By-elections will be held on Monday, September 8, 2008

July 25, 2008: Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today that by-elections will be held on Monday, September 8, 2008 in the ridings of Guelph (Ontario), Westmount-Ville Marie (Quebec) and Saint Lambert (Quebec).

Liberal party finances may mean 3 rather than 4 by-elections

An article by John Ivison for the National Post discusses the latest speculation about when by-elections might be called. It suggests by-elections in Guelph, Westmount--Ville-Marie, and Saint Lambert will be called on July 20 with a vote set for Monday, September 8.

John Godfrey, the Liberal MP for Don Valley West, is not going to resign until August 1. Speculation is that this is because the Liberals are too cash-strapped to have 4 by-elections at the same time. If this is true, how can they afford a general election?

Maka Kotto resigned seat in March, Maria Mourani earlier took critic position

Maka Kotto resigned his seat in March to run in provincial politics. He was the Heritage critic for the Bloc, and that position is now held by Maria Mourani.

The parliamentary website lists her occupation as: Criminologist, probation officer, rehabilitation counsellor, researcher, sociologist, teaching assistant.

Bloc MP Maka Kotto says he intends to run in provincial byelection

According to a Canadian Press article, Bloc MP and cultural critic Maka Kotto says he intends to leave federal politics and run for the Parti Quebecois in an upcoming byelection.

This could be another key moment in the Canadian Copyright debate. The NDP adopted a progressive position on digital copyright when past Heritage critic Wendy Lil retired and Mr. Charlie Angus was elected and took over that position.

Video piracy statements in the house by Maka Kotto

A few people noticed the questions from Maka Kotto during Question Period. Gordon Duggan of the Appropriation Art coalition wrote the following letter, and received a "familiar" response.

Dear Mr Kotto

It is with great disappointment that I learned of your reckless comments in the house yesterday. Your position appears to be based on statistics from a campaign by the American film industry to support their own interests. These statistics are highly questionable and are akin to using tobacco industry statistics on cancer.

Response to comment about Question Time

In response to Maka Kotto's question in parliament, in which he asked about the WIPO treaties that he said we ratified in 1996, I sent him an email and got a response from his office.

BTW, if anyone can translate the response, please do so. I get the gist of it, but my French is pretty awful.

My email :

Heritage Minister Bev Oda replies to letter about orphaned works.

The following is a letter from Bev Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women. It is dated March 13, 2007, in reply to a letter sent February 2, 2007.

Dear Mr. McOrmond:

Thank you for your correspondence of February 2, 2007, co-addressed to various Members of Parliament, regarding copyright reform in Canada.

I appreciate your further advising me of your views and have carefully noted your comments with respect to this matter. Please be assured that Department of Canadian Heritage are aware of and are monitoring the ongoing study of the orphan works issue in the United States of America.

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