Mr. Speaker, I want to be perfectly clear on this issue. The member is quite right. A review period was established in Bill C-91 that will come into effect in the spring of 1997.
At the same time, he understands that the NOC link regulations which were enacted pursuant to section 55(2) of that legislation are very complex. In order to determine whether they have the desired effect of appropriately balancing the interests that lie in this area between the rights of patent holders to protect their patents-which I believe is what he is endeavouring in suggesting that these should not be changed-against the interests that consumers have in the legitimate acquisition of generic products when patent rights have expired-to which I am sure he also does not object-I think he understands that the essence of patent protection is that it extends for a period of time after which it ends. That is the law.
The NOC link regulations are intended to establish a mechanism whereby both interests are adequately protected. In order to determine whether that has been achieved we are looking at the litigation that has ensued from those regulations and we will determine what the best result is to follow from that.