Too little (nothing), too late response from past Heritage Minister Liza Frulla.

The following letter from the Ministerial Correspondence Secretariat for Canadian Heritage was dated January 24. I find it interesting that the day after the election, when it was clear that Liza Frulla not only lost her seat but the Liberals were no longer the government. Like all past letters I received from Heritage it only related to keywords in my correspondence, and did not address any of the substance. In this case it was in reply to a letter saying we need to protect Canadian culture from Bill C-60.

Date: January 24, 2006

Dear Mr. McOrmond:

I am writing in response to the correspondence to the Honourable Liza Frulla, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Minister responsible for the Status of Women, Regarding Bill C-60, An Act to amend the Copyright Act.

Due to the dissolution of the 38th Parliament, Bill C-60, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, has been removed from the Order Paper. It will be incumbent upon the new Government to decide on a future course of action regarding copyright reform; this would include the introduction of a new bill enabling ratification of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Treaties.

The Convention on the Protection adn Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions was approved by the 33rd General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. This instrument should enter into force three months after its ratification by 30 states. Canada was the first country to ratify it, having done so through Order of Council before the dissolution of Parliament on November 29, 2005. The Convention has yet to come into force.

International instruments trive both to protect and to enable cultural creation in keeping with Canada's international commitments toward culture. For instance, the Convention recognizes that books, films, television programs and other cultural goods and services have a distinctive nature that goes beyond mere commercial value while taking into consideration the international copyright protection norms. The Convention further reaffirms the ability of countries to take measures to foster diverse cultural expressions such as the latest funding for the arts recently announced by the Government of Canada.

I trust that this information is useful. Please accept my best wishes.

Yours sincerely,

Luc Rouleau
Ministerial Correspondence Secretariat

c.c.: The Honourable David L. Emerson, P.S., M.P.
Mr. David McGuinty, M.P.