Bills C-13 and S-4, the two major privacy bills currently working their way through the legislative process, both reached clause-by-clause review yesterday, typically the best chance for amendment. Instead, the day was perhaps the most disastrous in recent memory for Canadian privacy, with blown chances for reform, embarrassingly bogus claims from the government in defending its bills, and blatant hypocrisy from government MPs who sought to discredit the same privacy commissioner they were praising only a few days ago.
Despite its successes, Digital Canada 150 ultimately suffers from some notable omissions. For a strategy document, it is curiously lacking in actual strategy. The government updates Canadians on what it has done and provides some insight into what it plans to do, but there are few new strategies articulated.
The litany of complaints about the Copyright Board of Canada has mounted in recent years: The public rarely participates in its activities due to high costs, it moves painfully slowly, and its rules encourage copyright collectives and users to establish extreme positions that make market-driven settlements more difficult.
Over the past couple of weeks, there have been a myriad of posts and articles criticizing Canada's anti-spam legislation. According to some posts -- primarily those by Barry Sookman -- the legislation will stop family members from sending commercial e-mail to each other, parents from promoting their children's lemonade stands, and discriminate against charities and schools. Is this true?
As International Trade Minister Ed Fast returns from negotiations in Europe that failed to secure a deal on the Canada-EU Trade Agreement, newly leaked documents to the CAQ and posted by LaPresse provide a detailed look at the remaining outstanding issues with details on the Canadian and European positions.
The Canada - EU Trade Agreement negotiations continue this week in Brussels with both parties hoping to wrap up many outstanding issues. According to information provided by Canadian officials at a briefing earlier next month, the plan is to narrow the areas of disagreement to no more than ten issues, with ministers meeting in Europe in November to try to forge an agreement on the contentious areas.
Sometime in the next few weeks, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is expected to be appointed to the Manitoba Court of Appeal. The Toews appointment is among the worst kept secrets in Ottawa, with the move causing a domino effect that will lead to a new minister and an opportunity for a fresh start on Internet surveillance legislation, one of the government's biggest political blunders to date.