"we are on the side of the consumer, most assuredly

– Tony Clement (Minister of Industry)

Digital Copyright Canada posted a release from NDP Industry Critic Brian Masse (Windsor West) about his intervention during Question Period in the House of Commons. Mr. Masse is a member of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science & Technology (INDU) reviewing Bill C-27, the Electronic Commerce Protection Act

What follows are the official transcripts

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, the government introduced anti-spam legislation, Bill C-27, and now it is at risk of being weakened.

Both the Liberals and the Bloc have left consumers wondering as they cave to the corporate lobby and move motions that are against the public interest.

Now the government has an amendment on the table that would allow serious violations of individual privacy, as private companies would get access to Canadians' personal computers.

Why does the minister believe personal privacy is not an issue and that computers can be invaded by others? Why is he softening on spam? Will the minister stand up for Internet users or sell them out to the spammers and the fraudsters?

Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Industry, CPC):
Actually, Mr. Speaker, I think the amendment the hon. member is referring to is off the table.

The hon. member, the NDP caucus and the Conservative caucus have been collaborating very well on the anti-spam legislation, despite the efforts of the Liberals and the Bloc to cave in to corporate interests.

We see this legislation as consumer legislation to protect the consumer against some of the ne'er do wells involved in the Internet. I appreciate the backing of the hon. member's party as we continue to make sure this legislation comes through and is successful for Canadians.

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP):
Mr. Speaker, I hope the amendment will be removed on Monday.

I hope the minister will also take my advice on the recent decision of the CRTC yesterday on Internet traffic management practices. It is a blow to the future of digital innovation in Canada. The principle of net neutrality must be a cornerstone of the innovation agenda, not a tombstone.

South of the border the FCC is taking clear steps toward ensuring net neutrality. The CRTC decision will protect the monopolists rather than the innovators.

Will the minister and his cabinet stand up for the competition, consumers and net neutrality and overturn the CRTC decision, just as they did for the land line market decision that took place three or four years ago?

Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Industry, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for his advice, as always. Indeed, we are studying the CRTC decision very closely.

Most observers have seen it to be an appropriate balance between the interests of the consumers and also the ability of the providers to provide the services we expect on the Internet, but I am watching those providers very closely. I do not want to see a situation where consumers are put at risk in terms of their access to the Internet.

This will be ongoing, but we are on the side of the consumer, most assuredly.