June 1, 1993

?

Some hon. members:

No.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

All those in favour of the motion will please say yea.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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?

Some hon. members:

Yea.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

All those opposed will please say nay.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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?

Some hon. members:

Nay.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And more than five members having risen:

Government Orders

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

Pursuant to Standing Order 76(8), a recorded division on the proposed motion stands deferred.

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred divisions at report stage of the bill now before the House. Does the parliamentary secretary have a point of order?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

Jack Wendele Shields (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Shields:

It was on debate, but it is too late.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

Call in the members.

And the division bells having rung:

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

Marcel R. Tremblay (Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister; Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance; Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of State (Fitness and Amateur Sport))

Progressive Conservative

Mr. R. Tremblay (Quebec-Est):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to request, on behalf of my colleagues, that the division that would otherwise be taken a few minutes from now be deferred until tomorrow evening at 10 p.m., when the other divisions are scheduled.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

Pursuant to Standing Order 45(5)(a), the Deputy Government Whip has requested that the division be deferred.

Accordingly, pursuant to Standing Order 45(5)(a), the division on the question now before the House stands deferred until tomorrow night at 10 p.m., at which time the bells to call in the members will be sounded for not more than 15 minutes.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO AMEND
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TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT


The House proceeded to consideration of Bill C-62, an Act respecting telecommunications, as reported with amendments by a subcommittee of the Standing Committee on Communications and Culture.


SPEAKER'S RULING

PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

There are 50 notices of motions on the Notice Paper for consideration at the report stage of Bill C-62, an Act respecting telecommunications.

Government Orders

So far the Chair has yet to complete its study of each motion which should not take long. However, in the interests of expediency, the Chair has no objection to immediately calling Motion No. 2, standing in the name of the hon. member for Mount Royal.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   SPEAKER'S RULING
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LIB

Sheila Finestone

Liberal

Mrs. Sheila Finestone (Mount Royal) moved:

Motion No. 2.

That Bill C-62 be amended by adding immediately after line 36 at page 3 the following new Clause:

"Review of an Operation of Act

4. Five years after the coming into force of this Act, and at the end of every five year period thereafter, a comprehensive review of the provisions and operation of this Act including the effect of those provisions shall be undertaken by such committee of the House of Commons as may be designated or established by the House for that purpose."

Deferred division on the amendment of Mr. Kristiansen, seconded by Mr. Nystrom,-That motion numbered 2 be amended by striking out the word "five" and substituting the following therefor:

"two".

She said: Mr. Speaker, I thank you very much. I was awaiting the decision from the Chair as to what were the accepted amendments and what were not. Furthermore I thought the House was set for a vote. I also thought there was to be third reading of Bill C-101. I am just lucky that I was awaiting the move to examine a very important bill.

The amendment which I have presented in Motion No. 2 is a review of an operations act. Essentially this bill is an extraordinary move to finally update and bring us into the 20th century. It does not go to the 21st century as it is not far-sighted enough in that regard. The bill really moves us out of the horse and buggy stage of 1908, the old communications act, transportation act or telecommunications act, whatever you wish to call it, and updates that act, notwithstanding the fact we have had a number of attempts over the past years to do so. In 1977 or 1978 there were moves with other bills to effect changes to this very important sector of society.

As you know, telecommunications has been rapidly-evolving and changing over the last two decades. Matters that we would never have considered before are now

before us and actually have overtaken us. So many issues that needed to be addressed could not be addressed because this bill had not been brought up to date.

We have undertaken a large number of changes of great significance. We will not be in a position to really estimate the impact of these changes. Were they all in the best interests of the industry today? Were they effective in looking at telecommunications in particular as well as the entire field of telephony? I think one is well aware of the fact that telecommunications is more than just the local telephone and more than just the long distance telephone. It includes faxes, computers and all the new data and information technology that is the basis of the new economy around the world. Canada has been a leader in the field of telecommunications for many years. By the very nature of our geography we have become outstanding world leaders in this regard.

In the last 10 years the government has recognized the shortcomings of the old bill and has moved in a very constructive way in many instances in many fields. The bill holds changes in forbearance and exemptions. It changes the licensing procedure and looks at Canadian ownership, which is a policy the government brought in as a memorandum of understanding on July 17, 1987, just prior to the free trade agreement.

It sets up two types of carriers in Canada, type 1 and type 2: those that are land based and have facilities and those that are resellers in a sense. We looked at how to avoid the resellers being entrapped in the regulatory mechanism. We looked at how we could open this whole issue of transparency with the varied review ability of the Governor in Council.

The Governor in Council gave itself not only the power to direct but also at the other end the power to vary and rescind. We have amended that so there is a three-way power in the Governor in Council which allows for greater transparency and greater fairness with respect to this bill.

The whole Canadian ownership policy has been looked at. The minister has taken that and defined it as 80 per cent ownership for land based carriers or facility based carriers. He intends through regulations to look at other mechanisms to fund Canadian ownership.

June 1, 1993

As well, the question of privacy has been put in although it is not able in the fullest sense to respond to the needs of the Privacy Act. I think the new technologies are looked at and some help is being given to enable the CRTC to look at the various areas of invasion of personal privacy within our homes through unwanted faxes and telephone calls.

In a sense, we have moved from the horse and buggy era into an era of regulatory framework. It can be constructive and effective and I hope in the interests of the major industries that are involved, in the interests of the resellers that are there and even in the interests of the hybrids, such as Fonorola and Call-Net.

We have looked at what is the potential of satellites for the delivery of service, what the impact is on the fact that borders are essentially disappearing in this new era, that we would be able to control our Canadian destiny in this field. We would be able to control the Canadian wish to direct and develop its own life based on the growth of this industry, the job potential in this industry and the fact that we can put so much value added into our industrial sector through technology.

Because there are so many new facets to this bill and because it is being updated for the first time since 1908, it would be in the best interests of this House to enable a review five years down the road. We could then see whether this was the most effective way to proceed.

We could also look at other matters arising because of changing technologies and changes that are being effected almost daily in this field. It could be the ABM banking machines, or data, or what appears in a stationary way on our television sets which become in a sense the central focus in our homes, how the telephone companies will have access to the broadcasting infrastructure, how that infrastructure will be affected by cable. There is the whole question of convergence. These issues have not been fully addressed. The debate has not been fully undertaken, notwithstanding the fact that a 200-page report was submitted to the government.

Because of all these matters, because of concerns which were expressed by the cultural communities as to whether or not they were protected sufficiently, both in this bill and through the application of this bill from the

Government Orders

free trade agreement, there are many issues that would have to be revisited.

I want to see this modem regulatory framework be effective. Because we have moved so rapidly in just a few steps from 1987 until now, I would appreciate it if the government would consider adding a clause that will bring us back to a review of this bill.

We have to realize that the committee had about two weeks of hearings that started on April 20 with interested parties. We actually started our clause by clause study on May 11 with a few sessions. The House was closed for the week of May 17. Our hearings resumed on May 25. We reported back to the House on May 28.

The clerks were in a very tight position to make the changes. We know that sometimes there are problems with the language. There are sometimes other unforeseen issues. We do not want to have this initiative, which is so important to all sectors of our economy, stopped because we may have made an error in judgment, either in the way this bill was drafted or as a result of changing technology. The Senate pre-study was extremely helpful because it gave us the ability to make the changes that were brought forward in this House. It is of interest to note that, with the 138 clauses, the government brought forward about 150 amendments to this bill in committee along with a little help from the opposition parties.

I think this alone indicates the need for change. The minister saw the need for about 10 to 12 amendments when he appeared before us in committee and then upon reflection found another close to 140 amendments. There were amendments upon amendments.

In order to make sure that this is working well, that the industry is not being imposed upon negatively, that the CRTC as the regulator is able to do its job effectively and that the Governor in Council has the kind of regulatory framework in place through regulations, I would submit that it would be very important for someone-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   SPEAKER'S RULING
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

Order, please, the hon. member's time has expired.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   SPEAKER'S RULING
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LIB

Sheila Finestone

Liberal

Mrs. Finestone:

Mr. Speaker, I would like to make my closing remarks.

June 1, 1993

Government Orders

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   SPEAKER'S RULING
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PC

Charles Deblois (Assistant Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Acting Speaker (Mr. DeBlois):

Is there unanimous consent?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   SPEAKER'S RULING
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?

Some hon. members:

Agreed.

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Subtopic:   SPEAKER'S RULING
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June 1, 1993