Legislative Committee on Bill C-32

Group submissions to C-11 committee : CBA submission in context.

A small group of lawyers have publicly disagreed with the submission to the Bill C-32 committee (the predecessor to the current C-11 committee) from the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), an association of approximately 37,000 members that 26 of them are members of. Given the publicity this group has been able to receive, I think it is interesting to look at group submissions in general.

It is not unusual for a subset of the membership of a group who has submitted to these committees to disagree. In fact, that is the norm. This frustrates many people when these associations go into committee and list their membership numbers as if all the members were in agreement with -- or were even made aware of the policy positions of -- the person sitting as witness in committee.

Thoughts on C-32 committee members from the Conservative Party of Canada.

Of the 12 members of the C-32 committee, six of them were from the Conservative party of Canada. This included chair Gordon Brown (Leeds—Grenville, ON). Three members were there for almost all meetings: Mike Lake (Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, AB), Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough, ON), and Peter Braid (Kitchener—Waterloo, ON). While the other members included Sylvie Boucher ( Beauport—Limoilou, QC) and Kelly Block (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, Sask) when the committee was formed, they were substituted with other Conservative members including Ed Fast (Abbotsford, BC) who became very active, Hon. Maxime Bernier (Beauce, QC) who became acting chair at one point, as well as Brent Rathgeber (Edmonton—St. Albert, AB), Daryl Kramp (Prince Edward—Hastings, ON), Hon. Michael D. Chong (Wellington—Halton Hills, ON), Leon Benoit (Vegreville—Wainwright, AB), Mike Wallace (Burlington, ON) and Paul Calandra (Oak Ridges—Markham, ON).

Thoughts on C-32 committee members from the Liberal Party of Canada.

Of the 12 members of the C-32 committee, three of them were from the Liberal party of Canada. The primary three were Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier), Marc Garneau (Westmount—Ville-Marie), and Hon. Dan McTeague ( Pickering—Scarborough East). Filling in when one of these three members couldn’t attend was Francis Scarpaleggia (Lac-Saint-Louis), Hon. John McCallum (Markham—Unionville), Scott Simms (Bonavista—Gander—Grand Falls—Windsor) and Yasmin Ratansi (Don Valley East).

MP vows to quickly revive Copyright Bill in next Parliament

A Hill Times article discusses copyright, including some interesting quotes from Mr. Dean Del Mastro.

"If we want to maintain good trade relationships with the United States, if we want to be able to get a free trade agreement in place with the European Union, if we want to see the kind of growth in the knowledge-based economy that we believe is so important to Canada, then we have got to update the Copyright Act," Mr. Del Mastro said.

Thoughts on C-32 committee members from the Bloc Québécois

Of the 12 members of the C-32 committee, two of them were from the Bloc Québécois. Carole Lavallée (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert) and Serge Cardin (Sherbrooke) were there at each meeting, with Guy André (Berthier—Maskinong) being on-hand for one meeting just in case there was a vote (He didn't speak that I am aware of).

I believe the questions directed at me when I had an opportunity to speak before the committee were typical of what I heard other meetings.

Thoughts on C-32 committee members from the NDP

Of the 12 members of the C-32 committee, only one of them was from the NDP (based on the percentage of NDP seats in the house). While Mr. John Rafferty (Thunder Bay—Rainy River, NDP) stood in for Mr. Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP) for part of one of the days, it was otherwise Mr. Angus at all meetings. He is the Heritage, Culture, and digital issues critic for the NDP.

Please talk to candidates, not focus on parties.

As the general election starts, I want to remind people of some advise I gave during the 2008 election. I was often asked which political party I thought was best on technology law issues. My answer always was: It’s the candidates, not the parties.

My belief in this is even stronger now that I have spent approximately 4 hours a week for the past few months with the group of MPs who made up the legislative committee for Bill C-32.

Thoughts on C-32 committee meeting 20. Possibly the last meeting?

The 20'th and possibly the last meeting of the Legislative Committee on Bill C-32 had people from the Council of Ministers of Education in the morning, and representatives from Athabasca University and differently abled persons in the afternoon. The focus was on limitations and exceptions to Copyright.

It was mentioned a few times that this was likely the last meeting of this specific committee, with the election seeming inevitable at this point. In the break between the morning and afternoon sessions a few cameras were taken out by committee members, with pictures taken in a very collegial manner. It wasn't the air of the anger one often sees during an election, but of school mates wishing each other well before heading home for the summer.

Thoughts on C-32 committee meeting 19

Meeting 19 was at 1 Wellington Street, rather than centre block. Gordon Brown (Leeds—Grenville) was back as chair after having been away due to a death in the family. While sending my condolences to him, I also want to send out a "get well soon" to Dan McTeague (Pickering—Scarborough East) who despite having pneumonia was at the meeting and in the house today (participating as much as he could given the situation).

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