House of Commons Hansard #171 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was lake.

Topics

Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act
Government Orders

1:40 p.m.

Conservative

Ed Fast Abbotsford, BC

Mr. Speaker, I am a little disappointed to hear my colleague from Burnaby—New Westminster speak about all of the doom and gloom, how terrible things are going to be, and all the budget overruns.

I was encouraged by my colleague across the floor, the member for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, because he spoke with great optimism, which is exactly what our government is doing. The Winter Olympic Games in 2010 in Vancouver and Whistler are going to be a huge opportunity for Canadians. It is not about doom and gloom. The only doom and gloom we had from the NDP was 10 years in the wilderness in British Columbia when successive NDP administrations drove the provincial treasury into the ground.

It is my pleasure to speak to Bill C-47 which actually protects the trademarks and licensing rights for the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 winter games.

As we know, the 2010 winter games will be an event with enormous impact in British Columbia but also in Canada and around the world. Consider these numbers. There will be 5,000 Olympic athletes and 1,700 Paralympic athletes and their officials. More than 80 countries will participate in the winter Olympics and 40 countries will participate in the Paralympic games. There will be 10,000 media representatives present at those games and over three billion television viewers around the world.

To ensure the success of the winter games the Vancouver organizing committee, which we refer to as Vanoc, needs a solid legal and financial foundation. Bill C-47 will meet our government's commitment to the International Olympic Committee to protect the Olympic and Paralympic brands. It will allow Vanoc to raise the sponsorship money from the private sector necessary to complete the games and to make sure that they finish within budget, are successful and leave a significant legacy for Canada.

Consider the Calgary Winter Olympics of 1988. Even today, almost 20 years later, athletes from around the world still descend upon Calgary to use its Olympic facilities, which are an abiding legacy of those games.

Is this bill important? Of course it is. John Furlong, who is the chief executive officer of Vanoc, has said that the organizers need resources of about $1.87 billion to stage the games. One of the most important sources of funding for those games are corporate sponsorships. In fact, approximately 40% of revenues will come from partnerships and licences.

The value in those partnerships and licences comes from two main factors. First, the sponsors and licensees need to receive great public exposure and marketing advantages from their association with such a positive, high profile public event like the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler. Second, the nature of the 2010 winter games is unique. There is no other event like it in the world. There is no other event in the world that year that is likely to draw as many TV viewers or capture as much of the world's attention and that is value. That is why we get sponsors for the Olympic games.

Under Bill C-47, if an unauthorized person or company tries to profit from the 2010 winter games, Vanoc will have the legal tools to protect its rights and the rights of its partners and licensees effectively and quickly. The current Trade-marks Act provides some protection, but it is not enough. There are concerns that it may not fully address the legitimate needs of the organizers of the Olympics in responding to threats against their marketing rights.

There are also concerns that the current legislation does not allow emerging threats to be dealt with. This is particularly true of so-called ambush marketing, in which companies find ways to falsely associate their business with the winter games in the public's mind. Bill C-47 addresses these concerns by allowing Vanoc to use legal remedies when necessary, yet maintaining a balanced approach to the issue.

I do not have time to comment on each part of this bill, but I do want to take a few minutes to remind my colleagues in the House of some of the bill's key measures.

First, the Olympic and Paralympic marks act explicitly defines the words, symbols and other marks that are to be protected against fraudsters. The bill protects the rights of Vanoc, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee to defend these marks. They can use the remedies under the bill and can consent to assign those rights to their various partners, where appropriate.

What are some of those marks? I have a list of well over 60 here. Canadians will be familiar with the five Olympic rings and also the Olympic torch, or the official symbol of the 2010 Olympic games, the inukshuk. There are many more words and symbols that are synonymous with the Olympic games and these are officially being protected under the bill we have before us today.

The bill goes on to set out two main types of conduct that will be prohibited.

First, no one can use an Olympic or Paralympic mark in connection with a business without the agreement of Vanoc. That lasts until the end of 2010.

Second, the bill prohibits so-called ambush marketing, which I referred to before. It prohibits people or businesses from doing business in a way that is likely to mislead the public into believing that those businesses or those persons and their products and services are linked to the winter games, when in fact they are not and they have not paid for that right.

Beyond that, the bill also provides for a number of exceptions and sets out the various remedies available in the event that these rights are not respected.

One of the reasons we have introduced this bill is to specifically address ambush marketing. Some of our viewers may wonder what that is exactly. It is an attempt by an unauthorized person or business to act in a way that causes the public to believe that they are connected to the 2010 games. As I mentioned before, that will now be prohibited.

Unfortunately, the courts can often take a long time to adjudicate those kinds of disputes. In fact, it is very difficult to convince a court to issue an injunction and to stop the alleged illegal use of a trademark before a trial is finished. Such delays would be a huge problem for the 2010 games in Vancouver-Whistler, since the games would be over by the time the trial is complete. The damage to the games would already have been done and there would be little, if any, chance of recovery of those damages.

That is why Bill C-47 allows Vanoc to put a stop to ambush marketing without having to prove that the games will suffer irreparable harm. That irreparable harm standard is the greatest obstacle to convincing a court to grant an injunction in trademark cases. Our legislation removes that obstacle until the 2010 games are over. When the Olympic flame goes out in 2010, this aspect of the legislation will also be extinguished.

The reality is that very few of these situations will actually end up in court. This bill actually gives Vanoc the authority it needs to deal with these kinds of fraudsters.

Bill C-47 also gives the designated Olympic organizations the authority to protect the Olympic brand from unauthorized and illegitimate use, but we have been careful not to bring in legislation that is too broad or oppressive.

As members know, this bill has gone through many amendments to reflect the concerns of key stakeholders and committee members. For example, Bill C-47 exempts Canadian businesses that were using trademarks before March 2 that could possibly be in conflict with the Olympic marks. They cannot suddenly start using an existing mark for a new purpose to cash in on the Olympics, but they can continue their existing uses. For example, if people have an “Olympic Pizza” in their town, we are not going to shut them down unless they suddenly start using the word Olympic to promote other services and products.

We are not targeting mom and pop shops. We are not targeting Canadians who have been using these marks in the past. We are simply being reasonable.

The bill also provides clarification that this bill is not intended to curtail freedom of press or to muzzle those who are critical of the games. My colleague from West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast also made that point. We do have protections in Canada. We as Canadians pride ourselves in the freedoms that we enjoy and defend in our country, and those freedoms will continue to be protected under our bill.

As I mentioned earlier, our new Conservative government is a committed partner in making the 2010 winter games a big success. The big winners will undoubtedly be the people of British Columbia and the rest of Canada, and some of our contributions are quite obvious. We as a government have committed $552 million to make the winter games a reality, including $290 million for sport and event venues.

Some of the contributions we are making are less tangible but not less valuable, and this Bill C-47 to protect the Olympic trademarks certainly falls into that category.

The bill is a balanced piece of legislation that is in line with what other host countries have put in place in the past. It is a necessary piece of legislation to ensure that the winter games are a huge financial success and that we as a country, and the organizers, can leave behind an enduring legacy for generations to come.

The world is waiting to rediscover Canada. Our communities across British Columbia and Canada are looking forward to the economic opportunities and new sporting facilities that the 2010 winter games will deliver. Let us not disappoint them. I encourage all members of the House to ensure quick passage of this very important bill.

Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

Questions and comments? Resuming debate. Is the House ready for the question?

Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Question.

Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

The question is on the motion. Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?

Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

An hon. member

On division.

Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

I declare the motion carried.

(Motion agreed to, bill read the third time and passed)

The House proceeded to the consideration of Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Quarantine Act, as reported without amendment from the committee.

Quarantine Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

There being no motions at report stage the House will now proceed without debate to the putting of the question on the motion to concur in the bill at report stage.

Quarantine Act
Government Orders

1:50 p.m.

Parry Sound—Muskoka
Ontario

Conservative

Tony Clement Minister of Health

moved that the bill be concurred in.

(Motion agreed to)

Quarantine Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Tony Clement Parry Sound—Muskoka, ON

moved that the bill be read the third time and passed.

Quarantine Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia
Manitoba

Conservative

Steven Fletcher Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak to Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Quarantine Act.

In December 2006 we brought the 2005 Quarantine Act into force. It replaces the previous Quarantine Act, which contained outdated authorities. The new Quarantine Act aims to prevent the introduction and spread of communicable diseases through points of entry into Canada, such as airports and marine ports. It is an essential tool for responding to public health emergencies that may be international in scope.

In December 2006 we also introduced Bill C-42, An Act to amend the Quarantine Act, in the House of Commons. Bill C-42 seeks to amend the wording in section 34 of the 2005 Quarantine Act in order to address certain implementation problems, which relate to the advance notification by operators of conveyances coming into Canada, such as aircraft and ships.

As enacted in May 2005, section 34 requires advance notification by conveyance operators to an authority to be designated by the Minister of Health at the nearest entry point into Canada.

There are implementation issues related to the wording of this section. One issue relates to the need to report at the nearest entry point into Canada. In the event of a public health emergency on board, conveyance operators may be unable to determine which of the many points of entry into Canada was actually the nearest to them at the time of reporting.

Another issue relates to the need to designate an authority who is situated at the nearest entry point. The most appropriate authority to designate, such as a customs or a quarantine officer, is not actually located at every entry point, including all airports and all small ports receiving international traffic. Designating an authority who is at these entry points is therefore not workable.

Bill C-42 addresses all these implementation issues by requiring conveyance operators to notify a quarantine officer before they arrived in Canada if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that: (a) a person or a thing on board could cause the spread of a communicable disease, or (b) a person on board has died.

For land conveyances, this would generally be the first customs officer who they see when they cross the border.

When Bill C-42 was developed, a decision was taken to remove advance notification by land conveyance operators, such as buses and trains, and to focus on air and marine conveyances. Advance notification by land conveyance operators is not required under revised international health regulations. As well, advance notification by land conveyances could be prescribed under regulations at a later date, if a later assessment indicated that it was necessary.

Bill C-42 was debated at second reading and referred to the Standing Committee on Health on March 29. The members of that health committee commented on the issue of advance notification and whether it should also apply to land conveyances, such as buses and trains.

We have heard the views of the committee. We are determined to take every measure possible to get advance notification of potential communicable disease risks from all conveyance operators, including those operating on land. Canadians expect no less.

Under Mr. Clement's leadership, the government—

Quarantine Act
Government Orders

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

The Acting Speaker Andrew Scheer

Order, please. I remind the hon. parliamentary secretary that we do not refer to members of ministers by their name but by their title or riding. This is a good opportunity for me to break into his speech and he can ponder that while we move on to statements by members.

Monuments to la Francophonie
Statements By Members

1:55 p.m.

Conservative

Royal Galipeau Ottawa—Orléans, ON

Mr. Speaker, tomorrow at the Orleans Cultural Centre, the third in a series of six monuments will be unveiled as part of Monuments de la Francophonie. I would like to salute the creators, including Richelieu International.

MIFO, the Orleans francophone involvement movement, opened the cultural centre in 1985 because it wanted to make French services available. I was there. Over the years, many programs and organizations got their start thanks to the dedication of the centre's members, volunteers and employees and the francophone and francophile communities.

MIFO's mission is to promote French culture and to meet our artistic, cultural and educational needs. This tool creates new torchbearers.

The monument, which is a huge Franco-Ontarian flag, will be raised on a 25 metre flagpole in a place that celebrates our community's vitality.

Manufacturing Industry
Statements By Members

June 14th, 2007 / 2 p.m.

Liberal

John Maloney Welland, ON

Mr. Speaker, there is a crisis in the manufacturing industry in Canada. During the past 20 years, Canada has lost more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs as companies downsize, move operations abroad, or simply close due to declining profit. In my region of Niagara alone, we have lost 4,400 jobs during the last five years and more are imminent. Canada's manufacturing sector is in dire need of attention.

This loss poses a major threat to the economy and the future of social programs. Manufacturing jobs generate over $20 million in real taxes that help maintain publicly funded health care, education and our country's infrastructure. More important, it pays mortgages, puts food on the table and clothes on backs.

Our country needs to set short term priorities and a long term plan to strengthen our manufacturing sectors. By focusing on fair trade, investment in research and development, the introduction of innovative technologies and continuous skills upgrading of our workforce, we will create a positive climate within Canada to lead the wave of new global manufacturing strategies, but we must act now.