The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security held a hearing this morning on counterfeit goods. The panel was well stacked, featuring the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network, and the CRIA. Given that composition, the resulting comments will come as little surprise – a Chamber of Commerce representative professed embarrassment over Canada's IP laws, the CACN representatives passed around an extension cord without sufficent grounding while asserting that "fatalities are inevitable" and that IP enforcement is a "lost cause" in Canada. A CACN lawyer noted the great success of educating six and seven year-olds about counterfeit toys that do not contain a tag indicating that they are made of new materials. Graham Henderson indicated that it was about "jobs, jobs, jobs" and that Kenya provides a model for addressing IP issues (though he neglected to mention that like Canada, Kenya has signed, but not ratified, the WIPO Internet treaties).
The panelists all claimed that Canada's IP enforcement system is outdated and thus requires significant new resources and legislative change. There was also considerable emphasis on creating a Canadian IP enforcement infrastructure, with Henderson calling for the creation of an IP Crime Task Force and IP Co-ordination Councils at the federal and provincial levels.
The committee was incredibly receptive to this message.