Claire Wortsman is an IPilogue Writer and a 2L JD Candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School.
As the election nears, my colleague Shawn Dhue and I are looking at the major parties’ plans for Canada in IP-related areas. This article will cover the platforms of Erin O’Toole and the Conservative Party of Canada as well as Jagmeet Singh and the New Democratic Party. For information on the Liberals and Green Party, check out Shawn’s article. Below are select pieces of Canada’s Recovery Plan and Ready for Better that address the CPC and NDP’s plans for Canadian IP and related areas respectively.
COVID-Related Trade Policy
- Reinstate the tariff on imported PPE.
- Support the Trade-Related Aspect of Intellectual Property Rights Waiver (TRIPS) to waive IP rights for COVID vaccines and ensure technology transfer between nations.
- Introduce a digital media royalty framework to ensure platforms like Google and Facebook compensate Canadian media outlets for the sharing of their content. This will include a robust arbitration process and the creation of IP right for article extracts shared on social media platforms.
- Make sure that Netflix, Facebook, Google, and other digital media companies play by the same rules as Canadian broadcasters.
- Pass strong legislation to protect privacy more effectively.
- Work to strengthen privacy protections for Canadians by updating privacy legislation to include a digital bill of privacy rights and boost the powers of the Privacy Commissioner to make and enforce orders, as well as levy fines and penalties.
- Create a technology task force within the Competition Bureau to examine whether dominance and anti-competitive behaviour of big tech is damaging to Canadian industries.
- Examine how algorithms and data give big tech an advantage over Canadian businesses, as well as how fintech and new technologies could foster competition.
- Prioritize the collection of race-based data on health, employment, policing and more with the goal of improving outcomes for racialized communities.
- Launch a review of innovation programs at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and across the government and, among other things, implement requirements:
- All recipients demonstrate that IP, production, ownership, and profits are likely to stay in Canada; and
- All IP developed with the support of the Canadian government is held by a Canadian entity and that recipients agree to pay back the subsidy if they sell the IP to a foreign buyer.
- Invest $5 billion over the next 5 years to fund programs in: Use of hydrogen; Small Modular Reactors; Private sector innovation in the space sector; Electric vehicle development and manufacturing, including electric trucks, micro-mobility, batteries, and parts manufacturers; and pharmaceutical research and production.
- Restore the Automotive Innovation Fund and make contributions to automakers tax-free.
- Pay up to 50% of the salary of new hires for 6 months following the end of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
- Invest in forestry innovation and support value-added Canadian wood products – and the good jobs that go with them.
- Support more options for women to build careers in the trades and other non-traditional fields like agriculture, innovation, research, and STEM.
- Support paid sick leave and prescription drug coverage.
- Implementing an affordable carbon price: Starting at $20/tonne and increasing to $50/tonne but no further.
- Work with the provinces to implement a national Personal Law Carbon Savings Account that consumers can pay into each time they buy hydrocarbon-based fuel. They can then put this money towards things that help them live a greener life (e.g., buying a transit pass or bicycle).
- Make Canada an innovation leader on methane reduction in areas such as:
- Real-time monitoring for a leakage detection;
- Ensuring that provincial methane regulations are genuinely equivalent with the federal regulations; and
- Increasing the ambition of those targets in the 2025-30 period.
- Create a National Crisis Strategy to help communities reduce and respond to climate risks, as well as a new Climate Corps of young workers to respond to climate impacts and build an equitable clean-energy economy.
- Protect Canadian IP with a strengthened Investment Canada Act that includes, among other things:
- A presumption against allowing the takeover of Canadian companies by China’s designated state-owned entities; and
- A reformed “net benefits” test to better account for the potential effects of a transaction on the broader innovation ecosystem with a particular focus on protecting IP and human capital.
- Revoke visas of Chinese nationals identified by national security agencies as conducting espionage or stealing IP.
- Adopt measures to stabilize the Canadian steel market and protect the sector from predatory practices of foreign producers who are shut out of other markets.