Rarely have I seen such frivolity on the part of our elected officials in Ottawa, including the Prime Minister!
Steven Harper, a shrewd politician but a man with no culture, didn’t want anyone touching Netflix. “Over my corpse!” For this die-hard conservative, Netflix was the quintessence of culture, the quintessential cultural tool that evil liberals so audaciously sought to tax. If poor Harper only knew Netflix was safe. Four and a half years later, this internet giant and its ilk are still swimming just as freely in Canadian waters, despite all the Liberal government’s good intentions.
Not tomorrow the day before we will use the live players (streamers). Bill C-10, which we brought into the world after endless deliberations by Mélanie Joly and the equally long deliberations of Janet Yale’s group, did not survive the Justin Trudeau administration. As Steven Guilbeault prepared to submit it to the Senate for final reading, the Prime Minister called a general election, dealing the project’s deathblow.
PABLO RODRIGUEZ IS ON THE TURN
Back in power, it was in the hands of Pablo Rodriguez that Justin Trudeau put the hot potato back. The project, now called C-11, would go through the mail like a letter, it was believed. The Bloc Québécois and the NDP supported him, as did almost every newspaper, commentator and editorial in the country. More importantly, the entire audiovisual and music world, owners, and artists and craftspeople dreamed of it. Not to mention the stubbornness of a handful of bug researchers hotbed by academic Michael Geist, convinced the state ultimately wants to rule the Internet and make the CRTC its custodian.
It was enough for opposition to grow within the Commons’ Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. From hypothesis to hypothesis, from suspicion to suspicion, the curators began to attribute draconian intentions and evil consequences to the project. Commons committees are created to improve bills, but they are also used to delay them. It’s enough to watch a few committee meetings to see that some MPs are unfamiliar with their files or talking straight through their hats.
Last week, the Conservative members of the committee asked that we drop the investigation into the project for Hockey Canada’s management to appear in the dark gang rape case that took place in London, Ontario four years ago. Another excuse to delay the adoption of the bill.
TRUDEAU’S CASUAL ENCOUNTER
As if there wasn’t enough confusion in this saga for broadcast law modernization, isn’t it reckless that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used his presence at the Summit of the Americas to conduct a private interview with Sundar Pichai, the great boss of Google? Trudeau said afterwards that the importance of the internet for democracy was discussed. Critics of Bill C-11, led by Michael Geist, rightly fear the bill poses a serious threat to democracy.
Barring a miracle, the project won’t pass fast enough for the Senate to ratify before the summer recess. The law will not come into force until the fall, almost five years to the day after the Liberal government was elected. It’s embarrassing. The contribution of the network giants should not flow into the state coffers!