HANSARD: Jenny asks why the lack of support to equalize web giants with local media outlets

House of Commons Debate
Online News Act
Government Orders
May 13th, 2022 / 10:55 a.m.


Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

Mr. Speaker, I was listening to the speech from the member, and it was perplexing to me to hear him suggest that the bill should be withdrawn and the heritage committee should study the matter. In fact, if this bill passes second reading, it would be referred to committee, where we would be able to call witnesses and ask questions pertaining to the bill. It is perplexing to me that he would want to effectively kill the bill with his amendment. The NDP supports this notion and has been calling for the government to equalize the web giants with small, local media outlets. This bill is a good start.

Why would the member want to kill the bill if he truly wanted to have a discussion about it and have witnesses presented on this issue?


John NaterPerth (Conservative)—Wellington, ON

Mr. Speaker, I think the preference of our side would have been to draft our own piece of legislation if we were in government, but that is not the case. The next best scenario is this type of amendment.

As the member ought to know, as she has been in the House a long time, there are very few amendments that are acceptable at second reading debate. This particular amendment is one of the few that is permissible and that is the one we have used. It will provide the subject matter to go to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to make suggestions and make a report back to the House of Commons.

The Government of Canada can then use that advice, use the suggestions of all parties and listen to witnesses, of which we are developing a massive list of people who want input on this bill. Their views are both positive and negative, and they have clear ideas for suggestions to improve, change or rewrite the bill entirely.



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