Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): – Mr. Speaker, New Democrats are deeply concerned by reports that the Conservatives are planning to censor film and video production in Canada to suit their friends from the religious right.
Will the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages confirm that her office is working on “updated eligibility requirements” and the “standardized and updated list of illegal and other ineligible content”?
Could the minister assure the House and Canada’s cultural community that her department will not place any new barriers to accessing film tax credits in Canada? Will she give that assurance today?
Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary secretary knows full well that the bill in question does not reveal the Conservatives’ plan to censor Canadian films. Rather it is the guidelines that the department is drafting that would create a Canadian film censorship board, a board that would decide what film and video content would be worthy and what would not.
Therefore, does the minister agree that there can be no role for government censorship in the Canadian film industry? Will she assure Canadians that any plans to curtail artistic freedom will be stopped immediately? No censorship.