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House of Commons Hansard #154 of the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was icsid.

Topics

Settlement of International Investment Disputes ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

No.

Settlement of International Investment Disputes ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

All those in favour of the motion please say yea.

Settlement of International Investment Disputes ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Yea.

Settlement of International Investment Disputes ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

All those opposed will please say nay.

Settlement of International Investment Disputes ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Some hon. members

Nay.

Settlement of International Investment Disputes ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

In my opinion the yeas have it.

And five or more members having risen:

Call in the members. There has been a request that the vote on this be deferred to the end of government orders today.

Olympic and Paralympic Marks ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Conservative

Olympic and Paralympic Marks ActGovernment Orders

5:20 p.m.

Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam B.C.

Conservative

James Moore ConservativeParliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for the Pacific Gateway and the Vancouver-Whistler Olympics

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Conservative federal government, I am proud to rise in this House to begin second reading debate on Bill C-47, the Olympic and Paralympic marks act. The bill is part of the Government of Canada's effort to support the upcoming 2010 Winter and Paralympic Games.

The games, a great honour for British Columbians, are a massive endeavour that will bring the world to Vancouver, a sense of pride to every Canadian and, hopefully, championship glory to our athletes.

As reflected in the short title of this bill, the Olympic and Paralympic marks act, its purpose is relatively straightforward. The government is proposing this legislation for two main reasons: first, to follow through on a commitment made by the International Olympic Committee during the bid phase of the 2010 games to adequately protect the Olympic and Paralympic brand if the games were awarded to Vancouver; and second, to assist the Vancouver organizing committee, VANOC, to maximize private sector participation in the games that will be critical to the success and legacy of the Vancouver 2010 games.

To open the debate on Bill C-47, I would like to offer a brief explanation of how the bill will help provide a legal framework for the marketing of the games and compare that to the legislative approach taken in other countries that have hosted or will be hosting future games.

In 2010 Vancouver-Whistler will become home to 6,000 athletes and officials from more than 80 countries. An army of more than 20,000 employees and volunteers will help make the games run smoothly. The competition will be covered by 10,000 members of the media and witnessed by more than three billion people worldwide. Simply put, the Olympic Games are the world's largest sporting event. This is part of the reason why our government is so proud to be an active partner.

Our government knows that these games are about commitment whether as an athlete or as an organizing committee. Our financial commitment extends to provincial services essential for an event of this magnitude, such as security, health and immigration, as well as border and meteorological services.

Our commitment will include a legacy endowment fund that will provide operational funding for the 2010 games sporting venues and fund high-performance amateur sporting programs across Canada.

However, direct financial contribution is only part of the support that we can provide. We must also ensure that our intellectual property framework is not only up to international standards but will also foster maximum participation of the private sector in the games.

Since the 1988 Calgary Olympic Games, corporate partnerships have become a significant source of revenue for events of all kinds, from the local hockey tournaments to international sporting events. Businesses sign on as partners with particular events because the objectives that the events are in line with happen to be in line with their own. Corporate partnerships work because the value of the association enhances their corporate brands.

The Olympics are no doubt the best known sporting event in the world. Billions of people watch them on television and follow the events on the radio, in the newspapers and on line. As a result, the Olympic symbols, such as the five rings, are among the best known around the world.

The passionate global audience that is attracted to the Olympics, and increasingly to the Paralympic Games are of obvious interest to companies wanting to connect to that audience.

In response to this increased corporate attention, the Olympic movement has developed a sophisticated approach for working with those companies. The IOC, the International Olympic Committee, and the national bodies, such as the Canadian Olympic Committee, work closely with companies and organizations that want to become partners of the games or our national teams.

They work closely with companies and organizations that are interested in using Olympic or national team symbols of various kinds in their marketing and communications. Companies can compete and become official partners in specific product categories or the entire Olympic moment for a national Olympic body and for specific games.

Companies compete to receive licences that allow them to use the Olympic symbols and terms on products. They compete for the right to produce items with Olympic themes from something as simple as a souvenir T-shirt to a marketing campaign focused around the entire product line. These partnerships are now a critical part of the business plan for the event.

For the 2010 Olympic Games, VANOC has projected that it will receive 40% of its operational funding from games-related partnerships and licensing agreements.

In 2006 alone, VANOC announced that it had signed partnership agreements worth $115 million. However, corporate partnerships and licensing agreements depend on the ability of the games organizers to ensure that the Olympic partners and licensees have the unique rights that they competed for and should therefore expect.

Why does this matter? Let me use the example of the T-shirt that I just suggested a minute ago. If I operate a T-shirt company, I can compete for a licence with VANOC to sell T-shirts that have the official Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Olympics symbol on it. When I pay for that licence, I am paying for an exclusive right to produce those 2010 games T-shirts, but if others are able to use those same symbols or ones that are likely to be seen as essentially the same, what business reason do I have to compete for the licence in the first place?

We need a legal framework with clear rules on the use of Olympic symbols and associated words. We need sound, prompt and effective remedies that will deter free riders who seek to cash in on the Olympics to the detriment of the games or the official partners. Put simply, we need to protect the commitment of our partners.

That brings me today to Bill C-47. Canada has a strong intellectual property rights protection regime in place today. For example, the current Trade Marks Act provides a certain degree of protection for Olympics related marks and symbols. Under section 9 of that act, by virtue of their status as public authorities, the Canadian Olympic Committee and VANOC enjoy a certain degree of protection for various Olympic related marks.

However, in light of the upcoming 2010 Winter Games and changes in the marketplace since the Trade Marks Act was written, the protection of Olympic and Paralympic marks is of sufficient importance as to merit a dedicated stand-alone piece of legislation in addition. There are reasons for this.

The first reason is the significant expense required to host Olympic and Paralympic games, to build the world-class sporting facilities and infrastructure needed and, as I have mentioned, an increasing reliance on the private sector.

The second such reason stems from the concern that current laws are insufficient to prevent non-partner companies from using their own trade marks in a manner that misleads or is likely to mislead the public into thinking that they have some business relationship with the games. We need the legal frameworks in place to deal with what are referred to as ambush marketers. We need legislation to address the free riders who jump on the Olympic bandwagon at the last minute for a quick buck.

Finally, there is the concern that current remedies under common law are insufficient to prevent suspected trademark infringers and ambush marketers from continuing their offending behaviour during the limited timelines involved. What is needed are fast but responsible remedies as the games may be over by the time a court ruling brings a case to a close and brings a decision to a given case.

What no one wants are Olympic organizers potentially spending more time and money on litigation to protect their brand than they do on organizing the actual games. As the bulk of the brand policing would take place at a time when Canadians would prefer that VANOC, the Canadian Olympic organizing committee, and the IOC focus on delivering the best Winter Olympics and Paralympics ever.

That is why in 2002 the Government of Canada committed to the IOC to provide necessary legal measures in line with what is asked of Olympic host nations to protect the Olympic symbols, emblems, logos, marks, and many other Olympic related marks and designations. That brings us to why we are here today.

Olympic and Paralympic Marks ActGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

Perhaps that will be a good point to stop for the moment.

The House resumed from May 10 consideration of the motion.

Opposition Motion—FinanceBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

5:30 p.m.

NDP

The Deputy Speaker NDP Bill Blaikie

It being 5:30 p.m., pursuant to order made Thursday, May 10, the House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the motion relating to the business of supply.

Call in the members

(The House divided on the motion, which was negatived on the following division:)

Vote #185

Business of SupplyGovernment Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I declare the motion defeated.

The House resumed from May 14 consideration of the motion that Bill C-52, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2007, be read the second time and referred to a committee, and of the motion that this question be now put.

Budget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

The House will now proceed to the taking of the deferred recorded division on the previous question at the second reading stage of Bill C-52.

The hon. chief government whip is rising on a point of order.

Budget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

6 p.m.

Conservative

Jay Hill Conservative Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, I think were you to seek it, you would find unanimous consent to apply the results of the vote just previously taken to the motion currently before the House, with Conservative members present this evening voting yea.

Budget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

Is there unanimous consent to proceed in this way?

Budget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

6 p.m.

Some hon. members

Agreed.

Budget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre, ON

Mr. Speaker, Liberal members will be voting no.

Budget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

6 p.m.

Bloc

Michel Guimond Bloc Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, QC

Mr. Speaker, the members of the Bloc Québécois will vote in favour of this motion.

Budget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

6 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin NDP Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, the members of the NDP will vote against this motion.

Budget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

6 p.m.

Bloc

Louise Thibault Bloc Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, QC

Mr. Speaker, I will vote in favour of this motion.

Budget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

Joe Comuzzi Liberal Thunder Bay—Superior North, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will vote against this motion.

(The House divided on the motion, which was agreed to on the following division:)

Vote #186

Budget Implementation Act, 2007Government Orders

6 p.m.

Liberal

The Speaker Liberal Peter Milliken

I declare the motion carried.

The next question is on the main motion.

Is it the pleasure of the House to adopt the motion?