Liberal Party of Canada

Liberals walking out of the house

I just watched the spectacle of the Liberal party walking out of the house to avoid voting in "Government business no. 3 : Message regarding Bill C-2, An Act to amend the criminal code". I believe this was a confidence motion about a message being sent to the Senate trying to push them to more quickly pass C-2. This isn't the issue that the Liberals want to run an election on, although I would be surprised if they will agree with or walk out for the upcoming budget. Passing C-2 is important for the Conservatives as it was part of their 5 priorities and they want it to make it through the Senate before the election is called.

Interesting viewpoint on the Copyright Act

According to an article in the Globe and Mail, at least one MP believes that the Copyright Act should cover health and safety issues :

Liberal MP Dan McTeague, meanwhile, says the government has not done some of the things that could have made a difference for consumers - like introducing a copyright act that would have targeted such products as the counterfeit toothpaste that was found to contain bacteria.

Liberal MP McTeague Pushing New IP and Anti-Counterfeiting Caucus

Michael Geist has blogged about Liberal MP Hon. Dan Mcteague (Pickering - Scarborough East)'s proposal to create an "IP and Anti-Counterfeiting Caucus". Part of the proposal is a push for 1996 WIPO treaty ratification which has absolutely nothing to do with Counterfeiting, and everything to do with circumventing the rights of creators, software authors and hardware owners by revoking control by private citizens over the technology used to record, edit and distribute digital creativity.

Liberal shadow cabinet.

Last week the Liberal party announced their new shadow cabinet. Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa Vanier) replaces Tina Keeper (Churchill) as Heritage Critic, while Scott Brison (Kings—Hants) remains Industry Critic.

Canadian Heritage Copyright Policy Rocked By Conflict of Interest Concerns

When I read the article in the Hill Times I was curious about whether Patricia Neri, the Director General of Copyright Policy at Canadian Heritage, was removed for doing something improper. Michael Geist has confirmed that the issue is conflict of interest.

While I happen to believe that since Heritage funds a tiny subset of creators who are regulated by copyright that the entire department is in a form of conflict of interest (regulatory capture), in this case it appears to be a personal relationship with Douglas Frith (Past Liberal MP, current president of the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association).

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.

Mr. Bell (North Vancouver, Liberal) suggests greater handouts to legacy Motion Picture industry

Mr. Bell (North Vancouver, Liberal) introduced a private members bill C-453: An Act to establish the Canadian Motion Picture Industry Secretariat. This is a small bill that speaks for itself.

It is unlikely that the larger community of people making movies, including so-called "user generated content", will be considered by this secretariat. As we have seen in the past, wide public participation in culture is seen not by some politicians and policy makers as a necessary part of a democratic society, but a threat to legacy industries.

Emily of the State - Internet Spying Short

The Comedy Group Cynically Tested has a video called Emily of the State that talks about some of the harm of the mis-labeled "lawful access" style legislation which the Liberals re-introduced as official opposition in the current minority government. (Current bill: C-416: An Act regulating telecommunications facilities to facilitate the lawful interception of information transmitted by means of those facilities and respecting the provision of telecommunications subscriber information)

The video is great, but was written on the assumption that the Conservative Party would introduce a bill after the Liberal bill dropped from the order paper due to the previous election. In fact, the Liberal party re-introduced their proposal as a private-members bill, with it being the Liberal party, not the Conservative party, that are pushing this specific attack on our rights.

Conservative Party copyright scandal points to need for Fair Use in Canada!

In what should be a clear case of "Fair Use" in copyright law for political commentary, the Conservative Party of Canada may find themselves in a copyright scandal caused by the fact that Canadians don't currently enjoy a robust Fair Use regime like our American neighbours, just a far more limited Fair Dealings regime.

Shadow Cabinet announced

Full details are at

The main ones of interest to us :
Tina Keeper gets Heritage.
Scott Brison gets Industry.

Also possibly of interest :
Belinda Stronach gets "Competitiveness and the New Economy".
Ujjal Dosinjh gets Foreign Affairs.
Navdeep Bains gets International Trade.
Raymond Simard gets Treasury Board.

I'm sure they are all keen to hear how we feel about copyright reform...

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