Monday, April 13, 2015

My Presentation to the Unitarian Fellowship of Fredericton

Here is the presentation on C-51 that I made this Sunday, in various formats. You are free to share and reuse this material as you see fit, but please:
  • Provide a link back to this blog post, so that people can get the original source material and ask me questions if they want to (and so that they can get updated versions if I notice glaring errors that need to be corrected)
  • If you make no changes, you can attribute it to me. If you make changes, please make it clear that your work is not my work.
  • Keep in mind that while I presented it at the Unitarian Fellowship of Fredericton, this presentation is not meant to represent them, nor has it been endorsed by them.
  • With that said, I want this information to get out and be widely known, so please do share with others.
I have made a video of this presentation (me reading my speaking notes with appropriate slide transitions). I may soon also make a few shorter videos of sub-parts of this presentation, for easy sharing.
Errata in the video: As I was going through the video, I noticed a couple of things I would like to adjust. Unfortunately my current computer takes about 8 hours to create a 30 minute video from a powerpoint with audio, and I have to go to work now. Since the errata don't invalidate most of the video, I'll just put them here for now:
  • When commenting on section 5, I said I couldn't find any commentary on it so we'll have to leave it. In fact, the Canadian Bar Association brief to the Committee does have some analysis - I just haven't read that part. The Canadian Bar Association brief is 50 pages long, and I will get to it, but I just skimmed it and saw that most of it lined up with the material by Roach and Forcese that I had already read, and moved on, because I was working on my presentation, which had a deadline. Apparently some of the special advocates filed a written submission to the committee as well. But I haven't read that either
  • When I read a statement by Craig Forcese to the house committee where he mentions "the Air India affair" I pause to explain that it was a hijacking. I don't really know a lot about the Air India affair, but I do know that it's more commonly referred to as "the Air India bombing", and if you want more information, that's the term that you should google.
  • At various points throughout the video, I refer to there being either 16 or 24 hours of committee hearings. I'd like to clarify: There were 16 hours of witness testimony (8 committee meetings of 2 hours each, with 3 witnesses appearing per hour, for a total of 48 witnesses). Then there was 13 and a bit hours of clause-by clause review - but several of those hours were elevator music playing as the committee was on recess or went out into the House to vote. As a rough guess, the total amount of active committee hearings was probably between 24-27 hours.
  • At one point, I said that the motion by the opposition to add an hour to the witness testimony so that the Privacy Commissioner could be heard from was defeated 5-4 by the Conservative majority. There were some motions that this was the case for, but I re-checked, and I was incorrect. In this case, Randall Garrison of the NDP rose on a point of order near the beginning of the March 10th meeting, and then tried to move a motion that the Privacy Commissioner be included. Normally you can't move a motion while rising on a point of order (a "point of order" is when you interrupt what's going on because you think there's been some breach of parliamentary protocol that needs to be corrected immediately) and so in order to make a motion in those circumstances, the unanimous consent of the committee would be needed (you can do pretty much anything in a committee meeting, if you have the unanimous consent of all committee members). Unanimous consent was not obtained (I'm  not sure who objected) so the motion was ruled out of order. Sorry everybody - I just discovered that there were transcripts of the hearings a few days ago, so when I wrote most of my presentation and speaking notes, I was relying on memory of the committee hearings I had listened to, in some cases several weeks prior.