Timmins--James Bay

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.

New shape of federal parliament and districts I watched closely

Saying this was an interesting election to watch would be an understatement. The Conservatives received the majority they asked for with 167(54.2%) seats, but that wasn’t the biggest story for me last night. The NDP is now the official opposition with 102 seats, the Liberals are down to 34 seats, the Bloc may fade out of existence having barely kept 4 seats, and Green party leader Elizabeth May won her seat. It is clear that change was in the air, and change we received.

Now we will move to the hard part of governing. The Conservatives have some Progressive Conservative types who may be willing to aggressively ensure that Mr. Harper governs close to the center.

The NDP have a large, but very young and new caucus. Their learning curve is going to be massive, and there will be some bumps along the way which they will need to be very careful about.

The Liberals now need to take the time to figure out where they go from here, as will the Bloc who I hope will decide that the days of having a separatist party within the federal parliament are now over.

Districts I will be watching closely on election night

This is turning out to be a more exciting election than it seemed heading into it. While a Conservative majority or minority still seems most likely, who would have guessed that an NDP minority government or NDP official opposition was on the table? Who would have predicted the collapse of the Bloc support in Quebec?

While the mangling of voter intention caused by our antiquated First Past the Post electoral system makes it hard to predict outcomes, I'm pretty confident about some districts. There are a number of specific districts I will be watching closely election night, with most (but not all) based on my interest in technology law.

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.

Updated: Members of Canada's Federal Parliament I have met

I have updated the page listing the MPs I have met with the members of the C-32 legislative committee that were present on March 8'th when I spoke to the committee.

Around the table it was:

Acting chair: Hon. Maxime Bernier (Chair Gordon Brown was away due to a death in his family)

Liberals: Pablo Rodriguez, Marc Garneau, Hon. Dan McTeague

Bloc: Carole Lavallée, Serge Cardin

NDP: Charlie Angus

Witnesses: David Fewer and I

Conservative: Ed Fast, Peter Braid, Dean Del Mastro, Mike Lake

Angus calls on Moore to compromise on copyright bill

A press release from the NDP includes the following:

“Nowhere is the Conservative’s assault on artists more clear than in their attack on the private copying levy. And the digital lock provisions in this bill are even worse than those found under the notorious DMCA law in the United States,” said Angus. “The government is attacking educators, artists and consumers and, so far, are refusing to back down.”

Bill C-32 legislative committee has been struck.

A report from the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs lists the 11 members of the new Legislative Committee on Bill C-32 as follows:

Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay, NDP)
Kelly Block (Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, Conservative)
Sylvie Boucher (Beauport—Limoilou, Conservative)
Peter Braid (Kitchener—Waterloo, Conservative)
Serge Cardin (Sherbrooke, Bloc Québécois)
Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough, Conservative)
Marc Garneau (Westmount—Ville-Marie, Liberal)
Mike Lake (Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont, Conservative)
Carole Lavallée (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert, Bloc Québécois)
Dan McTeague (Pickering—Scarborough East, Liberal)
Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier, Liberal)

Addition (via twitter): Gordon Brown (Leeds—Grenville, Conservative) has been named Chair

No need for copyright law to be so complex

My opinion piece has been published in the November 15'th issue of The Hill Times. This was in reply to an opinion piece by lawyer James Gannon who took NDP MP Charlie Angus to task for something said in the House of Commons.

Using misinterpretations of the impacts of C-32 on real-world technology by Mr. Gannon's McCarthy Tétrault LLP colleague Barry Sookman, I demonstrated the complexity of Bill C-32's anti-circumvention rules.

I concluded by saying:

While I believe we should excuse Angus' usage of a few legal terms in a larger speech, we should be far more critical of those who promote excessively complex law that they are not always able to understand themselves. I believe that the more complex copyright law becomes, the less it will be possible for Canadians to understand and respect it. If the lobbyists promoting these laws get it wrong, how can average Canadians, including our children be expected to always get it right?

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