The Liberal government wants to push bill C-10 through the Senate, but that won’t be happening, says senators speaking to The National Post.
Bill C-10 is an update to the Broadcasting Act and would allow the CRTC to monitor online streaming platforms such as Netflix. The Liberal government recently removed a section that would opt-out user generated uploads from being regulated, sparking outrage from civil liberty groups and Canadians.
Conservative senator Leo Housakos told the Post, “There seems to be a broad range of concern with this bill,” adding, “there doesn’t seem to be any momentum to pass this and rubber-stamp this without thorough review.”
Housakos also said he was concerned about recent amendments to the bill and how they were handled in the past month. “Over on the House side, the process was completely unacceptable, and it should be deplored by any Canadian,” he said. The senator noted the bill has “become this multi-headed monster.”
The NDP and Bloc Quebecois were also blamed, alongside the Liberals for ignoring parliamentary procedures, when the government set a time limit on the parliamentary committee for debate time, to fast-track the bill through the House of Commons, before the summer recess.
The Post points out this is the first time in 20 years a time limit was set on a parliamentary committee.
“They took the rule book of Parliament and they literally threw it in the trash can,” said Housakos.
The senator did not mince words when it came to Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s office, saying it was “extremely arrogant” for them to “imply that they’re just going to send this over for a proverbial rubber stamp from the Senate of Canada.”
Housakos added, “it’s insulting to the institution, it’s insulting to our Parliament.”
The Liberal government says bill C-10 would allow an extra $70 million for the nation’s “broadcasting, audiovisual, music and interactive media sectors,” and if it doesn’t pass, then foreign streaming services, referred to as “tech billionaires” would continue to earn the lion’s share of media revenues, it claims.