Broadcasting Law | The Liberals and Minister Guilbeault do not blame anyone else

In response to Alain Saulnier’s opinion article about the Broadcast Law In Canada, “What Game Is the Conservative Party Playing?” », Published May 11


Alain RayesAlain Rayes
Member of Parliament for Riding Richmond-Arthabasca, Conservative Party critic on Canadian heritage, official languages ​​and economic development in Quebec

In number Journalism On May 11, 2021, visiting professor at the Department of Communications at the University of Montreal, Alain Saulnier, asked what game the Canadian Conservative Party was playing with Bill C10. Here is the answer.

First of all, the Conservative Party of Canada believes a modernization is necessary Broadcast LawOutdated due to the arrival of digital platforms. Why did the liberal government take six years to introduce a bill when it was so urgent? The question should be posed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Heritage Minister Stephen Gilbault.

The Conservative Party also wants all broadcasters to be able to contribute to our culture in a fair ecosystem that encourages the creation and distribution of high-quality Canadian content. Currently this is not the case. Giants like Netflix, Disney + and Amazon aren’t subject to the same rules as traditional Canadian broadcasters. It is totally unacceptable and unfair.

Those who have closely followed parliamentary actions in relation to Bill C-10 know full well that the government has not fulfilled its duty.

You must have read the document and followed the procedures in the House of Commons and in the Committee to understand that Minister Guilbeault has erred in his mandate to update Broadcast Law correctly.

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Above all, great results will not be achieved through opposition to culture and freedom of expression.

Mr Saulnier, you also forgot many experts on your list. Do you know Michael Geest, a law professor and researcher in the Canadian Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa? He undoubtedly deserved to be on your charts. Mr. Geest is a leading authority in this field. It is also completely independent. Mr. Geist was one of the first experts to vehemently denounce Bill C-10 as amended by the liberal government.

Blind spots

The Conservative Party came to the same conclusion. Instead of using the C-10 to give the CRTC a clear mandate to ensure fairness in the broadcast sector, Minister Guilbeault introduced an incomplete bill, riddled with blind spots and, above all, conferring vague and broad powers in the CRTC. Had the C-10 been mature and well thought-out, all political parties would not have had to submit more than 120 amendments. And guess what, more than a quarter of these amendments came from … the liberal government itself!

The turning point in this file is the liberals’ abrupt withdrawal of Article 4.1.

Is it just a coincidence that on a Friday afternoon, without notifying anyone, they chose to delete this important section of the bill that made it possible to distinguish between simple users of social networks and big corporate players?

All opposition parties represented in the Canadian Parliament were quick to denounce this incomprehensible gesture. Mr. Geist not only criticized this decision by Minister Gilbo, stating that the liberal government was “the most anti-internet government in Canadian history”, it also angered many experts. CRTC, Emily Laidlaw, Professor of Law at the University of Calgary, Dwayne Winske, Professor at Carleton University, to name a few. Plus, there are thousands of Canadians who have spoken to us.

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As an MP and legislator, we cannot ignore the advice of these trusted experts just because we want an update Broadcast Law As eagerly as it sounds. Voting for a bill with so many serious flaws would be irresponsible. The Broadcast Law It will have an impact on the entire cultural landscape in the country for decades to come. Therefore, rigor is required. The C-10, in its current form, endangers freedom of expression. I am not saying that, but rather the aforementioned group of experts and more.

Therefore, Mr. Saulnier, in addition to wanting to update Broadcast Law And to allow female artisans and craftswomen to shine through our culture, the Conservative Party of Canada will always work to protect one of the most valuable things in our democracy: the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that members place their right hand upon when taking an oath.

(Re) Read Alain Saulnier’s text

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