The Prentice Open House

Reports are beginning to come in from those who attended today's Jim Prentice Open House.  There are some photos and comments at the Facebook group.  Feel free to add your experience in the comments and many thanks to all those who took the time to share their concerns with the Minister.

Update: Brief coverage from CTV (video now posted to Youtube).  I'm told that CBC's Search Engine was also in attendance. 


  1. I have just come from attending the open house at Jim Prentice’s constituency office. I managed to get a couple of questions in before he moved on to greet other visitors.

    Specifically, I asked him if he would hold public hearings on the issue. He sidestepped the question saying that it was the chair of the Industry Committee who would decide whether to hold hearings. I then asked if he would urge the committee chair, Mr. Rajotte, to hold hearings and he said that he would.
    Lastly, I asked him about his refusal to accept the invitation from CBC Radio’s Search Engine and answer some of the questions posted there. He said that he wanted to have the bill tabled first before going before media. I pressed him about the invitation and he said that he has never run away from the media and isn’t starting now.

    Hopefully now that the bill is on the Notice Paper, the Minister will do a media blitz to promote the bill so we get some answers.

  2. I was at Minister Prentice’s office today. It was a very interesting exchange with the Minister being very defensive.

    He pretty much admitted to consulting with Industry interests and the US Ambassador to Canada but when pushed on why he didn’t consult Canadians he claimed we had been consulted adequately in the past by the Liberals!

    He claimed that our chance for input would be given once the legislation is tabled in Parliament and that there was no intention to pass it quickly before Xmas.

    He commented that the main motivation for introducing the legislation was to comply with the WIPO treaty and that Canada had been criticized for not passing legislation to comply with the treaty. He wouldn’t give specifics on who this criticism was from but did say it was from our “Trading Partners”.

    Here are photos from the event – I hope they are visible to all – I am not sure if I set it up correctly.

    [ link ]

  3. Here are some photos at the event today.
    [ link ]

    I will be posting some videos and then a few blog reports later, please stay tune.

    The turn-out today was great and I hope to see more photos and videos to be posted by the attending crowds.

    It is important that we let the minister knows we view the soon-to-be-tabled Copyright bill with deep concerned, and I think he feels our presence today.

    Finally, not that I expect anything otherwise, we were firm with our questions but extremely respectful at the same time.


  4. To Mr. Prentice and Mr. Harper, three words:

    “Remember Sam Bulte”

  5. And don’t forget Patricia Neri and the disHonourable Doug Frith

  6. From the CTV article:
    [“To be speculating on what the bill says, when no one has seen it, is not really a constructive exercise,”]

    What kind of democracy, in any, are we living in when our political leaders are telling us that public feedback is not valuable or necessary?

    People who say things like this should be banned from being any position of public and political power.

  7. Lindsay Stewart says:

    Report from Calgary
    Hi Michael, thanks for all of your excellent work. A young fellow named Tyler Kinch has a report from Calgary after attending Prentice\’s open house. Tyler\’s page. I\’ve been banging the drum and trying to stir up attention over at canadian cynic where I write as pretty shaved ape. I\’ve posted nine articles on the pending copyright legislation in the last two days. One of our readers sent in a response on copyright from Jack Layton\’s office and there are a few sample letters to MPs if anyone needs a starting point for their own notes. Thanks again.

  8. Lindsay Stewart says:

    Okay, links don’t post so for the report from Prentice’s open house visit tylerkinch dot com and to see what I’ve been up to visit canadiancynic dot blogspot dot com. Cheers!

  9. freshwatermermaid says:

    Brief Coverage?!
    What does it take to get some news gathering up in here? Do we need to stage a sit-in at CBC Headquarters? It\\\’s December 8th and Lloyd Robertson is gearing up to tell us about which toys are most popular this year. The Globe and Mail ran a piece yesterday on how the stress of Christmas affects average Canadians.

    I want this loud and long on free television, in every newspaper and on every radio station I can pick up.

    Maybe if I call Peter Mansbridge and tell him that Ian Hanomansing is better looking than he is…\\\”If you were a real MANsbridge, you\\\’d talk about the proposed Copyright Amendment.\\\”

    too topical?

  10. Here is my experience: [ link ]

  11. Someone should ask him how much he got paid to sell us out.

  12. Nowhere fast
    I talked to the Minister straight away while the media scrum was taking place outside. He wouldn’t answer any of my questions about his vision for copyright reform. He was vague and kept repeating that no consensus exists for copyright. Since I was getting nowhere I asked if consulting Canadians might have been a good idea in advance of tabling the bill, especially if consensus is lacking as he admitted. He invoked the liberal consultation process, which I countered by pointing out that we have a lot more experience vis a vis DMCA issues in the US. In the end it was obvious that we didn’t see eye to eye so he said that the sequencing of copyright reform was his call and indicated that he was comfortable with it. Appealing to his political side (he is my MP), I suggested if the present process is democratic, the optics are very bad. Given the Tory dominance in Calgary Centre North, he probably doesn’t worry about political fallout.

    I left him with a letter too: [ link ]

  13. Duncan Murdoch says:

    Brent is upset at the quote from Prentice, “To be speculating on what the bill says, when no one has seen it, is not really a constructive exercise”, saying that political leaders should want to hear feedback. But it’s not feedback when it’s a reaction to speculation about the message!

    The problem with spending so much energy reacting to something that we haven’t seen, is that it might turn out to be a horrible bill, but not quite as bad as forecast. Everyone will be relieved and Prentice will be able to claim to have reacted to the criticism. If we continue to complain about it, he’ll be able to say that nothing will satisfy us; we’re just shrill complainers who complain about everything.

    It was good to ask for details, and to get a statement that the bill won’t be rushed through before Christmas; it’s also good to make sure the Minister knows that there are people paying attention. But save some energy for the real fight, once we see what is really in the bill.

  14. A few more reports here. Still working on the detailed one.

    [ link ]

    [ link ]

    [ link ]

  15. Sorry, I should have said that the last link (i.e. this one) is a short CFCN TV news report,’

    [ link ]

  16. Who wants to rally for more coverage at Toronto’s CBC Headquarters on Front street?

  17. For those who weren’t there … it was great to see Jim Prentice sweat. He handled himself well (I wouldn’t want to face a tough crowd like that 🙂 but I thought he clearly felt ill at ease with the questions. I got the feeling he hadn’t expected anything like the reaction he’s been getting. I was really pleased to see so many people able to show up on short notice.

  18. Michael Hotrum says:

    Kudos to all that attended the rally in Calgary and to the others, like Michael and Cory that attempt to push some Canadian vision into the minds of the Tory government.This is Canada, and policy needs to be established for Canadians – not to meet U.S interests or accomodate external trade policy agreements.

  19. Bob Chandler says:

    CBC\’s \”Search Engine\” radio programme/podcast has done an excellent job on this issue. The problem is that there\’s a huge gulf between what issues are dealt with on radio and online and what CBC covers on the television side. CBC television news sucks as does most TV news coverage these days.