Canada Votes 2006: Ridings of Interest

The following ridings are considered to be of special interest to our community.

Parkdale--High Park
Close race between Peggy Nash and Sarmite Sam Bulte. Ms. Bulte is a close friend of the incumbent foreign intermediaries, and possibility to become the next Heritage Minister if the Liberals form the government. She is seen by our community as one of the greatest threats to Canadian creativity, especially independents and creators using alternative methods of production, distribution and funding. Anyone with ties to this riding should do what they can to support Ms. Nash and ensure that Ms. Bulte does not win her seat.

Timmins--James Bay
Riding of independent writer, broadcaster and musician Charlie Angus. He was also the NDP Heritage critic. It is important that this independent creator, who understands the competitive issues in Copyright, is in the next parliament. He was sent signatures to the Petition for Users Rights which he offered to table for us, but this did not happen before the election was called.

Riding of Bev Oda, past Heritage critic for the Conservative Party, and front runner to become the Heritage Minister if the Conservatives form the government. While not as bad as Ms. Bulte, she has too-close ties with narrow broadcaster interests. Unlike any of her Liberal counterparts, Ms. Oda has been willing to meet with our community and discuss the different needs of different creators.

Jeanne-Le Ber
Riding of Liza Frulla, past Heritage Minister. She won her seat last election by 72 votes after a recount (18,766 votes compared with 18,694 votes for Thierry St-Cyr of the Bloc Québécois). We are predicting that she will not win her seat, which if Bulte doesn't keep her seat leaves the possibility that the Liberals can find someone who qualifies to be Heritage Minister or critic.

Kildonan--St. Paul
Riding of Joy Smith. This MP worked to try to draw attention to educational copyright issues, and convinced the Conservative caucus to suggest that they might oppose Bill C-60 without an "educational amendment". While it was very vague what this amendment would be, her support of some of the other stakeholders in copyright was critically needed.

Winnipeg South
Riding of Reg Alcock, past President of the Treasury Board. He is very aware of Open Source software, and has been supportive in his role as TBS president towards bringing modernization and accountability to Government IT.

Riding of James Rajotte, past Industry critic for the Conservative Party. He has offered mixed messages, some positive for innovation, and some conflicting such as during a speech on property rights where he suggesting that "Intellectual Property" should receive greater protection. I'm not convinced he realizes that the temporary statutory monopolies of PCT (Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks) can contradict tangible property rights. He was sent signatures to the Petition for Users Rights which he offered to table for us, but this did not happen before the election was called. He has been very open minded each time I have met with him, including when I was a witness in front of the Industry Committee.

Burnaby--New Westminster
Riding of Peter Julian, who twice tabled signatures to the Petition for Users Rights.

Ottawa South
Riding of David McGuinty, who tabled signatures to the Petition for Users Rights.

Winnipeg North
Riding of incumbent Judy Wasylycia-Leis. Met with community members, and seemed quite open to discuss wider cultural policy issues relating to competition/etc.

Bonavista - Gander - Grand Falls - Windsor
Riding of Mr. Scott Simms, who in a question to the past Heritage Minister said: "I have a ten-year-old son who is able to get about a hundred songs by going click-click. You talk about protecting the artists, but it's a delicate balance here. We have thousands, if not millions, of people out there breaking the law, and unseemingly.". Ms. Bulte whispered in his ear after he said this, and we haven't heard much from Mr. Simms since. I have to wonder what was said.