Earlier this week, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released a report on intellectual property. I argued that the claims were completely lacking in statistical rigour and that the Chamber did little more than embarrass itself and its members. Apparently, one of its members was indeed embarrassed by the report and opposed its publication. The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce quietly notified the Ontario Chamber that it could not support the report citing concerns about rising health care costs and unreasonable searches or lawsuits. In response it issued issuing the following public statement:
"The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce is, of course, very concerned about any unethical business practice such as counterfeiting. However, at present, we are not sure what the true impact of the recommendations would be on our members, especially those who are in the SME sector. If, for example, the strict enforcement of pharmaceutical patents would raise the costs of health care programs for SMEs, the Hamilton Chamber would want to consider how the benefits arising from that intellectual property would benefit our members. Similarly, if the enforcement of software rights would see our members being subjected to unreasonable searches or lawsuits, again, we would want to proceed with caution to understand all of the ramifications."