Beauce

Federal Ministers, students, educators and experts gather to discuss impact of technology on society

A Univesity of Ottawa Press release discusses The Dialogue on Technology, Society and the Future event tomorrow (March 20, 2007) at 6 p.m.

The University of Ottawa is proud to host the first-ever Dialogue on Technology, Society and the Future in partnership with Telus. Led by honourary co-chairs, Industry Minister Maxime Bernier and Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women Bev Oda, the dialogue will help to unlock students' imaginations, expand their horizons, and encourage them to pose compelling questions about technology and its impact on everyday life.

Confused "Intellectual Property" question in Question Period.

I never know whether to report some of the conversation about PCT (Patent, Copyright, Trademarks) by members of the House of Commons as they often show they don't understand these issues. While parliamentarians are asked to vote on bills and study issues in committees, often their discussions demonstrate they don't even know the differences between these areas of law -- leave alone the very different issues within them.

Bernier's Troubling Stand on Net Neutrality

Michael Geist's weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, Homepage version) examines the recent news that internal Canadian government documents suggest that the Minister of Industry is skeptical about the need for legislative safeguards to ensure that all Canadians enjoy equal and unfettered access to Internet content and applications by avoiding a two-tier Internet. The article notes that the Minister appears to cite with approval major telco arguments and last week defended his position by relying on a public opinion survey commissioned by Bell Canada.

Konrad von Finckenstein appointed as CRTC chair.

Justice Konrad von Finckenstein, the Judge that became well known in our community from the BMG v. Doe case, has been appointment by Heritage Minister Bev Oda. as Chairperson of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

I'm hopefully optimistic that Mr. Finckenstein's experience with competition policy, and the analysis of new media demonstrated in the BMG case, can counter some of the anti-free-market forces from current Industry Minister Bernier. Each of them may talk about the positive influence of "market forces", but like when you hear a technical person talking to a recording industry executive about "DRM", they are clearly talking about entirely different things.

Government issues another blow to competition

An article from the Canadian Association of VoIP Providers includes:

One is left to wonder how the government can rationalize its policies as being "good for the consumer" while incumbents are exclaiming "we got everything we asked for" on Report on Business TV. Why does Industry Minister Maxime Bernier, having no experience in telecom policy and with zero telecommunications experience, feel he is better qualified to make policy than CRTC staff, board members and industry participants who have decades of experience?

Bernier often claims he wants to leave decisions to market forces, failing to realize that where existing monopolies or excessively strong incumbents exist that "market forces" will fail to achieve public policy goals. The government needs to first clean up existing (government created) monopolies in the telecom sector and allow for fair competition before considering the level of deregulation that Bernier blindly advocates.

Slyck: Bev Oda and Maxime Bernier Keep Their Positions

An article by Drew Wilson on Slyck talks about how the Heritage and Industry Ministers weren't changed in the recent cabinet shuffle.

I was speculating about the same issue before the shuffle, recognizing that we need to spend more time to reach the committee chairs for Heritage and Industry.

Heritage, Industry ministers stars of fundraiser co-organized by media exec

A Canadian Press article by Jennifer Ditchburn includes:

A broadcasting executive is helping to stage a re-election fundraiser for Heritage Minister Bev Oda, who's reviewing television policy for the Tory government.

Please see an update from Michael Geist.

Conservative Government response to the Petition for Users' Rights

This is a response to the petition signatures tabled by Mr. Rajotte (Edmonton--Leduc) on April 25, 2006. The response was dated June 5, 2006, but we only received a copy on October 20 from the Legislative Assistant for Charlie Angus (Timmins--James Bay).

The response, in English and in French, is signed by the Minister of Industry, The Honourable Maxime Bernier (Beauce). The English response follows.


The copyright Act must continue to reflect current technological and legal realities, and be supportive of innovation and research. It is also important that the law maintains an appropriate balance between the rights of copyright owners, and the needs of intermediaries and users. The government believes that creators' rights to enjoy the fruits of their labour need to be balanced with the opportunity for the public to use copyrighted works.

Government of Canada Amends Intellectural Property Rules for Pharmaceuticals and Bio-Pharmaceuticals

The following is a press release from Industry Canada.

OTTAWA, October 18, 2006 --Today, the Government of Canada published Industry Canadas Regulations Amending the Patented Medicines (Notice of Compliance) Regulations ("PM[NOC] Regulations") and Health Canadas Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations in Part II of the Canada Gazette. These regulations, which came into force on October 5, 2006, will strengthen the economy in the long term by restoring certainty, predictability and balance to Canadas intellectual property framework for pharmaceuticals and bio-pharmaceuticals.

Canadian Ministers Responses to DRM and Copyright Issues

A Slyck article by Drew Wilson discusses some of the minimal responses people have received from the Ministers reponsible for copyright.

The first known response was back in April. In that response, she was quoted, "The copyright legislation that was introduced by the previous government, once it was tabled, it did die on the order paper, but once it was tabled created a lot of dissension. There were different views on many elements of that bill. Consequently we are working and we will be introducing a new copyright bill that will expedite meeting our international obligations but also making sure that we have a copyright regime and a copyright framework that's appropriate."

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