Reply letter from Marlene Jennings about her support for Bill C-59

The following letter was received from Marlene Jennings, Justice critic for the Liberal party of Canada. This letter is followed by the letter I wrote that she replied to. In receiving permission to publish this letter she asked that I note that "for more information about the Liberal Party's policies, please consult:"

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your feedback on Bill C-59.

I am glad that you preface your email with the following sentence: "nobody is supporting people recording movies without permission." It means that, fundamentally, you accept the objectives of Bill C-59, even though you may disagree with the process behind its adoption by the House of Commons.

I believe that the "extreme" form of fast-track to which you refer is, in fact, not all that extreme. I would first say that if this fast-track has taken place, it is because all parties feel it is appropriate to do so. Presumably, if there is consensus between divergent political parties on such an issue, it is because the issue genuinely merits it. Secondly, we have used a similar fast-track procedure for other bills, such as Bill C-48, An Act to amend the Criminal Code in order to implement the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The consensus was such that all parties agreed not to present any speakers at all!

I also would like to say that I take issue with your statement that existing laws were seen as sufficient to deal with the problem at hand. I believe this is not accurate. I would, for instance, point to the part of my speech where I refer to movie theatre owners who caught people camcording their movies and called the police, only to be told the police wouldn't come. The crux of the matter is that the relevant dispositions preventing camcording are found in the Copyright Act. However, because of its nature as a federal law, it cannot be enforced by provincial and municipal police organizations. C-59, by adding new offences to the Criminal Code (which is, as you know, enforceable throughout Canada by all police forces), will prevent camcording throughout all jurisdictions within Canada. As such, the bill is, in my opinion, a very moderate yet effective way to tackle the problem of camcording in movie theatres.

I hope the above helps give a certain context and rationale for my support of Bill C-59.


Marlene Jennings, P.C., M.P.
Notre-Dame-de-Grâce - Lachine

-----Original Message-----
From: Russell McOrmond
Sent: June 13, 2007 4:02 PM
To: Jennings, Marlene - M.P.
Subject: Bill C-59 now part of today's fast tracking

While nobody is supporting people recording movies without permission, the way in which this bill was introduced without independent evidence of need (existing laws were seen as sufficient) is controversial. This bill is now in an extreme form of fast-track, which shows how all parliamentarians seem to be willing to pass bills based entirely on the request of special economic interest groups.

The most positive thing that can be said about the bill is that it isn't as bad as the omnibus Bill C-60 from the previous government which had many components that were equally not evidence based.

Here are the articles that have been written for our website on this bill and the related "issue": Bill C-59 / Camcording

I am available to speak with you on this issue, and live and work in Ottawa.

Thank you for reading.

Russell McOrmond
[address information removed]

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