October 24, 1973

BROADCASTING

TABLING OF SIXTH REPORT OF CLERK OF PETITIONS ON PETITION RESPECTING ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS

NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

I have the honour to inform the House that the Clerk of the House has laid upon the table the sixth report of the Clerk of Petitions.

The report was then read by the Clerk, as follows:

The Clerk of Petitions has the honour to report that he has examined the petition of Mrs. Ann Young, Mrs. Marilyn Lister and Mrs. Natalie MacPhee, all of the city of Ottawa, Ontario, in relation to broadcast advertising directed exclusively to children and advertising directed to children from American programming distributed on the Canadian cable systems, presented by Mr. James A. McGrath, Member of Parliament, on Tuesday, October 23, 1973, and finds that the petition meets the requirements of the Standing Orders as to form.

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   TABLING OF SIXTH REPORT OF CLERK OF PETITIONS ON PETITION RESPECTING ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS
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NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

As hon. members have heard, the Clerk has read the report of the Clerk of Petitions which indicates that the petition in question, presented to the House by Mrs. Marilyn Lister, Mrs. Natalie MacPhee and Mrs. Ann Young, in relation to broadcast advertising meets the requirements of the Standing Orders as to form.

I owe it to the hon. member for St. John's East and to the House to indicate that I have strong reservations as to the acceptability of the petition on substantive grounds. As I am sure the hon. member knows, there are precedents to the effect that the House should not interfere by way of petition in a matter in which jurisdiction has been assigned by parliament to another body. If the hon. member has any comments to make for the guidance of the Chair I would be pleased to hear him.

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   TABLING OF SIXTH REPORT OF CLERK OF PETITIONS ON PETITION RESPECTING ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS
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PC

James Aloysius McGrath

Progressive Conservative

Mr. James A. McGrath (St. John's East):

Mr. Speaker, the subject matter of Bill C-22, an act to amend the Broadcasting Act, was referred to the Standing Committee on Broadcasting, Films and Assistance to the Arts. That committee reported a list of five recommendations to the House on July 16. Two of the recommendations are set out in the body of the petition. These recommendations were that the Canadian Radio-Television Commission should pass certain regulations.

Section 16(1) of the Broadcasting Act states in part:

In furtherance of its objects, the Commission, on the recommendation of the Executive Committee, may ...

(b) make regulations applicable to all persons holding broadcasting licences ...

(ii) respecting the character of advertising and the amount of time that may be devoted to advertising-

So, Mr. Speaker, the House by way of legislation has already given this power to the Canadian Radio-Television Commission. The chairman of that commission said, when he appeared before the Standing Committee:

If parliament, as a result of the studies of the committee, comes to the conclusion that a fundamental principle is involved and that, no matter what the other circumstances may be, the basic objectives of Canadian broadcasting should preclude children's advertising, the commission will, as it should, implement this objective as it has to implement other fundamental objectives contained in the Broadcasting Act.

The first recommendation of the committee was that the CRTC should pass regulations which would provide that advertising must not be directed exclusively to children.

Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, the committee stated in its report:

However, it is the opinion of your committee that any code, regardless how excellent in itself, would need a much tougher enforcement system . . . your committee feels . . . that a CRTC regulation should be brought into effect in order to enforce a new and more restrictive code.

There is no other recourse but by way of petition to this House to bring to the attention of the House that the CRTC, which draws its authority from parliament, not from the government, and answers to parliament, is ignoring the unanimous recommendations of parliament because, Mr. Speaker, the report of the broadcasting committee, with the five recommendations contained therein, was concurred in by the House on July 24.

On October 16 the commission made a statement in which it said it would not proceed by way of regulations but would rely entirely on the broadcasting code. Furthermore, the commission in its statement of October 16 ignored the second most important recommendation of the committee, that dealing with American television advertising directed at children and coming into Canada under the cable system.

To sum up, Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Radio-Television Commission has the authority given to it by parliament under the Broadcasting Act in section 16, as I have already set out. The House of Commons, by way of concurrence in the committee's report, recommends to the commission that it proceed to implement regulations under the Broadcasting Act. The commission, for reasons unknown, ignores the recommendation of the House.

I am hoping that somehow Your Honour will find this petition in order and that the House will be disposed to consent to have this matter referred to the Standing Committee on Broadcasting, Films and Assistance to the Arts where Mr. Juneau, the chairman of the commission, can appear and explain to the committee why he chose to ignore the unanimous recommendation of parliament.

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   TABLING OF SIXTH REPORT OF CLERK OF PETITIONS ON PETITION RESPECTING ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

Broadcasting

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   TABLING OF SIXTH REPORT OF CLERK OF PETITIONS ON PETITION RESPECTING ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS
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NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

I thank the hon. member for his comments but, with respect, perhaps I should point out to him that they did not refer very much to the procedural difficulty with which I am faced. In fact, it may be that the comments of the hon. member substantiate the suggestion I have made that it is difficult for the House to consider by way of petition a matter over which jurisdiction has specifically been referred by parliament to another body.

These are the precedents which have been quoted from time to time in the House in similar circumstances in the past. I am sure hon. members will appreciate that in relation to petitions, which is a very ancient and historical right, the Chair must exercise all care and attention to ensure that petitions, when they are in order and acceptable from a procedural standpoint, should be given an opportunity to be considered and referred, if necessary, to the appropriate committee. But I must tell the hon. member, with the greatest respect, that I do not see how I can overlook the precedents, to which I should like to refer briefly.

I refer hon. members to a precedent reported on page 163 of the Journals of the House for Thursday, February 16, 1956. It was ruled that the petition was irregular in that it did not set forth a case in which the House had jurisdiction to interfere, since parliament had vested in the Governor in Council and in the Minister of Transport the exclusive authority to approve and issue licences for the operation of private television stations. That ruling also referred to a citation from May's Parliamentary Practice, 15th edition, at page 814. That citation is brought forward into the 18th edition at page 795.

A more recent precedent is recorded on page 2921 of Hansard for June 7, 1972. I would also refer hon. members to Dawson's Procedure in the Canadian House of Commons, page 241, which I might read briefly:

A petition must, of course, relate to a matter over which parliament has control. In a federal country this stipulation limits at once the range of subjects which may be raised. The House will not receive a petition relating to a matter which has been delegated to another body. Ever since 1874 when it gave the courts its privilege of judging controverted elections, the Commons has refused to receive petitions which related to such electoral problems. On a more recent occasion a matter which had, by statute, been allocated to a public corporation was judged to be beyond the authority of the House and a petition which requested interference by the House was rejected.

In the petition now before us the petitioners complain that certain recommendations of the House were not implemented by the Canadian Radio-Television Commission. The recommendations in question are contained in the second report of the Standing Committee on Broadcasting, Films and Assistance to the Arts presented to the House on July 16, 1973. The report recommended that consideration be given to the advisability of certain action being taken by the CRTC. It seems clear to me that the grievance has reference to a matter over which jurisdiction has been delegated by parliament to the CRTC. In this respect I suggest it is not open to the Chair to disregard the well established practice of the House and the precedents to which I have referred.

I appreciate the position of the hon. member and his suggestion that this is a matter which ought to be considered either by the House or by a committee of the House. I respectfully suggest to him, however, that the procedure

which should be adopted should be some procedure other than a petition. With regret, I can assure the hon. member, after having given the matter much thought and consideration I find I have to rule that the petition cannot be considered.

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   TABLING OF SIXTH REPORT OF CLERK OF PETITIONS ON PETITION RESPECTING ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order with respect to the petition, not with respect to your ruling. Standing Order 67(8) says:

No debate shall be permitted on the report but a petition referred to therein may be read by the Clerk of the House at the Table, if required.

I suggest, in view of the discussion of this petition that has taken place and in view of the general interest in it, that its full text should be placed on the pages of Hansard. If the Clerk of the House will read the petition, that will put it on Hansard, or perhaps the House might consent to it being inserted in Hansard as if the Clerk had read it to us.

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   TABLING OF SIXTH REPORT OF CLERK OF PETITIONS ON PETITION RESPECTING ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS
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NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

The suggestion made by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre may be acceptable to the House by consent. It must be appreciated, however, that, in view of the ruling of the Chair the petition is not before the House. It has not been received and, therefore, if it has not been received it cannot be read. There are precedents to support this suggestion. At the same time, I understand that there is general interest in the matter. I judge this to be so from the questions that have been asked and the debate that has taken place in past days and weeks. If there is consent, I am sure that from the point of view of the Chair there would be no difficulty about requesting the unanimous consent of the House to have the petition inserted in Hansard as though it had been read. Is this agreed?

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   TABLING OF SIXTH REPORT OF CLERK OF PETITIONS ON PETITION RESPECTING ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

[Editor's note: The petition referred to above follows.]

TO THE HONOURABLE THE COMMONS OF CANADA IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED THE HUMBLE PETITION of the undersigned Canadians, resident in Canada, who now avail themselves of their ancient and undoubted right thus to present a grievance common to your petitioners in the certain assurance that your honourable house will therefor provide a remedy,

SHEWETH:

THAT, on the 24th July 1973, your honourable house was pleased to concur in the Second Report of the Standing Committee on Broadcasting, Films and Assistance to the Arts, presented to your honourable house on the 16th July 1973, as by reference to the Journals of your honourable house will more fully appear;

THAT your honourable house, in so concurring, recommended that consideration be given to the advisability of taking whatever action is necessary to accomplish, inter alia, the following objectives:

(a) that the Canadian Radio-Television Commission pass regulations which will provide that advertising must not be directed exclusively to children; and

(b) that the Canadian Radio-Television Commission require the deletion of advertising directed to children from American programming distributed on the Canadian cable systems.

THAT, on the 16th October 1973, the Canadian Radio-Television Commission (hereinafter referred to as the "CRTC") publicly announced that the Canadian Association of Broadcasters had amended, effective the 1st October 1973, the Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children, and that

(i) the Code, as so amended, meets the requirements and preoccupations of the CRTC concerning advertising to children;

(ii) the CRTC will ensure that the methods and procedures used to enforce the Code are effective; and

(iii) if it should become evident during the coming months that the Code is not providing satisfactory control, the CRTC will take regulatory action.

THAT your honourable house did concur in the recommendations hereinbefore recited knowing of, despite and notwithstanding the said Code, as so amended, as the following comment extracted from the said Second Report confirms:

"Irr-the wake of your Committee's study . . . The Canadian Association of Broadcasters, by its own volition, tightened up their Code;

"However, it is the opinion of your Committee that any Code, regardless how excellent in itself, would need a much tougher enforcement system . . . your Committee feels . . . that a CRTC regulation (should) be brought into effect in order to enforce a new and more restricting Code.";

THAT the public announcement of the CRTC, hereinbefore cited, makes no reference whatsoever to action taken or abstained from by the CRTC with respect to advertising directed to children from American programming distributed on the Canadian cable systems;

THAT it appears from the matters hereinbefore recited and set out that the CRTC has wilfully failed to implement the aforesaid recommendations of your honourable house and has wilfully pursued a course that has been explicitly rejected by your honourable house;

THAT your petitioners, as well for themselves as for other Canadians resident in Canada, are personally aggrieved thereby by reason that they and each of them are interfered with and are prejudiced in their and each of their private enjoyment of a public right;

THAT this grievance, so caused, presently exists and will continue to exist for so long as the recommendations of your honourable house are not implemented by the CRTC and, moreover, is a grievance that is aggravated during this pre-Christmas season;

THAT therefore the grievance of your petitioners is a present personal grievance requiring an immediate remedy;

THAT except by petition to your honourable house no remedy is available to your petitioners whereby they may obtain relief from this grievance;

WHEREFORE your petitioners humbly pray that your honourable house will find means of prevailing upon the CRTC:

1. forthwith to make regulations to provide that broadcast advertising must not be directed exclusively to children; and

2. forthwith to make regulations to require the deletion of advertising directed to children from American programming distributed on the Canadian cable systems;

and that your honourable house will provide such further and other relief in the premises as to your honourable house seems just and meet.

AND your petitioners, as in duty bound, now prayeth and will ever pray.

AND your petitioners have, and each of them hath, signed at the City of Ottawa, in the Province of Ontario, this 23rd day of October, in the year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy-Three.

Oil

Topic:   BROADCASTING
Subtopic:   TABLING OF SIXTH REPORT OF CLERK OF PETITIONS ON PETITION RESPECTING ADVERTISING ON CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS
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ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS

FINANCE, TRADE AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS


Third report of Standing Committee on Finance, Trade and Economic Affairs-Mr. Herbert. [Editor's Note: For text of above report see today's Votes and Proceedings.]


FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL-MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS TABLING OF FEDERAL BACKGROUND PAPERS AND STATEMENTS AT SECOND TRI-LEVEL CONFERENCE

LIB

Stanley Ronald Basford (Minister of State for Urban Affairs)

Liberal

Hon. Ron Basford (Minister of State for Urban Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to table in both official languages the Federal background papers and statements from the second national tri-level conference held in Edmonton this week relating to the management of growth, housing and land strategy, urban transportation and public finance.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL-MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS TABLING OF FEDERAL BACKGROUND PAPERS AND STATEMENTS AT SECOND TRI-LEVEL CONFERENCE
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ALLEGED DIVERSION OF OIL SHIPMENTS DESTINED TO CANADA-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION

NDP

Lorne Edmund Nystrom

New Democratic Party

Mr. Lome Nystrom (Yorkton-Melville):

Mr. Speaker, I rise under the provisions of Standing Order 43 on a motion of national importance. In view of the fact that multinational oil companies are diverting to the United States shipments of Middle East oil and also as of today, according to my understanding, Venezuelan oil originally destined for eastern Canada, and in view of Venezuela's reported desire to deal directly with the Canadian government on oil matters, I would move, seconded by the hon. member for Sault Ste. Marie (Mr. Symes):

That this House instructs the government to introduce legislation as soon as possible to establish a publicly-owned Canada Petroleum Corporation which would have, among other powers, exclusive jurisdiction over the importation of crude oil into Canada.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ALLEGED DIVERSION OF OIL SHIPMENTS DESTINED TO CANADA-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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NONE

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

No affiliation

Mr. Speaker:

This motion proposed under the terms of Standing Order 43 requires unanimous consent.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ALLEGED DIVERSION OF OIL SHIPMENTS DESTINED TO CANADA-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Ann Young Marilyn Lister Natalie MacPhee J. A. McGrath, M.P. St. John's East

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ALLEGED DIVERSION OF OIL SHIPMENTS DESTINED TO CANADA-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   ALLEGED DIVERSION OF OIL SHIPMENTS DESTINED TO CANADA-REQUEST FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO MOVE MOTION
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October 24, 1973