The government is launching an all-out blitz on the proposed Canada – European Union Trade Agreement today with no less than 18 events planned
across the country featuring 16 cabinet ministers and parliamentary secretaries. The speeches will emphasize the benefits of the proposed agreement to many areas of the economy, yet what is most noteworthy is what won’t be discussed. Industry Minister Christian Paradis is speaking, but he won’t be discussing copyright, patents, pharmaceuticals, or cultural policy as his speech will emphasize the pork industry. Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore won’t be talking about culture either as his speech is slated to focus on fish and seafood. And Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq is missing from the slate altogether.
The reason for the omissions are essential to understanding one of the primary sticking points with CETA. While the government says the deal is 75% completed, negotiators have consistently indicated that they left the toughest issues to the end. Those include rules of origin, agriculture, immigration and visa issues, and intellectual property.
The CETA intellectual property chapter leaked in 2010, revealing that the EU is seeking a complete overhaul of Canada’s IP laws. Initial demands on copyright included:
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