Week 5: Inside the Senate Schedule on Bill C-11 Hearings

Two more hearings are scheduled for next week in the Canadian Senate. These are about Bill C-11.

While the Bill C-18 hearings at the House of Commons level was almost a waste of time, getting to the point where I never want to cover them ever again, the Canadian senate is a different story. At least at that level, people are talking about the text of the bill itself, the impacts it has on different sectors, and not typically looking to score partisan political points. So, it is much easier to derive any kind of value from these hearings.

Earlier, Senator Paula Simons pointed out to me that the Senate hearings are not over. This on the back of me thinking that I have been focusing on hearings more than what might be considered healthy for a normal person. So, for those reasons, I wondered exactly what I have gotten myself into in terms of work load. Nevertheless, I’m forging ahead anyway because these are valuable and the feedback from you basically tells me to keep going. So, keeping on going, I shall.

Next weeks Senate Schedule is up and it shows that there are two hearings in question. The first hearing item shows this:

October 18, 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

Marie-Julie Desrochers, Executive Director Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
Vivek Krishnamurthy, Director, Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, University of Ottawa As an Individual
John Lewis, International Vice-President and Director of Canadian Affairs International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
Sophie Prégent, President Union des artistes
Gregory Taylor, Associate Professor, University of Calgary As an Individual
Dwayne Winseck, Professor, School of Journalism and Communication and the Global Media & Internet Concentration Project, Carleton University As an Individual

The first thing that jumps out at me is the appearance of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC). That is an organization that has an incredible track record when it comes to challenging laws or events that have a detrimental impact on individual user rights. In fact, should this bill go through without amending the critical flaws (which I have predicted will happen), CIPPIC is the organization I suspect will be either litigating to put a stop to this law or possibly filing an amicus brief with whoever is litigating this legislation. Either way, I’ll be more than happy to cheer on CIPPIC from the sidelines.

Dwayne Winseck does have a fairly mixed background with bills like these. There are aspects he’s not a fan of and aspects that he is supportive of with respect to this legislation. So, it’ll be interesting to see what ultimately comes out of this up and coming hearing.

Gregory Taylor, however, I don’t know really anything about with respect to Bill C-11.

The rest of the witnesses appear to be lobbyists who are probably going to be supportive of the legislation, so, judging by the pattern of past hearings, that is probably how the hearing is going to be divided up – lobbyists on one side, CIPPIC and scholars on the other. I could be wrong on that and something is done to mix things up, but that prediction is just based on how the first 4 weeks were handled.

As for the second hearing, we see the following:

October 19, 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

Robert Armstrong, President Communications Médias Inc.
Peter Menzies, Senior Fellow Macdonald-Laurier Institute
Darcy Michael, Content Creator As an Individual
Stewart Reynolds, (Brittlestar), Digital Content Creator As an Individual
Jennifer Valentyne, Television Host, Producer and Content Creator As an Individual

From this list, the first name that jumps out to me is Darcy Michael. That was one of the poor souls who got berated during his House of Commons hearing and subsequently stalked on social media after by notorious Liberal MP, Chris Bittle. All this for the crime of being critical of this legislation. I was legitimately worried that such an experience would have deterred him from speaking out again, but it looks like bravery has overcome that, allowing him to speak to this issue again. So, applause for him to have the courage to come back.

Over top of that, Stewart Reynolds will probably join him as a fellow content creator.

Peter Menzies, to my knowledge, is against Bill C-11 (and is also against Bill C-18).

Jennifer Valentyne also appears to be critical of Bill C-11.

The only one I can’t really find anything about with regards to a stance on Bill C-11 is Robert Armstrong. So, he is probably the only question mark I have on this list.

Based on all of that, I’m not entirely sure how the hearings will be split up in two, but it’ll be interesting to see where the breakdown ultimately lands.

So, look like work on the analysis and detailed summaries of these hearings will begin on the 18th. It may take two days to push a report out because there are so many details, but that is likely when work will begin for me. Until then, we’ll actually have more regular news coverage.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top