Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was quebec.

Last in Parliament May 2004, as Liberal MP for Beauharnois—Salaberry (Québec)

Lost his last election, in 2004, with 35% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Criminal Code February 18th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Davenport for raising a very important question, one everyone feels is as important as atmospheric pollution, and that is automotive pollution.

As hon. members know, the Government of Canada clean air program is in its third year. This program is a comprehensive plan requiring the use of less polluting fuels and more stringent emissions standards for new vehicles.

Clean air is the priority of the Minister of the Environment, and we will continue to develop measures to protect the health and environment of Canadians.

The federal government is instituting domestic regulations designed to ensure that automotive manufacturers provide us with products that meet these more stringent emissions standards throughout their useful life, as long as they are properly maintained. This should be effective by January 2004.

By 2010, new federal emissions standards for heavy vehicles will reduce CO


emissions by 95% and particulates by 90%, over previous standards.

In recent years, under the aegis of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, the federal Minister of the Environment has been a leader in the development of codes of practice for inspection and maintenance programs for both heavy and light vehicles. These codes are designed to facilitate the implementation and coordination of such programs in Canada.

Naturally, regulatory regimes for vehicles in operation fall under provincial jurisdiction. Inspection and maintenance programs such as Ontario's Clean Air Program are generally implemented on a regional basis when it comes to dealing with local air quality. The primary objective is to ensure the proper maintenance of vehicles in operation to introduce over time appropriate emissions control.

We must congratulate Ontario on being the North American leader in terms of emissions standards for vehicles in operation. Through closer cooperation with the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, such efficiency could become Canada-wide. Ontario's new standards for heavy duty vehicles in operation will greatly complement our federal regulations for new heavy vehicles.

Clean air is not the prerogative of a any one government, industry, resource sector or thematic group. Clean air is our common responsibility.

I think we should all recognize the merit of any initiative—be it an individual, community or provincial one—promoting clean air.

Canadian Heritage February 16th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, every year in February, Canadians from coast to coast recognize our culture, our history and our values by celebrating Black History Month, National Flag Day and Heritage Day.

Today, to mark Heritage Day, the Heritage Canada Foundation has chosen the theme “Defending Canada: Our Military Heritage Sites and Buildings”. We can all take part in that theme by preserving personal objects and public collections that symbolize our military heritage. Let us never forget.

Canadians can celebrate by accessing the virtual exhibits on New France and Dieppe through the National Archives site, or by viewing masterpieces depicting the battlefields of Europe in the Canadian War Museum collection. It is also possible to discover stories in our communities, through our public libraries, historical associations and dedicated volunteers.

Resumption Of Debate On Address In Reply February 16th, 2004

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the passionate speech made by the hon. member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, who always speaks with a great deal of passion.

I would like to make two comments. First, in 1997, the current health minister, then the Minister of Human Resources Development, came up with a very generous proposal that he submitted to Minister Marois at the time. Unfortunately, the then finance minister, Mr. Landry, turned it down, because the Government of Quebec did not have the money to provide all the matching dollars required for the program.

I think it is important to point that out. We often tend to blame the federal government. I can tell the hon. member for Hochelaga—Maisonneuve that the Liberal members from Quebec will work hard to settle the issue of parental leave.


Final Offer Arbitration in Respect of West Coast Ports Operations Act February 16th, 2004

Madam Speaker, since I do not have much time, I will try to summarize my thoughts in order to make it clear that those of us on this side will be voting against this bill. It does, in fact, have no place whatsoever. It is as if the intention was to give the government the power to impose working conditions on one of the two parties.

This cannot be. In fact, I cannot even imagine a political party in this House proposing such a bill. I regret to say that I cannot see the progressives, the Progressive Conservatives, anywhere in this party.

What we see is the Alliance element, a party that is very much to the right, and now wants to impose working conditions on just about everything that moves in Canada.

What the hon. member across the way ought to know is that the Canada Labour Code contains a clause about going before an arbitrator at the request of both parties. Both parties must, however, accept conciliation after that mediation.

There are many tools to allow the two parties to reach agreement. The bottom line is that they can decide together, by mutual agreement, to call upon an arbitrator, who will then determine the working conditions.

Bill C-312 before us today would require amendment to the Canada Labour Code. The code would have to state that, after a certain number of days with no progress, the government would impose working conditions on one of the two parties. This is a totally unacceptable approach.

Arbitration does exist in certain areas. Take the National Hockey League for example. A system of arbitration has been agreed upon, negotiated by player representatives or the players' association, and representatives of the owners. It is part of their contracts.

There is a reason why this is in place, and why both parties have accepted it. It is because negotiations are taking place between one individual and a team. The individual is totally alone to defend his cause, so a clause has been included in the collective agreement to protect the individual. An average player, or a third string player, can therefore go before the arbitrator.

However, a big NHL star does not need arbitration because he draws crowds and the owners will give him what he wants. Look at Jagr, who is asking for $10 million a year. When his contract expires, he will have the upper hand in negotiations and the team's owner will give him what he wants.

Yet the average player or the third string player needs protection. That is why an agreement was signed between the player's association and the owner's association, which is part of the collective agreement.

In this case, nothing would be part of the collective agreement any more. If we accept it, this type of legislation would determine at which point negotiations would end or when the government would use legislation to impose working conditions on one of the parties.

It is hard to imagine that, in Canada—our country where we talk about freedom to negotiate, freedom to associate as workers in a union to defend workers' rights and working conditions, and where we have a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms—legislation could be introduced which would give the government the power to determine the working conditions in a company for the employees.

It is hard to imagine a political party in this House proposing something like that, but it happens. The former Alliance Party members may be hiding behind the name Conservatives, but they are not Progressive Conservatives. They want to give the government all the power to intervene.

Earlier, I listened to the member who is putting this bill forward. He said that, if the union wants $5 an hour and the company offers $1, at some point, they will have to meet somewhere in the middle. I do not know of any union in Canada that sets out to put a company out of business. I simply do not know of any.

A union, by definition, is made up of workers who get together, who elect an executive and give it the mandate to negotiate working conditions. They do not give a mandate to shut down the business. Therefore, there is no union that would make exaggerated demands that would eventually lead to the business shutting down.

In Canada, we have responsible unions and they have become business unions. So, when unions say to management that the company is making millions and hundreds of millions of dollars in profits and that the workers in other equivalent companies are earning 20 to 25% more than they are, and that the other companies are also making profits, obviously, in the next collective bargaining session, the workers will seek to negotiate financial advantages, and better working conditions, whether in pension plans or hourly wages.

The Canadian way of negotiation involves some give and take. The workers tell the employer that if the employer is making money, they will also negotiate for salary increases and better working conditions. If the employer is not making money, they will not ask for the moon. This is the attitude and the culture that have developed in Canada with respect to labour negotiations.

I was listening to my hon. colleague from the Bloc Quebecois who said that, in Quebec, they have a way of negotiating. It is true; they have a fine way of negotiating. Earlier, it was said that in Quebec they used back to work legislation. Still, there are two things to understand. In the private sector, the government does not intervene. The government may intervene in the public sector when services are involved, when people have no choice and no longer have access to public services. When the public has no access to health services, for instance, the government will say that that is enough and that since the parties are not able to agree, it will bring in back to work legislation. However, there are stages before that.

In Quebec, when public service unions decide to strike in order to negotiate, legislation requires that they implement and respect essential public services. Hospitals, CLSCs and schools cannot be closed just like that. The public must have access to essential services. When these services are not provided, then the government has the statutory right to intervene and say that, under the agreement, the other party must provide these essential services to the public, and since the latter is not respecting the legislation, the former will take statutory action to force workers back to work before bargaining can continue.

However, in the private sector, this legislation does not apply. There is a power relationship that absolutely must be established between the workers and the employer. That is the beauty of our system. Common sense will prevail during negotiations. Workers do not necessarily want to lose their jobs and the employer is not necessarily interested in shutting down. A middle ground will be found. There will be a conciliation officer and a mediator and, ultimately, there is a section in the Canada Labour Code under which the services of an arbitrator can be hired if the workers, the union and the employers all want one, while here, it is a statutory requirement. This is totally inappropriate. This means giving the government the legal power to intervene in private business and labour relations where it is has no business doing so.

We will vote against this bill because, currently, the Canada Labour Code provides all the tools needed to enable both parties to negotiate fairly and equitably. If they so desire, and give their consent, they have the power to appoint an arbitrator. On behalf of the Minister of Labour, we will be opposing this bill.

Patent Act November 7th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I want to thank the member for his comments. The arguments he presented encourage and promote committee work.

I was a member of the Quebec National Assembly where parliamentary commissions meet more often outside the regular session than during it. I would consider it quite normal for the parliamentary committees to also be able to meet when the House recesses. This would help us to move things forward as quickly as possible.

I just wanted to say that we have a Canada-Africa committee that is composed of parliamentary members. Yesterday I think, this committee was recognized by the House of Commons as being a parliamentary association. The president of this association is the member for Ottawa—Vanier. I congratulate him on the good work that he has done in this regard.

The member for Edmonton Southwest was right when he talked about one of his colleagues having participated. A number of members of parliament have had the experience of working in a developing county. I have met many of them and we talk a lot about it.

I would like to ask my colleague from Edmonton Southwest a question. Are there any specific groups, beside Doctors without Borders—I am sure pharmaceutical and generic companies will ask to be heard—that the committee should invite to appear? As a parliamentarian, would he be ready to participate in the work of this committee, even if the House is in recess, in order to ensure that we are able to table a report or to make recommendations to the Minister of Industry, Science and Technology as soon as the House returns?

Patent Act November 7th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I welcome the question from my colleague, the member for Edmonton Southwest, whom I admire and respect.

I had the opportunity to work with him on the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. I can tell you that he does a fantastic job. I respect his judgment and his analytical ability. Therefore, I am convinced that he will easily understand the answer.

The ministers for industry and international trade have a keen interest in this project. With their respective teams of officials, they worked seven days a week. They held consultations.

Right now, we are not saying that the bill is deficient. However, we are not infallible. Everyone must understand that various organizations want to be heard.

Earlier today I mentioned the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association and Doctors without Borders. There are NGOs who want to give their views on this bill. It was introduced in the House yesterday and they should have the opportunity to voice their opinions. Like any other bill in the House, this one will have to follow the procedure, which is introduction of the bill, first reading, second reading and referral to committee where witnesses who want to express their views can be heard.

We want a strong bill. We do not want to be forced to bring it back in the House to amend it in a year from now because there are legal problems or other kinds of problems with its implementation.

I make the commitment, as a member of this committee, to participate in the committee's sittings as early as Monday, if people want to convene the committee. This is not a problem for me. I absolutely want to take part in the proceedings of the committee, and I want it to hear people on this bill, to get the views of the public and the organizations that will have to implement it and work with it. We must get their opinion to ensure that international organizations, countries that will receive the aid are not handicapped by a bill that might have problems in some regards.

However, I am not in a position to explain these problems, because we believe the bill is strong, but we feel there is a need to explain them. People and organizations have already expressed themselves. They want to give us their opinion. They want to analyze the bill with us.

I believe we must do this because Canada is making an extraordinary gesture. I am ready. Even if Parliament is not in session, the committee can sit. I have no problem with this, if we want to do so.

In conclusion, I want the member to know that the future Liberal Party leader totally supports this bill. He will ensure that the bill is brought back to the House as soon as possible so that it is put into effect as quickly as possible.

Patent Act November 7th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I think that yesterday was a historic day for the Canadian government. One of the best parts of the legacy the Prime Minister will be leaving is Bill C-56.

For many years, stakeholders in the non-government organizations and the developing countries have asked western governments to help in the fight against debilitating illnesses, epidemics and other illnesses found in these areas.

It should be noted that these countries cannot take charge of their own destiny. We know that on this planet, with its billions of inhabitants, the western and northern countries are living in opulence. We are developing all sorts of services for our populations. We are trying to improve our fellow citizens' quality of life as much as we can. It really is a shame to see that we are only looking north and that we are totally ignoring our friends in the south, the whole of Africa and many countries in Asia, which are appealling for help because they are facing major health problems.

Once again, Canada is playing a leadership role in assisting developing countries. The commitment of our government and our Prime Minister to Africa has taken the form of an extraordinary initiative. Canada has become the first G-7 country to make its knowledge, research and medical products available to developing countries.

I am very happy to speak to this bill. I congratulate the Minister for International Trade, the Minister of Industry and the Secretary of State for Science, Research and Development on the exceptional effort they made in so little time. I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate the officials of the industry department who worked tirelessly seven days a week to prepare a bill and implement a government decision to help developing countries by providing them with the drugs they so urgently need.

So, I want to congratulate them on an extraordinary bill which they prepared in very short order. This bill is very well articulated, and it really reflects the philosophy of the Canadian government on humanitarian assistance.

This bill was introduced yesterday, and we are already proceeding with second reading today, because we want to pass the bill as quickly as possible. But we do not want to botch the job. We did think we had done our work before the bill was introduced, but it is important that the bill be referred to committee as quickly as possible so we can hear witnesses. Many agencies, like Doctors without Borders, want to be heard and give their opinions on this bill. There is also the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association. I would like to quote just one paragraph from the letter it wrote to the leader of the Government of Canada. This letter is from the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association:

The CGPA and its member companies strongly recommend that Bill C-56 not be passed without further consultations with our industry and other stakeholders. We believe that, at the very least, it is necessary for the legislation to be referred to Committee so that amendments can be made to increase the likelihood that the goals of the legislation will be realized.

Therefore, it is important to ensure that organizations who share the same concerns as the government have a chance to speak up and share their views on how to improve the bill and enhance it so that it is not just a token gesture, but a tool to provide real assistance to developing countries.

We held consultations. The bill was not established in a contextual vacuum. Again, I congratulate officials in the Departments of Industry and International Trade. We cannot thank them enough for their hard work. They went to great lengths to consult as many Canadian organizations as possible to ensure that the bill, at least at first reading, is consistent throughout, and facilitates Canadian government action for the benefit of developing countries.

These last two months, a special group made up of officials and both ministers concerned has been working on the bill. I can say, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, that we have been closely involved in the drafting of this bill.

Today, the Government of Canada is at the forefront of a worldwide movement to promote access to pharmaceutical products needed by developing countries to address public health problems such as AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other epidemics.

During my short life I have had the privilege of working in developing countries, and I hope to get back there. I had the privilege of working in Senegal, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. I either worked in the field or took part in training sessions in these countries. I had to deal with these health issues on a daily basis.

We talk about AIDS, but two of the leading causes of death among children are malaria and diarrhea, both of which are the subject of considerable research. We Canadians, as citizens of the world, must take part in this kind of research and work toward improving the quality of life of people in developing countries.

We cannot and must not ignore the problem, be navel gazers and only criticize what happens at home. While striving to improve our own lot, we forget about the needs of people in the rest of the world.

If we took the six billion people living on this planet and tried to determine where the wealth is, we would easily find that the wealth is controlled by less than one-sixth of the population. More than two thirds of human beings live in totally unacceptable conditions.

Today, we are setting an example, but we are also inviting other western countries to imitate Canada and do what we are doing today. Hopefully, we will get the support of the United States, France, Germany, Great Britain and others countries, all members of the World Trade Organization and the G-7 who like to make a great show of their economic power every year. I hope that from now on these countries will start to reflect on the fact that the planet does not belong only to a minority, but to everyone. Everyone has a place on this planet.

All those who have the privilege of living in a healthy environment should turn to those in need and help them. These people have a right to the same human respect, they need our help and they need to live.

Of course, we cannot buy respect, and Africans do not want to beg from western countries. They want to be recognized as true citizens of this world.

Today, acknowledging the call of those people, we have converted our thoughts into an exceptional act. It is true that we are acting through CIDA and international trade programs. It is true that we are acting through the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. CIDA spends hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to developing countries.

Today, all Canadians, through these agencies and departments, approve this action and congratulate the Canadian government because it had the courage to take the lead on this issue and call on other countries to imitate Canada's action for communities in need.

Essential agencies are playing a role in developing countries. There are hundreds of NGO's in Canada. Quebec is very much involved with NGO's. I have had the opportunity to work in education for the Fondation Paul Gérin-Lajoie, which was founded in the 1980s.

As I said earlier, I witnessed some totally unacceptable situations. Every year, many Canadians and Quebecers go to work as volunteer cooperants with other NGOs, like Oxfam Quebec or CECI, to share their knowledge and help the underprivileged to learn to look after themselves. Doctors Without Borders is another organization that plays a remarkable role.

Today, I want to pay tribute to Dr. Thomas, from Doctors Without Borders, who worked hard to ensure that the Government of Canada would show some leadership on this issue.

I do not want to go into this further, but I would urge all members of Parliament, regardless of their political affiliation, their origins and the regions they represent in this House, to support this initiative. This bills ought to be referred to a committee as soon as possible. I would also encourage them to meet with the organizations and the workers who are in contact with the people in need. Listen to them and see to it that this bill does not come back to us in a year or two to be amended. Let us draft a good bill right away so that we do not have to revisit its purpose constantly and that we can give the front line workers a badly needed tool and reach out to those who really need our help.

Committees of the House November 7th, 2003

Madam Speaker, I have the honour to present, in both official languages, the fifth report of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, entitled “Gasoline Pricing in Canada”.

BioChem Pharma November 7th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, the main concern of the Minister of Industry is to save existing jobs and investments that have been made.

We are awaiting the results of the discussions currently underway.

Radiocommunication Act November 6th, 2003

Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to address the House and begin debate at second reading of Bill C-52.

As we all know, this bill deals with the growing problem of piracy of direct-to-home satellite broadcast signals. Obviously, its purpose is to strengthen the measures employed to fight unauthorized decoding of direct-to-home satellite signals in Canada.

This kind of piracy is a theft of intellectual property and a growing problem in Canada. Illegal dealers make huge profits from the sale of unauthorized products capable of decoding encrypted signals sent by satellite television broadcasters.

These pirated systems function through the use of illegally altered smart cards, that enable unauthorized users to outsmart the conventional signal decoding technology used in satellite television receivers.

The viewers buy these pirated decoders from illegal dealers and then have access at no cost to satellite television.

Such actions are illegal and unethical, and pose numerous risks to the consumer.

They are illegal because they are in direct contravention of section 9 of the Radiocommunication Act, which was passed by Parliament in order to guarantee that Canadian companies can operate in a fair and equitable market without hesitating to take risks with respect to technological and programming innovations.

The broadcasting sector generates several billions of dollars in revenue and employs thousands of Canadians. I have some figures I would like to share with the House. Licensed Canadian broadcasters are described by the generic term of broadcasting distribution undertaking. These undertakings provide Canadians with broadcasting services in various formats, depending on the technology used.

Last year, private broadcasters earned $3.6 billion in revenue, employed more than 12,000 people and invested $1 billion in Canadian programming.

Cable distribution undertakings earned $1.7 billion, employed more than 9,600 people and provided services to 7 million subscribers.

The newcomer to this industry is direct-to-home or direct broadcasting by satellite, a service that has been provided in the United States for over a decade. It was not introduced in Canada until 1997 when Bell ExpressVu and Star Choice began providing their services after receiving CRTC approval.

These companies serve 2.1 million subscribers combined. Although they are not turning a profit yet, they have generated a combined revenue of $940 million. Last year, they invested $46 million in the production of Canadian programs.

To sum up, satellite broadcasters have quickly become fierce competitors for cable service providers. They cornered 20% of the entire Canadian market in 2002, while providing Canadians with a better choice of Canadian programming.

The vitality of the DBS industry is based on innovation. This industry uses new satellite technology such as Nimiq, the powerful DBS satellite developed by Telesat Canada. With this technology, satellite broadcasters are able to provide digital services to previously underserved urban and rural areas.

This is undeniably a good thing for Canada, and businesses in this industry must be able to rely on a fair and equitable market to get a good return on their investment in this type of technology.

However, the profitability of satellite broadcasters and of all broadcasting distributors, for that matter, is threatened when consumers try to have access to programming without paying for it.

When they illegally buy material that allow them to get around the technology and to get the signals free, they undermine the capacity of these businesses to get a good return on their investment.

We want to encourage innovation. We want to promote vitality and creativity in the broadcasting industry in Canada. We must implement market control rules that protect intellectual property. We must make legislation that encourages those who take risks to continue down the road to innovation. We must stop the proliferation of illegal equipment dealers.

The industry estimates that the number of unauthorized users of direct satellite broadcasting services ranges from 500,000 and 700,000 in Canada. Studies reveal that these activities lead to annual losses of $400 million on subscription revenues for this industry in Canada.

The provisions of the Radiocommunication Act clearly define the activities of illegal equipment dealers as being illegal. In fact, a decision by the Supreme Court in April 2002 says that unauthorized decoding of any encrypted subscription programming signal, no matter where it comes from, is considered illegal. But it would appear that the current provisions of the Radiocommunication Act are not enough of a deterrent.

The use of decoders is not only illegal, it is also ethically wrong. It is theft. This trade is in the hands of unscrupulous business people who, by making their services known on the black market, have shamelessly incited people to break the law.

Using illegal decoders to watch television is also a financial risk for consumers, who believe they are getting something for nothing or in exchange for a onetime payment to unscrupulous business people. In the end, however, consumers could be left empty handed.

To protect their interests and discourage satellite signal theft, direct-to-home broadcasters frequently scramble their broadcast signals. Consumers purchasing illegal decoders are at the mercy of unscrupulous corporations, which must continually provide their clients with the most recent encryption keys, allowing the uninterrupted decoding of broadcast signals.

Consequently, Canadians using illegal decoding equipment could face substantial financial losses. Their service may be terminated without notice or possible recourse, because consumer protection laws do not apply to purchases of illegal goods.

Corporations selling illegal decoding equipment are exploiting consumers who may be unaware that the technology they are buying could quickly become useless. The bill before the House today includes measures to protect consumers. However, our target is the unauthorized resellers, who earn millions of dollars from their illegal activities. This kind of crime is on the rise, and it is our intention to put a stop to such activities.

In closing, I want to add that this bill also includes measures on public safety. The use of pirated receiver cards has been found to create signal interference with licensed radiocommunication systems of emergency and police services. We must put an end to the illegal exploitation of radiocommunication signals, as this endangers the legitimate use of wireless first responder services.

Those are the problems we face. How will the bill help us to resolve these problems? It will do so by presenting three measures aimed at discouraging the unauthorized decoding of satellite signals.

First, the bill improves import controls in order to prevent unauthorized radiocommunication material from entering Canada, including illegal satellite broadcasting material. The Canada Customs and Revenue Agency has indicated that the current Radiocommunication Act is difficult to enforce.

Right now, import controls for illegal satellite broadcasting material are ineffective. We want to improve the ability of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency to seize illegal satellite broadcasting material as soon as it gets to the border.

Second, the bill increases the penalties set out in the Radiocommunication Act so that they will be more of a deterrent for anyone tempted to steal satellite broadcasting signals or to commit certain other crimes.

Satellite piracy is an extremely lucrative business. Dealers advertise their illegal products and services in our newspapers and on the Internet.

There are penalties under sections 9 and 10 of the existing act, but they are not harsh enough to have a deterrent effect on dealers. In fact, paying the fines that are set out in the act can be considered as the price to pay to engage in these lucrative illegal activities.

Therefore, this bill proposes penalties that will send a strong message to industry stakeholders and to the courts to convince them that Parliament sees satellite piracy as a serious offence.

Third, this bill reinforces the existing right to take civil action. The Canadian broadcasting industry tried to curb the growth of pirated satellite services. However, the civil recourses that are available are both expensive and ineffective. In many cases, it is difficult and costly to prove a causal link between the illegal act and the extent of the losses incurred by the industry. With this bill, it will be possible to elect to receive statutory damages instead of having to prove the extent of the damages caused.

Satellite signal piracy causes financial losses to an important cultural industry in Canada, an industry that supports Canadian programming and that employs thousands of Canadians. The government is committed to improving the stability, integrity and general conditions of broadcasting in Canada. We wish to improve the stability of the industry in order to encourage investment and competition.

Current penalties are not tough enough to discourage satellite signal piracy. We shall make the penalties stronger, make it possible to seek statutory damages, and increase our capacity to stop illegal equipment imports.

The purpose behind these measures is not to limit the choices that are available. What we want is to prevent the slow death of broadcasting in Canada. The end result will be better programming and wider choices for Canadians, and fewer opportunities for those who are tempted to make money through illegal activities.

I invite all members of the House of Commons to join me in supporting this bill.