The Conservative Copyright MPs – An Update

My recent Copyright MPs posting generated a considerable amount of attention along with a number of suggestions of how it could be improved.  These included adding ridings with large colleges (who often offer many technology-focused programs), more clearly identifying those ridings where the incumbent does not plan to seek re-election, and focusing more intently on the Conservative MPs, given that they will be the most directly affected by a Canadian DMCA.

While I will focus on the other parties – particularly if/when a new bill is introduced – for the moment it is the Conservatives that are on the hot seat on copyright given Industry Minister Jim Prentice's plans for a Canadian DMCA.  With that in mind (and with the additional caveat that I think all MPs will hear from their constituents on copyright), the updated list of Conservative Copyright MPs from West to East is posted below.  To qualify as a Copyright MP, the MP needs to have won the riding in the 2006 election by 10 percent or less and have a university or college in the riding.  Only colleges with over 5,000 students are included.

Conservative Copyright MPs Seeking Re-Election (11)

James Lunney (Nanaimo-Alberni). Lunney defeated the NDP by 9.1 percent in 2006.  Malaspina University, with 7,500 students is in the riding.

Rahim Jaffer (Edmonton Strathcona)
.  Jaffer is a three-term, popular MP who faced his tightest battle in the 2006 election, winning by 9.2 percent.  The riding is home to the University of Alberta, one of Canada's largest universities.

Laurie Hawn (Edmonton Centre). Hawn captured this riding from four-time winner Anne McLellan by about 3,600 votes (6.3 percent).  The riding is home to several large colleges including Grant MacEwan (40,000 students), NorQuest (10,000 students), and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (17,500 students).

Rod Bruinooge (Winnipeg South).  Bruinooge captured the riding from Liberal Reg Alcock by only 111 votes (0.2 percent).  The riding is home to the University of Manitoba, which has nearly 30,000 students.

David Sweet (Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough).  Sweet swung his Hamilton-area riding away from the Liberals for the first time since 1993 by less than 3,000 votes (4.6 percent).  The riding is home to McMaster University, the fifth largest employer in Hamilton (7,300 employees) and nearly 20,000 students.

Patrick Brown (Barrie).  Brown won this riding by a narrow 1,544 votes (2.7 percent), marking the first non-Liberal win in the riding since 1993.  Barrie is home to the Georgian College of Applied Arts and Technology, which has 9,000 full time students and 28,000 part-time students.

Colin Carrie (Oshawa).  Carrie is Jim Prentice's Parliamentary Secretary.  He  won his riding by 2752 votes (5.2 percent), about half the number of students at the University of Ontario-IT.

Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough).  Del Mastro is a first term MP, who won took the riding away from the Liberals for the first time since 1993.  Del Mastro won by 2,200 votes or 3.6 percent.  The riding is home to both Trent University (7,000 students) and Fleming College which has 5,000 full-time students and an additional 10,000 part-time students.

John Baird (Ottawa West-Nepean). Canada's Environment Minister (and my MP) swung the riding away from the Liberals for the first time since 1988 with a 5,350 vote win (9 percent). Algonquin College has nearly 40,000 full and part-time students.

Luc Harvey (Louis-Hebert).  Harvey narrowly defeated incumbent Bloc candidate Roger Clavet in 2006 in Quebec's closest race – only 231 votes (0.4 percent) separated the two candidates.  There are 13 colleges and universities in the area, including Laval University and Cegep de Sainte-Foy, which has 8,000 students.

Peter MacKay (Central Nova). Canada's Defence Minister already faces a battle in which the Liberals have dropped out of the riding to strengthen Green party leader Elizabeth May.  MackKay won his seat by a mere 3,273 votes in the last election and has St. Francis Xavier University in his riding (home to 4200 students).

Ridings with a Conservative Incumbent (3)

Norman Doyle (St. John's East).  Doyle, who won by 10.5 percent, has announced that he will not be seeking re-election.  The riding is home to Memorial University.

Betty Hinton (Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo). Hinton won the last election by 8.5 percent and is not seeking re-election.  She was embroiled in a copyright dispute of her own last year.  The riding is home to Thompson Rivers University, which has 10,000 students.

Joe Comuzzi (Thunder Bay-Superior North).  Commuzi, who was welcomed into the Conservative caucus last year after moving from the Liberals, won the last election by only 408 votes in a riding where Lakehead University is a major employer (over 2,200 staff) and home to nearly 8,000 students. He is not seeking re-election.

Key Conservative Ridings (8)

These are ridings where the Conservatives came close to winning in the 2006 election (ie. their candidate was the runner-up in a riding with a University or college). Note that all eight involve Conservative – Liberal swing ridings.

Guelph. Conservatives ran 8.6 percent behind Liberal MP Brenda Chamberlain.  The riding is home to the University of Guelph.  Chamberlain is not seeking re-election.

Oakville. Conservatives ran 1.2 percent behind Liberal MP Bonnie Brown. The riding is home to 6,500 students at Sheridan College Institute of Technology.

Fredericton. Conservatives ran 7.2 percent Liberal MP Andy Scott. The riding is home to UNB. Scott is not seeking re-election.

Saint John. Conservatives ran 3.6 percent behind Liberal MP Paul Zed.  The riding is home to UNB.

Brant. Conservatives ran 1.0 percent behind Liberal MP Lloyd St. Armand.  The riding is home to Nipissing University (Brantford).

West Nova. Conservaties ran 1.1 percent behind Liberal MP Robert Thibault.  The riding is home to Universite Sainte-Anne.

Saint Boniface. Conservatives ran 3.6 percent behind Liberal MP Raymond Simard. The riding is home to Saint Boniface (University of Manitoba).

Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country. Conservatives ran 1.5 percent behind Liberal MP Blair Wilson. The riding is home to 7,000 students at Capilano College.

In all, there are 22 Conservative ridings (or Conservative targeted ridings) that stand a good chance of being directly impacted by Prentice's Canadian DMCA.  This is a fairly significant number given the need for 154 seats for a majority government.  Moreover, the list is striking because it demonstrates how the copyright issue will be felt from coast to coast with MPs and ridings in every region.  Finally, while Jim Prentice is not a Copyright MP (though he is arguably the ultimate copyright MP) – he won his riding handily – he has his fair share of students in the riding given the presence of the 15,000 students at SAIT Polytechnic in his Calgary Centre North riding.


  1. Keep attention on Anders too
    I would think that Rob Anders should qualify for this list too; though perhaps with an asterisk. Rob Anders represents my rinding, which includes the University of Calgary and a number of research companies in near by. And, while Anders did win his seat by a fair margin, there are on going questions about procedures around his past two nominations. Were the process more transparent, we would likely have had a far more competent Conservative MP by now.

    The difficult part with Anders is that due to previous controversies, he has been relegated to a very quiet backbench position. Even though he is supposed to be representing one of Canada\\\\\\\’s largest and best universities and leading research firms, he has never supported them in any way, and is now silenced from dealing with any issue, including this one.

    Anders is assuredly one of the MPs that needs to be turfed to make room for Conservative MPs who want copyright to support capitalism instead of corporatism.

    (OK, I\\\\\\\’ve ranted on enough)

  2. Re: attention on Anders
    Many of us here in Calgary NW have been trying, so far unsuccessfully, to be finally rid of Mr. Anders. It would not surprise me at all if Mr. Harper (who lives 2 blocks away; also in Anders’ riding) told Anders that he can keep his sinecure only if he kept his mouth shut.

    PS: Best universities in Canada? In Calgary? Oof, now I’ve inhaled my coffee.

  3. Jerrica Benton says:

    Nipissing U is actually in North Bay, ON, making its MP Liberal Anthony Rota.

  4. Michael Geist says:

    Nipissing U
    Jerrica – there is a large Nipissing U campus in Brantford, ON.

  5. You know, if evangelicans and other pro-lifers were using these methods to attack pro-choice MPs, I think we’d all be disgusted.

  6. They do. What’s your point?

  7. The point is very simple, that if MP voting decisions are always based on personal election prospects, and interest groups openly campaign against them to push their own interests, we actually end up with all the corruption of the US system that by and large this blog criticizes

  8. Ottawa
    I thought MP voting decisions were supposed to be based on the values, beliefs and priorities of their constituents, not on the interests of Multinational Corporations, foreign governments, and their lobbiests.

  9. Chris Charabaruk says:

    Well, Jim, they are _supposed_to_be_, but politicians are (almost) never ones to put ethics ahead of power.