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Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before: Digital Economy Strategy Coming Later This Year

Industry Minister Christian Paradis spoke at the Canada 3.0 conference in Stratford yesterday, providing an update on the government’s digital economy plans. Paradis trumpeted some of the measures in the budget as well as the trio of related laws – privacy reform, copyright reform, and anti-spam legislation (which he indicated he expects to take effect next year). He also noted the urban-rural divide on broadband access, which he seems to think can be addressed through rural deployment obligations in the forthcoming the spectrum auction (the final consult to be released today).

Paradis unsurprisingly did not mention that the privacy reform, Bill C-12, has stagnated for months in the House and is increasingly viewed as inadequate, nor that the anti-spam bill became law in 2010 but has been delayed by his own department’s failure to finalize the necessary regulations. Nor did he mention lawful access (Bill C-30), which will lead to increased Internet costs, or the budget cuts to the Community Access Program (which will mean a loss of access for low income Canadians), or reduced funding to CANARIE, which runs Canada’s high-speed research network.

Paradis concluded by saying the work is not done and that now the plan is to release a digital economy strategy later this year (the IIC annual conference would be a good bet). Given that the government launched its digital economy strategy consultation in May 2010, Industry Minister Clement promised the strategy by the spring of 2011 as part of an interim update in November 2010, and Paradis himself spoke about the strategy nearly a year ago, the digital economy strategy is still seemingly ensconced as the government’s Penske File.

6 Comments

  1. You know, if the spent more time working on this and less time trying to find people to sell our natural resources to they could probably have something done by now.


  2. Canada’s “digital strategy” will be nothing more than a plan designed to further entrench Canada in the past so the big incumbents and maintain their oligopoly. The privacy reform conflicts directly with lawful access and the copyright bill is anything but innovative and can do nothing but inhibit Canada’s digital growth. All in all, as long as we have the conservatives in power, Canada is screwed and doomed to linger in a digital environment that would have been considered out-dated 10 years ago in many parts of the world.

  3. Jean-Francois Mezei says:

    Isn’t there a conflict between a nation having a digital strategy and the same nation wanting a “hands off” approach to let private enterprise run things ?

    ps. I had to run that captcha thing 3 times before I could get something readable. And that 3rd time failed to validate :-(

  4. @IamME
    You said:
    “Canada’s “digital strategy” will be nothing more than a plan designed to further entrench Canada in the past so the big incumbents and maintain their oligopoly.”

    This government doesn’t do big changes w/o American approval. It’s the Harper way.

    A “digital strategy” encompasses a very wide range of things. Including copyright in the digital age, security, access, etc.

    Since it’s no secret that this puppet ministers don’t speak unless they have harpers blessing, it leaves little doubt that this government doesn’t have a clue.

    Just like their American written “made in Canada” copyright reform (which I believe the Doc posted the video of this on this website), it’s becoming obviously clear that the American’s just didn’t get around to handing harper what they want for a Canadian “digital strategy” yet so that harper can hand it off to Paradis so he can proclaim it’s yet another bill “made in Canada”..

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