Friday, November 12, 2010

C-32 to be rushed through House Committee before Christmas?

The Wire Report (subscription needed) is saying:
Industry insiders say the Conservative government wants to finish with the committee study of the bill before the Christmas break. Sources say that means the committee will have to manage its time to work efficiently and may need to limit the number of witnesses.
(emphasis added)

Hopefully, the part about finishing before Christmas is is not true.

The first Bill C-32 was introduced in 1996. There were extensive hearings from September, 1996 to April, 1997. There was a strong majority government. That Bill was much simpler and far less controversial. There was no such thing as Facebook and blank audio cassettes were considered to be high tech. 3.5 inch floppy discs were still in big use. Internet access was via dial up modem. Napster didn't exist. And Michael Geist was just getting started in academia.

Even with the rushed and and highly manipulated back room machinations in both the House Committee where a bad bill got much worse and later in the Senate Committee, the Bill took a year from start to finish to become law. That still wasn't enough to prevent a very bad taste in many mouths that lingers to this day.

There are a lot of ingredients in the current C-32 stew. It must be cooked carefully and at the right temperature for the right length of time. Otherwise, it could boil over into a very big mess - which would serve nobody's interest and be very hard to clean up.

This Bill can be adequately dealt with in the House Committee by Christmas - but not Christmas of this year.


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