Without the CETA text, it is very difficult to assess many of the purported benefits of the draft agreement (additional posts on the need to release the text, the IP provisions, and the big win for pharmaceutical companies despite declining Canadian investment in research and development). Consider the benefits for telecommunications and electronic commerce discussed in the government’s summary document. On electronic commerce, the government states:
Businesses engaged in electronic commerce will benefit from greater certainty, confidence and
Twenty years ago, electronic commerce was in its infancy. Today, electronic commerce is a part of our daily lives. Canadians shop and plan holidays online, and buy and download software and entertainment content, including movies, television and music. Advertisers are making increased use of â€œsmart advertisingâ€ on the Web to track our shopping habits and promote specific deals likely to interest us.
I have no idea what this means – if anything – from a legal perspective, though the supportive references to tracking users online is a potential cause for concern. The telecommunications discussion is similarly evasive:
Improved competition ensures greater choice for consumers.
The telecommunications sector is important for the economies of Canada and the EU. Not only is
telecommunications an ever-growing service sector, it is also one of the most important enablers in the modern economy, providing the means of delivering other services that Canadians depend on.
CETA will ensure that all players in the telecommunications market have fair access to networks and
services, and ensure that regulators act impartially, objectively and in a transparent manner. Service
providers and investors will benefit from increased transparency and predictability of the regulatory
environment and secure, competitive marketplaces.
Does fair access mean a further removal of foreign investment restrictions? Any changes to the CRTC process? The answer is presumably no, that CETA will not change much on the existing telecom rules, but without the draft text there is no certainty on the issue.