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Crucial Fact

  • Her favourite word was cbc.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Mississauga East—Cooksville (Ontario)

Won her last election, in 2008, with 50% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Jeanne Sauvé Award March 17th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, in June 1993 the Department of Canadian Heritage established the Jeanne Sauvé award for women in communications in memory of the former Governor General of Canada who had a long and distinguished career in media and in federal politics.

The award entitles recipients to a three-month internship with the Department of Canadian Heritage to gain first-hand knowledge of how policy and legislation are developed in the federal government. The award program is administered in conjunction with Canadian Women in Radio and Television.

On behalf of the Department of Canadian Heritage I congratulate Jeanne Sauvé award recipients Susan Brinton, Manager of Business Affairs with Canwest Global, and Kirsten Embree, Director of Regulatory matters for Unitel.

I welcome them most heartily and I hope that they will find their stay interesting and informative.

Supply March 16th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the publishing world must be looking at this debate to rank the abilities of the aspiring mystery writers in this Chamber.

There is no mystery surrounding Ginn. The Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Industry have both been rich in their explanation on the sale of Ginn. They have provided us with the richest details on the sale. The deal is transparent.

I must be suffering from a lapse of memory because I do not recall the hon. member's speaking up in defence of Canadian cultural industries when his party went to the U.S. to produce a campaign video. Perhaps he is gripped with the culture of convenience or the convenience of the cultural issue.

Supply March 16th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, Canadians had the good judgment to elect a Liberal government.

It is the intent of this government to present Canadians with sound cultural policy initiatives which I hope even the hon. member will come to appreciate.

I am still confused about the apparent contradiction in his statements. Is it the member's intent that we should buy back Ginn? Is that what he is suggesting by his earlier statements?

Supply March 16th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, I heard the hon. member earlier applauding the initiative of the Leader of the Opposition when he mentioned that this government should not have proceeded with the sale of Ginn.

In purely financial terms which the Reform Party is always harping on, the Reform Party should be applauding the initiative taken by this government. In its own very narrow terms, the sale of Ginn gives the Canadian government $10 million for its coffers.

This is an interesting twist because the Reform Party is always preaching that the government should get out of the business world except when it becomes an issue in the media.

Let me reassure the hon. member that if any responsible government wants to tailor a sound cultural policy, and I hope the hon. member wants a sound Canadian cultural policy, if it chooses not to lose its shirt on one deal, it is sound judgment and sound cultural policy. This government will not be throwing Canadian taxpayers' money away.

Supply March 16th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the motion before us today calls for the reinstatement of the Baie Comeau policy which was adopted by the previous government in July 1985.

The late Conservative government introduced a foreign investment policy for the book trade in July 1985 which came to be known as the Baie Comeau policy. The objective of the policy was to Canadianize the book publishing and the book distribution industry by flowing distribution revenues from imported books through Canadian controlled firms. More specifically when a foreign investor acquired a book publisher or distributor in Canada it was obliged to divest control of the business to Canadians.

While I am sure all members of the House, including I might add rather ironically the leader of the Bloc, would agree that Canadianizing the book trade is a laudable objective, the chosen instrument of the previous government, the Baie Comeau policy, simply did not work. It is patently absurd to demand a reinstatement of that policy.

To begin with the policy was implemented through the Investment Canada Act, a statute also instituted by the Conservatives. This legislation was designed to attract foreign investment into Canada, not to discourage it. This led to a situation in the publishing industry in which foreign investors created sham Canadian corporations; that is firms which met the technical definition of Canadian control under the act but which effective control continued to rest with the foreign investor.

Under the free trade agreement the guarantee of fair, open market value to investors obliged to divest control exposed the government to significant financial risks without any benefit to Canadian publishers. Furthermore the policy was not linked to any incentives for Canadian ownership. To put it another way the Canadian control sector of the industry was too weak to profit from any opportunities provided by forced divestiture.

There was nothing to prevent foreign publishers who acquired these Canadian subsidiaries from withdrawing to the U.S. and serving Canadians directly from there. This completely undermined the objective of supporting a strong Canadian based industry and a strong east-west distribution system. For example Grolier Canada and Doubleday Canada were both implicated in indirect acquisitions between 1985 and 1992. A significant portion of their warehousing and fulfilment operations were transferred to the United States. A government cannot simply rely on indirect acquisitions, that is transactions in which

Canadian businesses are incidentally involved in international mergers and acquisitions to achieve domestic policy goals.

The track record of the Baie Comeau policy was an extremely disappointing one. The one instance in which Canadians gained a 51 per cent interest in a foreign book publisher occurred because the taxpayers themselves stepped in and made the purchase.

I refer, of course, to the CDIC's purchase of the 51 per cent interest in Ginn Canada for which the taxpayers paid $10.3 million to a hostile foreign partner. As a result of the government's recent decision to resell its interest in Ginn back to Paramount, the taxpayers will recover this investment.

The publishing community has criticized the government's decision to resell Ginn and company to Paramount. Let me underline the fact that the government weighed all the facts before it made its decision.

In January 1992 the previous government announced a new package of measures for the book publishing industry. I use the term new advisedly. What the government did in fact was claim for itself a longstanding Liberal approach to book publishing policy. That approach was based on a mix of program and policy instruments which together formed the basis of a comprehensive and coherent industrial and cultural strategy for the book publishing and the book distribution sector.

The two key elements of the 1992 announcements were, first, a revised foreign investment policy and second, increased funding for the book publishing industry development program. The revised foreign investment policy marked a return to the regime which prevailed under the Foreign Investment Review Act and which had been introduced by a Liberal government in the 1960s. The book publishing industry development program was initially introduced by a Liberal government in the late 1970s.

Increasing Canadianization of the book trade in Canada has always been an objective of the Liberal government and it continues to be so today. Foreign investment policy is one instrument for achieving that objective but it must be applied in a way which will achieve tangible results.

The guidelines of the amended foreign investment policy are as follows: new investments in the book publishing industry will be limited to joint ventures under Canadian control; takeovers of Canadian-controlled companies will not be allowed.

Under extraordinary circumstances, the government might consider an exception to this guideline. In such a case, the government must have credible evidence from the vendor that the company is in obvious financial distress and that Canadians really had an opportunity to buy it.

If a non-Canadian is chosen as a potential buyer, his proposed investment will be subject to a net benefit review.

If a foreign investor wishes to sell a Canadian company regardless of any other transaction, Canadians will have an opportunity to bid; indirect acquisitions by foreign companies will be allowed provided that they are of net cultural and industrial benefit to Canada and to the Canadian-controlled publishing industry.

More specifically, Investment Canada will normally seek to obtain one or more commitments from the foreign investor, such as the commitment to support Canadian authors, in particular by establishing joint ventures with Canadian-controlled publishers so that the Canadian authors whom they publish have access to new national and international markets; the commitment to support the book distribution infrastructure, for example by distributing imported titles through an exclusive Canadian-controlled publisher/distributor; by maintaining in Canada fully integrated warehousing and fulfilment operations for recent publications and back-list items; by participating actively in co-operative projects with the industry on marketing, distribution and order fulfilment operations.

Contractual access to the company's marketing and distribution infrastructure in Canada or its international network by Canadian-controlled publishers whose interests are compatible;

Financial and professional assistance to institutions that offer teaching and research programs in the publishing field.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw your attention to the results obtained by this government for the Canadian-controlled publishing sector by applying this policy on indirect acquisitions.

In the case of Maxwell Macmillan, this government was able to obtain a commitment from Paramount to entrust the distribution of high-volume imported books, a Canadian market estimated at some $4 million in 1993, to Canadian-controlled publishers and agents. This is a very important precedent because the previous government was unable to obtain similar commitments for indirect investments, as in the Harper-Collins case.

In announcing the Baie Comeau policy the previous government was effectively putting all its eggs in one basket. The megaproject approach to automatic forced divestiture has proven to be illusory. The focus on automatic forced divestitures as a cure for the ills of the publishing industry has been proven to be counterproductive. The only time it ever worked was when the taxpayer was forced to send money to a large U.S. multinational

corporation whose need for Canadians' hard-earned cash was at best questionable.

Surely Canadian taxpayers' money, increasingly limited as it is, ought to be spent in Canada on the Canadian-owned publishing industry. The Liberal approach to book publishing policy has been seen to strike a balance between financial and foreign investment policy, providing publishers with the financial resources to grow and seeking undertakings from foreign investors which will benefit the Canadian-owned and controlled sector of the industry. It is a longer term strategy but ultimately a more effective one.

No policy is ever perfect. There is always room for improvement. This government does not question the objectives underlying the instruments now in place to support the book trade. As far as the foreign investment policy is concerned we are more than willing to sit down with the publishers and discuss what improvements could be made to the guidelines.

I would like to make this as clear as possible: This government strongly believes in the economic growth of the Canadian-owned publishing industry and in the industry's progressive Canadianization. Any improvements to the policy guidelines would be made in the spirit of these policy objectives.

I would like to talk to you briefly about the publishing industry development assistance program.

The main purpose of this program is to strengthen the ability of the Canadian-held and controlled sector of the industry to publish and market Canadian literary works, nationally and internationally.

This program was implemented especially to encourage Canadian-held and controlled publishing houses to increase their efficiency and to reward those that are able to improve their long-term economic viability; to give Canadian-held and controlled companies the tools they need to become more competitive so that they can build up capital and finance their growth and development; to facilitate the development of the market, in particular through new publishing technologies; to promote Canadian ownership; to ensure the continued diversity of types of books by Canadian authors that are published.

The beneficiaries of the program are publishing houses that are at least 75 per cent Canadian-held and controlled, as well as industry groups and associations. The annual budget for the program is about $24 million.

The government also provides significant financial support to Canadian-owned and controlled publishers, distributors and booksellers for the physical distribution of books across the country as well as for the marketing in Canada of Canadian titles. This is of crucial importance in a domestic market which is small, linguistically fragmented and spread across a vast geographical area.

Indeed, national and international marketing support is also crucial to enable companies to recoup their production costs in our small domestic markets.

Now I would like to say a few words about the copyright policy.

At present, exclusive publishers and agents have no official legal protection for enforcing contractual book publishing or distribution agreements in Canada. This very regrettable situation makes us almost unique among our main trading partners. It results in a loss of income for Canadian publishers and makes it more difficult for them to maintain a solid financial footing.

In an effort to consolidate the financial base of Canadian publishers and distributors, we intend to make two amendments to the Copyright Act as part of Phase II of the review.

The Copyright Act should be amended to strengthen the protection of copyright holders from pirate works, to provide better protection to exclusive licence holders for their publishing rights on the Canadian market, and to give better protection to exclusive distributors for their distribution rights on the Canadian market.

These changes will not create new rights under the Copyright Act; however, they will give exclusive licence holders and exclusive distributors the possibility to sue for enforcement of their territorial rights.

If I may, I would like to draw a parallel with magazine publishing. The government's objectives in this sector are the same as they are for the book trade: to strengthen the Canadian industry and ensure that Canadians have access to a wide range of Canadian writing.

The report of the task force on the Canadian magazine industry is expected very shortly. I can assure the House that the government intends to respond quickly to the task force report in a way which will strengthen the Canadian magazine industry's economic foundation.

Supply March 14th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure that I rise today to applaud the government's decision to reinstate the court challenges program.

The original court challenges program began in 1978 when the Secretary of State and the Minister of Justice announced the establishment of a fund to provide financial assistance for legal expenses of litigants seeking clarification of the scope of protection afforded to official language minorities under either section 93 or 133 of the Constitution Act of 1867.

Following the proclamation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982 the Secretary of State and the Minister of Justice reaffirmed and updated the court challenges program. The program was expanded to include sections 16 to 23 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In 1985 section 15 of the charter came into effect and the court challenges program was expanded to include equality rights protected under that provision. At the same time, administration of the program was assigned to an arm's length organization, the Canadian Council on Social Development, which administered the program until 1990 when the responsibility was transferred to the Human Rights Research and Education Centre of the University of Ottawa.

The termination by the previous government of the court challenges program was severely criticized. It was seen by many as an attack on human rights. Former Supreme Court Justice Bertha Wilson wrote to the Minister of Justice at the time, expressing here dismay and distress over the cancellation of the program. She wrote, in part: "I have on numerous occasions publicly expressed the view that it is totally illusory to confer rights on people who do not have the means to enforce them".

The program has been commended for making the critical difference between access to charter rights and no access, and this government is committed to ensuring access for Canadians to a judicial system that would otherwise be beyond reach.

We agree with Madam Wilson that rights for people who do not have the means to enforce them are totally illusory.

The program funds precedent-making cases that are national in scope. While it subsidizes individuals and groups, it is concerned with issues that affect many Canadians. It is not a general legal aid program. To guarantee impartiality of decisions on cases with financial implications, the government has transferred responsibility for the program to independent organizations.

Since its founding, the program has been unique in Canada and has attracted praise from outside the country as well. It bears witness to the fact that enshrining rights in legislation has no impact if the people they are supposed to protect lack the means to enforce those rights.

In fact, people have been very critical of the Charter because it is not accessible to the average Canadian. In the past, the Court Challenges Program has ensured access to the courts for all individuals who want to defend their language or equality rights.

The program has made it possible for all Canadians to be full participants in the Constitution of our country. It has been instrumental in making charter rights accessible to francophone parents, aboriginal women and the disabled, to name only a few.

In addition to language and equality rights, the new court challenges program will fund test cases of national significance involving challenges to fundamental freedoms as outlined under section 2 of the charter.

These basic freedoms are as follows: freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other communications media, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association.

I am also pleased to say that the program, as reinstated, will continue to provide financial support for legal tests that are national in scope and concern federal and provincial statutes covered by sections 93 and 133 of the Constitution Act, 1867, section 23 of the Manitoba Act, 1870, and sections 16 to 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The program will also continue to provide financial support for court challenges of federal statutes, practices and policies, under sections 15-equality-and 28-gender equality-of the Charter, or when an argument relating to section 27 of the Charter- multiculturalism-supports arguments based on section 15.

The new program will be administered independently by a non-profit agency, whose board of directors will include representatives of the Canadian Bar Association, non-governmental organizations and universities.

Proposals and discussion papers on the new program have been received from a number of groups. Officials are reviewing these carefully as they continue to work on the modalities of the program. A number of parties have expressed an interest in working with the department to ensure the expedient reinstatement of the program.

This government recognizes and values the experience of individuals and groups involved with the former court challenges program. It is committed to seeking their views prior to making a decision on the legal structure and operating principles of the new program.

As a result of the broad range of interest, experience and expertise which will be taken into account by the government, I am confident the program will be implemented as quickly as possible in a manner accountable to the government and the people of Canada.

Sixth Paraolympic Winter Games In Lillehammer March 14th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, the official opening of the Sixth ParaOlympic Winter Games took place last Thursday, in Lillehammer, Norway.

The Paralympic games are the premier competition for high performance athletes with disabilities.

Six hundred athletes representing 31 countries are participating in these Games, which are held from March 10 to 19.

Canada is represented by 34 athletes competing in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, sledge hockey, biathlon and ice sledge racing. These athletes deserve our full support and recognition for their hard work and commitment to their sport.

Stacy Kohut of Calgary has won Canada's first gold medal of the Paralympics today. She was victorious in the Super G event. Lana Spreeman of Calgary has won two bronze medals, one in downhill skiing and the other in Super Giant Slalom. Ramona Hot of Edmonton won a bronze in a separate downhill event.

I am very pleased to announce that Canada's athletes have already won four medals at these Games.

Borrowing Authority Act, 1994-95 March 7th, 1994

Mr. Speaker, in answer to the question asked by the hon. member for Rimouski-Témiscouata, first of all I have to make it clear that the National Arts Centre's director general is appointed by the corporation's board of directors. Moreover, the director general's salary is set by the Governor in Council; so, all the terms and conditions of employment of the director general come directly under the responsibility and authority of the National Arts Centre's board of directors, as provided under the National Arts Centre Act. As for the first part of her question, the hon. member for Rimouski-Témiscouata can therefore see that it is not incumbent on the government in this specific instance to determine the working conditions and the severance pay of NAC employees.

The director general position is classified by the Privy Council at the GIC-8 level which currently has a salary range of $110,100 to $129,700. Mr. Yvon DesRochers was appointed director general of the National Arts Centre in 1988 for a five-year term and was reappointed for another five years in May 1993.

His salary was fixed by the Governor in Council subsequent to negotiations between the board of trustees and Mr. DesRochers at the time of his appointment. Specific information on Mr. DesRochers' salary is protected under the Privacy Act as it is for all Canadians protected by this legislation.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage would also like to point out that the salary of the director general was set by the previous government.

Finally, Mr. Yvon DesRochers' contract has been terminated following the decision made by the National Arts Centre's board of directors on January 14, 1994.

National Arts Centre February 21st, 1994

Mr. Speaker, as the hon. member is aware, Mr. DesRochers was appointed by the National Arts Centre's board of directors during the previous government's mandate, and the decision to fire him was made within the powers granted to the board of directors.

The details of his contract are confidential. As the hon. member knows, it is inappropriate to comment on an internal management decision since the National Arts Centre is, as she knows very well, an independent crown corporation.

Defence Policy February 17th, 1994

Madam Speaker, the member for Mackenzie has again raised the issue of the Western Grain Transportation Act.

Yesterday he noted that the previous government had implemented a 10 per cent reduction in the government subsidy effective last August and that proposals for further changes had been tabled. Last year's reduction in the WGTA subsidy was a consequence of the previous government's December 1992 economic statement.

The Minister of Transport yesterday advised the hon. member to wait until next Tuesday when our colleague, the hon. Minister of Finance, will have the pleasure of tabling the first budget on behalf of our government.

This budget will reflect one of the most extensive and open consultative processes that has ever preceded the tabling of budgets in this House. Canadians have reason to be confident that this budget will be seen as a major initiative toward getting people back to work and addressing the financial challenges facing the country.

Last summer the previous government tabled a draft bill on reforming the Western Grain Transportation Act. It set in motion certain processes for consultation with interested parties on two key issues: method of payment as well as grain transportation and handling efficiencies.

My colleague, the hon. Minister of Agriculture, has stated that our government has no entrenched commitment to the draft reform legislation. We recognize that the WGTA is an extremely important issue to all Canadians. We also acknowledge that many people have devoted considerable time and energy to the consultative processes that were under way when we took office.

For those reasons we have decided to complete processes and then determine our next course of action. I understand the ministers involved hope that by the summer they will be in a position to give a more definitive response concerning the government's plans for the Western Grain Transportation Act.