Wednesday Night #1506

Written by  //  January 12, 2011  //  Wednesday Nights  //  Comments Off on Wednesday Night #1506

See also Marc Garneau: Liberals focus on financial help for home care, supplementary pension plan
We are delighted that our M.P. has chosen to spend a few of his precious recess hours with Wednesday Nighters and will be with us this week.
There are many topics on all our minds, some relevant to riding matters, some to Quebec and/or Canada and others that go far beyond our borders, including the apparently good news from Sudan’s referendum and the tragic events in Arizona. However, this week, as we commemorate the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake of Port-au-Prince, we should like to, at least initially, concentrate on topics that are directly relevant to the files to which Marc devotes his time. At the same time, Marc looks to Wednesday Night as both a sounding board and a source of ideas.
We might start with Haiti and Canada’s slow delivery of the promised aid – it is not just the delays in transferring the funds  … there are other actions to which the government has committed that have yet to be undertaken. Canada is not alone, however. The BBC reports Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive has said that only some 20% of all aid pledged for rebuilding has been received – but that’s no excuse.
Since Marc was last with us, the battle over the long-form census has regrettably been lost, but the long-gun registry was saved 
Marc continues to argue against the government’s decision on the F-35s [Canada sticks to its guns on F-35s; Ottawa defends purchase of jets as U.S. concerns mount over sister model ]
Marc may want to bring us up to date on a number of files of interest to Wednesday Nighters, including:
Bill C-393 amends the Patent Act and the Food and Drugs Act to make it easier to manufacture and export pharmaceutical products to address public health problems afflicting many developing and least-developed countries, especially those resulting from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other epidemics.
In light of last Wednesday Night’s discussion regarding retirement income security, and the ongoing preoccupation with pension issues, Marc’s work on Bill C-501 – An Act to amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and other Acts (pension protection) – to ensure that unfunded pension plan liabilities are accorded the status of secure debts in the event of bankruptcy proceedings – is of particular interest to many Wednesday Nighters.
Bill C-32 – an Act to amend the Copyright Act – a highly complex matter that affects not only artists and performers, but also educators, providers of internet services, professional photographers, and many more; the brief summary offered by Ogilvy Renault gives an idea of the scope of the legislation. See also  Liberals propose amendments to Conservatives’ copyright bill to protect the rights of artists  Be assured there is no Liberal support for the $75 “iPod levy”
And there is also Bill C-28 (which received Royal Assent just before Christmas) with the staggeringly long name: An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act – we prefer the short version (Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act) and are sure that our favorite expert on regulated industries, Herr Dr. Schultz, will have something to say on this topic.
As we all know, one of Marc’s principal concerns is Innovation in Canada. [See: A sorry state of affairs: Canada gets failing grade in science and innovation] or perhaps more appropriately, the lack of its encouragement through public policy. We would submit for consideration this story from Paris: Warmth of Human Bodies Waiting Below Ground for Paris Metro Will Heat New Apartment Complex and wonder why no-one has thought of that idea in a Montreal context.
Marc’s enthusiasm for the digital economy is also well known, so we are happy to call to your attention the report from PBS Newshour  Is Technology Wiring Teens to Have Better Brains? – The conclusion? Maybe yes. But the flip side is worse manners (or is the politically correct term interpersonal skills?)

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