Mike Sullivan spoke in the house about his private member’s bill that would make stealing cell phones less profitable. A private member’s bill, especially from the opposition, requires cross-party support—but things didn’t look good.
Sullivan asked whether the Conservatives would support his bill. The response? Garbled criticism from Christian Paradis, the Minister of Industry:
Mr. Speaker, I find it rich that the member for York South—Weston now pretends to stand with cellphone users after voting against cellphone unlocking by voting against Bill C-11. Our government has taken concrete actions to build a strong and competitive telecommunications sector. Once again, I would like to highlight the industry’s effort to address the serious issue of cellphone theft. We will continue to work with industry to protect Canadian consumers and deliver more choice through greater competition.
Whatever your politics, this is pretty irritating. I understand that politicians are loathe to actually answer a direct question, but it sure would be nice if they could at least not answer that question instead of not answering another question.
Sullivan’s bill has nothing to do with unlocking or competition. And Bill C-11 had to do with all things copyright—photocopying, encryption, education, fair dealing, and a whole slew of other stuff. I happen to think that it was a pretty balanced bill, but a vote against C-11 was hardly a vote against unlocking.
The Conservatives are trying to squelch a good bill on spurious, vindictive grounds. Is it too much to ask them to explain what they have against it?