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    Canadian Government Unveils Its Celebrations-First Agenda

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    Thursday October 17, 2013
    The government's Speech from the Throne was billed in advance as a "consumers-first" agenda with Industry Minister James Moore talking up initiatives such as tackling wireless roaming fees and the unbundling of cable television packages over the weekend. Yet it turns out the consumers-first agenda is pretty thin: the roaming fee issue may be limited to domestic roaming (an issue that is invisible to many wireless customers), the unbundling will be useful for some though not all television subscribers, and promising enhanced broadband in rural communities is a far cry from committing to universal broadband access for all Canadians by 2015 (other issues such as the anti-digital economy measure of banning extra fees for paper bills is hardly worth mentioning and an airline passenger bill of rights wasn't mentioned).

    Perhaps the real intended focus is a celebration-first agenda as the speech emphasizes that "Canada's Confederation is worth celebrating." The government therefore commits to marking the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown and Quebec conferences, to celebrating the 200th birthdays of Sir George-√Čtienne Cartier and Sir John A. Macdonald, the centennial of the first world war, and the 75th anniversary of the second world war.

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    Speech From the Throne: Digital Strategy, Copyright, Open Telecom, Lawful Access, & Cybersecurity

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    Wednesday March 03, 2010
    Today's Speech from the Throne, which sets out the government's agenda for coming Parliamentary session, includes a considerable number of digital issues.  These include:
    • a digital economy strategy: "a digital economy strategy to drive the adoption of new technology across the economy"
    • copyright reform: "to encourage new ideas and protect the rights of Canadians whose research, development and artistic creativity contribute to Canada’s prosperity, our Government will also strengthen laws governing intellectual property and copyright."
    • open telecom to foreign investment: "open Canada’s doors further to venture capital and to foreign investment in key sectors, including the satellite and telecommunications industries"
    • lawful access: "introduce legislation to give police investigative powers for the twenty-first century."
    • cybersecurity: "working with provinces, territories and the private sector, our Government will implement a cyber-security strategy to protect our digital infrastructure."

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    Speech from the Throne Coming This Week

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    Monday March 01, 2010
    The National Post's John Ivison offers his predictions for this week's Speech from the Throne, including copyright and patent reform as well as phased liberalization of the foreign investment rules on telecoms and broadcasting.
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    Copyright Reform Commitment Coming in Speech From the Throne?

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    Thursday February 04, 2010
    The National Post's John Ivison writes about the Conservatives' plan to borrow heavily from the 2008 Competition Policy Review Panel in the forthcoming Speech from the Throne.  The panel report included recommendations for copyright reform, which focused on the need for balance in rewarding creators and stimulating competition and innovation.
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