Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
Transport and Communications

Issue 1 - First Report of the Committee


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications has the honour to table its

FIRST REPORT

Your Committee, which was authorized by the Senate to incur expenses for the purpose of its examination and consideration of such legislation and other matters as were referred to it, reports, pursuant to Rule 104, that the expenses incurred by the Committee during the First Session of the Thirty-ninth Parliament are as follows:

1. With respect to its examination of legislation:

Professional and Other Services   $ 5,943
Transport and Communications   0
Other Expenditures   0
Witness Expenses         755
Total   $ 6,698

2. With respect to its study of the current state of Canadian media industries:

Professional and Other Services   $ 1,179
Transport and Communications   0
Other Expenditures   1,344
Witness Expenses            0
Total   $ 2,523

3. With respect to its study of the containerized freight traffic handled by Canada's ports:

Professional and Other Services   $ 22,091
Transport and Communications   75,830
Other Expenditures   2,680
Witness Expenses          4,790
Total   $ 105,391

4. With respect to its study of the Canadian Television Fund:

Professional and Other Services   $ 1,297
Transport and Communications   0
Other Expenditures   0
Witness Expenses            0
Total   $ 1,297

During the session the Committee held 52 meetings, during which it received evidence from 141 witnesses. A total of more than 77 hours was spent in meetings.

The Committee completed its wide-ranging examination of the Canadian news media in June 2006. The Final Report, issued in two volumes, included 40 recommendations, and also 10 suggestions in areas generally outside federal jurisdiction. The recommendations cover a wide array of concerns expressed by witnesses: media concentration; the inadequate funding and unclear role and mandate of the national public broadcaster; the legal and professional environment, as well as training for journalists; and federal support programs. As emphasized throughout the study, the Committee's work and recommendations dealt exclusively with the architecture of the news media system in Canada and not the content of the news.

Upon completion of the media study, the Committee began a special study examining containerized freight traffic handled at Canada's major container ports. As part of this study, the Committee traveled to Vancouver and Montreal to hold public hearings and conduct fact-finding. The Committee also conducted a study on the objectives, operation and governance of the Canadian Television Fund, tabling its final report on May 10, 2007.

In addition to these special studies, the Committee also dealt with three bills during this session: Bill C-3, An Act respecting international bridges and tunnels and making a consequential amendment to another Act (reported with amendments and observations on December 12, 2006); Bill C-11, An Act to amend the Canada Transportation Act and the Railway Safety Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (reported with amendments and observations on May 17, 2007); and Bill C-59, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (unauthorized recording of a movie) (reported without amendment on June 21, 2007).

Finally, the committee considered two user fee proposals from Industry Canada: one concerning new fees for services provided by the department relating to telecommunications and radio apparatus; and a second for a spectrum licence fee for broadband public safety communications in bands 4940-4990 MHz. The Committee tabled its reports on user fees on October 26, 2006 and June 13, 2007.

Respectfully submitted,

LISE BACON

Chair


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