I have blogged in the past about the evolving communication strategy for Industry Minister Jim Prentice and copyright reform. Just prior to the release of the bill, I posted an "unofficial" backgrounder that noted that Prentice was hoping to shuffle the bill to the committee so that he would not have to deal with it all summer long. True to form, Prentice's brief responses at this weekend's Stampede Breakfast suggest that this is precisely the line that he intends to use. Having had limited success with the "made in Canada" claims and absolute disasters when asked about specifics in the bill (note that Kempton Lam reports that Prentice's chief of staff Jean-Sebastien Rioux says that people have been "too specific" about the bill's shortcomings), Prentice is now hoping to simply not answer questions by claiming that there will be an opportunity to debate the bill at committee. In this exchange with Jan Rubak, Prentice is asked:
Question: Canadians have a hundred questions about the Copyright reform bill. Are you going to actually answer them straight-out sometime soon?
Prentice: Well there'll be opportunity at the Parliamentary committee to debate all of those.
In other words, Prentice does not plan to answer questions about Bill C-61. Having previously hung up on interviewers, he now hopes to hide behind a committee despite the fact that the bill has not even been referred to committee yet. Canadians should not have to wait months for answers. It is the time for the Minister to stand up and respond to specific concerns about Bill C-61.