Copyright Modernization Act (Bill C-11)

Elizabeth May: Madam Speaker, my hon. friend from West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country has underestimated the historic place of his riding in our hearts in the cultural industry, as it is the location of The Beachcombers.

I know he knows whereof he speaks in terms of the cultural industry. That is why I put to him the cultural industry groups, a very long list of them, which included the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, the Songwriters Association of Canada, the Screen Composers Guild of Canada, the Playwrights Guild of Canada. Over 80 of them recognize that the industry represents $46 billion to the Canadian economy and employs over 600,000 people. This industry thinks the current bill is not properly balanced in relation to digital locks.

No one in the House, I do not believe, is suggesting that we do not want to protect the copyright of and the talent and creative energies of our cultural community, but the legislation goes too far in providing digital locks and making any effort to break those locks a violation of the law.

Does my hon. friend from West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country not think we could accept some amendments to the bill?

John Weston: Madam Speaker, my neighbour from Saanich—Gulf Islands helps me honour the tremendous creators who reside in the riding I represent, people like Joni Mitchell, Randy Bachman, Sarah McLachlan, some of Canada’s top performers, who I have the honour to know.

I believe that after the tremendous amount of consultations, the 70 witnesses who came before committee and the 150 briefs, there is the balance to which the questioner has eluded. In fact, there are many exceptions in the bill. We have exceptions for educational institutions, libraries, archives and museums that can benefit from this bill.

There is a concerted effort to ensure that our creators, our entrepreneurs in the creative industry, are protected so that internationally our wonderful Canadians may be recognized and they can make a living from their art, while others can enjoy the art. There are protections, for example, for people who record TV shows so they will not be afraid of unfair, undue or disproportionate repercussions if they do so.