Variety has published an article on the Canadian Heritage Copyright Policy branch conflict issue (joining the Globe, which posted on the issue yesterday) that features two surprising comments. First, Canadian Heritage is clearly no closer to providing "full and frank" disclosure about who knew what and when. According to a spokesperson:
"I do not have any information about a conflict of interest in this matter. The only thing we do know is that she has been appointed special advisor to the assistant deputy minister of Cultural Affairs."
Meanwhile, Variety contacted the CMPDA for comment. The call was instead returned by the MPAA – removing any doubt about who runs the Canadian arm of the Hollywood lobby group – with a comment that "we have looked thoroughly at this situation. We do not believe anything inappropriate took place. End of statement."
Particularly to be reminded of what the MPAA’s leaders and spokespeople believe Canada’s place as a nation truly is.
Wake Up Canada
I am shocked by how many bloggers have missed the point.The behavior of Frith and Neri is unethical regardless of whether you agree with the content of the bill. She, under the influence of her lobbyist lothario, stood in front of a Senate committee and spoke in support of C59. They continued this secret relationship while she was an acting ADM, briefing a new minister on copyright issues. Both of these people are bound by a code of ethics that is intended to protect Canadians from this kind of undue influence entering our political system – did they really believe that the rules didn’t apply to them?
What if next time this happens the lobbyist is working for the gun manufacturers and the bill is in favour of easier access to firearms? Would it seem so acceptable then?
Federal Accountability Act Ethics Commissioner and Registrar of Lobbyists, where are you?