Earlier this week, the House of Commons reopened “debate” on Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act. In part 4 of our series on the Bill, we take a little break from the substance to check out some of the choice quotes the MPs threw at each other when discussion began. Check out your parliamentary democracy in action after the jump.
Paul Calandra, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Heritage James Moore (who is responsible for the Bill) opened the “debate” with some blah blah about Canadian jobs and then a call to just stop fucking debating already:
I hope that now that we have had a significant amount of debate, … we can now move forward and bring send (sic) legislation to committee as expeditiously as possible.
Kevin Lamoureux, Liberal, was having none of that shit:
I would hope that the minister would be somewhat sympathetic in terms of the whole principle of having the opportunity as members of Parliament to be able to discuss and debate bills… We now have yet another minister who has made the decision to limit debate
Burn! Robert Chisolm, NDP, piled on:
He (Calandra) said he wanted to move this to committee to hear from Canadians and people who had any issues, or concerns, or whatever. What does he think this process is? We were elected by Canadians to stand up and examine each and every piece of legislation.
Calandra replied that “we have spent hundreds of hours debating this bill.” Well that should certainly be enough then! He added:
Canadians have sent us here to do and to stop filibustering, stop killing jobs, and focus on creating jobs
Uh, no, Canadians sent you there because the Liberal Party is falling apart before our very eyes and we were just sick and tired about your Prime Minister whining about his minorities already. Not to mention you got less than 40% of the vote. Judy Foote, Liberal, then chimed in:
The government still says that it wants to invite more submissions. What is the point in inviting more input and more debate if the government will not take it seriously?
Amen, sister. Ms. Foote came back to pile on:
There were 167 submissions at committee. Clearly, while the government may have heard, it did not listen and it did not act. Other people have credible input. Other people can make good recommendations. The government does not have all the answers.
The only reason I can think of as to why it is not taking what it is hearing into account is that it does not want to have input from anyone else. It thinks it has all the answers, and that is the problem with the government.
Mr. Clandra shot back:
Mr. Speaker, we know we have had hundreds of hours of debate
Stick to that talking point, sir! He then went on a different tack, as the discussion turned to digital locks:
What would the member say to the over 14,000 people in the video gaming industry who depend on digital locks to be successful in the industry? This is about jobs and the economy. What would the member say to the thousands of people whose jobs are at risk if we do not pass updated legislation?
That’s good fear-mongering. Pass this bill, as is, NOW, or jobs will be lost! Almost as good as the government’s fear-mongering over crime in this country. Let’s see how Ms. Foote responded:
Mr. Speaker, that is an excellent example of the government fear-mongering, where it is coming out with straw horses and trying to put out ideas that will not float.
Time to elect me to Parliament apparently. Philip Toone, one of the NDP’s Quebec wave, chimed in:
Again, we have a situation where the government is trying to steamroll legislation through the House. I am frankly quite appalled that the lack of democracy in the House is tolerated by members on the opposite side.
Hey, this is fun! Several members then went back and forth about digital locks, blah blah blah, which by now if you’ve read this series you know I really don’t give a shit about. Though in response to the TPM discussion, Mr. Calandra did have an interesting and important point to make:
Mr. Speaker, when The West Wing, which was a popular TV show, was filming its last episode, it came to my home town of Stouffville. A number of local businesses were able to participate in the show; from the baker who provided the food and snacks for the actors and crew to the people at the local hardware store who supplied generators to the production. All these people benefited from having a production like this in my home town of Stouffville.
Huh? Marc-André Morin, another new Quebec NDP’er, later tried to lighten the mood:
If we are prohibiting copying and forcing people to destroy data, would it not make sense to think about destroying old bills that have already been introduced? This would mean less paper hanging around and would save power.
Zing! Jean Rousseau, another Quebec NDP’er (man there really are a lot of ’em) nicely summed up the general feeling about a lot of this bill:
The Conservatives’ values are not the same as the public’s values. Creators have concerns that are different from the concerns of the big corporations, the concerns of all the people who control the publishing and reproduction industry.
Mathieu Ravignat (NDP from Quebec, big surprise) asked how the bill protects the artists themselves. Mr. Calandra shot back:
Mr. Speaker, does the hon. member have any specific recommendations as to how we would protect the over 107 films that were created in Quebec in 2009 at close to $200 million of economic activity? Does he have any specific suggestions how we would protect the 14,000 jobs in the video gaming industry as a result of the NDP’s position to absolutely forget about protection for creators? How would the NDP actually do that? We have not heard that yet.
Translation: JOBS FOR FUCK’S SAKE. Rodger Cuzner, Liberal from Nova Scotia, sought to get back to the most important part of any parliamentary debate, comedy:
The Conservatives’ record on supporting amendments is about the same as the Indianapolis Colts’ record this year in the NFL, which is zero.
Take that, Peyton Manning’s neck! Matthew Dubé (NDP from Quebec!) then went on and on about education. He should know, because he must be in school because he looks 12 years old.
After a couple of hours of sniping at each other like this the “debate” just sort of ended. No further discussion of the next procedures or anything. The Bill’s status doesn’t seemed to have changed in any way. Good job, Parliament!
So what have we learned from this exercise? Absolutely nothing. And I actually read the entire debate! You only read this witty summary. So to sum up – Government: JOBS; everyone else: LET’S TALK MORE. The End.