from those who create content to the consumers who benefit from it.

I am also glad to see how the efforts of parliamentarians on all sides have moved the bill forward and have earned the support of Canada's creative community. Parliamentarians heard from many who contributed to the committee process through testimony and submissions. We heard a clear message that copyright laws play a critical role in protecting and creating jobs in Canada's digital economy.

We all know that a strong copyright regime is critical for the growth of our digital economy and our information and communications technology sector. Combined with other legislative initiatives, as well as innovative measures by the private sector, this bill will contribute to a well-functioning digital economy by instilling trust and confidence in consumers and creators. I cannot reinforce enough the fact that we need to instill trust and confidence in consumers and creators.

One of the key pieces to a strong digital economy is the safeguarding of intellectual property. This legislation will provide these safeguards.

A myriad of witnesses testified over the last couple of years through a few iterations of this legislation. I am glad to say that the following associations have shown support for aspects of the current bill: the Canadian Council of Chief Executives; the Canadian Chamber of Commerce; the Canadian Photographers Coalition; the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network; the Canadian Council of Music Industry Associations; the Entertainment Software Association of Canada; the Canadian Independent Music Association; Association des producteurs de films et de télévision du Québec; and many more.

I would like to take some time now to discuss other important aspects of this bill.

The bill introduces a new remedy for copyright owners against those who knowingly enable infringement of copyright. This new remedy supplements existing criminal powers to deal with pirate sites by adding stronger tools for copyright owners and makes liability for enabling of infringement clear. I think it is important to bring clarity to this matter and that is what the legislation sets out to do.

We are making sure to protect copyright holders in order to give them the ability to defend themselves. Canada's creative industries will also benefit from an amendment made at the committee stage that clarifies statutory damages for copyright infringement. Copyright owners will finally have stronger legal tools to pursue online pirate sites that facilitate copyright infringement. The amendment will facilitate targeting those who participate in wide-scale violation of the rights of creators.

Another amendment will also eliminate the safe harbour for those who infringe author's rights. Canadian creators, performers and artists will benefit from the rights and protections that are part of the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO, Internet treaties, including the exclusive right to control how their copyrighted material is made available on the Internet.

Consumers will benefit from this bill as well. It legitimizes activities that Canadians do every day, such as downloading music and certain kinds of format shifting, such as when people use PVRs to record shows and watch them later. Canadians will finally be able to record television, radio and Internet programming in order to enjoy it at a later time with no restrictions as to the device or media they wish to use. Once again, the legislation is providing clarity and certainty.

The big issue is that this legislation speaks to the balance we have achieved. It is fair and it is balanced. Canadian consumers will also be able to copy legitimately acquired music, film or other works onto any device or medium, such as MP3 players, for their private use. They will also be able to make backup copies of these works.

Those are just a few examples of the common-sense changes within this bill. That is one reason I am so supportive of this legislation. Those examples show why this bill is so important.

Right away we can see that the bill is technologically neutral. We were told time and time again by stakeholders across the spectrum that we need legislation that is not rendered obsolete by new advancements in technology, as the current act is. There have been three different attempts over the last 15 years, since 1997, to bring the legislation into the 21st century. This is what we are about to do with this legislation moving forward. The fact is technology is advancing all the time. It will be something that we will be addressing as we move forward as well.

Canadians with perceptual disabilities will be permitted to adapt legally acquired material to a format they can easily use. We have heard time and time again about the difficulty perceptually impaired Canadians have accessing works in Braille or in a format they can enjoy more fully. I am proud that we have taken the step in this legislation to allow for some conversion.

Our government also understands the difference between a large-scale violator and an ordinary consumer. The legislation introduces the concept of proportionality in statutory damages. It revises current provisions for statutory damages to distinguish between commercial and non-commercial infringement. That is very important. This bill reduces an individual's potential liability in cases of non-commercial infringement to a one-time payment of between $100 and $5,000 for all infringements that took place prior to any lawsuit being launched.

It is through these types of measures that we will finally provide real protection for the intellectual property created by Canada's creative industries. It is through these and other steps we can see the meticulous balance that has emerged.

Even better, the bill also includes a statutory five-year review. As I mentioned, technology is advancing all the time, and it is important that we continue to review this legislation and have a proviso in the legislation so if that balance is upset at any time, or if an unforeseen consequence of the legislation occurs, changes can be made to improve the act in the future. We know that perfection in copyright legislation is elusive, so having the opportunity to make changes just makes sense.

In closing, I want to take some time to connect this bill to other steps our government has taken to promote and create innovation in our economy. I represent the constituents of Kelowna—Lake Country, an innovative, technologically sound and vibrant community. We are encouraging the private sector to create and adopt new digital technologies. We are developing tomorrow's digital workforce. For example, in budget 2012, acting on the Jenkins report, we announced $1.1 billion to directly support research and development; $500 million for venture capital, something we have heard a lot about the need for; $37 million annually for Canada's granting councils; $10 million for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research; $500 million for the Canada Foundation for Innovation; and much more. Members can see this funding helps to provide the basis of a strong, connected digital economy.

I would encourage the opposition to join us in putting Canada's economy and Canadian jobs first. This bill is on the right track to do just that. It is time to get it passed.

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Wayne Easter Liberal Malpeque, PE

Madam Speaker, we can see what is in Bill C-11. People have a number of concerns, especially about the ability to purchase music and make a copy to have in their car or whatever.

The member for Kelowna—Lake Country is also a member of the trade committee. He and I were just at a meeting. It seems there is a possibility that Bill C-11 is just the first step. The Europeans seem to be claiming that Bill C-11 does not go as far as they want it to go. I wonder if the member could tell us how far the government is willing to concede to the Europeans, which would go well beyond Bill C-11 and might create some concerns for Canadians. As the member is on the trade committee, I wonder if he could give us some perspective on that.

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Madam Speaker, my hon. colleague from Prince Edward Island and I do work together on the trade committee. Trade is very important. One in five jobs in Canada and 60% of our GDP are based on trade. We continue to expand our trading opportunities. One of the ways to do that is to ensure that Canadian creators have the certainty and protection that this balanced legislation provides. As my colleague just alluded to, we attended a workshop session on intellectual property and CETA, looking at the agreement with the European Union.

That is why it is so important, as I mentioned in my speech, to have the five-year review of the legislation. Situations could be brought forward. Technology is changing all the time. We want to ensure that we have the right legislation to meet the needs of Canadians from coast to coast to coast today. As I mentioned, this is the third attempt since 1997 to try to bring this legislation into the 21st century. I am very confident the legislation balances the rights of creators and the interests of consumers today and for the future.

(Bill S-1003. On the order: Private Members' Business:)

May 1, 2012—Second reading and reference to a legislative committee of Bill S-1003, An Act to authorize Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to apply to be continued as a body corporate under the laws of Quebec—Ms. Hélène LeBlanc.

Act to Authorize Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to Continue as a Body CorporatePrivate Members' Business

4:40 p.m.

NDP

Hélène LeBlanc NDP LaSalle—Émard, QC

Madam Speaker, I believe that if you seek it, you will find unanimous consent for the following motion:

That, notwithstanding any Standing Order or usual practices of the House, Bill S-1003, An Act to authorize Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to apply to be continued as a body corporate under the laws of Quebec, be deemed to have been reported favourably by the Examiner of Petitions pursuant to Standing Order 133(3); and that the bill be deemed to have been read a second time and referred to a Committee of the Whole, deemed considered in Committee of the Whole, deemed reported without amendment, deemed concurred in at report stage and deemed read a third time and passed.

Act to Authorize Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to Continue as a Body CorporatePrivate Members' Business

4:40 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Does the hon. member have the unanimous consent of the House to propose this motion?

Act to Authorize Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to Continue as a Body CorporatePrivate Members' Business

4:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Act to Authorize Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to Continue as a Body CorporatePrivate Members' Business

4:40 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

The House has heard the terms of the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Act to Authorize Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to Continue as a Body CorporatePrivate Members' Business

4:40 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Act to Authorize Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance and Financial Services Inc. to Continue as a Body CorporatePrivate Members' Business

4:40 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

(Motion agreed to, bill read the second time, considered in committee of the whole, reported without amendment, concurred in, read the third time and passed)

The House resumed consideration of Bill C-11, an act to amend the Copyright Act, as reported (with amendment) from the committee, and of the motions in Group No. 1.

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:40 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

There are two and half minutes left for questions and comments.

The hon. member for Halifax.

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:40 p.m.

NDP

Megan Leslie NDP Halifax, NS

Madam Speaker, my question for my colleague is about the rights of creators. In answer to the last question, he said that the bill balanced rights. I disagree with him.

I am from Halifax where we have a lot of creators. Creators are not necessarily the owners of copyright. Therefore, what is in the bill that stands up for creators? There is this long list of exceptions in the bill that do not adequately recognize the rights of creators. The Conservatives are creating new ways for people to access copyrighted works, which then leaves creators out in the cold.

What exactly is in the bill that works for creators, because I do not see anything?

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:40 p.m.

Conservative

Ron Cannan Conservative Kelowna—Lake Country, BC

Madam Speaker, that is an excellent question. We are concerned about finding the right balance.

I agree that the legislation encourages new ideas. It protects the rights of Canadians. Research, development and artistic creativity strengthen our economy. Artists from coast to coast to coast are a big part of our creative economy. We are providing that certainty for them to ensure they have the protection.

As I mentioned, we just looked at a section within our trade initiatives locally to ensure that each of our provincial and territorial parties worked together and to ensure that if someone writes a song or produces a piece of art, it has not only the protection but also the support of our government in marketing it.

I came from a background in music. I was a fledgling musician. I still have some albums available. If anyone would like to buy them, I could market them. I had a long history in the music industry in helping artists. I know this is important for young, aspiring artists and creators in the gaming industry.

Also, as I mentioned, I come from one of the best wine producing regions in Canada, but we also have some of the best technology. The silicone vineyard of the Okanagan Valley and Kelowna Lake country will want to ensure that this legislation has that balance.

For example one organization, the Balanced Copyright For Canada, says, “We welcome the reintroduction of copyright reform and encourage all Parliamentarians to work together for its quick passage”.

The Canadian Publisher's Council has said, “we all benefit from strong and precise copyright legislation that provides incentives to protect rates holders—

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:40 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order, please. Unfortunately, the hon. member's time has lapsed.

Resuming debate, the hon. member for Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup.

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:40 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Madam Speaker, for the past hour, I have been listening to the hon. members opposite talk about the industry's needs. If they were more transparent—honest might be a better word—they would clarify the fact that when they say industry, they mean the very large distributors. I have a great deal of respect for large distributors, which are a major part of the world economy, but they are talking about helping companies like Sony and Walt Disney. Those are the corporations that will benefit from this bill.

Let me go back to a rather striking example. How can they claim that they are thinking about the industry, when the cultural industry—which includes 80 arts and culture organizations across Quebec and the rest of the country, so from all across Canada—has stated that the bill will be toxic to Canada's digital economy? How can there be 80 major organizations across the country that have come to that conclusion and yet the government is still constantly claiming that it is thinking about the industry?

Certainly some sectors of the industry are perfectly comfortable with this bill, but let me reiterate that major sectors have reached that very harsh conclusion. That does not come from the New Democrats, but rather from a significant portion of the cultural industry, not just distributors. This bill will be toxic to Canada's digital economy.

Those organizations have warned us that if the government fails to amend the copyright modernization bill to ensure that content owners are properly compensated, this will lead to a decline in the production of Canadian content and its dissemination domestically and abroad. We are using the word “dissemination”. These are crisis words, blunt words that, I repeat, are not coming from the “big bad leftists”, as some of our neighbours opposite like to call us, but from people in the cultural industry.

With this kind of reaction from such important industry players, the government should first have the decency to not claim any great success. It should show great respect for the industry's response to the bill and go back to the drawing board until these people believe that the government's proposed legislation will not give rise to something as significant as disseminating Canadian content in Canada and abroad.

In Canada, the government has historically had a hard time fully understanding the cultural industry and its front-line players: creators.

I cannot cover every aspect of this 70-page bill, but I will take a few minutes to talk about one aspect I know well and to provide some historical overview.

We have been lagging behind for far too long with respect to the status of creators in Canada. We are one of the last countries to keep its Copyright Act under the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food. We are one of the last countries to realize that it has been a very long time since the days when artists were reduced to simply performing at agricultural fairs.

Then the government came up with a modernized copyright regime that was one of the worst in the western world.

Let us compare our copyright system with what was being done in Europe in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Here, for example, a songwriter or composer—and this was true everywhere—shared up to 50% of total royalties with a publisher. Consequently, there remained 25% for the songwriter and 25% for the composer. That is generally how it worked. That was quite a common model. And then a few pennies were paid per songrecorded on a widespread format, such as CDs, which are still in use. One of the differences between Canada and Europe was that, in Europe, the author had to be paid for the right to distribute CDs in stores.

If 100,000 copies of an artist's work were made, first it had to be proven that the composer of the musical work and the songwriter had received their few pennies per song, which could add up to a lot if it was a major success. We are not talking about $100,000, but, even if it was a few pennies, that gave them a decent income.

In Canada, however, records could be distributed through merchants, in stores, without paying anything. Up to 20% could be considered “free goods”. That is what the merchants were given for promoting the product, and those “free goods” were exempt from copyright obligations. So 100,000 copies were distributed, but the first 20,000 copies did not generate a cent for the creator, and the other 80,000 copies had to be sold and had to be recorded as having been sold. Ultimately, the creator might receive his meagre 25% for a song recorded on a CD that eventually sold.

That was something like telling a bricklayer to lay bricks at a shopping centre, but that he would not be paid for his work unless the shopping centre was successful and had customers and its tenants were happy and paid their rent. He could do the brickwork at the shopping centre but never get paid. The deep roots of that attitude toward copyright in Canada are evident in the failures of this bill.

I will conclude on this basic attitude because the problem of a toothless copyright regime that has been around for decades underscores a fundamental perception that must absolutely change in Canada. The success of a cultural product stems from something magical that comes from the artist, not from the investor, the broadcaster or the person who—admittedly—may have invested thousands or even millions of dollars in the distribution of an album, a disk or a book. It is the artist who suddenly manages to grasp the most interesting thing that is happening at a particular time and who suddenly finds an audience. When an artist does that, he deserves his copyright.

If we understand that, we can immediately see that attempts in this legislation to protect major broadcasters do not honour the artist’s medium- and long-term need to earn an adequate and decent income from new technologies. Often, people do not really understand that it is the creator's magic that makes the product.

If the major distributors had a magic potion and knew exactly how to produce an artistic product for one million dollars that would sell three million copies, they would do so every day. They attempt this regularly and, often, it does not work out. When it works, it is because there was something magical that came from the creators and had an effect on the public.

Things do not happen magically. Creators invests thousands of hours in practice and rehearsals, rewrite thousands of pages, and spend thousands of hours developing themselves culturally in order to become people who create magic. The fact that we are considering modernizing copyright—and that this is even in the title of the bill—and that the party in power has managed to conduct a smear campaign by conflating the notion of guaranteeing suitable copyright with a tax, represents a dangerous, slippery slope.

In sectors of the industry that require a lot of creativity, the downward spiral has already begun. In video game production, for example, creators are often paid on a per-game basis. Young men and women are approached and asked to put together a beautiful soundtrack in exchange for $1,000. Regardless of its success, whether the video game in question is a hit and sells 75,000 copies, or is a total flop and only sells 200 copies, there is no copyright. That is what is called a buyout; the rights are purchased from the young creator.

That is the fate that awaits creators. Personally, I do not want to live in a world where creators can no longer live off copyright unless they produce a real hit. It means living in a less creative world. I do not need a Rocky 127. In future decades, I want to see creators who create interesting music and arthouse films.

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Jonathan Tremblay NDP Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Madam Speaker, my colleague just spoke of a downward spiral, and I get the impression that that has certainly been the case of late.

In my opinion, we need experts to tell us what the problems and solutions are, and what steps to take to avoid these slippery slopes.

Does my colleague think that that is what the Conservative Party is doing?

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Madam Speaker, there are many examples. We need only look so far as the example that was given earlier, namely, the very strong, very clear and very alarming position of 80 large cultural organizations.

Copyright experts are completely opposed to the decisions made in this bill. No, the government has not done its homework. The government must ensure that people who have a profound understanding of the problem are reassured and that they are included in the implementation of the bill, but it has not done so.

It is shameful that this bill, which is so important, has been under consideration for years and yet the results achieved are so mediocre.

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Madam Speaker, I really appreciate my colleague's detailed knowledge of the issues involved in the bill. It is a very technical bill, and many of us do not have that level of expertise, but clearly my colleague has a lot of experience in terms of both the European situation and the situation as it relates to Canada.

One of the big issues in the bill is how the digital lock will affect students who are in distance learning or educational facilities. I just wonder what kind of response he has had in his own community to that particular provision. We have heard about all the consultation that took place, but how would it actually impact people and what kind of response did the member get in his own riding?

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Madam Speaker, focusing exclusively on digital locks is not healthy, particularly when it comes to education, as my colleague pointed out.

We are all aware that this bill could lead to an obligation to completely destroy everything that has been built in a classroom within a very short period of time, perhaps even before the end of the semester. Is that feasible? We all know that it is not. How is it that this measure is still there and that it is going to be implemented? Is this situation really going to become a reality?

My colleague raised an important point. People have spoken about e-learning, for example, which can be an extremely important solution for people who live in remote areas. Right now, many of the current government's decisions are costing remote areas dearly. Ultimately, this is another decision that will ensure that remote areas pay a higher price, and it is a decision of the Conservative Party.

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.

NDP

Denis Blanchette NDP Louis-Hébert, QC

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for explaining how copyright works. In my view, this had to be done.

He also put his finger on something else. We often talk about copyright, culture and distribution as if they were specific to big cities. In rural areas, people living in this digital society also clearly consume arts and culture products through Internet access.

Could the hon. member tell me what solutions and improvements that would help authors the government has refused to consider so far?

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.

NDP

François Lapointe NDP Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, QC

Madam Speaker, we will definitely have to take a sensible and balanced approach to address the issue of distribution networks and platforms. Is there a small percentage that can guarantee sustainability for creators?

We have to stop saying that this is a tax. CD copyright is not a tax, but rather a way of compensating musicians who write songs that we hear on the radio and who make our lives more enjoyable.

So why all of a sudden is any solution applied to new technologies a tax? If we accept this way of seeing things, how can we make sure that successful creators will be able to make a living from their works? We need to move away from this approach that is completely out of step—

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Denise Savoie

Order.

The member for Winnipeg South Centre has the floor.

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

5 p.m.

Conservative

Joyce Bateman Conservative Winnipeg South Centre, MB

Madam Speaker, I am grateful to have the opportunity to take part in today's debate on Bill C-11, the copyright modernization act.

In the 2011 Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada committed to reintroduce and seek swift passage of legislation to modernize Canada's copyright law in a way that balances the needs of creators and users. This bill fulfills that promise.

This is the third time that we have tried to introduce this copyright legislation. Thanks to this government, we are finally going to update our act so it is consistent with international standards.

It is the culmination of one of the most extensive consultations that any bill has undergone, with more than 9,000 Canadian citizens and organizations having provided their thoughts regarding what a balanced copyright bill should look like.

It is from that listening exercise that our government arrived at the balance that we have today. It is a balance that not everyone is 100% content with, but everyone can agree that they have had some specific measure that was called for.

Canadians can also agree that what we have in this bill, especially with the amendments arrived at during committee stage, is in the right ballpark of what a balanced copyright act should look like.

This legislation will strengthen our competitiveness within the global digital economy and will protect and create jobs, promote innovation and draw new investments to Canada.

It is a hard-won balance, the result of principled compromise and one that the government is proud of.

Opposition parties have talked about this balance in several separate ways, almost disjointedly. On one hand they pit artists against consumers, and then they turn around and favour consumers over artists, all the while ignoring the need to ensure compromise.

Instead of advocating new costs for consumers, like an iPod tax, the opposition should finally side with us and support the modernization of Canada's Copyright Act.

Over here we realize that this compromise is necessary, because consumers and artists are in fact two sides of the very same coin. They are the same equation. If artists do not trust the rules that protect their rights and govern Canada's digital economy, they will be reluctant to produce their content here.

The government and members of Parliament have heard that time and time again in the consultations we have held. We have also heard that if consumers are unable to enjoy and use the content in legal ways that make sense to them, there will not be a market for the artists' work. That is why we have created a bill that strikes the right balance between the needs of consumers and users, while at the same time making strong exemptions for educational purposes or fair dealing.

The bill is an important stepping stone to the establishment of a strong framework in which Canada's digital economy can thrive. We know that the economy is changing significantly. What we do now with smart phones, tablets and computers has taken our economy in a new direction, where artists and rights holders are using the digital economy not only to bring new art to market but also to create hundreds of thousands of jobs for Canadians.

Those benefits are reflected in the raft of groups that are supportive of this legislation. To name only a few, they include the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, the Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright, the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, the Canadian Intellectual Property Council and the Canadian Institute for the Blind.

I could go on, but I think the point is clear: the bill has wide-ranging support from those who see it as a key platform in the growth of the digital economy and the creation of knowledge economy employment.

I have listened with interest to today's debate, which is eerily reminiscent of the budget debate. In the budget, for example, we on the government side are putting forward a plan for how to sustain Canada's economic health in a time of global economic uncertainty.

Yes, unfortunately, the global economy is still fragile.

Here we have the opposition dreaming up new ways to stop our economic growth right in its tracks. We are providing for new, reasonable and economically viable ways to help grow our economy, whether it is an investment in our knowledge economy, sensible changes to the Investment Canada Act, or opening up our telecom sector to increased foreign investment, yet the opposition says “no” to those investments and “no” to changes that will create jobs and investment right here at home.

The new copyright regime will encourage new ideas and will protect the rights of Canadians whose research and development work and artistic creativity make our economy vibrant.

In the budget implementation act we have proposed practical changes to create a reasonable timeline for environmental reviews, while creating stronger environmental laws. We know that in the next 10 years more than 500 new projects representing over $500 billion in new investments will be proposed for Canada. The potential for job growth is enormous.

Since 2006 our government has been looking to streamline the review process for major opportunities such as this. More needs to be done and more can be done, yet the opposition says “no” to jobs and “no” to economic strength. Federal and provincial revenues that would flow from that measure will not accrue to Canadians because of these decisions.

I understand that part of that is the role of an opposition. I appreciate that, but the opposition's parliamentary games are not reasonable. For example, the member for Burnaby—New Westminster took up over 13 hours of debate and 70 speaking spots simply reading from Twitter posts in the House of Commons. I guess none of his colleagues had anything substantive to add to that debate. When I look at those kinds of tactics, I am not surprised about the opposition's stance on this legislation.

The same kinds of games were played during second reading of Bill C-11. The opposition spoke for more than 19 hours, often repeating the very same words, and all the while, for every day it delayed, another day went by without a modern, flexible copyright regime to help spur on our digital economy.

The bill is the outcome of one of the broadest consultations of its kind in Canadian history. In addition, the government acknowledges the many testimonies and briefs from stakeholders and parliamentarians about the bill tabled in the last session of Parliament and thanks everyone who contributed. This process made it possible to send a very clear message: Canada urgently needs to modernize the Copyright Act.

When it comes down to it, that is what this legislation is about: how rights holders and consumers interact with the digital economy, the economy of the 21st century.

What we need is a bill for the 21st century.

We know, after listening to witnesses at the committee stage of both Bill C-11 and Bill C-32, that this bill would create jobs and support the growth of Canadian business in the digital and online environment. It would promote creativity and innovation.

Copyright Modernization ActGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

NDP

Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East, BC

Madam Speaker, I note that the member used her time to go after the NDP for, apparently, speaking too long on Bill C-38. I am surprised by that because such a massive bill, which we have correctly named a Trojan horse because it has so many non-financial aspects in it, is something that absolutely has to be investigated and debated in the House of Commons. I was surprised to hear her say that 12 hours or 19 hours of debate is too long.

Having said that, I am curious about her position on this bill, and I wonder if she agrees with one of its main criticisms, which is that it cozies up to some of the big rights holders, like the big movie studios and largely U.S. cultural interests. The idea is that there is balance in the bill, but when we give it a close examination, we see that a lot of artists and small players are left behind.

I wonder how she would respond to the criticism that this is, basically, a sop to the big players who have been lobbying for these changes and that her government has now very nicely responded to them.