A digital agenda for Canada

Last month, I asked if digital issues will factor into the way people vote. We are now 40 days away from Canada’s federal election and looking to see signs of how the major parties will differentiate their approach to substantial issues to drive the digital economy.

What are the key elements that need to be addressed?

  • Inclusiveness: Which political parties will recognize the need to get low-income households online? There are solutions for connecting rural and remote regions, but the bigger issue is that of affordability, regardless of geography. As frequent readers know, my personal priority is to ensure all school aged kids have access to a connected home computer.
  • Skills development: ICTC – the Information and Communications Technology Council – has launched a project in partnership with Microsoft Canada to develop a national digital talent strategy, seeking to ensure that Canada will have skilled talent to drive innovation and competitiveness, as entrepreneurs or as part of the workforce.
  • e-Government: What kinds of efficiencies can be derived from an effective e-Government strategy, including e-Health, distance education and delivery of other government services?
  • Digital economic policy: An expert panel should reviewing legislation and policy to ensure consistency with a drive to have Canadians benefit from and lead in the development of a digital economy. Canada is long overdue for an overall Telecom Policy review; the last report was delivered in 2006 [which called for a review to be held every 5 years -we are coming up on 10 years]. The last review pre-dated the AWS spectrum auction [that led to the creation of WIND Mobile, and the mobile operations of Videotron and Eastlink], CASL [Canada’s Anti-Spam Law], copyright reform, digital surveillance, Digital Canada 150 and major changes to policy and regulation emanating from the CRTC [such as Talk TV].

In what other areas are you are you expecting leadership from the parties that hope to form the next government?

As political parties release their digital platforms, what do you want to see?

[Update: September 9, 5:00 pm]
The Green Party has released its platform [pdf], calling for digital skills upgrades, enshrining net neutrality rules in legislation and repealing the electronic surveillance provisions of Bill C-51.

1 thought on “A digital agenda for Canada”

  1. The Digital Agenda must be “Extend Fibre Everywhere that Copper Lines exists in Canada today.”

    In the article below – Substitute Connecting Canadians for Connect America and the following article is very similar to the Dilemma here in Canada.

    The Connect America Fund Dilemma

    “But it is not going to take too many years until those speeds feel as slow as dial-up feels today.”

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