The Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations concluded early this morning in Atlanta with the 12 countries reaching agreement on the remaining outstanding issues. The U.S. quickly posted a summary of the TPP and the Canadian government has followed with its own package on the deal. At a just-concluded ministerial press conference, the ministers noted that this is one step in a longer process. The text itself must still be finalized and then each country will have its own rules before signing onto it. In the U.S., there is a review period with the full text, so this will be a 2016 issue. In Canada, new treaties must be tabled for review in the House of Commons, so there will be a Parliamentary review.
With the election only two weeks away, that means that there will be no text to review before the national vote. Instead, Canadians will face a barrage of TPP claims:
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With the new Parliamentary session set to kick off today with the election of a new speaker, new cabinet members are busy brushing up on the myriad of issues they will face in the coming months. The appointment to cabinet comes with a private mandate letter from the Prime Minister that sets out his expectations and policy goals. If Canadians focused on digital policies were given the chance to draft their own mandate letters, my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version
, homepage version
) speculates that they might say the following: Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry
: As the new Minister of Industry, it falls to you to make the digital economy strategy initiated by your predecessor Tony Clement a reality. The centrepiece of the strategy should be universal, competitively priced broadband service. With a majority government in place, we have four years to open the market to new competitors, facilitate the introduction of new wireless broadband alternatives, encourage the market to offer fibre connections in all major markets, foster new local competitors, leverage the role of high speed research and education networks, consider using spectrum auction proceeds to fund broadband initiatives, and address anti-competitive pricing models. We should set realistic but ambitious targets for broadband speed, pricing, and competition that allows Canada to reverse a decade of decline and once again become a global leader.
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Appeared in the Toronto Star on May 29, 2011 as What Harper’s Ministers Should be Doing Digitally With the new Parliamentary session set to kick off later this week, new cabinet members are busy brushing up on the myriad of issues they will face in the coming months. The appointment […]
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For the past two Bill C-32 committee meetings, Conservative MP Ed Fast, a new member of the committee, has emerged as an important questioner. Fast has focused on the digital lock rules with several exchanges that defend the government’s approach. While dozens of groups (including education, consumer groups, libraries, archivists, retailers, and technology companies) have called for a link between circumvention and copyright infringement, Fast believes that opening that door would effectively eliminate the use of digital locks.
For example, yesterday he asked the Canadian Federation of Students how it could justify “eliminating digital locks altogether by allowing circumvention for fair dealing purposes?” Last week, he had a similar exchange with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, stating “my concern is if you go that extra step and allow circumvention for fair dealing, you’ve now made it so much more easy to actually allow the cheaters to undermine the system, where digital locks become absolutely meaningless.”
Fast has clearly given some thought to the digital lock issue, but he is wrong that linking circumvention to actual copyright infringement would render digital locks irrelevant.
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