Canada's Original Think Tank

Open Caucus

In the spring of 2014, the Senate Liberals began our Open Caucus initiative. The goal of these meetings is to foster nonpartisan discussion on issues facing our country. We invite all parliamentarians as well as the public to take part in the discussion with a panel of experts on any given topic, and focus informing ourselves and others on matters that are important to Canadians.


Open Caucus Themes

  • March 1, 2017—Countering Counterfeits

    In the spring of 2014, the Senate Liberals opened our Caucus doors to Canadians. Through our Open Caucus initiative we are learning, discussing and debating issues of national importance.  This effort is hosted by the Senate Liberal Caucus but is intended to be non-partisan. All parliamentarians will be invited, as well as members of the press and the general public.


    On March 1st, we invited you to join us in a discussion on issues impacting the intellectual property regime in Canada. Up to $591 billion a year of global imports are counterfeited and pirated goods. Counterfeiting affects all types of goods: footwear, food, pharmaceuticals, automotive parts, and much more. Counterfeiting is an issue which is of national, commercial, and consumer concern. Some of the impacts are related to profits, trade secrets, health and safety, and criminal activities. Canada’s IP regime is considered as weaker to other industrialized countries thereby affecting innovation and competiveness. To address this important topic we invited a panel of witnesses to discuss what steps must be taken to make Canada’s IP regime a world leader.

    Witnesses included:

    • Myra J. Tawfik: Professor, University of Windsor
    • Grant Lynds: President-Elect, Intellectual Property Institute of Canada
    • Georgina Danzig: Chair, Canadian Bar Association Anti-Counterfeiting and Trade Offences Committee
    • Amir Attaran: Professor, University of Ottawa
    • Etienne Sanz de Acedo: CEO, International Trademark Association


    This meeting took place:

    Wednesday March 1st, 2017
    9:15 am – 11:15 am
    Room 160S, Centre Block

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    Liberal Senate Forum