The Hill Times this week features a special section on Canadian innovation policy that includes an email question and answer session with Industry Minister Maxime Bernier.  The answers to some critical innovation questions are instructive:

You are said to take a 'consumer-first' approach to your department. If you agree with this, how does it apply to innovation policy?

[No answer.]

Do you believe the government should do less internal research and rely more on outside contracting or academics for research?

[No answer.]

Your government has terminated the Law Commission of Canada. Will this harm research and innovation in Canada?

[No answer.]

The Telecommunications Policy Review Panel report this year noted that Canada has a lack of research expertise on telecommunications policy. Do you agree?

[No answer.]

In a speech before the Canadian Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 18, Telus CEO Darren Entwistle said that copyright law permits us to copy music to cassettes, but not necessariliy to mp3 players. He said that 'the ambitions of those who would like to expand services to consumers are stymied by a murky legal landscape.' He concluded that, with respect to copyright, 'innovation is being held up.' Do you agree.

[No answer.]

Do you view the World Intellectual Property Organization's Broadcast Treaty as good or bad for competitiveness and innovation in Canada?

[No answer.]

Overall, Bernier refused to answer 12 of 19 questions.


  1. Dwight Williams says:

    Most Instructive…
    …and more than a little unnerving, as well…

  2. Darryl Moore says:

    He also said the following on a different page of the same PDF:

    “For instance, I am in the process of working with my colleague, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, on potential amendments to the Copyright Act. In the knowledge economy, we must strike a delicate balance between the protection of copyright holders and a reasonable access to those rights for learning and teaching purposes. That is the challenge we must all face together.”

    So I guess in his mind the only people who should have fair access to copyrighted works is the educational community. This does not bode well. 🙁