Do the Liberals support an iPod levy?

The Conservatives released a radio ad yesterday accusing the opposition of supporting a levy on iPods.

The Liberals have protested, they point out their press release which states,

The Liberal Party does not support the iPod levy. It is not sustainable in a world of changing technology, and is unpopular with consumers,” said Marc Garneau, Liberal Industry, Science and Technology Critic. “Canadians are already using multipurpose media devices to listen to music, like Blackberries, iPhones, iPads and computer livestreaming, on which the levy would not apply.”

Words in a press release are nice, but how have they voted on the issue?

Concurrence in Committee Reports

Pursuant to Standing Order 66(2), the House proceeded to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion of Mrs. Lavallée (Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert), seconded by Mr. Pomerleau (Drummond), — That the First Report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, presented on Wednesday, March 17, 2010, be concurred in. (Concurrence in Committee Reports No. 1)

You can see how the Liberals voted to accept the first report of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage here (they voted for it).

And that report that they voted to accept is here.

It reads,

Pursuant to Standing order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the Committee on Tuesday, March 16, 2010, your Committee recommends:

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), that the Committee report the following to the House as soon as possible:

That the Committee recommends that the government amend Part VIII of the Copyright Act so that the definition of “audio recording medium” extends to devices with internal memory, so that the levy on copying music will apply to digital music recorders as well, thereby entitling music creators to some compensation for the copies made of their work.

This unfortunately is another case of the Liberals saying one thing and then saying another. Are we to believe their press releases or how they vote?

Michael Ignatieff signed his name to the Coalition agreement, then said he was against one, then famously said “a Coalition if necessary, but not necessarily a coalition”. His latest position is that there is no coalition.

He’s also flip-flopped on EI, the GST, and the Iraq war among other things. We must allow for people to change their minds but when it is done as unprincipled political expediency we have a more difficult time discounting previous words and actions.



  • Brett

    Ignatieff also flip flop on the corporate tax cuts. The NDP climb down against corporate tax cuts was a key element of the coalition agenda. Now Iggy Flop and the liberals are against corporate tax cuts and if I am not mistaken are calling them giveaways; the same language as the NDP. Hmmmmmm.

  • Benjamin

    Mr. Taylor is definitely a credit to the Conservatives’ spin, but what if we take a look at this from a different angle:

  • Liz J

    Who knows what they support on any given day?

    Do they support their leader who thinks the election of Rob Ford as mayor of Toronto is good news for Liberals? How does one square that kind of convoluted thinking?

  • Gabby in QC

    Benjamin, you wrote this in your blog:
    “the first report … was tabled by a standing committee having more Conservatives than any other party’s MPs …”


    ” … in a first report from a Conservative chaired and dominated standing committee …”

    Here’s a list of the members on the committee you referenced:

    Chair: Gary Ralph Schellenberger (CPC)

    Vice-Chairs: Carole Lavallée (Bloc) & Pablo Rodriguez (Lib)


    Charlie Angus (NDP)
Rod Bruinooge (CPC)
Dean Del Mastro (CPC)
Ruby Dhalla (Lib)
Jacques Gourde (CPC)
Nina Grewal (CPC)
Roger Pomerleau (Bloc)
Scott Simms (Lib)
Tim Uppal (CPC)

    Count them. 6 Conservatives vs. 6 opposition party members.

    Usually, the chair doesn’t vote, if I read this correctly: 
”Like the Speaker, the Chair of a committee votes only to break a tie, except when a committee is considering a private bill, in which case the Chair votes as a regular member of the committee and, in the event of a tie, has a second, casting vote. [419]  The Chair is not bound to give reasons for voting. By convention, the Chair will normally vote in such a way as to maintain the status quo or, when no further discussion on the matter is possible, to keep the matter open for further discussion in the committee or at a subsequent proceeding in the House. …” 

    So your contention that the committee in question is “dominated” by Conservatives is inaccurate.

  • Anonymous

    iPod tax!! iPod tax!! Over heeeeere! Lookit meee! iPod tax!!

    (is it working? has this bumped the stories about Russell Ullyatt, and Flaherty dismantling the CPP, and how a conservative majority remains out of reach? Maybe if you shout louder?)

  • Gabby in QC

    “Flaherty dismantling the CPP”

    No one can possibly compete with THAT loud shout of yours. Understatement and euphemism are not your forte, eh?

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, I am indeed guilty of exaggeration. Flaherty is merely blocking much-needed CPP reforms that would ensure it will continue to support the growing ranks of retired Canadians.

    My bad. Carry on fighting the good fight against a draconian iPod tax.

  • Lx 121

    Completely unlike our glorious leader Steven Harper, WHO HAS NEVER FLIP-FLOPPED ON ANYTHING, EVER!!!!

    Because, when Stevie does it, it’s “Real Leadership”!


  • Gabby in QC

    I am amazed at the number of extremely urgent reforms that have suddenly cropped up ever since the Conservatives have been in power.

    I’ve grown tired of hearing “for thirteen long years the Liberals did nothing” but I’m afraid it applies in this case as well. If pension reforms were so urgent why didn’t the previous government bring in those reforms, when they held the reins of power and they had the room to maneuver, i.e. back-to-back majorities?

    This may have escaped your notice. I posted it under another thread but it’s pertinent here.
    Page 6, # 1:
    “In the early 1980’s, Canada was caught in the grips of a severe global economic recession, compounded by rampant inflation. The Liberal government responded with the introduction of the 6 & 5 program, which limited income and price increases to six percent and five percent over two years. The program had a direct impact on public service wages and the indexation of pensions. …

    Page 6, # 3:
    In the 1990’s, the Liberal government instituted a program of wage controls, which lasted for 6 years, and which featured a freeze on salaries for the last 5 years of the program. As employee pensions are based upon an average salary, the net effect was to reduce future pensions by an estimated 15%. Note that this was the primary reason that the pre-1999 federal public service pension plan accumulated a surplus of $30 billion, which the government then confiscated. …

    Page 7:
    It should be realized that prior to 1999, the PSSA (Public Service Superannuation Act) was a paper plan with no monies invested in financial markets. True, the government did take 7.5% of its employees’ wages from their paychecks, but these monies were quickly added to the government’s general revenues and spent. …”

    So, it appears the previous government did in fact do something about pensions, at least for one group of people, eh?

  • Liz J

    The bigger question: do the Liberals support Iggy?

  • Anonymous

    hah? What does that have to do with the actions of THIS government, now? Pointing backwards won’t work any better than the iPod tax noiseplay.

    To be fair… since Harper’s annual prorogue has been canceled for this year, I should maybe just shut up and count my blessings.

  • Gabby in QC

    My dear Kenny, may I remind you that it was you who went off topic, with your “Flaherty’s dismantling the CPP”?
    Since you broached THAT topic, I thought it relevant to bring you up to date on some Liberal history on that issue.
    If the CPP and pensions in general are now in crisis like the Liberals claim, why did they not address the issue when they were in power and had the majority to do so?
    Instead of solving some problems, it seems they created an additional one, at least for some groups.

    In the spirit of the season, I will not suggest you follow your own suggestion, i.e.”I should maybe just shut up” but I will wish you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year, Happy Holidays, or belated Happy Chanukah, whichever is appropriate for you.

  • batb

    I clicked on “Liked” and nothing happened.

    Advent gremlins? Hardly! Anti-Advent/Christmas gremlins? Not sure. But some gremlins are at work … :-(

  • batb

    So, there is a Santa Claus after all … ;-)

  • Brian Dell

    Where does the $75 come from?

  • batb

    A blessed and joyful Christmas-tide to Stephen and to all the readers and commenters here! It’s now the second day of Christmas: 11 days left to celebrate!