Mr. Speaker, I listened with great interest to my hon. colleague, particularly where he referenced the U.S. 301 watch list, and the comments about Canada in our trade policies and our counterfeit policies.
I am interested in this because in 2009, a special advisor to the now President of the Treasury Board, Zoe Addington, met with U.S. officials. According to their notes, she said that, “In contrast to the messages from other Canadian officials, she said that if Canada is elevated to the Special 301 Priority Watch List (PWL), it...might even help—the [Government of Canada's] ability to enact copyright legislation”.
Therefore, what that cable tells us is that the present President of the Treasury Boardhad his officials in Washington say to put Canada on the most notorious watch list, along with outlying countries like Yemen and North Korea, for being considered basically a bandit country and undermining our trade interests, because he thought it would help pursue an agenda in Parliament. I find that absolutely shocking.
The Computer and Communications Industry Association in the United States, which represents the largest software organizations in the world, went to Washington on Canada's behalf. We did not have any support from the Conservatives who are undermining our trade interests. It went on to say that, “the use of Special 301...unrelated to the adequate and effective protection of relevant rights delegitimizes the Special 301 process” because they are using it for policy ends. It said that it was completely unacceptable that they were targeting Canada, and said that in many respects Canada's laws are more protective of creators than the United States. This was before our present copyright bill came in.
How can they take seriously a government that would actually undermine our trade reputation internationally and say to our largest trading partner to put us on an outlier list along with North Korea and Yemen because it will help us pursue a copyright agenda? I find it shocking that the Conservatives would undermine our trade interests like this.