A couple of weeks I blogged about Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda's fundraising during the last federal election. Days before the vote, as the Conservative momentum made her a likely Cabinet minister, Oda accepted contributions from many in the copyright lobby including Universal Music (tied for her third largest external contributor), the Canadian Motion Pictures Distributors Association, the Entertainment Software Alliance, the Canadian Music Publishers Association, and CRIA's own Graham Henderson.
Oda's riding association has now released data for the full 2005 calendar year and her support from the copyright lobby is even more extensive than this initial list. While there is a similar list of individual donors, the corporate list is even more telling, particularly since those donations will no longer be permitted once the Federal Accountability Act becomes law. Financial supporters of Oda's Durham riding association last year included:
- copyright lobby groups – CRIA, CFTA, CMPDA, CMMRA, Director's Guild, Entertainment Software Association, SOCAN, Writer's Guild
- record labels – BMG Canada, EMI Canada, Sony Music Canada, Warner Music Canada, Universal Music Canada
- broadcasters – Corus, Vision TV
- cable companies – CCTA, Cogeco, Rogers, Shaw
- lobby firms - Temple Scott Associates, Capitol Hill Group
Presumably much of this support came from a May 2005 Oda fundraiser when corporate donations were lawful and Oda was the Heritage critic rather than the Heritage Minister. Even so, the significant financial support does little to instill confidence in the fairness of the copyright reform process. Given that many of the donors did not provide financial support to any other riding association in Canada (with the possible exception of Sam Bulte, whose riding association has yet to file its report), there is little doubt about the motivations behind the decision to back Bev at a time when it looked like the Liberals' fall was imminent.