Canada Votes 2006

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

Letter to Bonavista - Gander - Grand Falls - Windsor candidates

I sent the following to the candidates of Bonavista - Gander - Grand Falls - Windsor

Dear candidates,

I would be interested to hear from all candidates in this riding, and would like to post replies to the section of our website dedicated to Bonavista - Gander - Grand Falls - Windsor

As a member of Heritage Committee in the previous parliament, Scott Simms asked a critically important question of then Heritage Minister Liza Frulla on November 24, 2004.

Quoting from Hansard:

Margaret Schwartzentruber (Nickel Belt, Conservative Party of Canada)

January 11, 2006

Dear Mr. McOrmond:

I am the Conservative Candidate for Nickel Belt (huge riding surrounding Sudbury in all directions).

I would love to be able to answer your questions but do not have enough time to really visit it at the moment.

My own occupation is Dairy Farmer (my son aged 23 operates the farm). This election is key to many/all Canadians who want justice and a balance of thinking in many areas.

Most of my constituents are tired of a corrupt government. As voters, most want to return to solid ethics. I believe that the Conservative Party of Canada is the only one with a vision and plan of action to place accountability for actions at the top of the priority list. Crime, family issues, lower taxes and tax fairness are some of the issues that affect all Canadians. Credibility and accountability rules will affect how we are all governed. Who is putting out the most favourable platform to protect your family? your business? and so on. Your issues are important .... sort of like trespassing and stealing (with all the rights seemingly favouring the perpetrator) become a victim and yes, it seems pretty difficult to get through to justice.

Monica Jarabek (London West, Green Party of Canada)

Monica Jarabek campaign sent me a copy of the Green Party reply to CIPPIC's questions.

Ms. Jarabek adds:

I will make a point of reading them to better understand the situation. If/when I am elected MP we will have to sit down over tea and really get the bottom of your issue.

Ken Bell (Chatham-Kent - Essex, Green Party of Canada)

There is a way out

For some time now, there has been an expansion of corporate control into the common good. We know that, corporations maximize profits for their investors, externalize costs and eliminate competition. Competition may be defined as the portion of a recognized market share that is presently not under a particular corporations control. What this means is that when any corporation is allowed to own, even the tiniest portion of a good or service, the remaining portion is seen to be either untapped resource or owned by the competition, whether that competition exists or not.

The privatization of the common good is being achieved through the deregulation of, social services, government institutions and basic natural resources. Governments have been complicit by downloading the costs of services, while implementing increasing standards of high cost inputs. What were once simple acts of kindness or the resources to fulfill basic human needs are now commodities to be bought and sold on an open market. Investors then have a choice of taking from, or adding to, the common good or purchasing portions of it for their own private use. Regulation via taxes or legislation, or through subsidies and venture capital are some of the very few tools that governments have to keep corporate control in check. N.G.O.'s and citizen groups have practiced ethical investment, social marketing, political and economic lobbying and media campaigns to react to crimes against the common good. Sadly with little total effect.

George Marshall (Malpeque, New Democratic Party)


There are some questions which I can answer and some I cannot.

Re the national questionaire, this must, as per party policy, be addressed by national NDP.

Regarding the quesion relating to contributions for copyright and conflicts of interest, I oppose, with my party, the sitting on legislative committees addressing copyright, acting as Minister of Canadian Heritage or as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage after receiving contributions from copyright lobbyists.

Re who should handle copyright Industry or Heritage, I would have to consult my party and constituency.

Laurie Hawn (Edmonton Centre, Conservative Party of Canada)

Hi Russell,

Sorry for the tardy reponse. As you might imagine, I'm geeting hundreds of e-mails and I try to get to them personally.

I'm afraid that you're asking questions in an area that I am unqualified to answer. I'm sure that this query has gone to other Conservative MPs or candidates who can offer a more qualified response.

Laurie Hawn

When I asked if I could post the above to the blog, she added:

Hi Russell,

I am open-minded and ready to be educated in any area where I lack expertise. You may post as you wish.


Louis-Philippe Verenka (Papineau, Green Party of Canada)


In order:

Do you agree that Copyright should be primarily handled by Industry rather than Heritage, and would you be willing to offer a similar pledge to the above listing Industry rather than Heritage?

No, I believe that copyright issues are too important to be delt with by only one ministry. It should be a coalition of Heritage, Industry, Foreign Affairs and any other ministry that could be possibly involved with such issues. Giving all the power to one department is too much danger.

Would you support a bill to modernize Canadian law to provide legal protection *from* technical measures used to circumvent computer security, circumvent privacy, circumvent competition, as well as other important public policy?

Who speaks for the public?

This Toronto Star article by Michael Geist (Freely available online version) includes:

Industry Canada's Lobbyist Registration Database includes dozens of registered lobbyists for copyright interests. The Canadian Recording Industry Association has five registered lobbyists on its payroll, while Access Copyright's similarly sized contingent of five registered lobbyists even includes former MP Paul Bonwick, a Bulte contributor who worked closely with her on a 2004 copyright report while both served on the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage.

George Marshall (Malpeque, New Democratic Party)

Dear Russell McOrmond:

To be honest, our small party in Malpeque has been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of questionnaires and position papers submitted to our candidate, George Marshall. He has been spending time meeting constituents in person, participating in public forums, attending campaign meetings and other events, holding down employment, and writing his own position papers. For this reason (and because both he and I, in our respective positions, are first-timers and had no prior idea of the sheer volume of these requests), I apologise that George is unlikely to be able to respond personally to you - although, of course, I am forwarding your message on to him, and you never know! I know he is interested in IT.

Letter to candidates

Inspired by Russell's form letter posting, I sent a letter to the candidates in my riding.

I am a technology professional working in the Ottawa area. Technology issues are amongst my concerns in this election. Though these issues are not the only ones which concern me, they are rarely understood by or discussed in popular media to the same extent as taxes or health care.

Copyright law, and the changes proposed in Bill C-60, are of concern to me. While copyright is most often described as a balance between the interests of creators and the interests of users, the debate has been dominated by special interest industry lobby groups representing intermediaries.

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