Week 9: Inside the Senate Schedule on Bill C-11 Hearings (Final Week)

We have made it to the final week of these hearings. We look at the last of the hearings and what’s ahead moving forward.

It has been a very very long road to get here. In fact, it was much longer then I was expecting. Personally, I wasn’t sure I would be able to offer the complete picture of this because it was so resource intensive just to keep up. Somehow, thanks in part to three day weekends and a holiday, I was able to reasonably keep pace with the thorough coverage I have been providing in the last 8 weeks. I’ll personally count keeping up with it all for this long an accomplishment as I’m not aware of anyone else who has done anything like this apart from a couple of observers who just post a clip or two here and there from the hearings.

Truth be told, this is probably one of the hardest projects I have ever taken on. I pretty much ran through most human emotion several times over in the process. While I was told that these hearings are boring, I found it to be anything but boring. Obviously, it helps when it’s on something you have a huge amount of investment in to – whether it’s emotional capital, sweat capital, or even monetary capital. Yes, there was the odd dry spell here and there, but a vast majority of these hearings held my interest.

Is this really the last week? Well, I tagged Senator Paula Simons thinking that it is, but allowed her to correct me if I’m wrong. She did confirm that this would be the last week to me. So, hat tip to Senator Simons for that.

So, the question is, what will the end of this massive journalistic project look like? We recently found out. As always, the schedule can be found on the Senate website. On that schedule, we see the following:

November 22, 2022 9:00 AM ET

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

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, P.C., M.P, Minister of Canadian Heritage Canadian Heritage
Amy Awad, Senior Director, Marketplace and Legislative Policy Canadian Heritage
Charles Kouri, Policy and Research Analyst, Marketplace and Legislative Policy Canadian Heritage
Thomas Owen Ripley, Associate Assistant Deputy Minister Canadian Heritage

So, it’s basically a hearing with the Department of Canadian Heritage. It’s a bit disappointing not to see Chris Bittle on that list because it would have been interesting to see him answer for some of his many political crimes throughout this process. Still, Rodriguez is there and he has done some things too that are quite sketchy as well. Maybe he could answer for some of what all was happening? Who knows?

That appears to be the last hearing on the schedule. So, the next question is, what is coming up after this? Well, we do see this:

November 23, 2022 6:45 PM ET

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

Clause-by-clause consideration

So, there will be a clause-by-clause review of this. What is that going to be like? Specifically, I don’t know as I never followed a Canadian Senate clause-by-clause review. I do, however, imagine that it would involve studying the intricacies and wording of the legislation. Maybe Senators will discuss specific sections in more detail while drafting possible amendments? I don’t know. Much like the Senate hearing process, this is all new territory to me.

For those who are familiar with my past of following the legislative process, yes, I did follow other pieces of legislation closely. However, most of those bills never really made it this far because the clock kept getting run out on those bills. There was a couple, but I didn’t follow those bills to this level of detail. This was for two reasons. For one, I was reporting on things more generally in the past. For another, my knowledge about the Canadian legislative process wasn’t as granular as it is today. So, yes, even between my later ZeroPaid days and now, I’ve gone a long way (and I’m happy to keep learning things like this as well. Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll be able to more closely follow bills like this in other country’s? Maybe I’ll also be able to keep closer tabs on Canadian court proceedings as well?)

At any rate, this has been a long road. If you stuck with us throughout all of this, congratulations. I’m sure it was a significant amount of reading.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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