Post Tagged with: "digital agenda"

delete by Wiel Hacking (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

An Anti-Digital Agenda: Forget the Digital Policy Reboot, the Government Just Hit Delete Instead

Last week, I wrote about the need for the Canadian government to reboot its digital agenda, arguing that less than 12 months after the 2019 national election, the policy agenda had gone off the rails with a reversal on affordable telecom services, delays in broadband support and privacy reform, as well as plans for extensive online regulation. The Speech from the Throne, which sets out the government’s agenda, suggests that rather than rebooting the digital agenda, the government has largely deleted it altogether.

The speech was the longest throne speech since the Liberal election in 2015, yet there was apparently no time to reference privacy reform, intellectual property, wireless, or innovation (innovative appears once). Instead, beyond catching up on unfulfilled promises on rural broadband and promising action on online hate, the government’s digital agenda is – as Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said last week – now distilled primarily down to “get money from web giants.” That isn’t a digital agenda, it’s anti-digital agenda, with technology companies cast as both a foreign enemy to be regulated and an ATM for free cash to fund pet projects in the cultural sector.

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September 24, 2020 3 comments News
Reboot... by Jonathan Lanctot (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Why It’s Time to Reboot Canada’s Failed Digital Agenda

The government’s decision to prorogue Parliament and launch a new legislative agenda later this month offers more than just an opportunity to recalibrate economic priorities in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic. My Globe and Mail op-ed notes that less than 12 months after the 2019 national election, Canada’s digital policy agenda has gone off the rails and is badly in need of a reboot.

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September 18, 2020 4 comments Columns

Senate Committee Releases Report on Digital Agenda

The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications has released its report on a Plan for a Digital Canada.  The report includes many recommendations focused on broadband, competitiveness, and digital leadership.  I appeared before the committee as part of the study in May 2009.

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June 17, 2010 Comments are Disabled News

Parliamentary Restart Offers Chance to Prioritize Digital Agenda

Parliament resumes this week with the Speech from the Throne today following the unexpected – and unexpectedly contentious – decision by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reset the legislative agenda through prorogation.  The House of Commons may have been quiet but my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the calls for a national digital strategy have grown louder in recent months.  Last week, the International Telecommunications Union issued its annual global measurement of the information society, which served again to highlight Canada’s sinking global technology ranking.  Canada ranked 21st (down from 18th in 2007) in its ICT Development Index, which groups 11 indices including access, use, and technology skills.  

Canada’s sliding global ranking reflects 10 years of policy neglect.  Other countries prioritized digital issues while leaders here from all parties have been content to rest on the laurels of the late 1990s, only to wake up to a new, less-competitive reality in 2010.

Industry Minister Tony Clement has spoken frequently about the need for a national digital strategy, but concrete policies have been slow in coming.  The parliamentary restart presents another opportunity for action.  Given the failure to date to articulate a comprehensive digital strategy, perhaps a different approach might work. Following the Speech from the Throne and the budget, there will be about 100 days until the summer break.  Clement could set a series of realizable targets during those 100 days.  Such targets would not solve ongoing concerns regarding the competitiveness of Canada’s wireless sector or the findings that Canadians pay higher prices for slower Internet speeds than consumers in many other countries, but some momentum could be gained and some quick wins achieved.

A 100-day digital agenda could have four components: new laws, new initiatives, new enforcement, and new policy development.

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March 3, 2010 1 comment Columns

Parliamentary Restart Chance to Prioritize Digital Agenda

Appeared in the Toronto Star on March 1, 2010 as Ten Years of Policy Neglect Reflected in Digital Rankings Parliament resumes this week following the unexpected – and unexpectedly contentious – decision by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reset the legislative agenda through prorogation. The House of Commons may have […]

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March 1, 2010 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive