The government unveiled Bill C-56 yesterday, legislation it touts as supporting the building of more rental homes (through tax measures) and stabilizing grocery prices (through Competition Act reforms). While the proposed Competition Act changes include increased investigative and merger blocking powers for the Competition Bureau as well as the long overdue elimination of the efficiencies defence, the bill also includes provisions that undermine Competition Bureau independence. The government is not promoting those changes – there is no reference to it in the press release – but bill gives it broad powers to order inquiries into any market or industry and dictate the terms of the inquiry to the Competition Bureau. Those reforms are not subject to any significant limitations and are open to potential abuse.
Post Tagged with: "c-56"
Bill C-56, the anti-counterfeiting bill that opens the door the Canadian implementation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, has been referred to the Industry Committee for review. The government imposed time allocation on the bill to move it to committee. The debate on the bill yesterday suggested that all parties support […]
Earlier this year, Industry Minister Christian Paradis introduced a bill aimed at ensuring that Canada complies with the discredited Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The bill raises a host of concerns including granting border guards increased powers without court oversight or review. The bill had not been heard from since its introduction, […]
With only limited fanfare, earlier this month Industry Minister Christian Paradis introduced Bill C-56, the Combating Counterfeit Products Act. Since no one supports counterfeit products – there are legitimate concerns associated with health and safety – measures designed to address the issue would presumably enjoy public and all-party support. Yet within days of its introduction, the bill was the target of attacks from both opposition parties and the public.
The NDP raised the issue during Question Period in the House of Commons, accusing the government of trying to implement the widely discredited Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) “through the backdoor.” The public also picked up on the issue, noting that the bill appears to be less about protecting Canadians and more about caving to U.S. pressure (the U.S. called on Canada to implement ACTA on the same day the bill was tabled).
My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the concerns associated with the bill fall into two main categories: substance and ACTA implementation. The substantive concerns start with the decision to grant customs officials broad new powers without court oversight. Under the bill, customs officials are required to assess whether goods entering or exiting the country infringe any copyright or trademark rights.
Appeared in the Toronto Star on March 9, 2013 as What’s Really Behind Ottawa’s Anti-Counterfeiting Bill? With only limited fanfare, earlier this month Industry Minister Christian Paradis introduced Bill C-56, the Combating Counterfeit Products Act. Since no one supports counterfeit products – there are legitimate concerns associated with health and […]