HANSARD: Jenny addresses the importance of the Online Streaming Act

House of Commons Debate
Online Streaming Act
Government Orders
June 17th, 2022 / 12:40 p.m.


Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

"Mr. Speaker, in Vancouver East on a per-capita basis, we actually have the largest number of artists in our community. They are actually very much looking forward to the passage of Bill C-11.

Can the member explain to the Conservative members why this bill is so important to artists?"


Peter Julian (NDP) New Westminster—Burnaby, BC

"Mr. Speaker, I will do my best, because my community, as well, of New Westminster—Burnaby, is really known as Hollywood North. There is a real creative energy that is in our communities. We know that $1 billion will be transferred from the web giants, which have basically been taking that money out of the country, and it will be provided to Canadian cultural content and Canadian cultural institutions, broadcasters and Canadians who are creative, both in the online world and the broadcasting world.

What we are going to see is a real renaissance of Canadian content, and that is why I will be supporting the bill."


Tim Louis (Liberal) Kitchener—Conestoga, ON

"Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today in support of Bill C-11. For decades, Canadian broadcasters have given us incredible Canadian content on our televisions and our radios. This is no accident. We support our cultural sovereignty. It is who we are as Canadians. It is our past, it is our present and it is our future. It is how we tell our stories to each other. As a condition of their licences, TV and radio broadcasters have had to invest in our culture and our artists. That is why we have the Canadian content that we are so proud of.

Here is what has changed. Online streaming platforms are the new broadcasters, yet they do not have to play by the same rules. Online streaming is the norm. Canadian broadcasters play by one set of rules and streaming platforms play by another. There should be one set of rules for everyone. That is why the government introduced Bill C-11, the online streaming act. This bill ensures that online streamers contribute in an equitable but flexible way to the creation of Canadian content, and ensures that Canadians can find that content on their platforms.

Now, let us talk about what this bill would not do. This bill would not impose regulations on content that everyday Canadians post on social media. This bill would not impose regulations on Canadian digital content creators, influencers or users. This bill would not censor content or mandate specific algorithms on streaming services or social media platforms, and this bill would not limit Canadians' freedom of expression in any way, shape or form.

We have heard a lot of misinformation. My colleague just mentioned previously that a lot of emails have come in with a lot of confusion and misinformation, and I believe that is deliberate. I was going to address two of the issues that we might be hearing some of the most misinformation about in the Online Streaming Act.

First is the fact that user-generated content is excluded. People ask where that is in the legislation. The bill explicitly excludes all user-generated content in social media platforms and streaming services. I will read the subsection. Subsection 2.1 of Bill C-11 states:

A person who uses a social media service to upload programs for transmission over the Internet and reception by other users of the service — and who is not the provider of the service or the provider’s affiliate, or the agent or mandatary of either of them — does not, by the fact of that use, carry on a broadcasting undertaking for the purposes of this Act.

In plain language, that means that users, even digital-first creators with millions of subscribers, are not broadcasters and therefore they will not face any obligations under the act. Any suggestions otherwise are simply untrue."



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HANSARD: Foreign Interference and Alleged Reputational Harm to Members of Parliament

Outside this chamber, just yesterday, there were individuals shouting, questioning and jeering about who the traitors may be. Members of Parliament had to walk past these individuals on the members' way to the House to do their work. I believe we must find a way to disclose which MPs are knowingly, intentionally, wittingly or semi-wittingly engaging with foreign states or their proxies to undermine Canada's democratic processes and institutions. I believe this can be done in a way that does not compromise national security.

If there are no consequences for MPs who knowingly help foreign governments act against Canadian interests, we will continue to be an easy target. This will further erode the trust and faith Canadians have in our democratic processes. If allowed to continue, it will further impugn the integrity of the House. Revealing any member of Parliament, former or present, who is a willing participant in foreign interference activities would have the effect of deterring this kind of behaviour. Moreover, it would send a clear message to those foreign states that this cannot continue and that they will not be able to continue to use parliamentarians in this way. This will further reassure the public of the integrity of the House.

I strongly believe that the House should refer the matter to the procedure and House affairs committee. A possible way to deal with the issue would be for committee members to undergo the necessary security screening to examine the unredacted report and look into the allegations about parliamentarians who were “‘witting or semi-witting’ participants in the efforts of foreign states to interfere in our politics.” We could allow the named parliamentarians to be informed and to come before the committee as witnesses; we could then explore options on how to disclose the named parliamentarians without compromising national security or police investigations of the matter.

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