Thank you, Mr. Chair.
First, on this, the government's approach is to align Canada's rules with those of the many other jurisdictions that recognize confidential communications between IP agents and clients as privileged. The approach in the bill does that, ensuring that Canada is not a weak point in the context of global litigation. The proposed amendment would incorporate conditions that are not found in foreign privilege rules and would undermine the objective of international alignment.
The second point I think is important to make is that the proposed amendments would undermine business certainty by making privilege subject to two additional conditions, making it very difficult for businesses and agents to know whether their confidential information would be protected against disclosure. This amendment would create a chilling effect that would undermine the benefits of privilege that it's intended to achieve.
Thirdly, the proposed amendments would undermine the objectives that providing privilege to the clients of IP agents is intended to achieve. Those objectives are to remove confusion around the type of communication that is privileged to avoid exposing Canadian companies in international litigation, to give assurances that Canada is indeed a safe place to invest in IP and R and D, and to promote open and frank discussions with IP agents and higher quality IP advice.
I think the final point I want to make, Mr. Chair, is that the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada—an institute that, by the way, is the professional organization and association for not only patent agents and trademark agents but also lawyers specializing in intellectual property—came and spoke to this very committee this morning giving testimony that not only had there been wonderful consultation to their community in this instance, but they were fully supportive and thought that this was getting us on a competitive footing with the world.
With respect, we do not support this amendment.