Mr. Speaker, it is hard to believe that less than 10 years ago the only way to get around if people did not own a car and they wanted something outside of public transit, was a taxi. Then all of a sudden, something called Uber came along and it disrupted the taxi industry, so there was a large change in the market. The taxi industry reacted. Its members lobbied municipal, provincial and even the federal government to try and ensure that the status quo was protected.
We always want to ensure that people have jobs. When there are major disruptions in technology or industry, it should happen with order and discipline. However, Uber was always going to enter the market. It was a fact and it brought wealth and jobs, and it took away the gatekeepers of the taxi industry, the taxi licences and made that profession more accessible to many other people.
What we are hearing tonight is the federal Liberal government wanting to take away the ability of YouTubers, Facebookers, Instagramers, influencers to make a living, uninterrupted and unmitigated by the federal government, in favour of the cable companies, what I like to call the cultural industry.
I was out with a friend and we were talking about watching a show. She wanted to know what I had watched recently that was good. We were talking about where a show was streamed, and they asked if cable was even a thing any more. Cable has been disrupted because of streaming services. Newspapers have been disrupted because of digital technology. The market has been disrupted. Rather than recognizing that reality and recognizing the new wealth and new voices that have come into play, the new platforms that have come into play, the Liberal government is trying to save the status quo for the benefit of the gatekeeper and to control the voices of Canadians. That is just the reality of it. That is what is happening here tonight.
We are in the House of Commons tonight debating this late at night because we do not want the bill to pass. The bill puts Canada in the dark ages. It silences. It has the power to silence the voices of many Canadians and it is obvious that the government is trying to do that with Bill C-10. We are fighting it with every action we possibly can because of the impact it is going to have on free speech as well as an entire industry in Canada.
I will give a brief history of time. Canada has always been preoccupied with ensuring that it is culturally distinct from the United States, because of the influence the American entertainment has had on Canada. Certainly when I was born in the early 1980s, when we only had radio and television and a certain type of content producers, that was the thing. We wanted to ensure Canadian voices were heard on the radio and TV. That is when existing Canadian content creation laws and programs came to be. It was to ensure that when a Canadian content creator, or specifically a French language content creator, was trying to put something into the market, it could compete with the Americans.
The Uber-style disruption in the market of cable television and things like that has levelled the playing field with zero dollars of government interference. It levelled the playing field. Voices that could never have the reach all of a sudden have a reach.
I want to give a shout-out to my cousin and her account Coupon Cutie on TikTok. She has 250,000 followers on TikTok where she teaches Canadians how to coupon. She wanted me to tell the Liberal Party that she does them a favour because she helps Canadians spend money, which the Liberals then spend on nothing. A shout-out for the Prime Minister from my cousin. She is equally as feisty as I am. She would not have had a voice. She would not have been able to go to Bell Media and get that type of a platform because she lives in rural Manitoba. She is a young woman.
These are the types of voices that are excluded by the big lobbying industries. The lobbyists and the telcos, the same people that jacked cellphone rates in Canada, the same people that protect our market such that we cannot have the same rates as Americans do, are the ones who gate-keep on the news on what content can be created. Of course, they do not want the government or my cousin and other people to have this type of reach because it challenges their artificial hold on the market.
Now the government wants to put these other voices to the side for the benefit of these big lobbyist groups. Does anyone think my cousin has a lobbyist? Does anyone think she could afford a $500-an-hour GRPR specialist to come and advocate for her? No, and she should not have to.
Why is this bill in front of Parliament? I am just going to call a spade a spade. This is about votes, and it is about votes in Quebec. It is. I fully believe that Quebec content and French-language content should be at the forefront of things we do in Canada. It is important for the French language to have a prominent place in the content that Canadians consume. All these platforms have done that.
Earlier today, a member of Parliament, in questions and comments, said that they had looked at the top 100 YouTube accounts and they kind of look American. They thought we should ensure that Canadian voices are heard. What does that mean?
What that is code for, and what the Liberals are doing, is that they want to be able to pick and choose who has a say. That is what it is. Members of the Liberal Party will want me to point to one area of the bill that I would like to see changed. There was a provision in the bill that specifically excluded individual social media accounts from the bill. What did the Liberals do? They removed it from the bill.
Over and over again the Liberals are saying that nobody can tell them what is wrong with the bill, but there it is. When I asked the minister why he did not include that, and why did he remove it, he could not answer. This bill is to the benefit of really rich and entrenched lobbyists who benefit from funding programs that are 40 years old, instead of people who have intersectional voices and people who have not had platforms.
Anybody in Canada could pick up their phone and have a voice. What the federal Liberal government wants to do is to give the regulator, the CRTC, the ability to say who gets to be seen, who gets to be seen in the Facebook algorithm or the YouTube algorithm or maybe at all. That is what this bill does.
The other thing Liberals are saying tonight is that it does not do that. I encourage people to go to the Toronto Star. On the weekend there was an article that asked if the CRTC was too cosy with the big telco companies. The Toronto Star was saying this. Of course they are, because the big telco companies benefit from the monopoly that is entrenched in Canada's regulations.
We are so archaic. We are so behind in Canada. Instead of further entrenching the status quo, we should be unleashing the ability of Canadians to create content. Frankly, at this point in time and at this juncture in our nation, why are gate keeping content creation funds through the government bureaucracy? We could do quadratic financing, a fancy way of crowd sourcing content creation funds for anybody in Canada.
Why are we still so focussed on that with CBC or the big telcos? It is actually, in some ways, racist, misogynistic and not inclusive. The Liberals are entrenching a system of gatekeepers. The CRTC is run by six old white guys. I am tired of this.
If this bill was so great for social media users and would not influence individual social media users, then why did the Liberals remove that position? This bill has to be stopped. Individual Canadians, regardless of how they vote, know that no politician in this place should be putting a chill on freedom of speech and content creation in an industry that is being disrupted the way that this bill is.
The Liberals are moving everything. They are trying to ram this bill through the House of Commons against the advice of experts at a speed we have never seen them move at in this Parliament. It is because they are preparing for an election, and they want to appease their masters that gatekeep these industries. That is to the detriment of French language creators in Quebec. It is to the detriment of every person who has a platform in Canada.
Enough with the censorship and enough on freedom of speech. Bill C-10 needs to be stopped. It needs to be repealed. The leader of my party has said that if we formed a government, we would repeal it, but I would like to stop it here tonight. I appeal to all of my colleagues of all political stripes to wake up and understand that this bill is not in the best interests of any Canadian.