June 20th, 2014

Time for the Conservatives to sign the Marrakesh Treaty

This treaty would improve blind Canadians’ access to published works

NDP Industry critic Peggy Nash (Parkdale—High Park) is urging the Conservatives to stop stalling and sign an international copyright treaty that allows blind and visually impaired Canadians greater access to published materials.

“It just doesn’t make sense for the Conservatives to block visually impaired Canadians’ access to these materials,” said Nash. “This is a human rights issue, one of basic fairness, and it is unbelievable that the Conservatives are refusing to comply with this treaty.”

Blind or visually impaired Canadians cannot access over 90 per cent of published materials due to copyright restrictions. The Marrakesh Treaty on copyright which seeks to remedy this challenge expires on June 27. While over 67 countries have signed, the Conservative government has thus far refused.

“The Conservatives failed to include these measures in their proposed copyright changes but there’s still time for them to do the right thing,” said Nash.