House of Commons Hansard #31 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was content.


Question No.105Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.


Christine Normandin Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

With regard to the activities of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) during the pandemic: (a) for each of the IRB’s four divisions, broken down by month and for the Eastern, Central and Vancouver divisions, how many hearings were held during the months of April to September in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020; (b) broken down by month, how many refugee protection claims eligible for file review were processed during the months of April to August in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020; (c) between April and August 2020, how many members, as a percentage, received their full pay; (d) what work was required for members working for the IRB; (e) on what date did the IRB Registry and mail room resume processing claims received by mail and fax; (f) as of March 16, 2020, how many Refugee Protection Division (RPD), Refugee Appeal Division (RAD), Immigration Division (ID) and Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) files were pending (backlog) and what was the average time between referral and decision; (g) to date, how many RPD, RAD, ID and IAD files are awaiting a hearing; (h) to date, what is the average time between referral and decision; and (i) how many IRB employees have had vacation leave since the resumption of operations?

(Return tabled)

Question No.106Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.


Christine Normandin Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

With regard to the activities of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) during the pandemic: (a) broken down by month, how many confirmations of permanent residence were issued during the months of April to August in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020; (b) broken down by month, how many visas (tourist, student, etc.) were issued during the months of April to August in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020; (c) to date, how many IRCC officers, as a percentage, received the necessary information equipment (telephones, computers, etc.) to enable them to work from home; (d) how many refugee protection claims were received by IRCC between March 17, 2020, and July 31, 2020, and of these, how many were referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB); and (e) what is the current processing time for permanent resident cards, and what was the processing time for the same period in 2019?

(Return tabled)

Question No.107Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.


Gabriel Ste-Marie Bloc Joliette, QC

With regard to federal public servants living in the National Capital Region (NCR): (a) how many public servants worked in the NCR between 2010 and 2019, inclusively, broken down by year and province of residence, and what percentage of public servants (i) lived in Quebec but worked in Ontario, (ii) lived in Ontario, but worked in Quebec, (iii) lived and worked in Ontario, (iv) lived and worked in Quebec; (b) for each year between 2010 and 2019, inclusively, what percentage of the public service payroll is represented by the wages of federal public servants living in the NCR and working in (i) Ontario, (ii) Quebec; and (c) for each year between 2010 and 2019, inclusively, what is the mother tongue of federal public servants living in the NCR and the language most often spoken at work, broken down by province of (i) residence, (ii) work?

(Return tabled)

Question No.109Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.


Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

With regard to the organization and structure of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC): (a) what was the organizational structure of PHAC, including a breakdown of how many employees or full-time equivalents (FTEs) working in each branch, location and in each position, as of (i) January 1, 2016, (ii) October 1, 2020; and (b) what are the details of the positions that have been eliminated or modified since January 1, 2016, including the (i) previous job title, (ii) new job title, if applicable, (iii) previous job description, (iv) new job description, (v) number of positions impacted, (vi) date position was eliminated or modified, (vii) number of previous positions eliminated, if applicable?

(Return tabled)

Question No.110Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.


Michelle Rempel Conservative Calgary Nose Hill, AB

With regard to drug products currently awaiting approval and market authorization by Health Canada: (a) what is the complete list of products currently awaiting approval; (b) for each product in (a), what was the (i) date the application was received by the government, (ii) manufacturer, (iii) product name, (iv) summary of product claims, including the list of diseases and conditions the product claims to treat, (v) expected date of decision of approval by Health Canada, if known; and (c) has the time period between the date of application and the decision date by Health Canada, for non-COVID-19 related products increased as a result of reallocating resources during the pandemic, and, if so, what are the specific details, including for which applications and for which products the time period has increased?

(Return tabled)

Question No.112Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.


Chris d'Entremont Conservative West Nova, NS

With regard to the organization and structure of Health Canada: (a) what was the organizational structure of Health Canada, including a breakdown of how many employees or full­time equivalents (FTEs) working in each branch, location, and in each position, as of (i) January 1, 2016, (ii) October 1, 2020; and (b) what are the details of the positions that have been eliminated or modified since January 1, 2016, including the (i) previous job title, (ii) new job title, if applicable, (iii) previous job description, (iv) new job description, (v) number of positions impacted, (vi) date position was eliminated or modified, (vii) number of previous positions eliminated, if applicable?

(Return tabled)

Question No.113Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.


Tony Baldinelli Conservative Niagara Falls, ON

With regard to the decision by VIA Rail to layoff workers during the pandemic: (a) what is the total number of workers laid off since March 1, 2020; (b) what is the number of layoffs broken down by date; (c) on what date did the minister responsible for VIA Rail become informed of plans for each of the layoffs in (b); (d) why did VIA Rail not use the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to prevent the layoffs; (e) will VIA Rail management and executives continue to receive bonuses in light of the layoffs; (f) what is the total amount of bonus money paid out so far in 2020; and (g) what is the total amount VIA Rail has received so far in 2020 through (i) CEWS, (ii) other sources of government funding, broken down by source?

(Return tabled)

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.


Kevin Lamoureux Liberal Winnipeg North, MB

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that all remaining questions be allowed to stand at this time.

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Is that agreed?

Questions Passed as Orders for ReturnsRoutine Proceedings

4:10 p.m.

Some hon. members


Keystone XL ProjectRequest for Emergency DebateRoutine Proceedings

November 18th, 2020 / 4:10 p.m.


Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on an imperative matter for discussion requiring urgent consideration by the House, pursuant to Standing Order 52.

A new administration has just been elected in the United States, and it indicated during its campaign that it intends to cancel the Keystone XL project. Of course, the Liberal government has made it clear that it will give no more than a half-hearted, supposed attempt at advocacy for such an important project for this country.

This is a vital project that would bring billions of dollars to the Canadian economy every year, and it requires urgent and sustained advocacy immediately from the government. That is why Parliament must give this matter emergency consideration.

“We are all in this together” is a phrase we have heard often as of late, but it appears to only be empty rhetoric for the Liberal government when it comes to standing up for Alberta, for our natural resource sector and for the Keystone XL project.

Within days of the Liberals being elected in 2015, the American administration rejected the Keystone XL proposal and the Prime Minister infamously refused to stand up for this important project, instead saying, “The Canada-U.S. relationship is much bigger than any one project and I look forward to a fresh start”. In other words, he was just brushing it off and brushing it aside. He refused to initiate a NAFTA challenge for the project. He refused to support any legal challenges in support of the project. In essence, he refused to show any actual tangible support for the project.

The Prime Minister has also been abundantly clear on his plan to landlock Canadian oil with Bill C-48, Bill C-69 and his comment that the oil sands need to be phased out.

Every day I hear from Westerners about how they are struggling to make ends meet, feed their children or pay their rent because they are out of work. I received a text from my brother recently, after I asked him if he had been able to find a job. He is one of many people in this situation. He said to me that he had phoned 18 different companies the other day, like he does basically every week, and that not one of them had a job right now. He said that last winter they all would have had at least one project on the go and some of them would have had two or three projects, but now none of them do. He said that out of all the guys he knew from the industry, and he has worked in the industry for decades now, only three of them were working right now. That is three out of the dozens and dozens of people he knows. He talked about how on his street alone basically none of his neighbours were working right now and four of them had homes up for sale.

That is very typical of what we see in my province of Alberta right now, and that is because the government has shown no attention, care or concern for the need for this project and for the need to put this industry, which supplies so much for this country, back to work. The responsibility clearly then lies directly at the feet of the Liberal government and its misguided policies that have absolutely kneecapped the Alberta economy.

I want to make it clear that this is also bigger than just Alberta or the west. This is a project for all of Canada. It is a way forward for economic recovery post-COVID-19. For every direct job created in the oil sands industry, there are two and a half indirect jobs created in the rest of Canada, so when Alberta succeeds Canada succeeds.

I am thankful for your consideration on this very important matter, and I sincerely hope you will grant this request. Thousands of jobs and thousands of families' livelihoods are at stake. Frankly, the very unity of this country could be at stake.

Speaker's RulingRequest for Emergency DebateRoutine Proceedings

4:15 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I thank the hon. member for Banff—Airdrie for his intervention. However, I am not satisfied that his request meets the exigencies of the Standing Orders at this time.

Order Paper Question No. 97PrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

4:15 p.m.


Arnold Viersen Conservative Peace River—Westlock, AB

Mr. Speaker, today, I rise on a question of privilege to bring your attention to the government's response to my question on the Order Paper, Q-97, that was tabled earlier this week on November 16. I am bringing this matter up at the first available opportunity since I have become aware of it.

Question No. 97 asked the following:

With regard to flights on government aircraft for personal and non-governmental business by the Prime Minister and his family, and by ministers and their families, since January 1, 2016: (a) what are the details of all such flights, including the (i) date, (ii) origin, (iii) destination, (iv) names of passengers, excluding security detail; and (b) for each flight, what was the total amount reimbursed to the government by each passenger?

The response was signed by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence on behalf of the Minister of National Defence.

According to the government's response on July 31, 2016, a government aircraft flew the Prime Minister, his immediate family, along with Ms. Grégoire Trudeau's parents and caregiver Marian Pueyo, from Vancouver to Tofino. However, the government's own flight logs, which have been released through an access to information request, indicate that the information contained in the government's response to Q-97 is factually incorrect.

For example, the flight logs for the trip indicate that Ms. Anna Gainey, then the Liberal Party president, was on that flight on July 31, 2016. In addition, the answer to Q-97 indicates that Anna Gainey was on the flight from Tofino to Vancouver, on August 13, 2016. However, according to the government's own flight logs, Ms. Gainey was not on the August 13, 2016, flight.

There is also a significant discrepancy in the government's response to Q-97 and the flight logs about which the family caregivers of the Prime Minister were on a number of flights in July and August of 2016. According to the response, signed on behalf of the Minister of National Defence, Marian Pueyo was on the flights both to and from Tofino. However, according to the flight logs, Ms. Pueyo was not on those flights, while Alexandra Overing, who was identified as a caregiver in a Globe and Mail article, from October 31, 2016, is listed on the flight logs. In fact, that same Globe and Mail article from October 31, 2016, confirmed that Anna Gainey travelled from Vancouver to Tofino. Kate Purchase, who was the Prime Minister's director of communications, is also quoted in that article, saying that Ms. Gainey travelled to Tofino as a guest of the Prime Minister and reimbursed the cost of an equivalent commercial flight.

It is clear from both the flight logs and the comments of the Prime Minister's former communications director that Ms. Gainey was on the flight from Vancouver to Tofino. However, the answer that I got to Q-97 does not list Ms. Gainey as a passenger on the fight.

The fact that this basic information in the government's response is incorrect and does not match up with the facts contained in the government's own logs is very concerning and hinders my ability as a member of Parliament to hold the government to account.

On December 16, 1980, at page 5797 of Hansard, the Speaker ruled:

While it is correct to say that the government is not required by our rules to answer written or oral questions, it would be bold to suggest that no circumstances could ever exist for a prima facie question of privilege to be made where there was a deliberate attempt to deny answers to an hon. member....

On page 234 of Joseph Maingot's Parliamentary Privilege in Canada, second edition, it states that in order for the Speaker to find a prima facie question of privilege “an admission by someone in authority, such as a Minister of the Crown or an officer of a department, an instrument of a government policy, or a government agency, either that a Member of the House of Commons was intentionally misled or an admission of facts that leads naturally to the conclusion that a Member was intentionally misled....”

As I mentioned earlier, a Globe and Mail article from October 31, 2016, quoted Kate Purchase admitting to the facts that lead naturally to the conclusion that I was misled; namely, that Anna Gainey travelled from Tofino as a guest of the Prime Minister.

It is vital for the House that this information be tabled accurately in Parliament. False or misleading information should never be tabled in the House, especially not in response to a formal question on the Order Paper.

I would suggest that in the case of the Minister of National Defence and his parliamentary secretary, who signed the letter, they have misled the House in an answer containing false information. At the very least, various actors involved in this case have cast enough doubt as to warrant an investigation by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

Joseph Maingot's Parliamentary Privilege in Canada, second edition, at page 227, states:

In the final analysis, in areas of doubt, the Speaker asks simply:

Does the act complained of appear at first sight to be a breach of privilege...or to put it shortly, has the Member an arguable point? If the Speaker feels any doubt on the question, he should...leave it to the House.

This citation is in reference to the ruling from March 21, 1978, page 3975 of the Debates, where the Speaker cites the report of the U.K. Select Committee on Parliamentary Privileges, and from a ruling of October 10, 1989, at pages 4457 to 4461 of the Debates.

Finally, in a ruling on October 24, 1966, at page 9005 of the Debates, the Speaker said:

In considering this matter I ask myself, what is the duty of the Speaker in cases of doubt? If we take into consideration that at the moment the Speaker is not asked to render a decision as to whether or not the article complained of constitutes a breach of privilege...considering also that the Speaker is the guardian of the rules, rights and privileges of the house and of its members and that he cannot deprive them of such privileges when there is uncertainty in his mind...I think at this preliminary stage of the proceedings the doubt which I have in my mind should be interpreted to the benefit of the member.

I hope you take this matter under consideration, Mr. Speaker, and I would be prepared to move the appropriate motion.

Order Paper Question No. 97PrivilegeRoutine Proceedings

4:20 p.m.


The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I thank the hon. member for Peace River—Westlock. I will take that under advisement and return to the House should I see fit.

Before proceeding, I wish to inform the House that because of the deferred recorded division, Government Orders will be extended by 37 minutes.

Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

4:25 p.m.

Laurier—Sainte-Marie Québec


Steven Guilbeault LiberalMinister of Canadian Heritage

moved that Bill C-10, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Mr. Speaker, I would first like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe.

I am honoured to speak today to Bill C-10, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts.

I would like to start by illustrating the situation in which we live to the House. Digital technologies have completely changed the way Canadians discover stories, how they stay informed, how they are entertained and how they learn and share with each other.

From 2011 to 2019, the number of Canadians with Netflix subscriptions has grown from one in 10 to nearly six in 10. The number of Canadians using Spotify to listen to music online has jumped from 2% in 2014 to nearly 30% in 2019. We welcome these innovations that bring so much richness to our lives and so much diverse content. However, prolonging the status quo will only further undermine our ability to tell our own Canadian stories.

If we do not react, funding for Canadian television and music production will continue to decline. What we risk in the long term is nothing less than the loss of our cultural sovereignty. The production of francophone, anglophone and indigenous works and programs will be jeopardized.

That is why we are taking action. The Broadcasting Act was enacted in 1991, before the Internet, smart phones and online platforms. Its regulatory framework is frozen in the past.

On the one hand, we have Canadian companies that play by the rules and invest in our Canadian stories. On the other, we have online broadcasters that operate outside any regulatory framework and make money off the system with no obligation to give back. No, resistance is not futile.

One system for our traditional broadcasters and a lack of for online broadcasters does not work. This outdated regulatory framework is unfair for our Canadian businesses; it threatens Canadian jobs. It undermines the ability of Canadians to tell and hear their own stories.

We are tabling this bill for three main reasons. First, the act will strengthen our cultural sovereignty. Canada is blessed with two official languages and the unique history and stories of our indigenous peoples.

We need to put mechanisms in place to ensure Canadians can tell their own stories and express their own culture, now and in the future.

Second, implementing the new Canadian audio-visual regime under the act will generate almost $1 billion in foreign investment per year in our films, television and music.

That means more quality jobs for our economy, more opportunities for our creators and talent in the production sector, for our artists, designers and authors, and for many other people who specialize in areas in which Canada is internationally renowned.

It means greater stability for the sector. These are the same people who entertained us and made us smile during the first wave of COVID-19, and who are still doing so now, during the second wave we are now in.

Third, the act aims to ensure fairness. Asking online broadcasters to shoulder their fair share of the effort is not a luxury. It is a matter of fairness.

Our government believes those who benefit from the Canadian system should contribute to it fairly. This legislation would provide stronger financing mechanisms and would give more prominence to what is produced in Canada in English, French and indigenous languages. It will encourage better representation at all levels of production for equity-seeking groups: for women, for members of the LGBTQ2 communities, for people with disabilities and for racialized Canadians, including Blacks and people of colour.

In fact, this bill provides Canadian creators and producers with the means of achieving their ambitions. It takes into account the diversity of Canadian perspectives and their contribution to our rich and unique culture. A modernized act would guarantee that Canadians of all identities and from every background are reflected in their broadcasting system and that they can take part in it and enjoy it. In short, our stories and music must have a place in the online broadcasting universe.

In a more practical manner, the bill proposes the implementation of a modern, flexible regulatory framework for the CRTC to apply fair rules to all broadcasters and ensure it has the necessary tools to do its job effectively.

We will also go a step further and will instruct the CRTC on how to use these new tools. This will happen once the bill receives royal assent, as the bill makes amendments that allow for this essential policy directive.

In our direction to the CRTC, we want the specific needs of the French language and Canadian francophones to be recognized in a digital world dominated by the English language. On this point, I would like to add that this is perfectly in line with the throne speech, which states that the government “has the responsibility to protect and promote French not only outside of Quebec, but also within Quebec.” I know that this is an important point for all members of the House and for all Canadians, since the protection and promotion of the French language are essential for everyone.

Let me get back to our direction to the CRTC. We also want to accord special consideration to indigenous communities, as well as greater recognition of their realities and contributions. Lastly, we want to focus on racialized communities to ensure that they are fairly represented in the ecosystem.

The way the regulation currently works is it establishes a minimum investment from Canadian broadcasters into our ecosystem. In effect, this creates a baseline of investment.

With the bill and this intended policy direction to the CRTC, we aim for the CRTC to add an additional mechanism on top of this baseline. We intend to ask the CRTC to implement an incentive mechanism that would encourage behaviours that are inclusive and ensure no one is left behind.

Some of the elements we would like to see being incentivized are: diversity in key creative positions, the role and place of Black Canadians in our system, the retention of our rich intellectual property in Canada and fair and transparent compensation for our musicians.

I would like to point out that we are listening to Canadians. This bill addresses key recommendations presented by the independent expert panel in January. Urgent action was needed to bring online broadcasters into the system.

Our approach is balanced, and we have made the choice to exclude a number of areas from the new regime. User-generated content will not be regulated, news content will not be regulated and video games will be excluded. Furthermore, only broadcasters that have a significant impact in Canada will be subject to the legislation. In practice this means that only known names and brands will be subject to this legislation.

When my daughter opens an online streaming platform, I, like many other parents, want to know that she is being offered the choice to see a Canadian series with her favourite actors, like District 31 with Vincent-Guillaume Otis. I would like her to have the choice to see a documentary on the history of indigenous peoples in Canada, for example. After all, it is our history and it is up to us to tell it.

When my daughter listens to music on another platform, I want her to be presented with a list of local artists and even, why not, someone from my home region of Mauricie.

What we are proposing will allow her not only to take advantage of an international offering, but also to discover Canadian content, which could be funded by contributions from these same digital platforms.

We know how important it is to see ourselves represented in all our complexity, either on screen or in productions. With the modernization of the Broadcasting Act, our francophone, anglophone and indigenous creators, our creators with disabilities, our creators from visible minorities and the LGBTQ+ community will have the means of telling their own stories and, more importantly, of making sure they are seen and heard.

It will be beneficial for both broadcasters and the public to produce stories that resonate with us, that speak to us and that look like us as Canadians and Quebecers.

This bill is part of a larger process. Our government is committed to ensuring greater equity among all Canadians.

The web giants are raking in billions of dollars from our content and our economy. Some of these companies are the most powerful in the world, and they operate outside any regulatory framework.

Time is up. There are no more free rides. It is about fairness. It is about everyone doing their fair share.

We are, in fact, starting to see this across the world. The European Union has adopted new rules on streamers resulting in increased investment, jobs, choice of content and ability to assert one's own cultural sovereignty. The United States has launched legal proceedings against Google for abusing its dominant market position. Australia is tackling a threat that journalism is facing, through a mandatory code of conduct targeted at Facebook and Google. As well, several other countries, including Canada, are concerned about misinformation, online hate and web giants' blatant inability to self-regulate. Voluntary self-regulation does not work.

I will remind the House that most, if not all, of these initiatives have garnered support across the political spectrum around the world. There should not be a left-right divide on these issues. Divisions only benefit large multi-billion dollar companies, not our constituents. That is why I am urging all members of the House to work together constructively and ensure that this important bill passes through second reading hastily, so that the committee can start doing its important work to amend, improve and move forward.

Let us show the world that Canada is united and standing up for itself.

Today, by proposing that we modernize the Broadcasting Act, we are standing up for our culture and forging ahead with essential reforms. We are standing up for Canadian companies and creators by saying that everyone who profits from the system must contribute to the system. We are also standing up for Canadians and Quebecers. We are standing up for indigenous peoples, who have been under-represented for far too long. We are standing up for artists, musicians, directors and producers across the country who want to create their art in French.

These same Canadians, Quebecers and indigenous people want, and expect, to see themselves in the programs they choose to listen to and watch. They expect their stories to be told in their own language and to reflect Canada’s diversity and the rich culture of indigenous peoples.

The Broadcasting Act enacted in 1991 served our society well, but it came into force before the digital era and is ill adapted to today’s reality, a fact we can no longer ignore.

Our regulatory agency, the CRTC, also has few tools in its kit to ensure that the broadcasting ecosystem continues to serve Canadians. It is dealing with a media landscape that has changed considerably in the past 30 years. By introducing this bill, our government is meeting a pressing need, namely to adapt Canada’s legislative framework to today’s digital reality.

In the mandate letter the Prime Minister gave me, modernizing the Broadcasting Act is my primary responsibility. In fact, the Prime Minister asked me to examine “how best to support Canadian [stories] in English and French”. He asked me to “introduce legislation by the end of 2020 that will take appropriate measures to ensure that all content providers, including internet giants, offer meaningful levels of Canadian [stories] in their catalogues, contribute to the creation of Canadian content in both Official Languages, promote [Canadian stories] and make [them] easily accessible on their platforms”, while also considering “additional cultural and linguistic communities.”

The bill our government tabled in the House on November 3 is a direct response to this mandate. It aims to update this important act to ensure the sustainability and vitality of our Canadian series, films and music, as well as of the people who make them and broadcast them.

I hope that the members of the House now understand that, on the one hand, we have Canadian companies that play by the rules and invest in Canadian culture, while, on the other hand, we have online broadcasters that take advantage of the system without any obligation to contribute to it. Having one regime for conventional broadcasters and another for online broadcasters does not work.

That is why we are proposing amendments to the act to support Canadian creators and independent Canadian producers: to ensure the viability of Canadian broadcasting and to protect Canada's cultural sovereignty.

The purpose of the bill is to level the playing field and ensure funding for Canadian stories and Canadian talent. It would allow us to give a higher profile to what is produced in Canada in English, French and indigenous languages, and encourage better representation of racialized Canadians, women and equity-seeking groups at all levels of production.

This bill would truly empower Canadian creators and producers. It reflects the diversity of Canadian perspectives. A modernized act would affirm and strengthen our francophone, anglophone, indigenous and Black identities, as well as all of our country's diversity by helping us to tell stories that speak to our experiences and values.

Bear in mind that we are imposing a number of guardrails. As I said earlier, user-generated content, news content and video games would not be subject to the new regulations. Furthermore, entities would need to reach a significant economic threshold before any regulation could be imposed. This keeps the nature of the Internet as it is. It simply asks companies that generate large revenues in Canada to contribute in a fair manner.

What we are proposing will not impact consumers' choices. It will not limit what any of those streamers can showcase in Canada and it will not impose a price increase. Foreign platforms will benefit from proposing local content that resonates with their subscribers.

These will be stories presented from their perspective and in their own language, or stories that will introduce them to the experiences of their fellow Canadians. This initiative will bring people together and promote social cohesion.

In these increasingly polarized times, having varied content that reflects our different experiences and perspectives across the country, through our shared stories, helps us to understand one another and to listen. Whether the perspective is from an indigenous person, a Black person, a person with a disability or a woman, we all have something to learn from each other.

Through their creative work, artists truly have a way to make us reflect, understand and feel what others feel. Global platforms will invest in local content and, by the same token, will allow our local content a greater reach globally.

This legislation will also generate investment in Canada and create jobs: two important drivers for reopening creative industries and ensuring their sustainability. This is no small feat when we consider that the broadcasting, audio-visual, music and interactive media sectors contribute $20.4 billion to Canada’s GDP and represent more than 160,000 jobs.

I would like to conclude by saying that Bill C-10, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, is the result of a collective effort. It is the result of a considerable amount of work by my colleagues, the public service, a vast array of stakeholders and the Broadcasting and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel.

I would like to thank the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry for establishing the review panel, and for putting forward the notion that every participant in the Canadian broadcasting system has to contribute to the creation, production and promotion of Canadian stories.

I would also like to thank the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons for making this bill a legislative priority for our government.

Last, I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this important file.

With this bill, we are taking a step in the right direction. Our government has opted for a step-by-step, targeted approach to modernize the Canadian broadcasting system quickly and appropriately. We recognize that the work is not over. Other measures will come, particularly regarding the important role of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the various funding mechanisms for the audio-visual production sector.

This is a bill about jobs, investing in Canada, equity and what it means, at the very core, to be Canadian. If members do not agree with all of the bill, or if members do not believe in our cultural sovereignty and that we as Canadians, as francophones, as first nations, as Métis and as Inuit are different, they can still support the bill for the jobs it will create.

However, let me reiterate that resistance is not futile. If jobs and investment in the cultural sector are not what members believe in for the future of our country, they should support this bill for its much-needed equity and fairness. We need to re-establish the fact that everyone, including web giants, must contribute to our society.

Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

4:45 p.m.


Steven Blaney Conservative Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank the minister for his speech.

There is a broad consensus that we must take action and that the status quo is no longer acceptable, especially after the release of the Yale report.

In his speech, the minister spoke a great deal about fairness, but unfortunately, it seems like Bill C-10 gives web giants a free pass. We cannot see how the bill will deal with all of Facebook's revenue from Canadian news sources and from advertising, for example, or with the credits granted to these web giants by the Government of Canada.

Why is the minister ultimately giving a free pass to the web giants, and Facebook in particular?

Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

4:45 p.m.


Steven Guilbeault Liberal Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis for his question.

As I said several times, this bill is a first step in this venture of implementing a regulatory framework on the web giants' various operations. I am the first to admit that there is still work to be done. Bill C-10 goes after web giants in the field of broadcasting and streaming music. I committed to introducing another bill that will specifically target the web giants that my colleague just mentioned.

We are working with the governments of Australia and France, which are also in the process of putting these types of regulations in place.

Broadcasting ActGovernment Orders

4:45 p.m.


Martin Champoux Bloc Drummond, QC

Madam Speaker, I want to commend the heritage minister for this bill, the first bill he has introduced as a minister. Bill C-10 was eagerly awaited. Overhauling the Broadcasting Act after nearly 30 years is no small matter.

As I have already mentioned several times in our discussions, I was expecting something more consistent. However, I would like to ask the minister about paragraph 3(1)(a) of the act, which states that any Canadian broadcasting system must be effectively owned by Canadians. This provision of the act is nowhere to be found in Bill C-10.

I would like to know what the minister intends to do to protect Canada's broadcasting market from invasion by foreign giants.