Earlier this year, Industry Minister Christian Paradis introduced a bill aimed at ensuring that Canada complies with the discredited Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The bill raises a host of concerns including granting border guards increased powers without court oversight or review. The bill had not been heard from since its introduction, but yesterday Paradis moved that the bill be read a second time and referred to committee for further study.
There was insufficient time to complete the necessary debate, so it will come back to the House for further discussion and then proceed to committee. While it is unclear whether there is enough time to pass the bill before the summer – if the government studies it properly there is realistically no chance of doing so – the bill’s re-emergence is warning sign that ACTA is still very much on the government’s radar screen. Indeed, the fact that Paradis chose to move forward with this bill while his privacy legislation has sat dormant since September 2011 speaks volumes about the current legislative priorities.