The Hill Times turns itself over to copyright this week with no less than four articles and op-eds on the topic (including one from me revealing a secret meetings between CRIA and the Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Wilson). The most important of article is a front page, lead article that is freely available titled "Prentice Backtracks on Treaty Policy, Copyright to Be Exempted." The article, which includes coverage of the Copyright MPs, notes that just one week ago Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier unveiled a new policy to table international treaties in the House of Commons for debate before proceeding with steps toward ratification. This policy, which mirrors policies found in the UK and Australia, fulfilled a campaign promise from 2006.
Yet one week later, Bill Rodgers, Prentice's communication director, is quoted as saying that they plan to introduce the copyright bill first and deal with ratification later. That is in direct contradiction to the stated policy and clearly counter to the Foreign Minister who says in the same piece "I'm very pleased with this new policy and we'll see in the future what we'll do with that." If Rodgers is right, what the Conservatives plan to do with it, is ignore it. As NDP MP Charlie Angus notes, Bernier and the government are about to look fairly foolish as they try to talk their way out of their own policy and their own campaign promise.