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Senator David Adams Richards from the Senate

“This Law Will Be One of Scapegoating All Those Who Do Not Fit Into What Our Bureaucrats Think Canada Should Be”: Bill C-11 is Back with Stunning Rebuke From Senator David Adams Richards

Senator David Adams Richards, an acclaimed Canadian author who has won Governor-General Awards for both fiction and non-fiction as well as a Giller Prize, provided the most memorable Senate speech for the ill-fated Bill C-10, stating on the Senate floor in June 2021 that “I don’t think this bill needs amendments; I think, however, it needs a stake through the heart.” Bill C-10 died on the order paper soon thereafter, but its successor, Bill C-11, is in its final stages of debate at the Senate. Yesterday’s first day of third reading debate was notable for several reasons, none more than the re-emergence of Senator Richards, who provided a stunning rebuke of the bill and Canadian cultural policy. 

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February 1, 2023 2 comments News
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“Ongoing Concerns”: U.S. Objections to Canadian Digital Policies Spreads to the Senate

U.S. concerns with Canadian digital policy continues to mount with both the U.S. Administration and Senators from both parties raising fears of discrimination. U.S. pressure seems likely to grow as the issue emerges as a major irritant in the bi-lateral trade relationship with Canada’s most important trading partner. With U.S. President Joe Biden scheduled to visit Ottawa later this winter, it seems likely that digital policy – particularly a proposed digital services tax, Bill C-11, and Bill C-18 – will be on the agenda at the meeting.

The latest signals came last week at a bilateral meeting between U.S. and Canadian trade officials. The U.S. readout of the meeting states:

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January 31, 2023 7 comments News
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Champagne’s Choice

The Rogers-Shaw merger saga was always destined to end on the desk of Innovation, Science and Industry Ministry François-Philippe Champagne. The merger has followed a familiar pattern: the companies started with a plan to merge without any divestitures that never stood a serious chance of approval, followed by adopting the Bell-MTS playbook of divesting assets to the weakest possible competitor in Xplorenet. When that didn’t fly, Videotron marched in to scoop up the wireless assets at a discount, complete with a story about exporting Quebec competition to other provinces and a politically attractive narrative for a Quebec-based minister who is reported to harbour future leadership ambitions. 

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January 25, 2023 12 comments News
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Listen Up: My Recent Podcast Appearances on Bills C-11, C-18 and Canadian Copyright Law

Parliament remains on break for most of the month of January, but that hasn’t cooled interest in Bills C-11 and C-18. I’ve appeared on several podcasts in recent weeks on these bills that may interest. Last week, I was pleased to appear on CBC’s Front Burner for an episode titled “Will Canada Make Web Giants Pay For News?”. The discussion with host Jayme Poisson focused on the implications of paying for links, the inclusion of the CBC in the system, and potential alternatives that would mitigate against the harms created by the bill.

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January 9, 2023 4 comments News
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The Year in Review: Top Ten Posts

This week’s Law Bytes podcast features a look at the year in review along with some guesses at what lies ahead. Before wrapping up for the year, the next two posts will highlight the most popular posts and podcast episodes of the past year. Today’s post starts with the top posts, which have a strong Bill C-11 emphasis alongside posts on Bill C-18, online harms, and the Rogers outage during the summer.

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December 21, 2022 3 comments News