Conservatives on their Digital Economy Strategy: Wait Until After the Election

The Conservatives released their policy platform this morning and for those hoping to compare their digital economy strategy with the one promoted by the Liberals, they will have to wait. The platform devotes one page to the digital economy strategy, but it primarily re-iterates previously announced policy goals. These include the five goals of the strategy and the inclusion of a few spending measures from the budget. The five goals are:

  • building world-class digital infrastructure;
  • encouraging businesses to adopt digital technologies;
  • supporting digital skills development;
  • fostering the growth of Canadian companies supplying digital technologies to global markets; and
  • creating made-in-Canada content across all platforms, to bring Canada to the world.

These are the same five goals that were announced as part of the digital economy consultation in May 2010 and reiterated by Industry Minister Clement in his speech on the strategy in November 2010. No new specifics are provided.

The platform also commits to reintroducing Bill C-32, arguing that the bill was a balanced approach to copyright.  The platform specifically references the same bill name and defends the approach, so those hoping for changes may be disappointed.

There is one new policy – a commitment to a set aside for emergency responders in the next spectrum auction.  The bigger questions on the auction are left unanswered. So too are the questions raised about an open Internet and foreign investment in telecommunications.  Overall, a disappointment given the opportunity to raise the profile of the digital economy issues and allow for a public debate on the different party positions.


  1. Really?
    I can’t say I’m really surprised. What does surprise me is why someone under 30, or an understanding of moder technology, would even consider voting Conservative?

    Did the cons not hear or learn anything from the last year of input and opposition? I voted for the cons for the majority of my life but I can no longer support a party that puts corporations ahead of people and common sense.

  2. Ha!
    Been following this closely, and I can officially say that the cons have now lost my vote !

  3. Conservatives on the Digital economic strategy: Wait until our orders come in.

  4. …So like the plan that was suppose to be released how many time now? Sorry, I’m voting on digital plans this time around. Not having one is not going to get me to vote for you.

    Either come up with a plan, or don’t. I’m not voting on the fact that you may or may not do something.

  5. ScytheNoire says:

    Business as usual
    Since when haven’t Conservatives put businesses ahead of people? It’s their entire platform, putting money and corporations above all else, while causing the most harm for Canada’s future as they possible can. This has always been their platform for decades now. It’s nothing new, just business as usual.

  6. Bill MacEachern says:

    Conservatives Digital Policy
    You’ll find out about it just as soon as the Americans finish drafting it.

  7. So what else is new
    The Cons are not only out of touch, but maliciously out of touch. They don’t care and they never will.

  8. 1
    You’ll find out about it just as soon as the Americans finish drafting it.

  9. Jean-François Mezei says:

    Isn’t the Liberal strategy about as vague as the Conservative one ? Sure, they mention 1.5mbps to everyone, but that is/will be available through a satellite service. It doesn’t say “affordable 1.5mbps to everyone”.

    There is no mention of fixing the CRTC or Policy Direction in either party’s platform. I guess Clement thought that getting Bell to submit its AVP proposal just after the election was call would ensure he would never have to come through with his promise to overturn any UBB decisions by the CRTC.

  10. ….
    Digital Economy Strategy from the Cons:
    If Majoritary Gourv
    Give all power and rights to our US masters.
    Remove all powers from consumers
    Introduce legistation to force the installation of spyware on all Canadian computers
    Reintroduce capital punishment for anyone affecting our master’s profit negativly
    If Minotary Gourv
    Start placing oursevles so we can get a majoritary gourv.

  11. compare
    that tp the Greens (section 6.6 of their platform) and you will see that the Cons (and Libs for that matter) are just blowing smoke by following the same old tired points indicating a real lack of vision.

  12. Emergency Responders?
    Emergency responders are short of spectrum? Anyone know what is being planned here? Why is the normal process of spectrum allocation not all that is needed?

  13. Well disappointing but not totally surprising. After having voted mostly Conservative for I don’t know how many elections, that’s it for me. They don’t get my vote.

  14. I don’t believe you, Cons!
    And this is the problem, exactly.

  15. Funny how Conservatives blocked the Potash deal but are eagerly willing to lift foreign ownership restrictions on this country telecoms. No consistancy. The only goal for the Conservatives is to sell out all of this country’s assets to foreigners.

  16. There is a difference between selling control of a natural resource and allowing foreign companies to offer retail services. In the first there is not the matter of fostering competition because there is only one resource being used. Data on the other hand is infinitely creatable.

  17. I would rather a telecom-that provides hundreds of thousands high payings jobs to Canadians(look at the hundreds of TELUS job postings)-owned by Canadians than a company, such as Potash Corp, that merely extracts stuff out of the ground.

  18. Good ol’ value & customer service …
    I’m not in love with the idea of foreign investment, but if the telcos don’t want to have to face such competition then they should not breed an environment where people are starting to demand it.

  19. UBB is illegal says:

    Failed causes
    1) building world-class digital infrastructure -> failed with our “congestion”… even if they are not real, Speed with Caps is NO SPEED AT ALL

    2) encouraging businesses to adopt digital technologies -> UBB DISCOURAGE digital adaptation, no consumer MEANS NO SUPPLIER

    3) supporting digital skills development -> they are hammering web developers with the UBB, if more content = MORE COST, then IT JUST WONT HAPPEN

    4)fostering the growth of Canadian companies supplying digital technologies to global markets -> Growth? really? how does UBB and net neutrality affects this? I can’t even play proper WOW without being throttled, GOOD LUCK ON THAT TECHNOLOGY

    5) creating made-in-Canada content across all platforms, to bring Canada to the world -> when Canadian contents are all SD with few users because of the caps, people are already moving to HD online (CNN/BBC/RT/ALJAZEERA/…), we are getting left in the dust because of telco greed by UBB and different so-called ITMP

  20. Nothing to show why the other parties would be any better. Their iPod tax idea is a scary indication what they would do.

  21. All things considered, bill C32 was actually pretty good as a copyright reform bill. For example, C32 granted very specific copying permissions to consumers for reasonable purposes, including private use, backup purposes, and format shifting, but its chief problem was that it simultaneously revoked every single one of those privileges whenever the work in question contains any sort of digital lock. A consumer’s so-called freedom to choose to not utilize works that come with such locks to keep their reasonable copying privileges does not take into account the fact that the consumer’s choice is limited by what the media manufacturers choose to actually make available. In the end, particularly in a predominantly digital age, this limitation on the the end user’s activities effectively makes the permissions granted completely and totally irrelevant.

    I agree that we need copyright reform… if for no other reason than to remain compliant with the standards being adopted by the rest of the world. And the bill just required a few modifications, ones which would be fully in compliance with the expectations of the standards and treaties that is the entire motivation for copyright reform, which could render the bill entirely practical. A more sensible approach would be to tie the breaking digital locks as a criminal activity directly to the act of copyright infringement, so that if a copy would have been legal if there had been no lock on the work, then the breaking of the lock would not be criminal either.

    However, it was made quite clear last year that the conservatives have absolute NO intent of making such a modification. In fact, they appear content with the notion of losing the bill entirely rather than to alter it this way, which suggests to me that when they can’t push C32 through, they will go back and try again… and if they can’t push their new bill through, they will do it again… and again… with each new bill having even more restrictions on the consumer than the previous one had, making it more likely that any sort of possible compromise on the bill would still have the restrictions that the conservatives seem to want to impose, or until the conservatives acquire a majority government, and will proceed to push through whatever the hell they want.

    Seeing this sort of thing happen in what is supposedly a free and democratic nation just makes me heartsick.

  22. Then they came for me …
    @Mark “… until the conservatives acquire a majority government, and will proceed to push through whatever the hell they want.”

    Be sure to vote!