What The Sam Bulte?

VoteThe Liberal MP in my riding is Sarmite Bulte. I've written about this so called democracy and the conflict I share with many Canadians. We're less than three weeks from election day and I'm as torn as ever.

Each and every election, either federal or provincial, Taryn blindly votes Liberal. Sarmite Bulte could be Idi Amin and my dear wife would vote for her. Taryn and I share socially liberal views and our united distrust and distate for the Conservative Party of Canada means we share a great deal of political ideology. I, however, refuse to blindly vote for an MP simply because they represent the Liberal Party of Canada.

Despite everything in the Gomery Commission, Sam Bulte was probably going to secure my vote until I read this. Here's a brief description of the story.

TORONTO -- U.S. studios and music labels were drawn into the Canadian federal election fray Tuesday after coming under fire for a planned Jan. 19 fundraiser for a key Liberal member of Parliament. The controversy follows Sarmite Bulte, a federal M.P. and parliamentary secretary for Canadian Heritage who has backed U.S.-style copyright laws, issuing an invitation for a CAN$250-a-plate fundraiser hosted by the Canadian Recording Industry Assn. and the Canadian Motion Pictures Distributors Assn. The event was scheduled to take place four days before Canadians vote for a new federal government on Jan. 23. The CMPD, the CRIA and other copyright holders have long pushed Canada to tighten lax laws against copyright piracy. A copyright reform bill that Bulte helped write recently died when the ruling Liberal Party dissolved Parliament and called a national election for Jan. 23.

Reading that piece struck a serious nerve with me and got me hunting for more. That's when I found this excellent write-up from Michael Geist. Here's a brief excerpt from this entry.

In May 2004, the Canadian Heritage Standing Committee released what is now widely described as the "Bulte Report", a remarkably one-sided report on the future of Canadian copyright. The report addressed WIPO, ISP, and education issues, siding in every instance with the views of rights holders such as the Canadian Recording Industry Association...

Fast forward to the current election campaign and it is clear that Ms. Bulte remains closely aligned with those same rights holder organizations. Her website lists a number of campaign events, the most interesting of which is a $250.00 per person fundraiser on January 19th featuring Cowboy Junkies singer (and CRIA President Graham Henderson partner) Margo Timmins...

Within the boundaries of the Election Act, MPs are of course free to fundraise any way they like and individual Canadians are free to contribute to those same MPs. However, with the public's cynicism about elected officials at an all-time high and Canadians increasingly frustrated by a copyright policy process that is seemingly solely about satisfying rights holder demands, is it possible to send a worse signal about the impartiality of the copyright reform process? At $250.00 a person, I have my doubts that many of the artists that Ms. Bulte claims to represent will be present. Instead, it will lobbyists and lobby groups, eagerly handing over their money with the expectation that the real value of the evening will come long after Margo Timmins has finished her set.

Bulte is clearly owned by US copyright industries and will serve her masters with extreme copyright laws. This is all unfolding in plain view, it's astounding how blatant she is. Canadian copyright laws in this digital age are far too near and dear to my heart for me to cast my one and only vote for someone so clearly bought by freedom-suppressing conglomerates.

Hello Peggy Nash, I believe it's time for change.

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