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Joan Fraser

The Hon. Joan  Fraser, B.A. Senator Joan Fraser is well-known to Canadians as a journalist and commentator. Appointed to the Senate on September 17, 1998, by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien, Senator Joan Fraser represents the province of Quebec and the Senatorial Division of De Lorimier.

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Liberal Senators Release Amendments to the Conservative Censorship Bill

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Posted on 18 June 2008

Ottawa, June 18, 2008 - Senators Francis Fox and Wilfred Moore today made public the amendments that Liberal Senators intend to introduce when the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce proceeds to the Clause by Clause examination of Bill C-10.

“Witnesses from all segments of the film industry including producers, writers, directors, and actors as well as civil liberties groups have all agreed that Bill C-10, in its current form, would have a devastating impact on the Canadian film industry. This view was reinforced by financial institutions, municipalities, and labour groups,” said Senator Fox. “By making these amendments public at this time, those concerned about Bill C-10 will have the opportunity to review and comment on these proposals before they are voted on.”

The changes proposed by Senators Fox and Moore would:

 1.   Remove the power for the Minister of Heritage to refuse tax credits based on "public policy" or to issue guidelines about film content, while at the same time safeguarding the right to deny funds when the production itself is contrary to the Criminal Code;

2.   Give producers an efficient judicial appeal mechanism if the Minister blocks or delays funding;

3.   Continue to prevent government funding of pornography, child pornography, and hate propaganda.

“These changes, which are a direct result of the testimony before our committee, will add certainty and stability to the film industry while continuing to ensure that pornography, child pornography, and hate propaganda do not receive government funding,” said Senator Moore.

The Canadian film industry, in addition to providing high quality, internationally award-winning productions, has an economic impact of approximately $5 billion annually and employs over 125,000 people in Canada.

“What we are proposing are amendments that will protect this vital industry as well as the principle of artistic freedom,” said Senator Fox.

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