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Teaching

"Retreat" on Lawful Access Must Mean Government Stops Misleading on Subscriber Data

With the government now said to be "retreating" from its initial position on the Internet surveillance bill - Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says the government will entertain amendments - the starting point should be to stop misleading on the privacy concerns associated with subscriber data.  Concerns about warrantless access to subscriber information such as email and IP addresses have been at the forefront of the Bill C-30 criticism, but the government persists in claiming this information is "the modern day equivalent of the phone book." According to the Public Safety talking points on the bill:

Myth: Basic subscriber information is way beyond "phone book information".

Fact: The basic subscriber information described in the proposed legislation is the modern day equivalent of information that is accessed from the phone book. These identifiers are often searchable online and shared between individuals in online communications.

The government persists in justifying its mandatory disclosure of subscriber information without a warrant on the basis that the information is as openly available the phone book, yet this is plainly untrue.


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Report Says Canada - EU Trade Deal Could Cost Ontario $1.2 Billion Per Year From Higher Pharma Costs

The Drummond Report is attracting significant attention with its somewhat dire outlook for the Ontario economy. The report includes a notable warning about the costs of the proposed Canada - EU Trade Agreement, particularly the increased costs arising from patent reforms being promoted by large pharmaceutical companies:

The outcome of the negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement with the European Union could have significant impact on the cost of prescription drugs in Ontario. A key negotiating point, the extension of Canadian patent protections for pharmaceutical drugs to European standards, could cost Ontario taxpayers up to $1.2 billion annually ($551 million for the Ontario government and $672 million for the private sector), thus wiping out gains from recent drug reforms. The province should work with the federal government to ensure that a CETA does not undermine Ontario’s interest in expanding the use of generic drugs.

With Ontario searching for ways to bring down its deficit, it is increasingly apparent that including patent reforms within Canada's trade agreement will have a damaging impact that adds billions of dollars to provincial health care costs.
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