Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to speak to Bill C-11 the online streaming act.
The last time any changes were made to the Broadcasting Act, I had just met the man who would become my partner and husband, the father of my four children. It was 1991, and I was 14 years old. That is saying something.
Like my colleague from Calgary Nose Hill, I watched Fraggle Rock and I was a big fan. I also grew up with Passe‑Partout and Pop Citrouille, which were outstanding children's programs in terms of their quality and diversity of content.
It is precisely so that young people can have access to content of this quality on the platforms they use today that I am pleased to see Bill C-11 move forward in the legislative process. This will give creators the funding needed to showcase their creativity at home and abroad.
Over an hour ago, I shared an experience I had with a certain streaming service, which, despite my selecting French as my preference, offered me only American, British and Korean productions. In some cases, I could not even get the French translation, even if it was only through subtitles. I had to search for quite a while to get productions from Quebec, France or French-speaking Africa.
By improving the discoverability aspect, Bill C-11 will help ensure that Quebeckers and Canadians have easier access to content from their communities, their creators and their artists.
My colleagues talk about the importance of allowing big foreign companies to play their role and respond to consumer demand. In some aspects of the economy, I would tend to agree with them. However, when it comes to culture, I cannot agree. We must not let a foreign culture decide for our own culture.
In the case of Quebec and Canada's francophone communities, it is totally illogical to let foreign companies with no ties to francophone culture make decisions and act like they know francophone culture better than francophones do. This is modern-day colonialism and imperialism, nothing more and nothing less. The aim is to make an entire population believe that its culture is not important, that it has less value than another.
My colleagues have also compared the current situation with the Internet to the situation 25 or 30 years ago, when the Internet was not as widely available as it is now. My colleague from Edmonton Riverbend was correct in saying that people used to access Canadian productions via the radio and television. Now they go on the Internet. That is true.
I would like to remind everyone that it was the radio that enabled people to discover music of all genres in French, English and, in my case, even Innu. This meant that we had access to a variety of music. It also gave listeners a chance to discover new artists.
Quotas at the time gave people an opportunity to discover Quebec and Canadian artists, which is a great thing. It was not always perfect, of course. I remember at one time, when I was working in radio, we had a Brian Adams record that did not count toward some of the quotas. Those who worked in radio will be familiar with the little circle, and one of the quarters was not filled in because the record was produced abroad. Because of that, it was not considered a 100% Canadian product, so it did not count toward the quotas.
Are there are improvements to be made? Most certainly, but that does not mean we have to slam on the brakes and do nothing. On the contrary, proposals have been made and agreed to. I am sure there are other proposals to be made now and in the future, but we have to make them. Unfortunately I have heard few proposals from the official opposition. I have heard a lot of opposition, but not much in the way of proposals.
Is it right that it is easier for francophones to access Korean content than their own? Let us be clear. Out of curiosity, I went and had a look at some of the things that were recommended to me. I liked the plots, I liked the sets and I liked the costumes. My natural curiosity led me to discover another culture. Why do we not offer that sort of thing here? We should be giving people here a chance to discover homegrown artists, both francophone Quebeckers and anglophone Canadians, and showcasing them around the world. Bill C‑11 would allow that to happen.
Having high-quality content in our language is important. Non‑francophones could probably do what I did with the Korean shows, in other words, watch shows that were made here, discover Quebec artists and become interested. These days, curiosity is cultivated. That is probably what my colleagues feel like telling me. Today, to cultivate curiosity and interest, it needs to be easy to access high-quality shows and content. That is what Bill C‑11 does.
Some will tell me that those who want to access francophone culture just have to do what I did and go look for it. I find that attitude rather alarming. Why should I have to go look for expressions of my culture when others never have to look at all in order to have access to expressions of their own culture? These people who feel like telling me—