The comments clearly caught Conservative MPs by surprise with MP Peter Braid following up by asking whether Page was “confident that whatever concerns you have will be addressed through regulatory change?”. Page responded “I think so” and Braid quickly changed witnesses. Yet the government has said nothing about potential new exceptions by way of regulation to the digital lock rules and it seems unlikely that Page was provided with inside information.
In fact, MP Cheryl Gallant later asked how to address the problem and Page responds:
There are a number of ways to do that. We’ve looked at the legislation around the world and if you look at New Zealand’s legislation, for example, they have the concept of an authorized circumventor which essentially defines the situation where circumvention is allowed. Certainly, with our own act there is an investigative exemption and we think if the investigative exemption actually was modified to include the investigating breaches of all laws and international IP treaties as well, that could be a focus of it as well.
In our mind, it’s really more the intent of breaching the TPMs than the act itself. Obviously, breaching a TPM for the purpose of infringing and for copyrighting should be a breach of the law and heavily prosecuted. But we believe under the fair dealings provision, as well, that you should be allowed to circumvent any provision to actually investigate breaches of personal rights. So it’s the circumstances under which you would actually investigate.
Page’s comments and suggestions for reform were the same ones the Bill C-11 heard repeatedly from dozens of witnesses and thousands of Canadians. It rejected those amendments, leaving intact provisions that now even IP enforcement companies say will make their job more difficult.