House of Commons Hansard #106 of the 44th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was dental.


The House resumed from April 8 consideration of the motion that Bill C-244, An Act to amend the Copyright Act (diagnosis, maintenance and repair), be read the second time and referred to a committee.

Copyright ActPrivate Members' Business

11 a.m.


Ted Falk Conservative Provencher, MB

Mr. Speaker, it is an honour for me to rise in the House today to speak to this legislation, Bill C-244. This is a good day. It is not a super common day in the House that all parties come together and, for the most part, agree on the generality or principles of a bill, but I think this happens to be one of those days. That is where Canadians are, and we are here to serve Canadians and to be their voice in getting things done.

The bill seeks to amend the Copyright Act. Whenever we do something like that, we have to be careful to protect the rights of producers, artists and inventors of things that have copyrights, so we do this carefully. However, at the same time, we do this keeping in mind the consumer and the taxpayer. I would like to commend my hon. colleague, the member for Richmond Centre, for his fine work on the legislation and for bringing it forward. I am glad we have the opportunity this morning to discuss it.

I hope we are able to, once this has gone through committee and comes back to the House for its final reading, work in the spirit of camaraderie and do other things like Canadians are asking us to do, such as provide tax relief and, more important, affordability. This is something we cannot lose sight of here, the whole aspect of affordability.

Bill C-244 seeks to amend exactly that, and to amend sections of the Copyright Act, chiefly where existing legislation deals with the subjects of diagnosis, maintenance and repair.

I would like to focus my comments this morning on how the legislation would impact the agriculture industry. Serving on the agriculture committee and being in an area that is very heavily centred on agriculture, this is very applicable, I would like to look at the legislation through the lens of affordability, as well as address a few of the concerns brought forward by manufacturers.

If we were to put this bill in a nutshell, into everyday language, we could say that if we buy something, we own it. As an owner of a product, whether it is an electronic device, or a household device like a dishwasher or a stove, or an automobile, or a piece of farm machinery or an implement, or a piece of construction machinery or a highway tractor, we, as the owner, have the right to repair it. Assuming we have the knowledge and the ability to do that, there is always a cost benefit of whether we can repair something more cost-effectively than the dealer that represents the original equipment manufacturer.

If we do not personally have that knowledge, we should be able to travel a reasonable distance to have it repaired by someone who does have that knowledge and expertise, and for a reasonable price. There was a time when farmers were also mechanics. If that tractor or combine was not working for them, they had to find some way to jig it up to repair it. Our seasons for planting are short and they can sometimes be very time-sensitive, and our seasons for harvesting can be short and time-sensitive as well. Farmers need to take the crop off when it is mature, when it is ripe, and when conditions allow them to do that.

I live on a bit of an acreage, so I have a John Deere tractor. I am, for the most part, very happy with my tractor, but my tractor needed a bit of work. I took it to my John Deere dealer this past week and I got him to give it a fall tune up and put it back into proper working order. I picked it up and when I looked at the repair bill, I thought I could have done all the work myself for a lot less money. There is that cost benefit, but I do not have the time to do it.

With our parliamentary responsibilities, even the times we are in our ridings, we are very busy in the constituency doing constituency work. However, farmers, owners of a product like a John Deere tractor, should be able to fix that equipment themselves, if they have the ability, the time and the knowledge. The legislation seeks to address that. Not all repairs should be proprietary to the original equipment manufacturer, but it should be incumbent upon the owner to repair that piece of equipment in the most economical way possible.

Farmers were, by necessity, jacks of all trades and as a result of this necessity, they possessed the wherewithal and the knowledge to fix and maintain their own equipment.

With the major technological advancements and computerization that we have seen in vehicles, farm equipment and appliances over the past two decades, the ability to repair is becoming more and more difficult for farmers. Progress is sometimes a double-edged sword.

When that tractor or combine breaks down in the field today, one needs the proper diagnosis equipment to plug it into the ECM to get a reading to show what is wrong and what needs to be fixed. Often it is beyond the capability or scope of what farmers are able to do, but they should have the ability to call their local repairmen, who do have the tools to plug into the port to get the proper diagnostics, which would allow them to then repair the equipment and do it in a way that would allow those farmers to expeditiously get their crop off the field. Instead of waiting for a technician, who may be four or five hours away and may be tied up with another customer fixing another urgent need, they should be able to have a variety of resources available at their disposal to fix the equipment.

New technology is great, but it also drives up prices. It makes repairs more difficult, all the more so when farmers have only one option. This legislation seeks to create options and diversity of responses and resources for farmers to access repair for their equipment.

We do not think, through the legislation, and I think all parliamentarians agree, that for the diagnostic, repair and maintenance of a machine, it should be a one-source option for repairs, which is often the case in a lot of situations, especially in the farming community. It is not a practical solution. Farmers are often very far from a repair facility, but in their own community there may be a local mechanic who has the ability and wherewithal to fix their equipment, and they should have the option to do that.

As an MP for a rural riding, I must mention the fact that farming is not cheap. In fact, it is very capital-intensive and requires a huge investment. Speaking with farmers this past summer, the cost of a new combine is upwards of $1 million, and it is loaded with technology. It is good, efficient and productive, but it does cost a lot of money, so farmers need to be very cost-sensitive and able to control their costs.

We know what has happened with the price of seed and now with fertilizer. All of those prices have seemingly skyrocketed in the last two years. There are also taxes, including the carbon tax. I am hoping members on the government side of the House will be able to support Bill C-234 from the member for Huron—Bruce, which would provide a full exemption of the carbon tax for all aspects of farming, including the heating and cooling of livestock facilities, the powering of irrigation pumps and the powering of grain dryers to dry the gain. Those things are missing, and the carbon tax has been a punishing tax for agriculture producers.

On April 2 next year, the Liberal government seeks to triple the carbon tax, which will hit farmers where hurts, and farmers cannot absorb that cost. If they are to absorb the cost, there is only one possible outcome, which is that the cost of food will increase. We need to be very cognizant of the fact that farmers have to pass along the cost of production to the end user, and the end user is all of us. We are the consumer and the people who eat the food. Let us keep this in mind, that the carbon tax, according to the Liberal plan, will be tripling this coming April.

Bill C-234 would exempt agriculture fuels from all carbon tax, and I hope that, as the bill finds its way through committee, it will get broad support, as the bill before us, Bill C-244, is getting in the House today.

I have one more story I want to relate.

I heard from a farmer who crossed the border just recently to pick up parts in the United States. It used to be that CBSA officers would simply log the part and he would be on his way. Now he says that they insist that he have all the product numbers entered online ahead of time. When he said that he did not know where to find that information or how to do that, he was told to get a farm broker to do it. Now he is expected to spend $300 on a trip to see a farm broker for a $10 part. He said that it was just crazy. However, Bill C-244 would allow that farmer to fix his own equipment at home at a reasonable cost.

As Conservatives, Bill C-244 is a bill we want to get behind. We want to support the Liberal member who brought the legislation forward, and I am thankful for the opportunity to speak to it.

Copyright ActPrivate Members' Business

11:10 a.m.


Sébastien Lemire Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to be here today to speak to Bill C-244, which amends the Copyright Act “to allow the circumvention of a technological protection measure in a computer program if the circumvention is solely for the purpose of the diagnosis, maintenance or repair of a product in which the program is embedded.”

If this bill is passed, companies will now be allowed to manufacture, import, distribute, sell or rent technology supplies, devices or components used for diagnostic maintenance or repair.

Ultimately, the Copyright Act is designed to protect literary and artistic property rights and to encourage fair value for the work that is done, and it will continue to do so. Bill C-244 does not allow a person to break the digital locks that prevent copying or altering an artistic work without the consent of the copyright owner. It will allow someone to do so for the sole purpose of repairing the product.

The Bloc Québécois will vote for the bill. Let us not forget that a similar bill was introduced in the last Parliament and it passed unanimously, 330 votes to 0.

I always wonder about bills that pass unanimously. Perhaps we should have acted more swiftly. Members will recall that an election was called and all the bills died on the Order Paper. With the election being called, the analysis of the bill was interrupted right in the middle of its study at the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology, of which I am a member.

Although Quebec has not codified the circular economy, it applies the principles of the circular economy in many of its policies, and most of its major industrial strategies are now developed in accordance with this principle that seeks to reclaim the materials and energy used to produce goods.

It is high time we reconsidered the linear economic model and went back to repairing the goods we consume. Today, education on the environment and sustainable development, starting as early as elementary school, also includes raising awareness about reducing waste, reusing and recycling products and materials, as well as sorting. Équiterre also invites us to sign a petition on its website. To be consistent, we must adopt a new paradigm and stop throwing money in the garbage.

Our societies are catching on to the downsides of creating waste and cluing in to the economic and energy-producing potential of unwanted objects. New legislation and policy in Quebec reflect that awareness. Quebec's National Assembly is currently debating a bill that would actually ban planned obsolescence and force companies to label their products with a sustainability and repairability rating. An ambitious update to the Consumer Protection Act is needed to make companies change their practices in ways that benefit consumers.

Far from interfering with the work of the National Assembly, Bill C‑244 will prevent manufacturers from using the federal Copyright Act to thwart Quebec's efforts to protect consumers from this practice better than any other jurisdiction in the world.

A World Bank report entitled “What a waste” lists several initiatives from around the world aimed at reducing the quantity of goods that end up in landfills. In Italy, the competition bureau has fined companies for intentionally making old phones obsolete in order to entice people to buy a new one. Here in Canada, meanwhile, there are stories of people being threatened with lawsuits for fixing a broken product without authorization from the retailer. It makes no sense.

In January, France celebrated one year since its legislation came into effect. It is evolving to force companies to be more ethical and transparent about the repairability of their products. In the United States, several states are discussing it or have already started focusing on the issue of repairs.

The objectives are clear. We have to break free from disposable plastic, better inform consumers, fight waste and, in terms of reusing solid waste, take action against planned obsolescence and demand better production. That is where our future lies.

The future looks bright for repair services. Not only are more and more consumers fed up with the “buy-use-toss" cycle and the immense waste it creates, but repair tutorials and DIY support groups have become extremely popular online and across Quebec. There is now an online platform that compiles DIY repair manuals for a host of electronics. I am sure the repair services of this world, such as iFixit, will make consumers very happy.

The movement is taking hold, although several pieces of legislation still need to be modernized. In the meantime, people can still avail themselves of the right to repair by fixing their devices, since they have nothing to lose by trying to repair something that is already broken. Unfortunately, until this right is formally recognized in legislation, consumers will likely resign themselves to the reality of having to throw things away, or at best recycling them, because they were designed and assembled in factories with moulding equipment and parts that cannot be replaced.

This societal shift is being led by ordinary citizens and is gaining momentum. All levels of government must act, because not only is waste a health issue, but it is also key to the green transition, since resources to produce these goods are not available in infinite quantities.

Under section 92.13 of the British North America Act, matters of a private nature are subjects of exclusive provincial legislation. This section has to do with property and civil rights. That is why in Quebec, RECYC-QUÉBEC or the Office de la protection du consommateur programs are invested in this modernization. However, actions under federal law are still possible and this bill is a first step towards limiting them and opening the door to repairing goods. Bill C‑244 respects jurisdictions and leaves it to the provinces to define the right-to-repair principle.

Given that technological waste represents a growing environmental concern, several pieces of legislation should be amended to address the issue. Today's debate concerns a small part of this burden, but we must consider making legislative amendments to allow the repair, diagnostics and maintenance of electronic devices in particular. This definitely needs to be considered.

Bill C-244 is an worthwhile measure that confirms the right to repair products that belong to us or to have them repaired and that the people doing the repairs, whether they be mechanics or computer specialists, will no longer risk being sued for copyright infringement. This will open the door to healthy competition and the development of the SMEs that we are so proud of in Quebec.

As an aside, this is particularly important in the regions, where there is not always access to very specialized services for the repair of tractors or Apple devices, for example.

This measure also confirms that we will have other choices besides a company's authorized retailer. This bill will be particularly useful in the regions, where large corporations do not open stores, which means that it is virtually impossible to get products repaired.

Despite the difficulties facing some companies that want to adopt the principles of the circular economy, we can still make adjustments and promote “repairability”. Little by little, everyone will discover the benefits.

I invite as many people as possible to change their consumer habits before buying a product. I invite them to ask about the availability of parts and whether manufacturers provide repair services. I invite them to choose the manufacturer that can sell them parts and help them have their product repaired. I invite them to encourage businesses that offer repair services for their goods. They could also opt for used or refurbished products that often cost less.

The automobile industry is a model in that regard. Last week, I was able to have a good discussion with representatives of LKQ, who target automotive sites. Automotive manufacturers now own a great deal of strategic data, which is locked. This cuts down on the number of people repairing goods in the regions and also elsewhere. These repair persons are essential and provide services for less. The control device has a repair cost. If the information is so highly controlled, there is a cost that is passed on to the consumer.

I think we also need to modernize the Copyright Act. I am thinking about businesses such as Copibec and Access Copyright, which gave me the opportunity, in meetings last year, to talk about the importance of publishers when it comes to the use of educational materials and the loss of revenue associated with sales in the education sector.

If Minister Champagne is listening, I would encourage him to speed up—

Copyright ActPrivate Members' Business

11:20 a.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

I would remind the hon. member that we cannot refer to members by name.

Copyright ActPrivate Members' Business

11:20 a.m.


Sébastien Lemire Bloc Abitibi—Témiscamingue, QC

Madam Speaker, thank you. I was referring to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

We also need to think about implementing technical measures.

Simply put, we should be able to repair the things we own. We cannot continue to support a culture of disposable goods. The message must be very clear. Let us put an end to strategies that encourage consumers to dispose of their products because they cannot be repaired.

The regulations are progressing slowly, but I am confident that this bill will make its way to committee soon.

Copyright ActPrivate Members' Business

11:20 a.m.


Taylor Bachrach NDP Skeena—Bulkley Valley, BC

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise this morning on behalf of the people of Skeena—Bulkley Valley to speak to this important bill before us, Bill C-244, which deals with the right to repair.

I thought I would direct my remarks perhaps more broadly at this idea of the right to repair. It is an idea that has a lot of resonance for people I speak to, both in northwest B.C. and across the country.

First I want to acknowledge the work of the member for Windsor West, for whom this has been a topic of focus for a number of years, as well as the member for Richmond Centre and the member for Cambridge, who both brought this bill forward. This is a bill that has a lot of support from across party lines, and that is of course always good to see. I hope that in this Parliament this bill is able to progress and pass into law so the very focused approach it represents can start to have an impact and lead to some of the results that have been promised.

I mentioned that this idea of the right to repair has a real resonance. Intuitively, people are drawn to this idea because it speaks to a set of values from a bygone era, which are these ideas, this ethic, around repairing things instead of throwing them out, around conserving and around ensuring that we are not a wasteful society. I am told that my grandmother used to like to say, “Waste not, want not.” That is something she got from her mother, who of course lived through the Great Depression. Many of these ideas come from that generation, which had to do with less and had to make consumer products last longer by repairing them.

In thinking about this idea of the right to repair, I was remembering some of my experiences with repair. They do not have to do with electronics, which I know is the very directed focus of the bill before us, but I thought I would share them very briefly.

I was thinking about my neighbour Ross Van Horn. I had a lawn mower, one of those real mowers from the great Canadian company Lee Valley, and it was a quality product that was very sturdy. My abuse and misuse of it over the years resulted in the handle breaking, and it still kind of worked but I did not fix it and just kind of made do.

Ross lived across the street. Unfortunately, he passed away a couple of years ago, so I pass on this story in his memory. He would look out his front window and watch me struggling with this broken mower, and one day he came over and took it from me. He took it into his basement, took an old piece of a brass curtain rod and mended it in such a beautiful way and with such care and attention to detail that it was better than it was when it was brand new. It really reminded me of these values of the generations that came before us, values that I fear we have lost to some extent.

We have an obsession in North American culture with the new, the unblemished and the unworn. I was made aware of a tradition in Japan called kintsugi, whereby broken pottery is mended using gold instead of transparent glue. This is a way of honouring the life history of the object, of not hiding the fact that it was once broken but mending it in a way that its history is portrayed and shared as part of its beauty. That is something we could learn from in our current throwaway society. I do not know if we can be mending shattered iPhone screens with little bits of gold, but the idea that mending something can actually make it more beautiful is something that can be celebrated.

I was also thinking of an experience I had with a favourite suit of mine. Like many members in this place, I join in a lot of parades in my riding. A couple of years ago, I was mounting an old-fashioned bicycle wearing this suit. For some reason, it was particularly tight at the time, and as I lifted my knee there was a loud ripping sound and a very embarrassing part of the suit burst open. I was forced to ride this bike to the end of the parade in a rather exposed manner. I would show the House the part of the suit in question, but I fear that it may be interpreted as something unparliamentary in this hallowed chamber.

I took the suit back to the retailer and was told by the salesperson that mending the suit in such a way was not the way they wanted their products to be represented out there in the world, which I found a little horrifying. I then took it to a wonderful tailor on, I believe, Queen Street here in Ottawa, and she fixed it up so that it is better than new. I am proud to continue to wear it today.

I am digressing a little from the focus of this bill, but I suppose my point is that if we can embrace this culture and ethic of repairing things, we can create a better society. We can create less waste. We can be a society that really takes care of our resources and acts in a way that is responsible.

I know that many members have cited the amount of electronic waste that makes its way into our landfills every year. This is an issue of great concern for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the impact on our changing climate. So many of the emissions from our consumer products, particularly electronics, are created in the mining and manufacturing processes, rather than in the use over the lifetime of a product.

The statistics I saw showed that for Apple products, 83% of the life cycle of greenhouse gas emissions come from the original manufacturing processes. That was a 2010 statistic so perhaps that has changed, but there is progress to be made in this regard. By fixing things, we can use fewer things, we can extend the lifetime of these products and we can release less emissions.

This bill seeks to make a very specific change to the Copyright Act. It seems that a number of companies are using the Copyright Act in a manner that it was never intended for. Essentially, these processes, called technological protection measures or TPMs, are ways in which electronics companies essentially lock their products and prevent third party repair people from getting into them and fixing what is wrong.

Today, of course, the repairs that we are talking about do not use pieces of brass curtain rod and pop rivets. They are more likely to use lines of code or very specialized electronic parts. It seems like this is an important step, but it is only one step in ensuring that the right to repair and these restrictions on repairability are addressed.

In doing some background reading on this bill, I came across a report by the Federal Trade Commission in the United States. It lists the number of repair restrictions out there that prevent people from repairing products: product designs that complicate or prevent repair, unavailability of parts and repair information, designs that make independent repairs less safe, policies or statements that steer consumers to manufacturer repair networks, application of patents rights and enforcement of trademarks, and disparagement of non-OEM parts and independent repair. The last one they mention, which is the one this bill deals with, is software locks and firmware updates. We have a lot of work to do, and I am hopeful that we will see other legislation that tackles these other barriers to repairability.

Of course, when we talk about the right to repair, the history of these pieces of legislation has seen quite a bit of opposition from the companies that stand to benefit from these mini-monopolies over their user base. If we cannot get into a product to repair it and if we are forced to take that product back to the original manufacturer, that puts a significant amount of power in the hands of those companies. That is power they do not want to lose, so we see push-back from all sorts of companies, whether it is Apple, Panasonic or John Deere, which is of course a very common example in the agricultural sector. In the same study I mentioned, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission looked into these arguments made by companies and found that “there is scant evidence to support manufacturers’ justifications for repair restrictions.”

This is a change that very much needs to be made. I think it could be construed as being against economic growth, but I would offer that the repair economy is, in fact, a very important part of our overall economy. There are so many small businesses that earn a living repairing goods, and that is a part of our economy that we can stimulate through bills like this one, which seeks to expand the right to repair.

Copyright ActPrivate Members' Business

11:30 a.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba


Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, what a pleasure it is to be able to speak to such an important piece of legislation. I am really encouraged. We often talk about consumer rights and what we can do to help our constituents. The member for Richmond Centre has brought forward a piece of legislation that really makes a difference. I applaud him for his efforts in wanting to make life better for all of us who like to use our hands to fix our products.

That is what this legislation is all about. When we stop and think about it, if we purchase something, as a consumer we should have the ability to play around with it and fix it if it breaks down. That is the essence of this bill. It is very much a consumers' rights piece of legislation. It would give people who purchase a product, should it break down in a month, two months or a year later for whatever reason, the ability to repair it.

I think my colleague from Avalon was in appliance repairs for 20-plus years. We can see how technology changes things. When I was 12 years old and pumping gas, I had a deep admiration for cars. I could pop a hood, change the spark plugs and do an oil change, and I began to understand how a motor worked. I did a lot of things with automobiles through my teenage years and into my twenties. It was simple to understand.

Nowadays, when we pop the hood, we are looking at computer technology. Some of these advancements are good for our environment. For example, I now have a turbo booster as opposed to an eight cylinder. We can do a lot of wonderful things. However, one thing we cannot do as much is the type of repair we could do in the past. Technology changes things. As the member for Richmond Centre emphasized, there are technological protection measures. Those TPMs are put into place by the appliance manufacturer to intentionally prevent people from doing the type of work they would have been able to do in the past.

That is why this important legislation is before us today. Others have attempted to get legislation through. I have a feeling that, given his persistence, the member for Richmond Centre will be successful in getting it through.

I believe the standing committee has a role to play. We understand the importance of the Copyright Act. We want to ensure that there is a creative environment in Canada and that people are investing in technology and other things and feel comfortable knowing their creativity will be supported by the government. It is one of the reasons I think it is important that it go to the standing committee. Based on the discussions and debate I have heard on this legislation, I am expecting it to pass second reading unanimously. Once it gets to the standing committee, I think we need to have a good, healthy discussion. I know the member is open to amendments that might make the legislation healthier for us.

Like the Conservative member who spoke about the agricultural community, a community with which I am so familiar, we also recognize, understand and appreciate the frustration the jacks and janes of all trades feel with respect to these products that are being purchased. Whether it is a cellphone, an automobile, a tractor, a combine or a combination thereof, or any form of consumer product that is out there, there are attempts by manufacturers to prevent those products from being fixed at the local level or, at the very least, to make them very expensive to fix.

As a direct result, we often start to see this “buy and throw out” mentality. I remember when people bought a colour TV back in the day, if something went wrong with it, they would get a TV repair person to come out. Whether it was a tube or the clicker or whatever it might be, it would get fixed and they would continue to use the TV. Nowadays, people buy a 30” flat-screen TV for about $150, because if they shop around they can get some pretty good deals. When that TV breaks down, it is off to the garbage. Hopefully it gets recycled. There is this whole idea of buying something that, when it breaks, costs too much to fix. People just buy a replacement. That happens far too often in our society.

We have heard some members talk about the environment, whether it is our landfill sites or even our recycle depots. Could we be doing a better job? Bill C-244 provides that opportunity to ensure that we have a healthier environment, that our consumers are better protected and that we allow for creativity. The government is not trying to prevent creativity and the protection of copyrights. It is important to recognize that. That is why I believe in having the bill go to the standing committee. It would be nice to hear from industry representatives, to see what they have to say about the products they actually produce. This is not an attempt to go after industry per se as much as it is to ensure that consumer rights are being protected. There is a difference.

Canada is a trading nation. We are very much dependent on and in need of expanding our borders by exporting our products and obviously importing the merchandise that Canadians desire. It is important that we maintain that two-way flow of trade. We have seen a great deal of that trade over the last number of years, and we have reached record numbers of trade agreements being signed.

When we talk about Bill C-244, what we need to keep in mind more than anything else is that it allows consumers to repair a product they own without violating the Copyright Act. That is what the legislation does. We are talking about the right to repair when someone acquires or purchases a widget, so that they are able to do the fixing at a much more affordable cost.

As well, a lot of people like to be able to fix or play around with the products they acquire. If any demonstration of that is needed, all one needs to do is look at social media, maybe by googling “how to” and whatever it is one wants to do. There are videos out there.

We need to encourage this bill all the way through. I look forward to seeing it come back to the House and ultimately get royal assent. It would have a profoundly positive impact on our communities throughout the country, and that is why I will vote in favour of this bill's going to committee at this time.

Copyright ActPrivate Members' Business

October 3rd, 2022 / 11:40 a.m.


Erin O'Toole Conservative Durham, ON

Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to stand today and speak to Bill C-244, an act to amend the Copyright Act.

This bill is pretty much the same bill that Parliament expressed a majority opinion in favour of in the last Parliament, with Bill C-272. Copyright law is something I have worked with professionally since my time as a lawyer in the private sector. It is an important part of our intellectual property regime. All of these laws should make sure to keep pace with technology, with change and with consumer need. That is why I am in favour of this private member's bill going to committee and being studied.

The short form for this bill is enshrining the right of repair. Why is that important? There are two fundamental areas in which it is critically important for us to modernize our approach to repairing technology. The first is for consumers. We use intellectual property to grant extraordinary commercial rights, almost monopoly-like protections, and we do this to encourage innovation and to make sure we have smart phones and technology that make our lives easier and our economy more productive.

However, that monopoly protection, for a period of time, will also lead to higher prices and less competition. In the case of technology that cannot be repaired because of digital locks, technology manuals and other things that are being kept secret, that is providing a monopoly protection for that technology, thereby not allowing someone to have a device repaired. When we have spent a lot of money on a device, we are then going to be forced to either buy a new one or have the repair done only by an authorized dealer. What does that mean? It means higher prices for consumers.

The biggest thing we will see a lot of parties in this House supporting Bill C-244 on is this consumer protection. In the previous Parliament, that is why the official opposition and I supported it. It is for consumers to have more choice and have that right to repair something themselves. I doubt there is an MP in here who is technologically proficient enough to fix their smart phone or anything else. I am sure everyone would agree. However, we can have a third party do that for us, an agent we take our device to. They can fix it.

It is important for any Canadians who might be following this debate to know that this is beyond just getting a smart phone fixed. There are so many computer operating systems, semiconductors and chips. We have seen a shortage of them in the last year, causing a backlog in orders from cars to recreational vehicles and farming machinery. These devices are manufactured and we think of them as industrial goods, but they are so heavily dependent on consumer programs. If we then have digital locks on those programs, we will not be able to repair them, and when there is a supply chain shortage, we will have trouble replacing an item.

The first reason I think Bill C-244 should go to committee is this consumer protection, small business, and the ability to have lower prices and reuse materials. We are going to hear that some industry players in the automotive field, in farming implements and in computer devices are opposed to this. If someone has an intellectual property monopoly, of course they are not going to want more competition and they are going to say we should not allow a digital lock to be opened to allow someone to repair something.

Our society needs this, because this is now the state of the consumer. Every large purchase we make, like that of a home, vehicle or business, will be impacted by these intellectual property provisions, and it is time for industry to get with the program. We have to encourage an ability to repair for the consumer and more competition on the repair space. Industry will adjust to this change, which is necessary after a few decades of rapid technological advancement.

The second reason the right to repair is so important, and I think we will hear a lot of advocacy groups around the country talk about the environment, is if we are not repairing items, they will often be discarded. Therefore, not only is the consumer or small business paying more, but piles and piles of electronic waste are being created, which are far too often finding their way to jurisdictions in China, or other parts of the developing world, where they are not really being recycled.

They are just paying to destroy or dispose of these items. It is out of sight, out of mind for us, and we go on to the next purchase, but this is then allowing our waste to be a problem in an area of the world that certainly does not have the ability to deal with it. The developed world has to get in line with the philosophy behind the right to repair, not just for the consumer, as I said, but also for the environment.

We are also seeing our friends do this. Of our friends and trading partners, there is no bigger one than the United States. Updates it made to its Digital Millennium Copyright Act are providing the ability for a right to repair. Right now, the United States is limiting that to the consumer level, so if it sees a large company buy a large manufacturing CNC type of machine, it is not providing that right of repair in the industrial commercial setting, but it is providing it for the consumers. It is extending in copyright what is known as fair use rights, allowing fair use to include the diagnosis, repair or maintenance of operating systems within a device or some sort of machinery. A consumer has that right, the fair use of copyrighted material, to diagnose a problem and fix it.

That is what should be done with our copyright regime to allow fair-dealing exceptions at the consumer level. This bill really does not tackle the right to repair from the standpoint that the Americans have, but at least it is a start. This private member's bill would actually define or redefine what it means to circumvent a computer operating system, thereby making sure that the right to repair does not attract violations of the Copyright Act. At committee, one of the things that would be explored is whether we should be in line with western countries that respect intellectual property rights and create this right to diagnose and repair as a fair-dealing exception.

I must note for fun, having done copyright work when I was legal counsel to Proctor & Gamble and with two large law firms, that copyright and fair use have always been areas that I have watched, including fighting counterfeit goods, which is people using trademarks and copyrighted material to trade off the goodwill of other brands when they are selling phoney products.

In fact, the most leading case in Canada on the fair-dealing exception, the most recent major legal development, was in the case of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation v. Conservative Party of Canada, where the Conservative Party of Canada was successful in defeating the claim by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that television commercials that use clips from CBC's news programs somehow violated its copyright. Certainly a public broadcaster should not really have the same intellectual property strategies as the private broadcasters, but, in any event, the court recognized that criticism, political debate and questioning allowed for a fair-dealing exception to use those clips.

We see now this copyright usage on YouTube videos and a whole range of things, where small clips can be used in someone's production as long as they are just being used for news, commentary and criticism. These are exceptions that have developed within copyright as our society developed, as social media grew and as technology grew. As copyright changes with the times, for the benefit of both the consumer and the environment, we need fair use exceptions or changes to allow a right of reply. That is why it is encouraging that Bill C-244 builds on the work done under Bill C-272 in the last Parliament to give Canadians this right of repair.

Copyright ActPrivate Members' Business

11:50 a.m.


Yves Perron Bloc Berthier—Maskinongé, QC

Madam Speaker, I will be brief since I only have four minutes for my speech.

First, I want to recognize the sponsor of this bill, the member for Richmond Centre, as well as the member for Cambridge who preceded him and the member for Skeena—Bulkley Valley, who provided some quirky and rather amusing examples. I would have a few of my own to share, but unfortunately, four minutes is not enough time to do so.

The bill we will be voting on is very important. I am quite pleasantly surprised by the unanimous support it is receiving in the House. There are some bills that make so much sense that everyone just lines up behind them. I have a feeling this one will pass unanimously. At least, that is the impression I am getting from this morning's debate.

In the little time I have left, I would like to stress the importance of copyright. It allows artists to make a living off their art, allows creators to continue creating. It is therefore essential, and we must be cautious when studying Bill C‑244.

However, abusing a right is never acceptable. Right now, multinational corporations take advantage of their economic power to control people. Cellphone upgrades are just one example. How many of us have bought a new cellphone, not because the old one was not working, but because it was too slow? The same goes for personal computers. We are constantly updating the darn things. Eventually, two, three, four or five years later, the device still works, but it is sluggish because the inner workings get bogged down over time.

That is all planned. Take home appliances. I myself have fixed a lot of things in my life. For example, a thin, tiny little piece of plastic located below my huge, heavy washer broke when the machine was seven years old. I went to buy a metal one at Aux 1001 pièces d'Électroménager, where the staff give the kind of good advice I appreciate. The washer worked for another 10 years.

That is part of the economic system, and we need a hard reset. The goal is not to break companies' backs; the goal is to enable the reasonable use of goods and to protect our environment, which is also essential. How many tonnes of waste end up in our trash cans every year, even just counting e-waste, which is the most harmful? We need to collect that waste properly and in the right places. In Quebec, everyone knows about the Serpuariens, our very own official e-waste depots. There are other designated e-waste drop-off locations everywhere else.

It looks like my time is up. This bill is good for everyone. Let us send it to committee.

Copyright ActPrivate Members' Business

11:55 a.m.


Wilson Miao Liberal Richmond Centre, BC

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise in the House today in support of my private member's bill, Bill C-244, an act to amend the Copyright Act, which would allow all Canadians the right to diagnosis, maintenance and repair, and I am very excited to see this bill come up for a vote very soon.

The concerns of this bill impact the lives of Canadians in almost every aspect, from the tools and equipment we rely on in our day-to-day lives, to the transportation we use and commute with and the environment we care a lot about, for now and our future. The most notably impacts would be to Canadians' consumer rights, allowing consumers to gain autonomy over the goods they purchase. The support received for Bill C-244 is commendable, and we all understand that this issue is non-partisan and does not fall within one demographic but to every Canadian from coast to coast to coast.

This piece of legislation spearheads the conversation on the right to repair, and I hope to see it being discussed and studied at the standing committee in the near future. Bill C-244 addresses concerns regarding digital devices that have become increasingly prevalent over the past decade. As digital technology continues to advance, we are more connected than ever, as technology has become a fundamental part of life.

The Copyright Act as it stands today does not account for the right to repair and is preventing repairs from being done on copyrighted products, even when nothing is being copied or distributed, and today we are seeing more and more of the Internet of things in the products we purchased, all of which are protected by copyright through technological protection measures, also known as TPMs, and any circumvention to them would be considered illegal, violating the Copyright Act, and could potentially lead to charges of breaking a federal law.

This is the reason Bill C-244 would create a pathway to a broadened right to repair framework, allowing provincial and territorial governments to create their own right to repair legislation however they see fit and ensure sustainability for future generations to come.

I will give an example. The phone I have costs over $1,000, and members can guess what would happen if I were to break my screen. I would have to go to an authorized dealer repair shop to have it repaired, with an estimated cost of $329, as shown online. What would happen if I were to go to an unauthorized repair store to have it fixed for less than the estimate? The problem I might encounter is that there would be a pop-up on the screen showing that unauthorized or non-genuine parts are detected, possibly voiding any warranties moving forward.

Similar situations would apply when replacing an LED touch screen panel on a refrigerator or maintaining a new electric vehicle that someone just purchased. These technological protection measures can inadvertently prevent repairs and limit the lifespan of a product's useful life.

Canadians should have the option to repair the products they purchase and own. The circumvention of technological protection measures we are discussing, and which would be allowed under Bill C-244, would be for the sole purpose of diagnosis, maintenance and repair only. Any other circumvention would be considered illegal under the Copyright Act.

Before I end my words, I like to thank the member for Cambridge for the work he has done in the last Parliament and all of those who have shared their comments about Bill C-244 with me, with the hope of seeing this bill pass in the coming vote.

I thank them for their support, and I thank the members for their debate today.

Copyright ActPrivate Members' Business



The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

The question is on the motion.

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.

Copyright ActPrivate Members' Business



Wilson Miao Liberal Richmond Centre, BC

Madam Speaker, I request a recorded vote.

Copyright ActPrivate Members' Business



The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

Pursuant to an order made on Thursday, June 23, the division stands deferred until Wednesday, October 5, at the expiry of the time provided for Oral Questions.

The House resumed from September 26 consideration of the motion that Bill C-31, An Act respecting cost of living relief measures related to dental care and rental housing, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the amendment.

Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 2Government Orders



Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Madam Speaker, I rise to speak to Bill C-31, which is legislation styled as an act respecting cost of living relief measures. I emphasize “styled” as an act respecting cost of living relief measures, because the measures put forward in the bill can at best be described as half-measures and band-aid solutions that fail to address the root causes of the cost of living crisis faced by everyday Canadians.

The bill offers measures by throwing some money here and throwing some money there, all in a desperate effort by a desperate government to make it appear that it is doing something, anything, to address the cost of living crisis, a crisis of this Liberal government's own making. I have to say that it is a bit ironic that, even though the bill is styled as legislation to address the cost of living crisis, it would, in fact, exacerbate the cost of living crisis. It would do so because it comes with a price tag of several billion dollars that would be borrowed and would pour fuel on the inflationary fire that is at the heart of Canada's cost of living crisis.

The cost of living crisis cannot be understated. It is happening. It is real, and Canadians are hurting like never before. Inflation is at a 40-year high. It hit 8.1% in June. Inflation for essentials such as food is even higher. Grocery prices are increasing at a faster rate than we have seen in 40 years, with food inflation hitting 10.8%. When one looks at some dietary essentials, prices have gone up even more. Fresh fruit is up 13.2%. Eggs are up 10.9%. Bread is up 17.6%. Pasta is up 32.4%. I could go on. The average family of four is now spending $1,200 more this year over last for groceries. That is $1,200 more this year over last year just to put food on the table.

While members opposite and their coalition partners in the NDP will undoubtedly pat themselves on the back for handing out $500 rent cheques, which, by the way, most renters would not even qualify for, that is a mere fraction of the increased cost that Canadians are paying just to put food on the table. It underscores the severity of the cost of living crisis and the empty response on the part of this government in tackling it.

How did we get into this mess in the first place? Undoubtedly there are a number of factors, but perhaps the biggest factor is the government's reckless fiscal policies and the government's out-of-control spending. Never in Canadian history have we had a government that has spent more, borrowed more and added more debt. To put it in some context, in the past seven years, the Prime Minister has accumulated more debt than all the debt accumulated in the 148 years of Canada's history leading up to the election of this government.

The Prime Minister has added more debt than all previous prime ministers combined. That is staggering. It demonstrates a total lack of prudence and a complete recklessness on the part of the government, which has now resulted in this cost of living crisis with 40-year-high inflation. The government told us not to worry and that it can spend and spend some more because interest rates are low, until they are not.

We saw the highest increase in interest rates in a quarter of a century last summer and interest rates are undoubtedly going to go up even further. The Liberals say they had no choice because of COVID, except when one looks at the facts, the government cannot hide behind COVID as an excuse for its out-of-control spending.

Let us look at some of those facts. To begin with, the government added $100 billion in debt in its first five years in office, before COVID hit. In other words, the government added more debt during the good times, indeed, more debt than any government had accumulated during that period of time, leaving the cupboard bare.

Of the half a trillion dollars in new spending that we have seen over the past two years, this fire hose of spending, the Parliamentary Budget Officer has determined that more than 40% of that is unrelated to COVID. The Liberals say it is because of COVID, yet hundreds of billions of dollars of the half a trillion dollars of new spending, according to the PBO, is unrelated to COVID.

Then, in January, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said that the stimulus spending was not serving its intended purpose anymore. The PBO effectively called on the government to stop the new spending. What was the government's response to the Parliamentary Budget Officer? It was to do exactly the opposite. The government did the only thing the government knows how to do and that is to spend other people's money, with $71 billion of new spending with Bill C-8, $60 billion in new spending with budget 2022 and now billions more dollars with this inflationary spending bill.

To pay for it all, the government, through the Bank of Canada, did something that no other government has done before, and that is quantitative easing or, in other words, the printing of money. After all of the spending, all of the debt and all of the money printing, there has been a cost. That is the cost of 40-year-high inflation. The more the government spends, the more the cost of living goes up. The more the government spends, the costlier it is for Canadians to purchase goods. Canadians are making less in their paycheques and their purchasing power is being diminished, all because of the government's reckless fiscal policies.

Although we find ourselves in this position of 40-year-high inflation, fuelled by the government's reckless spending, one must say that it ought not have been a surprise to the government that it would find itself in this place. After all, it was quite foreseeable. When we have more money chasing fewer goods, we are going to get inflation. That is called economics 101.

The leader of the official opposition, when he was the shadow minister of finance, called on the government to monitor inflation. He predicted that, if the government did not get spending under control, we would see inflation. What was the response from the finance minister and the Prime Minister? It was to completely ignore the Leader of the Opposition. They said to not worry about inflation and that, if anything, we must be concerned about deflation. How wrong they were.

I guess it is a consequence of having a prime minister who has admitted that he does not think much about monetary policy. Perhaps if he thought a little about monetary policy, we would not find ourselves and the country in this fiscal mess and the consequent cost of living crisis that everyday Canadians are enduring. If the government was serious about addressing the cost of living crisis, it would not be doing what it is doing, but it is doubling down on the same failed approach that got us into this mess in the first place, with even more spending.

What the government should be doing is heeding the advice of the Leader of the Opposition by reining in spending, by restoring a fiscally responsible policy and a sound monetary policy, by finding savings and by rooting out waste in government. There is no shortage of waste to root out.

If the Prime Minister was serious about tackling the cost of living crisis, which begins with tackling the out-of-control spending of the government, the Prime Minister would be doing what the Leader of the Opposition has called on the government to do, which is to introduce legislation such as “pay as you go”, whereby the government must find a dollar of savings for every new dollar of spending.

Some Liberals might scoff at the notion of “pay as you go” legislation, but it has worked. It has worked in the largest democracy and the largest economy in the world, that of the United States. More than 20 years ago, a Republican Congress passed and a Democrat president, Bill Clinton, signed into law “pay as you go” legislation. What was the result? It was a balanced budget for the first time in decades, and the United States paid down more than $400 billion of debt.

Do not expect the current government to implement measures such as this. Do not expect it to rein in spending. Do not expect it to reflect on its failed policies and reverse course, because, on issue after issue, the government's measure of success, as it measures success, is based upon how much it has spent.

We see this with respect to housing. The government has spent billions of dollars, more than $40 billion, on housing. Billions more were announced in budget 2022. What have been the results?

To begin with, the average Canadian is now paying roughly half of their monthly paycheque to cover their monthly housing costs. When the government came to office, the average Canadian was paying roughly 32% of their paycheque. They are now paying 50% of their paycheque. As well, housing prices have doubled. They have gone up 52% in just the past two years.

We have the most land in the G7, and yet we have the fewest houses in the G7 on a per capita basis. The Liberals can pat themselves on the back for spending all this money in housing, but when we look at the results, we have the fewest houses in the G7, among the highest prices, which have doubled under the government's watch, and now Canadians are paying half their paycheques just to put a roof over their heads. I would call that a policy of failure. Canadians certainly have not received good value for all that money that went out the door.

If the government were serious about tackling housing affordability, it, again, would be turning to the Leader of the Opposition, who has put forward a comprehensive plan to make housing more affordable so Canadians can purchase a home or rent a unit, by, among other things, tackling supply, increasing supply, by selling off a portion of the federal government's real estate portfolio to build more housing units and by incentivizing municipalities to allow more houses to be built, including tying federal infrastructure dollars to municipalities based upon new units built. These are reasonable solutions to try to address a very real problem that is impacting so many Canadians.

What is the government's solution? To hand out a $500-rent cheque. Its solution is a $500-rent cheque that does not even cover one week's rent in most Canadian cities. Not only that, more than six out of 10 renters will not even qualify for the cheque, and those who do will see whatever short-term benefit of that $500 eviscerated with the Liberals' inflation, rising interest rates and, most significant, planned Liberal tax hikes in the new year.

At a time when Canadians are paying more in taxes than in housing, transportation, food and clothing combined, at a time when Canadians are faced with 40-year-high inflation, the Liberal government has suddenly decided it is a good time to increase payroll taxes and triple the mother of all taxes, the tax on everything, the hated carbon tax, which, by the way, is contributing to inflation.

It demonstrates that the government is not serious about addressing affordability. If it were, as a starting point, it would heed the advice of the Leader of the Opposition and cancel the planned tax hikes. It will not, so we have a government that is with one hand handing out some cheques to some Canadians only to take whatever benefit away with the other hand in the way of planned Liberal tax hikes.

This legislation may be styled as an act respecting cost of living relief measures, but this is not a serious plan to address the cost of living; it is more Liberal smoke and mirrors. It is an empty PR exercise in the absence of a real plan. It is why I will be opposing the bill.

Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 2Government Orders

12:20 p.m.

Winnipeg North Manitoba


Kevin Lamoureux LiberalParliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Madam Speaker, in listening to the Conservatives, people would think that the Liberal Government of Canada is causing rapid inflation around the world, that all the problems, whether it is the pandemic or the war in Europe, have no effect on what is happening in Canada.

The reality is quite different. Canada is concerned about inflation, as we should be. However, in comparison to the United States, the European Union or England, our inflation rate is lower. When we look at the legislation we are debating today, it is about providing dental care for kids under the age of 12. People would not know that if they are listening to the members speaking to the legislation.

Does the member not see the value of providing dental care for children under the age of 12? Does he not believe that the children he represents would benefit from the program being proposed in the legislation?

Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 2Government Orders

12:20 p.m.


Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Madam Speaker, I would note that nine out of 10 provinces already have dental plans and supports for children, so in that respect this is a duplicative measure.

The hon. member talked about the reality of what is happening in Canada. The reality is that we have 40-year high inflation, and it is being fuelled by the government's out-of-control spending. The member is quite right that Canada is not alone. Other countries also have inflation. Why? Because they have pursued the very same policies as the Liberal government. If the same reckless policies are pursued, there will be the same reckless results.

The parliamentary secretary cited the United States. It—

Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 2Government Orders

12:20 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

The hon. member for Mirabel.

Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 2Government Orders

12:20 p.m.


Jean-Denis Garon Bloc Mirabel, QC

Madam Speaker, my colleague delivered yet another of the very well-organized speeches we have come to expect from him, so it is clear to me that the Conservatives oppose Bill C‑31. I get it; the bill is very poorly written. However, given that they would rather the federal government essentially cease to exist, I assume they are also against giving money to Quebec so it can improve its own system.

That being the case, is the Conservative Party now against transfers, including upping provincial health transfers to 35%? Are they now against what Quebec and all the provinces want?

Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 2Government Orders

12:20 p.m.


Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Madam Speaker, the hon. member for Mirabel is quite right that the premiers have called on the federal government to increase health transfers to the provinces. The Prime Minister has refused to even sit down with the premiers and has come up with this bill instead of addressing the needs of the provinces.

We do have deficiencies in our health care system that need to be addressed. Those deficiencies were exposed during COVID. What is required is federal leadership working collaboratively with the provinces, and that starts with sitting down with the premiers, something the Prime Minister has failed to do.

Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 2Government Orders

12:20 p.m.


Lindsay Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Madam Speaker, I want to be very clear on this point. The CPP and EI are not taxes. These are social programs. They are part of a social safety net that ultimately helps workers.

The opposition party is consistently saying that these are taxes, but these are deductions that help people. The Conservatives are saying that they want to save workers, on average, about $11 a month by cutting their pensions and EI. What they are not saying to people is that this would save corporations billions. They are trying to sell them on something that is not true.

Ultimately we are trying, through the government and our work with it, to create long-lasting equity-driven social programs, like dental care.

There is a difference, but the Conservatives are calling for tax cuts that would benefit a very small group of people. What we are seeing in the U.K. is that this clearly is not working. This is clearly—

Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 2Government Orders

12:25 p.m.


The Assistant Deputy Speaker (Mrs. Alexandra Mendès) Liberal Alexandra Mendes

I have to give the hon. member time to answer.

The hon. member for St. Albert—Edmonton.

Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 2Government Orders

12:25 p.m.


Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Madam Speaker, the member for London—Fanshawe has said that these payroll tax hikes are not tax hikes, yet her leader, the member for Papineau, has said that they are. The Government of Canada website states that they are.

This is the reality for everyday Canadians. These payroll tax hikes will mean that the average person will take less of his or her paycheque home. In the new year, people will be taking even less home when, on top of the payroll tax hikes, the government, with the backing of the member for London—Fanshawe and the NDP, is going to triple the carbon tax.

The policy of the NDP is one of taking more money out of the pockets of Canadians and making life less affordable. Our position is to put more money back in the hands of Canadians by cutting taxes, which is a very different approach, indeed.

Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 2Government Orders

12:25 p.m.


Mike Morrice Green Kitchener Centre, ON

Madam Speaker, I know the member for St. Albert—Edmonton has been interested in finding common ground in the chamber. Just last week, he proposed and sponsored a bill from the Senate that was passed here unanimously.

In this spirit, when he speaks about the cost of housing, we both agree that much more needs to be done to address increased unaffordability. One issue I hope he could comment on is the rules of the market that currently favour corporate investors, such as real estate investment trusts.

I have two questions. Does the member agree that homes should be for people to live in and not commodities for investors to trade? Is he not similarly concerned that more needs to be done to tilt the market back toward regular Canadians, young people, for example, who are looking to afford rental housing in communities across the country?

Cost of Living Relief Act, No. 2Government Orders

12:25 p.m.


Michael Cooper Conservative St. Albert—Edmonton, AB

Madam Speaker, I appreciate working collaboratively with the member for Kitchener Centre on some issues of common ground.

The root of the problem of which the member speaks goes back to the half a trillion dollars that the government pumped out over the past two years, money that went into the mortgage and finance systems, which was borrowed out to investors who bought up properties and bid up prices. As a consequence, housing prices have gone up 52% because of that policy.