Week 3: Inside the Senate Schedule on Bill C-11 Hearings

The Bill C-11 hearings are set to continue this week with two more hearings. We take a look inside the schedule.

The pace is not slowing with the hearings at the Canadian senate. As we continue these hearings, we are reminded exactly why no one else is doing this. Not only is it a significant amount of work, but also devoting considerable amount of time and effort to this as well. So, naturally, I’m crazy enough to do what I can to keep up anyway.

Next weeks Senate schedule is up and it features two meetings. We see the following:

September 27, 2022 9:00 AM ET

The subject matter of Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts

Monica Auer, Executive Director Forum for Research and Policy in Communications
Irene Berkowitz, Senior Policy Fellow, Audience Lab at The Creative School, Ryerson University As an Individual
J.J. McCullough, YouTuber and columnist As an Individual
Wyatt Sharpe, Host The Wyatt Sharpe Show
Justin Tomchuk, Independent Filmmaker As an Individual
Pierre Trudel, Professor, Law School, Université de Montréal As an Individual

There are a number of creators present here. So, it’s pretty much a slam dunk they are going to be opposed to this legislation unless they have some sort of weird career death wish. A safe bet to say the least.

The others appear to be researcher organizations. First is the Forum for Research and Policy in Communications which has called for the removal of user generated content in the bill. Second is Irene Berkowitz who has written extensively about the shortcomings of Bill C-11. Pierre Trudel, meanwhile, seems to be supportive of Bill C-11 based on past remarks? Given the past hearings that has a pattern of grouping people with similar opinions, I’m curious to know where he fits in in all of this. Of course, this is the witness I know the least about in this list, so I’m not entirely sure.

Moving over to the next page, we see another hearing is scheduled. This is what we see:

September 28, 2022 6:45 PM ET

The subject matter of Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Broadcasting Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts

Scott Benzie, Managing Director Digital First Canada
David Errington, President and Chief Executive Officer Accessible Media Inc.
Morghan Fortier, Co-Owner and Chief Executive Officer Skyship Entertainment
Kevin J. Goldstein, Outside Regulatory Counsel Accessible Media Inc.
Jean LaRose, President and Chief Executive Officer Dadan Sivunivut
Michael Prupas, Member of Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Muse Entertainment Quebec English-Language Production Council
Oorbee Roy, content creator and skateboarder As an Individual
Michael Solomon, President and President of Les Films Band With Pictures Inc. Quebec English-Language Production Council

Digital First Canada is, of course, against Bill C-11 in its current form. They’ve been very vocal about the need to exclude user generated content from the bill. Oorbee Roy has appeared before in a hearing at the House of Commons level. We’ve seen her testimony before about her concerns about the current state of the legislation, so she’s very much on side with Digital First Canada. Morghan Fortier has also been very active in raising awareness on Bill C-11.

We didn’t know anything about the position of Accessible Media Inc. and our searches turned up nothing. So, we can’t really form an opinion on where they stand with things. Jean LaRose and Dadan Sivunivut are two individuals I know little about. A tiny scrap I found about Dadan Sivunivut on Google suggests that he is pushing for more regulation, but it’s unclear what the context is. Michael Prupas and Michael Solomon also turned up nothing in our searches.

So, in what is presumably four hearings, three of them have those who are seemingly against and a 4th hearing that have, well, a lot of question marks as we couldn’t really find anything beyond a possible vague hint. Overall, this marks the first time there was a week where there were more critics than supports of the legislation. What will probably be interesting to see is how the questioning will go down in all of this as we have seen a few senators grow increasingly critical about those who have raised concerns with the legislation.

One thing is for sure, it’s going to be an interesting week again.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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