Jeanne-Le Ber

Protecting our Canadian Culture ... from Bill C-60.

Dear Prime Minister Paul Martin,
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women Liza Frulla,
Minister of Industry David Emerson,
Member for Ottawa-South David McGuinty,

On November 23, 2005, Canada became the first country to ratify the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. I agree that this is something that Canadians can be proud of.

Riding hilight: Jeanne-Le Ber, current riding of Heritage Minister Liza Frulla

I was reminded today reading an article that Heritage Minister Liza Frulla won her seat by only 72 votes after a recount (18,766 votes compared with 18,694 votes for Thierry St-Cyr of the Bloc Québécois). With the seat possibly vulnerable, she may be more willing to listen to constituents during an election than otherwise.

I hope that constituents in her Montreal-area riding of Jeanne-Le Ber will challenge her on her cultural policy views. You also need to connect with the other candidates, ensuring that they are well informed on the issues so that they can differentiate themselves. This may be an activity that can be taken up by the Montreal CopyNight folks who meet in neighbouring riding of Westmount--Ville-Marie. Area activists are encouraged to join the Montreal mailing list.

UNESCO Cultural Treaty On the Rocks, Fearing U.S. Withdrawal

This EMBASSY article by Sarah McGregor includes:

A new international pact to protect creative expression from the threat of globalization is so strongly opposed by the United States that a diplomat in Ottawa fears Washington may withdraw from UNESCO for the second time.

Where does Minister Frulla really stand on cultural policy?

The following letter was sent to the Hill Times.

Re: Culture part of Canadian identity goes beyond NAFTA, says Minister Frulla (Page 2, September 7, 2005 issue of Hill Times)

I find it disturbing that federal Heritage Minister Liza Frulla claims that the UNESCO cultural diversity convention is a big personal achievement as a politician. Will she also claim as an achievement the passage of her Bill C-60 and the implementation of the 1996 WIPO treaties, even though Bill C-60 directly conflicts with the UNESCO convention?

Does the Heritage minister support or oppose cultural diversity and Canadian cultural sovereignty?

I have to admit that this story baffles me. The Financial Times article reporting on the UNESCO cultural diversity treaty is titled "US stands alone over cultural diversity treaty". The claim is that, "A United Nations treaty to protect and promote cultural diversity is likely to be overwhelmingly approved today in the face of lonely opposition from the US, which fears the impact on exports of US films and television programmes."

Canadian Heritage Minister Liza Frulla is quoted as saying it was "a tool to protect our own identities". Is this the same Minister who chose an HMV to launch Bill C-60, a modification to the Canadian copyright act that will only benefit the same US film, television, recoding and "software manufacturing" industry associations that the US is worried that the UNESCO treaty doesn't adequately privilege?

Bill C-60 to be referred to a legislative committee, not Heritage or Industry

I received the following reply to a letter I sent to Hon. Tony Valeri, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.

Dear Mr. McOrmond:

On behalf of the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Tony Valeri, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your correspondence dated July 27th, 2005, concerning the study and implementation of Bill C-60, An Act to amend the Copyright Act.

As you are aware, Bill C-60 was introduced and read for the first time in the House of Commons on June 20th, 2005 by the Honourable Liza Frulla, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for Status of Women. As you may be aware, given the complexity and the magnitude of this issue, we intend to refer the bill to a legislative committee, rather than to the Heritage or Industry committees.

Frulla dumped from important Cabinet committee?

The Aug 8 issue of the Hill Times had this very short note in Cabinet shuffleboard game not confined to Quebec about Minister Frulla.

Meanwhile, it is no secret that the Quebec contingent of Cabinet ministers has not outshone itself and that that there are tensions within. Heritage Minister Liza Frulla has not endeared herself to colleagues and was dumped from an important Cabinet committee because of poor attendance.

I want Cabinet to stand up for Canada, not "broadcasting"

The following letter was sent to a number of key MPs, as well as to the editor of the Hill Times. It was published under "Newsmakers" in the October 14, 2005 issue of Canadian New Media.

ACTRA, CIRPA, SOCAN and the "Friends of Canadian Broadcasting" have taken out a full page advertisement in the September 5 issue of the Hill Times promoting government intervention into a recent CRTC decision on satellite radio.

I was pleased that the CRTC decision recognized that subscription satellite radio is not the same as broadcast radio. I support a full spectrum of production, distribution and funding models for creativity, and believe that the greatest threat to Canadian creativity comes from those who wish to impose past models onto all creativity.

July 3rd 2005 in Montreal: Copyright and you

Copyright 2005: Sunday afternoon, July 3rd 2005. A presentation of FACIL, Koumbit and LabCMO.

About fifteen kiosks hosted by local and not so local Free Culture enthusiasts such as Debian, FreeCulture, KDE, île sans fil, Savoir Faire Linux; a press conference announcing the Semaine québécoise de l'informatique libre, a Free Software week; a Richard Stallman presentation on copyright; and finally, the answers to all your questions with Russell McOrmond (Flora), Daniel Pascot (Laval University) and Marcus Bornfreund (Ottawa University), responsible for the canadian adaptation of the Creative Commons licenses.

Reply from Heritage Ministers office: Clarify Statement attributed to the Minister

The Ministerial Correspondence Secretariat has sent the attachment letter to me. The quote being clarified is the one published by many media outlets about a statement made by the Minister in Winnipeg for the Juno festivities.

Frulla expressed her intention to toughen Canada's "antiquated" intellectual property laws through proposed new copyright legislation to be tabled in June.

"We'll also be addressing the peer-to-peer issue," Frulla told the Winnipeg Free Press Sunday. "It will give the tools to companies and authors to sue."

CBC Arts: Frulla promotes tougher copyright laws, 04 Apr 2005.

See also: p2pnet: Frulla on 'antiquated' IP laws

The reply follows:

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