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Results: 1 - 15 of 651
View Raymond Côté Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
What I'm about to say probably won't come as much of a surprise since I've complained about this in relation to previous omnibus budget bills. Unfortunately, these kinds of legislative changes are buried in a massive bill, the study of which falls on the shoulders of the Standing Committee on Finance. I am even more outraged by the fact that when I sat on the Standing Committee of Industry, Science and Technology throughout all of 2014, we had to engage in a bogus study of parts of an omnibus budget bill that made amendments to the same pieces of legislation. We heard from witnesses with major concerns, including the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Mr. Chair, it's quite shocking that, this morning, we are hearing from just a single witness who is directly affected by the amendment. We have, unfortunately, not heard any opposing points of view. The witness did, however, make a very interesting point, and I'm going to ask our public officials a question about it.
This morning, a cornerstone of solicitor-client privilege between patent or trademark agents and their clients was tied to what the witness referred to as a large number of decisions where that privilege would not apply. I was a bit taken aback. I assumed that the judges had made an informed decision. That was something I asked the witness about this morning. His view was that the evidence may not have been sufficient for solicitor-client privilege to apply to the communications between the agents and their clients.
I find it very disturbing that amendments are being made without the benefit of other opinions or an analysis of the consequences. It's akin to a vote of non-confidence in the bench. Judges are being contradicted for the wrong reasons. Basically, I'd like to know what led the government to believe that the judges were wrong or that solicitor-client privilege had not been granted for the right reasons. Could you please explain that to me?
View Raymond Côté Profile
NDP (QC)
Very well.
We aren't necessarily against the principle of extending the privilege, but the relevant committee should have had the opportunity to participate in a genuine debate on the matter.
My other concern has to do with the consultations that were conducted prior. The committee received a letter from an organization by the name of The Advocates' Society, according to whom, not all potential stakeholders were asked to participate in the consultation process, mainly law societies.
I'd like you to explain how those much talked-about consultations were handled by Industry Canada.
View Raymond Côté Profile
NDP (QC)
Are there plans to make any other amendments to the act or other related acts? In fact, the Standing Committee on Finance may have to study them if, heaven forbid, we end up with another majority Conservative government.
View Raymond Côté Profile
NDP (QC)
I would just like to end by saying that the amendments being made to these three significant pieces of legislation should really have been subject to a comprehensive decision-making process involving the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. I cannot stress that enough. This is a breakdown or, rather, a deliberate failure to follow the basic legislative process, as the Canadian Bar Association pointed out in describing omnibus bills.
That is why we are not going to support these provisions.
View Raymond Côté Profile
NDP (QC)
I want to comment on the changes to the Patent Act, specifically.
You will recall, Mr. Chair, that, in the past, the NDP has tried to make the government listen to reason by calling on it to split omnibus budget bills. Obviously, the government has systematically refused that request, flying in the face of the conditions needed to put the public interest first. I just wanted to make perfectly clear how appalling that is.
Thank you.
View Raymond Côté Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Everyone will recall that the previous amendments to the Trade-marks Act, further to the last omnibus bill, faced strong opposition from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, as well as a large swath of Canada's private sector. It was quite a problem. Clearly, they were condemning a process that resulted in amendments that weren't necessarily in their best interest at the time or, at the very least, the fact that an in-depth study had not been done. The amendments before us could easily be detrimental to Canadian business.
A huge number of economic interests come into play when trademarks are involved. Significant amounts of money are at stake. Amending these provisions without first giving the committee directly responsible an opportunity to conduct a detailed study could very well end up costing us dearly. Above all, these changes could jeopardize the survival of countless businesses by putting them at a competitive disadvantage, especially small businesses.
In the new economy, holding a trademark without overly easy challenges from abroad is probably one of the biggest concerns of small businesses.
As in the case of the other acts being amended, I condemn the process. The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology should have had the opportunity to study the amendments from top to bottom. As was the case in the previous omnibus bills, our party's calls to split the legislation out into sections for further study were flatly rejected without serious consideration by the government. I just wanted to point that out.
Thank you.
View Raymond Côté Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. It's very kind of you to let me speak.
As you know, the NDP voted against the Green Party of Canada's proposed amendments quite simply because we support the principle of extending the term of protection from 50 to 70 years.
But, on Monday, I was at the ceremony honouring former parliamentarians and had the tremendous pleasure of hearing a timeless classic by Raymond Lévesque, who at the age of 86, can barely sing his greatest hits anymore. And one of those greatest hits, which is one of the best Quebec songs of all time, if not the best, is “Quand les hommes vivront d'amour”. Similarly, other major artists, composers and authors will lose the ability to perform or promote their works. Unfortunately, these proposals simply amount to helping those who record their works and record companies. We would have liked to see this protection extend to authors and composers as well.
That leads me to underscore how shameful it is that these two provisions weren't subject to adequate scrutiny by the appropriate committee, rather than the Standing Committee on Finance.
Be that as it may, we support the two provisions because they improve upon the existing situation, at least. Nevertheless, it's necessary to go further and, above all, to extend this protection to those who are responsible for composing the works that make up our venerable audio and theatrical heritage.
Thank you.
View Raymond Côté Profile
NDP (QC)
Mr. Chair, point of order.
My apologies, Mr. Rankin. Unfortunately, the French translation isn't coming in. I'm not sure where the problem is.
Now it's back. Thank you.
View Raymond Côté Profile
NDP (QC)
I would just say this.
I have much respect for what my colleague, Mr. Caron, had to say.
I would simply like to add that it is especially shocking to see these legislative amendments being proposed in an omnibus bill, as they deserve a separate debate.
I don't know whether all my colleagues have read the report of the Ontario Provincial Police, but it is very troubling to see a fast-track process to amend this regime, while the report has raised more questions than it has provided answers regarding the RCMP's operational capacity in terms of coordination. We are blindly rushing into a new regime.
I would not add anything to what Mr. Caron said because it was spot on. We mustn't forget our privileges as parliamentarians, either. That's probably the most important aspect being denied.
Thank you very much.
View Raymond Côté Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
As you may have noticed during the previous vote, I was so eager to speak in favour of the government measure that I showed enthusiasm I absolutely didn't have regarding the protection services of the two Houses.
That said, without praising the government's position, it is always a pleasure for the NDP to support a measure that will encourage training and access to employment for all Canadians. That is why we support this measure, but it doesn't mean that we support the government's approach regarding the employment insurance system. Unfortunately, the Conservative government did not hesitate to repeatedly restrict access to employment insurance, which is insurance only in name. The system is nothing more than a facade. It is no longer really insurance because it no longer covers everyone who loses their job.
While we wait for an NDP government to re-establish much broader accessibility, we're happy to support both employment insurance recipients and their future employers by providing the employers with a better trained labour force, and to help people get the jobs they need to live with dignity.
Thank you.
View Raymond Côté Profile
NDP (QC)
I would like to discuss all the clauses amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. I will be very brief.
I have been a member of the House of Commons for four years, but I am definitely not tired of repeating that a bill of this nature does not belong in an omnibus bill on the budget. It is really appalling.
Mr. Chair, by working hard on the appropriate committee, we probably would have been able to come to an agreement with the government on many aspects concerning this bill. I am personally very uncomfortable with its speedy passage when we have not even been able to have an independent and comprehensive review with the representatives of our institutions. That is why I will vote against it. This deserves a societal debate. That should have been done, but, as usual, the government shied away from it.
Thank you.
View Raymond Côté Profile
NDP (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I will be brief.
Thanks to amendment NDP-9, the minimum benefit would help keep our veterans above the line of poverty. Without sufficient benefits, the situation of our women and men who have bravely served our country could worsen.
Amendment NDP-10 would help increase the retirement income security benefit. In the bill, that benefit actually represents 70% of the money Veterans Affairs Canada receives in financial benefits before the age of 65. The amendment would bring it up to 100%. So we would ensure the financial stability of our veterans as they age.
View Raymond Côté Profile
NDP (QC)
Mr. Chair, I'm disappointed by your decision, but I understand it. I hope my colleagues from across the table have listened carefully and will use our proposal themselves. We, the NDP, actually love having our ideas stolen. We have no objection to that.
The goal of amendment NDP-11 is to have the benefits indexed based on the consumer price index once a year. It is one thing for the benefits to be predictable, but it is another for them to follow the cost of living index. That would ensure that the benefits would not decrease over time and as the cost of living index increases. After all, that is a major concern for our veterans. They would not have to worry about increases in the price of their rent, groceries or gas if the benefits they are entitled to increase.
Thank you.
View Raymond Côté Profile
NDP (QC)
I would still like to quickly respond to these remarks.
It's a pity. Ultimately, the members of the governing party and we agree on the fact that it's important to index benefits based on inflation. However, instead of establishing an automatic mechanism that in no way prevents the minister from making improvements or proposing additional enhancements, decisions will be made arbitrarily by the executive. That's really too bad.
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