House of Commons Hansard #122 of the 43rd Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was farmers.

Topics

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

11:30 p.m.

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault Liberal Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

moved:

That Bill C-10, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other acts, as amended, be concurred in at report stage with further amendments.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

11:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

If a member of a recognized party present in the House wishes to request a recorded division or that the motion be adopted on division, I would invite them to rise and indicate it to the Chair.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

11:30 p.m.

Conservative

Blake Richards Conservative Banff—Airdrie, AB

Mr. Speaker, I request a recorded division.

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

Vote #173

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

11:40 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

I declare the motion carried.

Pursuant to order made earlier today, the House will now proceed to the third reading stage of this bill.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

11:45 p.m.

Liberal

Steven Guilbeault Liberal Laurier—Sainte-Marie, QC

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

11:45 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Anthony Rota

Pursuant to an order made earlier today, a member of each recognized party and a member of the Green Party will each be allowed to speak for not more than 10 minutes followed by five minutes for questions and comments.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

11:45 p.m.

Toronto—Danforth Ontario

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Mr. Speaker, I rise today on the third reading of Bill C-10, a bill that would modernize the Broadcasting Act. This bill fulfills our government's promise to artists and creators, and will make Canada's broadcasting system more inclusive, accessible and equitable for all Canadians.

The Broadcasting Act has not been updated for 30 years. During that time, foreign web giants have stepped into the void. They have made money in Canada without contributing to our cultural creative industries. Bill C-10 seeks to modernize our broadcasting system and to level the playing field between our traditional broadcasters and these foreign web giants.

A modernized Broadcasting Act is urgently needed. It puts in place the right framework to support Canadian creators, producers and broadcasters to maintain the vitality of Canadian content creation and diversity of voices in the creative industry at large. It ensures that foreign web giants and streaming services contribute fairly to the Canadian broadcasting system, like our domestic broadcasters have for decades, and strives for fairness in the new digital world.

Even before tabling the bill, we heard from people who worked across the entire spectrum of the broadcasting sector about the importance of modernization. In June 2018, our government appointed a panel to review the broadcasting and telecommunications legislative framework. We received over 2,000 written submissions and heard directly from many people through conferences across the country. The Yale Report was released in January 2020, making recommendations based on this intensive study that created the framework for Bill C-10 and the modernization of the Broadcasting Act.

I want to underline this point. The consultations leading to this bill includes the work done by that esteemed panel that produced this report. Even before second reading, the heritage committee agreed to a pre-study and it ultimately took on the study of this bill. There were suggestions that we heard from people working in the industry as to how the bill could be improved. We have listened to these concerns and we took action.

Government and opposition parties proposed amendments. In many cases, more than one party proposed pretty much the same amendments, which were moments when there was better collaboration as we worked through them. In other moments, we had very heated debate and ultimately a Conservative filibuster, which kept members from being able to discuss improvements that could be made. Ultimately, the parties were able to work through the stack of amendments we had before us and to present an amended bill to the House.

Bill C-10 would level the playing field, supporting community broadcasting, inclusion and diversity and providing the CRTC with the proper tools to fulfill this modernization. The modernization includes bringing social media companies, and not their users, into the framework. This is because social media companies, for example, Youtube, have become major distributors for music in our country.

Users uploading content to social media are specifically excluded and the CRTC powers over social media companies themselves are restricted to only the following: first, request information from social media companies about the revenues they earn in Canada; second, require that they contribute a percentage of those revenues to cultural production funds; and third, make our Canadian creators discoverable on their platforms. I will break that down.

The first is to request information from social media companies about the revenues that they earn in Canada. Right now, we do not even know how much revenue these platforms such as Youtube generate in Canada. This seems like a reasonable step to take. I cannot see why the opposition parties, such as the Conservatives, want to let foreign platforms continue to operate in Canada without having to disclose this information. This is money made by foreign companies right in Canada.

The second requires that social media companies contribute a percentage of their revenues made in Canada to our cultural production funds. This goes to the core of supporting our artists. Broadcasters and radio pay into FACTOR or Musicaction to support our artists under the traditional system. It is time for these web giants, which have been getting richer during the pandemic, to pay into these funds as well.

The third is to make our Canadian creators more discoverable on their platforms. I would like to clarify on this point that the discoverability requirement is not the same as the one that applies to traditional TV and radio broadcasters. Social media companies do not need to show or play a proportion of Canadian shows or music. The discoverability requirement for social media companies is only to make our creators discoverable. This simply means to include them as suggestions in playlists, for example, or something of that type.

I would like to make one more point on the CRTC's restricted powers regarding social media companies. The CRTC will not have any powers relating to broadcasting standards that could be imposed on social media. Its only powers for social media companies are the three I have listed.

In debate at committee and in this place, there has been much that was raised about freedom of expression, and I want to address this point. The Broadcasting Act includes a specific clause that it must be interpreted in a way that respects freedom of expression and journalistic and creative independence. That has been there for the past 30 years.

At committee, we added a further clause that repeats this protection specifically for social media companies. The charter statement and amendment analysis from justice confirms that Bill C-10 does not impinge on freedom of expression. Bill C-10 levels the playing field and requires web giants to contribute to Canadian shows and music. It does not infringe freedom of expression.

Today, we are discussing a bill that will improve the representation of all Canadians in the programs that they watch. When most of the programming available to Canadians does not reflect their actual lived experiences, something needs to change.

That is why Bill C-10 makes advances to ensure that the Broadcasting Act promotes greater diversity. Programming that represents indigenous people, ethnocultural minorities, racialized communities, and francophones and anglophones, including those who belong to official language minority communities, the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities will no longer only be provided as resources become available. The offer and availability of such programming is essential for self-actualization.

The policies set out in the Broadcasting Act will ensure that our broadcasting system reflects Canadian society and that diverse and inclusive programming is available to everyone. That is essential so that the Canadian broadcasting system can help broaden people's perspectives, spur empathy and compassion for others and celebrate our differences, while strengthening the common bonds that unite our unique Canadian society.

Many of these aspects of broadcasting that have been simply migrated online have happened, and we need to bring them into the Canadian fold. It does not cover the whole of the Internet, as some might say. Bill C-10 includes clear authority for the CRTC to exempt certain classes of undertakings from regulation and to avoid regulation where such an imposition would not contribute in a material manner to the implementation of the broadcasting policy objectives.

Much debate has occurred about social media. Social media has clearly become an important tool for self-expression for Canadians. The bill would not interfere with the lawful use of this medium to express one's self.

The Conservatives stated that they would oppose this modernization of the Broadcasting Act even before changes were made at committee. While they raised issues about freedom of expression, which I addressed earlier, it seems like the objection from the start, and to this time, was about something else. A member of the Conservative caucus called artists who received support “niche groups”, that all of them must be stuck in the early 1990s because they had not managed to be competitive on new platforms and were producing material that Canadians just did not want.

I wonder if the member for the Conservative opposition was referring to shows from Alberta, such as Heartland, or Little Mosque on the Prairie, or maybe successful Canadian shows like Murdoch Mysteries, Kim's Convenience, Corner Gas, or Canadian musicians like Jessie Reyez, Gord Downie and the Arkells, all of whom received support through our cultural production funds.

Our government has crafted a carefully considered bill, and Bill C-10 would ensure our distinctively Canadian stories continue into the future.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

11:55 p.m.

Conservative

Damien Kurek Conservative Battle River—Crowfoot, AB

Madam Speaker, I find it troubling that we are being forced into closure, once again, on a debate that many have raised the concerns of censorship. It seems that the government is more worried about Conservative opposition to this than actually fixing what is deeply flawed legislation.

The minister has said that all artists support the legislation, and that is patently false. I have heard from some in my constituency and others across the country as well as those who I know have reached out to the minister directly, saying that they have concerns.

I am wondering if the member is willing to correct the record and acknowledge that there is not universal agreement from artistic communities on Bill C-10.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

11:55 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Madam Speaker, I find that to be an interesting question, because it goes again to the heart of where I ended when I was speaking about the position that had been taken by the member for Lethbridge about artists who were stuck in the nineties. In fact, we are hearing from artists across the country in support of the modernization of the Broadcasting Act. I mentioned that even the Yale report had heard over 2,000 submissions. However, just recently, artists such as Jean Yoon from Kim's Convenience have spoken in favour as have Yannick Bisson, and Lorne Cardinal from Corner Gas. Many artists who we respect and deeply love as Canadians have shown their support and we will be there to support them.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

11:55 p.m.

NDP

Alexandre Boulerice NDP Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank the parliamentary secretary for her brief speech. I was astonished to hear her repeat that we still do not know how much operating revenue web giants earn in Canada or Quebec. The Liberals have been in power for six years, and I see this as an admission of failure on their part.

Bill C‑10 is generally speaking a good idea. However, the other failure is the Liberals' poor management of the legislative agenda. Even invoking closure at committee, which has only happened three times in Canada's history, was not enough to get this bill passed. We needed this evening's supermotion to get the job done, or at least I hope we will. Did the Liberals take this issue lightly, even though it is so important for our cultural sovereignty?

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

11:55 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, we have never taken this issue lightly. Moreover, it was rather sad that the NDP chose not to support us when the government asked for more committee meetings in the spring. We could have taken the time a bit earlier, as we had asked.

We worked extremely hard, as the member opposite knows full well. The Conservatives filibustered, and that led to delays, but we worked hard, and we are still working hard. We know that artists are waiting for us to get this done, and I am very happy that we are very close to achieving the goal here in the House.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

11:55 p.m.

Conservative

Brad Vis Conservative Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon, BC

Mr. Speaker, this evening, the Canada research chair in Internet and e-commerce law stated that he found it hard to think of a bill that had been more poorly communicated or understood. He specifically called out the Liberal government for misleading Canadians about the impact it would have on social media services.

Would the member simply believe that the Canada research chair is wrong or is in fact the government impacting social media users?

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, Midnight

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity, if it has not been clear, to make it even clearer. Proposed subsection 2(2.1) specifically excludes content uploaded by users. There are protections built into the Broadcasting Act for freedom of expression that have been added for social media companies, and there is as an additional protection. I have been very clear that the CRTC has only three powers over social media companies: to require the reporting of revenues, to require that a portion of Canadian revenues be contributed to Canadian funds and to ensure that Canadian creators are discoverable. It is very clear, very short and very simple.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, Midnight

Conservative

Kerry Diotte Conservative Edmonton Griesbach, AB

Mr. Speaker, Toronto's CN Tower is a Canadian landmark that is known worldwide. When it was completed in 1976, it was the highest free-standing structure in the world. It is 553 metres tall, or about 1,800 old-fashioned feet high. That is the length of five and a half football fields. It has actually been named a wonder of the modern world, right up there with the Golden Gate Bridge and the Empire State Building. The CN Tower gets a lot of attention, and tons of people visit it: two million a year.

Some of those visitors got more than they bargained for on July 16, 2001. On that day, two radical activists decided to do a dangerous illegal stunt. The two men scaled the outside of the tower and unfurled a banner. That banner bashed the Liberal government and the U.S. government for allegedly being killers of the planet. Not doing enough to fight climate change was the charge. The men had to be rescued by firefighters, and they were later charged and convicted for their dangerous stunt. The court heard that the whole ordeal cost CN $50,000, but the two men only had to pay $3,000 in fines in total. I guess the punishment did not quite fit the crime.

Who were those two men who created such havoc and made headlines worldwide? They were both Greenpeace activists. One was a British guy, Chris Holden. The other fella has really climbed to new heights. He is now a Liberal cabinet minister, the heritage minister. Two decades after his last dangerous stunt, this radical guy is pulling another one. In some ways, it is even more dangerous than his first stunt. He wants to censor our online free speech.

By now many Canadians have heard of Bill C-10. It is actually interesting that hundreds of bills are discussed in the House and most people do not pay attention. If we mentioned a random bill, the average Canadian likely would not know what it is about and probably would not care. We realize that a bill is controversial when regular folks know about it and know it by name and number. I did a virtual meeting with students from a grade 6 class a couple of weeks back and they knew about Bill C-10. They were very concerned about it. They should be.

I have a special interest myself in Bill C-10. I worked as a journalist for three decades in radio, TV, newspapers and news magazines, so free speech is in my DNA. For many years I was an opinion columnist for the Toronto Sun chain. Opinion columnists at Sun Media were the lifeblood of that organization. Every survey we did showed that many people bought the newspapers, and sometimes just to read one of the regular columnists.

I am not going to bore anybody by dissecting the intricate legalese of Bill C-10. Lots of lawyers and legal experts have argued the finer points in detail. I know the government will tout this bill as being all about supporting Canadian content. It has already done that. It claims it is not out to stop free speech in any real way, but I do not believe it. Most Canadians do not either. It is no wonder that we do not believe it. The government has earned a reputation, and it is not a good reputation. It cannot be trusted. I do not trust it and Canadians do not trust it.

The Prime Minister and his Liberals have a long string of botched files, ethics violations, broken promises and cover-ups. They failed to quickly close our borders when COVID hit. Then they failed on quickly getting Canadians vaccines. They tried to do a deal with the communist Chinese regime to get vaccines. Of course that failed miserably.

The Liberals have failed on many, many fronts: the SNC-Lavalin affair, the WE scandal, cash for access, cancelled energy projects, disgraced cabinet ministers and MPs, blackface, the trip to the Aga Khan's private island, no serious plan to open our international border and cover-ups galore. Ler us consider a recent one. It is about the Winnipeg National Microbiology Lab and a refusal to provide vital documents to a key parliamentary committee. Look for that to be in the headlines for a long time.

Is it any wonder that Canadians do not trust the Liberals? Is it any wonder they cannot be trusted with something so sacred as free speech? Is it any wonder that people do not trust the minister proposing Bill C-10, a guy with a radical past, a guy who got hauled off in handcuffs and was convicted by a court of law?

We have already seen censorship raise its ugly head on the Internet. It is already happening at an alarming rate. I bet every Canadian with a computer knows someone who has had a social media post flagged or deleted by big tech. It could have been for something as simple as a personal opinion about COVID rules. I bet many of us know people whose social media accounts have been suspended or even shut down by big tech. It is ridiculous that some self-appointed 20-something is a judge at a big tech firm like Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

It also seems like conservative voices are the ones often targeted by these censors. It is strange how that works. Can members imagine what kind of censorship will happen if the Liberal government controls our online speech? I shudder to think of it.

Some people might say that since I am a member of the official opposition, of course I will slam any Liberal bill. Well, it is not just the official opposition. There are a lot of people against this Big Brother bill. Every constituent I talk to wants me to fight against the bill. I cannot recall one person coming to me to say, “Hey, Kerry, you have to support Bill C-10.” In fact, I have heard so much opposition to the bill that I decided to start an online petition against it. I was inundated with people signing it. I told them that I would send a letter of protest directly to the Prime Minister on their behalf, and that is exactly what I did.

Speaking of opposition to Bill C-10, members should check out what Tim Denton said. He is a former national CRTC commissioner, and he is also the current chair of the Internet Society Canada Chapter. Mr. Denton had this to say:

C-10 is clearly intended to allow speech control at the government’s discretion. Ignore the turn signals, look at where the wheels are pointed. They are pointed at your right to communicate freely by means of the internet.

This is scary stuff. Who would members trust to pass judgment on this bill, our heritage minister, with his radical past, or Mr. Denton? I know who I would trust.

How about the comment from Peter Menzies? He is a long-time journalist and former CRTC vice-chair. I worked in journalism with Peter. He is a good guy, a smart guy. He has summed up the Liberal bill really well. He said that Bill C-10 “will place the internet under the control of the...CRTC. Its nine unelected, unaccountable commissioners will decide if your Facebook post or Youtube video is appropriate internet content.” My former colleague goes on to point out that the heritage minister “has promised more legislation to establish another regulatory panel to oversee what sort of things people may say on social media. All of this constitutes an outrageous abuse of government authority”.

We can see where this legislation could go. Maybe a person does not like a government program or a policy or a politician and speaks out. Maybe they will get blocked or cancelled. There is a lot of cancel culture out there to go around, and the legislation before us would only make things worse.

The bottom line is that the Liberal government cannot be trusted with our free speech. The minister, with his radical, checkered past, cannot be trusted with our free speech. Our free speech is too sacred to be imperiled by this terrible, dangerous legislation. Canadians are saying that loud and clear. Bill C-10 must be defeated. Our very democracy in Canada is at stake.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 12:10 a.m.

Liberal

Lenore Zann Liberal Cumberland—Colchester, NS

Mr. Speaker, I guess we have just heard the platform speech for the next election. While I admire the member's voice and can see that he has training and background in delivery, I have to ask what he has against Canadian performers being paid properly for their work online?

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 12:10 a.m.

Conservative

Kerry Diotte Conservative Edmonton Griesbach, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is the old divert-the-eye trick. It is like a slight of hand. It is not about Canadian performers. I know many of them, and some of my best friends are performers. It is about freedom of speech.

The government and the Liberals keep going back to try to shame us, but this is about freedom of speech. It is not about anything else. If members talked to any average Canadian at a Tim Hortons, now that we are open in good old Alberta, they will say they do not like this bill.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 12:10 a.m.

NDP

Heather McPherson NDP Edmonton Strathcona, AB

Mr. Speaker, I did notice the member spoke almost not at all about the bill, which is interesting because that is why we are here. Since I am sure he has read the bill and has read the act, he knows there are numerous places in both the act and the bill where freedom of expression is explicitly protected.

While the Liberals may not be trustworthy, members will recall that the Bloc, the Green Party and the NDP also support this legislation. New Democrats have always stood up for freedom of expression. They have a long history of that, and they have always stood up for net neutrality. The only party that is against this legislation is the Conservative Party.

I have heard from one Conservative MP that he has raised over $3,000 by fearmongering abound Bill C-10 in his riding. Would the member share how much money he has raised in his riding by fearmongering on Bill C-10?

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 12:10 a.m.

Conservative

Kerry Diotte Conservative Edmonton Griesbach, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is another diversionary tactic because the NDP member does not understand the kernel of this. As I said, I am not going to dissect this bill; I am not a lawyer.

However, I know one thing. I know about freedom of expression. I was a journalist for 30 years. I talk to a lot of people, and I represent my constituents, who are telling me that they do not like this legislation and they do not trust the Liberals. The Liberals have not earned the trust on this bill. It is as simple as that. That is the absolute truth.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 12:10 a.m.

Bloc

Martin Champoux Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I listened to my colleague's speech, and I must say that it was shockingly chock full of fearmongering. I have seldom heard anything like that. On top of that, these words are from a former journalist. He himself said that he had been a journalist for 30 years.

I remind my colleagues that facts are important in journalism. They have clearly chosen party lines over the facts in this debate.

My colleague mentioned a few times that he was interested in Bill C‑10 and that he was fairly familiar with it. My colleague from Edmonton Strathcona said that there are numerous places in Bill C‑10 and in the act where freedom of expression is explicitly protected.

Could my colleague explain exactly which clauses in Bill C‑10 could potentially undermine freedom of expression? What are the specific sections he is referring to?

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 12:15 a.m.

Conservative

Kerry Diotte Conservative Edmonton Griesbach, AB

Mr. Speaker, that is another diversionary tactic. I very clearly stated in my speech that I was not going to dissect it. I am not a lawyer.

It comes down to trust. People do not trust the government on this issue of free speech, nor has the government earned that trust. We just have to talk to many people. I have seldom seen a groundswell against a bill like the one I have seen with this bill.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 2021 / 12:15 a.m.

Bloc

Martin Champoux Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have finally reached the end of this bill on which many people have worked very hard in the past few months. I commend the members of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage who have been working hard since Bill C‑10 was introduced.

As we have said many times, this bill was not perfect when it was introduced. I used a metaphor, comparing this bill to a brand new paint by numbers. We had a lot of work to do.

The way it works is that we all vote in favour of a bill and agree to send it to committee. The House of Commons speaks and democracy does its job. At that point, it is our responsibility to work on improving the bills that are introduced and that must be studied in committee, and we made the decision to work on this bill, even though the task was, quite frankly, monumental.

We decided to do this work even if the task was altogether daunting. We committed to do it and we did. It was going relatively well until the withdrawal of clause 4.1 gave the Conservatives the opportunity they had been waiting for. It was the perfect opportunity to speak out against a possible attack on freedom of expression.

The support of various experts who already did not have a very high opinion of this bill, which obviously had an impact on web giants, was all it took for the Conservatives to come down on Bill C‑10 like a ton of bricks by pointing out all of the problems with the bill and demonizing it as much as possible.

I am rather pleased that we are in the final stages of this bill, particularly because we have pretty much covered all of the arguments and the list of witnesses and experts on which the Conservatives based their fearmongering.

My colleagues have said this repeatedly, and I will reiterate that the Broadcasting Act and Bill C‑10 contain several provisions that specifically exempt social media users, regular people like us and the people we care about, from the Broadcasting Act regulations.

The provisions in Bill C‑10 apply only to broadcasting undertakings. However, if entities that use social media sites like YouTube also engage in broadcasting, we have to regulate those broadcasting activities.

That excludes the activities of users who share content and little videos with each other or who have somewhat more organized channels that might even earn them an income. This does not apply to those people, as specifically stated in Bill C‑10.

The campaign of fear has run its course. It has slowed the progress of this extremely important bill since April, with what is commonly known as organized filibustering. Who will pay for that? The artists, creators, culture and the cultural community in Quebec, but also in Canada. The only ones to profit from it are the Conservatives, who oppose the bill, despite the fact that the other parties of the House are working hard to improve it and move it forward. I remind members that this bill was imperfect, but certainly not as bad as what the Conservatives have been saying for weeks and weeks.

There is another principle that I would like to revisit. I am reminded of the mother who watches a military parade go by and notices that one soldier is walking in the opposite direction, against the parade. Upon realizing that the soldier in question is her son, she wonders why everyone else is marching in the wrong direction. That is kind of what this reminds me of.

Sooner or later, when someone realizes that they are the only one who thinks something and nobody else thinks what they think, they might consider a little open-mindedness. They might accept that they have expressed their point of view, that others disagree, that we are all working in a democratic system and that the majority is supposed to rule. They can tell themselves that they fought hard and that, even though they tried hard to defend their point of view, they now have to be a good sport and stop trying to sabotage things.

That is not what happened, however. This attitude prevailed to the very end. We saw the filibustering, at times very disgraceful, and we have reached a point where Bill C‑10 may be in jeopardy. We will have to keep our fingers crossed. I intend to stay hopeful until the end, but I think this could have gone better. We could have done much more and been more noble in what we needed to accomplish. Again, it is our artists and culture that are at stake.

The web giants are earning billions of dollars on the backs of our creators. It is only fair to subject them to the same rules as broadcasters operating in Canada and Quebec.

How many times have the Bloc Québécois been criticized for throwing up their hands and supporting closure with the Liberals? It is awful. I must say that we had to swallow our pride since we are against the use of closure motions. Nonetheless, it is a parliamentary tool that exists. It is not perfect and it is certainly not noble, but neither is systematic filibustering.

Sometimes, the only way to respond to a questionable tactic is to employ another tactic that may also be considered questionable. It definitely is frustrating to come up against a gag order. We have been there as well. However, a bill for artists, for culture and for the industry deserves the right tools. If someone is standing in the way, we will use the procedural moves at our disposal.

The Conservatives will probably take the heat for a long time for scuttling the bill, if it were to fail. Quebec's motto, on all of its licence plates, is “Je me souviens”, or “I remember”. Quebec artists and those who have a lot of influence in the cultural sector will remember.

Culture does not cost anything. In an interview with a local paper in her riding, the member for Lethbridge said that Quebec artists were outdated, that they were stuck in the 1990s and that they were reliant on grants because they produce things people do not want. That is not true. Canada's cultural industry generates billions of dollars in economic spinoffs every year. The industry costs nothing; it brings in money. The industry is valuable, and not just in terms of money. We are talking about our identity here.

I will end my speech on a positive note. Just now, we voted for something positive.

Bill C‑10 was not perfect, and the Bloc Québécois believed that it was important not to wait another 30 years to amend the Broadcasting Act.

This evening, we voted to include a sunset clause in the bill, which ensures that the act must be reviewed every five years. We live in a world that is evolving at an incredible pace. Where will technology be in five years? We have no idea.

It is very important to set a limit and to give ourselves shorter deadlines for a mandatory review of the Broadcasting Act. It should be reviewed more frequently than every 30 years. In my opinion, it is one of the best ideas that we have had. We will have the opportunity to review the bill every five years and to correct whatever flaws may remain in the legislation, if it is passed.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 12:25 a.m.

Conservative

Garnett Genuis Conservative Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the point my colleague is making about the importance of culture and the arts in Quebec. I would say that arts and culture are certainly important in all parts of the country and really to all people everywhere.

The problem is that the government has presented us with a framework that provides a false choice. It says that, in order to support artists, we would allow the government to intervene and regulate social media algorithms.

We would say that we do not have to choose between supporting artists and protecting freedom of speech. We could devise various other mechanisms by which we could provide support for artists, and also not have the CRTC intervening and regulating social media algorithms. We should get out of this false choice presented by the government, where we have to either support artists or protect freedom of speech. We can and should, in fact, do both.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 12:25 a.m.

Bloc

Martin Champoux Bloc Drummond, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan for his question, and I want to say how much I appreciate his work on human rights. I am delighted that he is asking a question that elevates the debate somewhat, and I very much appreciate it.

The issue of algorithms is tricky, actually. There has been a lot of talk about it, and we learned a great deal from this study, but we are not asking to control the algorithms. What is really needed are ways to ensure that the regulations put in place by the CRTC are respected. If algorithms are part of that approach, such as programming, there must be a way to access the algorithms. However, there is absolutely no question of controlling them, and there never was.

I think there is indeed a way to protect arts and culture, and to ensure the discoverability of Canadian and Quebec content. If algorithms are a verification tool, I think they need to be accessible.

Government Business No. 10—Broadcasting Act

June 22nd, 12:25 a.m.

Liberal

Tim Louis Liberal Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

Mr. Speaker, I am learning to speak French. It is important to me.

I know just how important Quebec culture is to Canada. How will Bill C‑10 support artists and culture in Quebec and Canada?