Russell McOrmond's blog

Supreme Court Justice Ian Binnie to retire

CBC is reporting that Supreme Court Justices Ian Binnie and Louise Charron are retiring retire.

Justice Binnie was one of the most active Supreme Court judges when it comes to Copyright cases, penning the Theberge and Tariff 22 cases and being actively involved with many others.

Now starts the speculation on whether the shape of future Copyright cases will change as two justices are replaced.

Rookie MP Kennedy Stewart - SFU rock musician

Rookie MP for Burnaby - Douglas Kennedy Stewart is said to be a Simon Fraser University public-policy professor, as well as a former rock 'n' roll musician.

I don't yet know Mr. Stewart, but it would be interesting to have someone with a background in both public policy and music involved in future Copyright debates. He may be able to move away from the pure emotional demands towards an evidence-based public policy goal. There is often a disconnect in Copyright between problems that are identified and proposed solutions which often make the problem worse (TPMs, misapplied compulsory licenses, "stronger" rather than better copyright).

Non-incumbent returning MPs: Peggy Nash, Françoise Boivin

While rookie MPs may be the most interesting to speculate about, we have two returning MPs who were not incumbents in the last election.

Peggy Nash (NDP) returns in the 41'st parliament to Parkdale--High Park. In the 40'th parliament the seat was taken by Gerard Kennedy (Liberal). Ms. Nash had taken the seat for the 39'th parliament from controversial Liberal MP Sarmite Bulte who had the seat in the 36'th, 37'th and 38'th parliaments.

Former Liberal Françoise Boivin from the 38'th parliament took Gatineau for the NDP from incumbent Bloc Québécois representative Richard Nadeau. Mr Nadeau held the seat in the 39'th and 40'th parliament.

L’Étranger than fiction - Andrew Cash joins fellow band-mate in House

Quebec is not the only place where there are some new Official Opposition members we should take note of. Newly elected rookie MP for Davenport, Andrew Cash, was a fellow L’Étranger and is now a fellow NDP caucus member with childhood friend Charlie Angus. Mr Cash was also the co-founder of the Canadian Music Creators Coalition back in 2006.

While CMCC may not have been active recently, the fact that some of their members are MPs suggests that their positive message about the future of music and copyright may be better heard in the house.

Rookie MP Tyrone Benskin, ACTRA National Vice-President

Some of the new Quebec MPs will make some interesting influences on technology law such as Copyright. Newly elected rookie MP for Jeanne-Le Ber, Tyrone Benskin, is also (or rather was) the National Vice-President for ACTRA. Given he now has a more-than-full time job in Ottawa and his riding, he'll obviously be stepping down from his roll at ACTRA.

Census 2011 comments

The last section of the short-form online census (Step F) asks for comments, and I added the following:

I wish the long form was still mandatory, and that the results of this census would be more statistically valid.

I am happy to see this online census didn't require any unverified software to be downloaded, including Java code, and worked with standard browsers available on all platforms (including my secure Linux desktop).

While the origins of the first comment is likely obvious, the second part of the comment was in relation to problems that happened with the 2006 online census.

New MPs and outgoing MPs

The list of newly elected MPs have been loaded into a database, and available via the MP pages and the Election 2011 candidates tool. Check out the list of 108 rookie MPs.

For those that do not know, there are 2 districts under judicial recount (Montmagny--L'Islet--Kamouraska--Rivière-du-Loup with 5 votes different between NDP and Conservative, Etobicoke Centre with 25 votes between Conservative and Liberal) and a third where there is the possibility (Nipissing--Timiskaming with 14 votes between Conservative and Liberal).

Some interesting MPs: Young and online?

While the election is over, we in the tech community should consider this the beginning of the next level. We now need to transition into learning about all the local MPs, some who are first time politicians and some who are quite young. We need to meet with them so that they know the perspective on important federal issues from the independent technology community.

Some new NDP MPs who are already being discussed coincidentally replaced Bloc MPs who attended at least one of the Bill C-32 committee hearings.

Advice to a Conservative majority on Copyright

While I’ve not being asked yet, I thought I would offer the new majority government some advice that I believe is consistent with their stated values. All too often with the debates around technology law we see policies put forward that I’m concerned MPs haven’t given the time to understand how they interact with their own longer-standing values and experiences.

This is also an open invitation to any MP or MP staffer from any party to meet in Ottawa to discuss this area of policy. This isn’t sound-bite stuff that can be understood in only a few moments. While I’m a volunteer policy coordinator for a few technology related organizations, I would be meeting as a citizen who has spent much of the last decade dedicated to this area of policy.

Syndicate content