While the Canadian government has dutifully followed the U.S. line on ACTA with bland releases following each of the four 2008 negotiation sessions, newly obtained documents under the Access to Information Act reveal that the Canadian delegation may be speaking out on some of the public concerns that have been raised around transparency and the exclusion of many countries from the negotiation process [download here]. The documents include several noteworthy revelations:
First, the documents confirm that the leaked ACTA document from last year was indeed the ACTA Discussion Paper distributed among governments. At the time, there was some question as to whether this was an industry wish-list or a government document. The Canadian documents confirm that this was a government document, a suggested intervention notes that "we would like to raise the issue of communications. As you all know by now, the ACTA Discussion Paper has been leaked . . . "
Second, the documents reveal that Canada submitted two "non-papers" to the other countries in advance of the first round of negotiations last year. The two papers focused on (1) institutional and procedural issues to be addressed during the negotiations and (2) institutional issues following the negotiation of ACTA.
Third, the documents include suggested interventions for the Geneva meeting last June.