Canada Votes 2006

The Canadian federal election is called for January 23, 2006.

Brent Wood (Peterborough, Green Party of Canada): constituent letter reply

(A reply to a constituent, posted with permission)

Hi Trevor - this is an excellent question. I've been interested in copyright law since I was young. I recall having a 90 minute discussion on this with the University librarian at the the University of Guelph when I was an undergraduate English student. Personally, as a musician, I was schooled in approaches to coypright by my favourite musical artists - in fact, probably the two best American dance bands of the 1970s- the Grateful Dead and Parliament/Funkadelic. The Dead allowed free taping of all their shows, which ended up spreading their fame far and wide and bringing more and more people to the fold, and we now have a nearly-perfect record of their work as a result. George Clinton, leader of P-Funk, saw the drive to collage-music in hiphop and instead of sueing hiphop artists who sampled his sounds and riffs, he put out a CD called "Sample Some of Dis, Sample Some of DAT". Hiphop reworkings of his music have led to a continual popularity for the band since they stopped putting out new material, and their original work is still a consistent seller 30 years later. My favourite art-form is collage - musical, textual and visual. These would not be possible under restricted copying privileges. If we buy a piece of information, we must have the right to manipulate the material in which that information is embodied, even if we do not have the right to reproduce it for the purposes of sale.

Brent Wood
Candidate, Peterborough Green Party of Canada

ITBusiness: Play it again, Sarmite

In this ITBusiness article, Dave Webb asks us to "Guess which one of Thursday night's copyright parties I got invited to".

So when the Big Entertainment lobby sponsored a $250-a-plate fundraiser for Toronto’s industry-friendly Parkdale-High Park MP Sarmite "Sam" Bulte on the eve of a federal election – at uber-hip indie music hotspot The Drake Hotel, no less – the copyright progressives at Online Rights Canada had to respond in kind. And with a flawless sense of irony, they chose another room in the same building on the same night.

See also: Fading Ways Forum: Politics, CRIA buying politicians, and what we can do...

Internet issues get short shrift during campaign

This article by Ottawa Business Journal Staff includes:

Ms. Lawson says the response from the larger parties was particularly disappointing.

"Neither the Conservatives nor the Bloc bothered to respond, while the Liberals provided only vague responses and the NDP didn't answer the questions we posed. Of the parties that stand a chance of electing MPs, the Greens were the only ones to set out clear positions on most of these important issues."

Muckraking -- with other people's muck

This Globe and Mail article by Ivor Tossell includes:

On Monday, the eyes of the Internet will be on the Toronto riding of Parkdale/High Park. The rest of the election is a sideshow. Will the Liberals be reduced to two seats? Will the door of cosmic justice hit Belinda Stronach on the way out? Who cares? Everyone's watching Sarmite Bulte.

Canadian Election Has Internet Advocates Watching

This Slyck article by Drew Wilson includes:

A lot is at stake in Canada, and the 23rd may be considered 'zero hour' as election coverage commences after the ballots close at 7 PM. What does the Canadian election have to do with peer-2-peer users? Experts like Michael Geist and David Fewer would agree the federal government has actually been very active on internet concerns as virtually every issue now hangs in limbo. So perhaps every Canadian file-sharer or anyone who uses the internet may want to pay close attention to this race more then any other.

Stephen Eli Harris (St. John's East, Green Party of Canada)


Thank you for writing and requesting information regarding Green Party Policy. Please find attached the answers to the concerns you've raised.

Also, I invite you to check out the Blog I've created for the Green Party in Newfoundland and Labrador:

Thank you,

Stephen Eli Harris
Green Party Candidate (St. John's East)

The Balanced Meal

Joey deVilla (aka: Accordion Guy) blogs about The Balanced Meal hosted by Online Rights Canada.

We each took turns introducing ourselves and found that we were all sorts of different people, from techies like myself, Ian Goldberg and Kat Hanna, to musicians such as Neil Leyton and Mike Farrell of The Pariahs (a guy who predates me at Crazy Go Nuts University), photographers, writers, students and people who just classified themselves as "ordinary citizens

Unnamed politician: "We are very much in support of protecting creative rights."

Unnamed politician: "We are very much in support of protecting creative rights."

The above statement is extremely common, is said by nearly every politician. I received something similar very often when asking questions during this campain.

The problem is that it says says absolutely nothing.

The issues we face can not be answered as a "yes or no" type of question, as everyone supports the arts, creativity and innovation. Nobody that was opposed to these things, or wanted "something for nothing", would ever speak up in public and say so. This may contradict the claims of some who wish to misdirect everyone from who their opponents really are, such as Bulte who believes that her opponents are "apologists for pirates".

Political fundwraiser draws the ire of copyright watchdogs

This article by Michael Geist for includes:

Copyright policy must be both fair and seen to be fair. It is time for a new approach that starts with a commitment from all MPs who accept funds from the copyright lobby not to serve in ministerial positions or on legislative committees that involve copyright policy.

Over the past few days, hundreds of Canadians have signed a petition calling on all politicians to make just such a commitment. The election campaign's final days provide the ideal opportunity for Canada's leaders to begin to clean up Canadian copyright.

Cyberia: Voting for General Ludd

The always alert Jack Kapica, writing for the Globe and Mail suggests that, "We're going to be run by Luddites, no matter who wins the election next week.".

While I have been happy for the replies we have received on technology law issues, I have been surprised at just how unaware candidates are on policy questions that went all the way to the bill stage in the last parliament. I don't get the impression many of the candidates, including the incumbents, were even aware of the existence of Bill C-60, leave alone had thought about any of the the complex technological and economic issues behind it.

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