May 19, 2022
Heritage MPs unofficially kicked off their consideration of the Online Streaming Act Bill C-11 on the occasion of CRTC Chair Ian Scott appearing before them to answer questions about the Commission’s budget in preparation for implementing C-11 and the Online News Act C-18.
MPs asked if Scott believed the extra $8.5 million in special funding committed by Minister Pablo Rodriguez for the Commission to prepare for C-11 was adequate. Scott assured MPs that the Commission has had 100 of its approximately 600 staff working for the last year on issues expected to arise in the implementation of C-11. Asked how long that implementation might take after the Bill is passed, Scott suggested a year for the public consultation and key regulatory decisions and perhaps another year for knock-on changes in licensing.
It was all very business like until it was CPC MP Rachael Thomas’ turn to ask questions. Thomas was parachuted into the Committee last year to lead the Conservative filibuster of Bill C-10. Now appointed to the Heritage Committee on a permanent basis, she gave every indication of carrying on where she left off, engaging in aggressive questioning and interruptions of Scott. As time ran out on her allotted six minutes, she accused Scott of “incompetence” for which she was admonished by Committee Chair Hedy Fry: View Video:
Thomas earned notoriety in the last year by spreading misinformation about Covid vaccines and claiming that the Prime Minister met the definition of a “dictator.”
In a later round of questioning Scott was able to complete his answer. View Video:
The official Committee hearings on C-11 will begin May 24th and continue the following week on May 30, 31 and June 1.
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