Week 5: Inside the Senate Schedule on Bill C-18 Hearings (Final)

Week 5 of the Bill C-18 senate hearings are upon us. This time, it appears as though this may be the final week of hearings.

We are now seemingly on the home stretch for these hearings. This is certainly not the length we saw during the Bill C-11 hearings which lasted a marathon of 9 weeks. Still, indications suggest that this could be it for the hearings.

Looking at the Senate Schedule, we first see the following for June 6:

Bill C-18, An Act respecting online communications platforms that make news content available to persons in Canada

Jeanette Ageson, Publisher, The Tyee Independent Online News Publishers of Canada
Monika Ille, Chief Executive Officer Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
Jean LaRose, President and Chief Executive Officer Dadan Sivunivut
David Skok, Founder and Chief Executive Officer The Logic
Ben Wood, Publisher AllNovaScotia

Jeanette Ageson is from The Tyee and it is known that the organization has criticized the bill in the past. So, expect them to ask for amendments to the bill that at least improve things.

Monika Ille of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network is a known supporter of the legislation. This was thanks to previous testimony she gave. She seems to be under the impression that her organization will get free money under this bill. One can only imagine how punked her whole organization will feel when they never get that funding after Bill C-18 passes.

Conversely, Jean LaRose apparently also talked about the bill and went on record to point out that Bill C-18 is “totally useless” for smaller startups and indigenous media organizations. The criticisms, however, were that there wasn’t enough inclusion, though. So, it’ll be interesting to see whether that support will continue or if LaRose is seeing the writing on the wall with the recent tests by Meta.

David Skok is a well known supporter of the bill. Ironically, he works for a site called “The Logic” given how illogical his arguments were to support the bill. so, expect him to push the same tired and debunked arguments here.

Ben Wood of AllNovaScotia is the only one we didn’t find any information on.

June 7, meanwhile, shows the following:

Bill C-18, An Act respecting online communications platforms that make news content available to persons in Canada

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, P.C., M.P, Minister of Canadian Heritage Canadian Heritage
Yves Giroux, Parliamentary Budget Officer Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer
Rolande Kpekou Tossou, Analyst Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer
Thomas Owen Ripley, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Cultural Affairs Canadian Heritage

These are all governmental witnesses. What’s more, this would be the second time Ripley has made an appearance. It’s probably why others have suggested that this is the final week. Why call the government in randomly in the middle of the hearings? It’s more than likely that this is an effort to just wrap things up and finally get to the business of destroying the news industry.

So, there you have it, what appears to be the last of the hearings that is coming up. In the mean time, yes, we have fallen behind, but we hope to start catching up and offer in-depth analysis of the remaining hearings. Producing a nearly hour and a half long podcast did contribute to us falling behind, but we are moving ahead with these hearing analysis.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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