Digital Canada 150: Industry Canada’s Strategy For a Better Web

by Istvan Fekete on April 7, 2014

After spending years elaborating the plan based on input received, the federal government has finally unveiled its digital strategy for Canadians, Digital Canada 150, a new initiative that aims for a more (Internet) connected Canada.

The government’s plan encompasses 39 new initiatives and is based on 250 submissions received from more than 2,000 Canadians who registered to participate in online consultations held in 2010.

“We now live in a digital world. What connects us today are the Internet and new technologies that have created tremendous opportunities for Canadians to communicate with each other and businesses to compete globally. Our government’s top priorities are jobs and economic growth. Digital Canada 150 is a plan to take full advantage of the digital economy as we celebrate our 150th anniversary in 2017. It’s the next step to build our nation and connect Canadians to each other,” said Industry Minister James Moore said.

Digital Canada 150 is the government’s ambitious plan to connect over 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet at 5 Mbps, a rate that enables e-commerce, high-res video, employment opportunities and distance education.

To achieve that goal, Moore said the government would provide about $305 million to connect roughly 280,000 Canadian households in rural and remote areas of the country. While some of the strategy plans sound familiar, as they had already been included in other government action plans, there are some surprises as well, such as the confirmation that the government plans to introduce private sector privacy reform, invest in rural broadband, introduce regulations in crypto-currencies, continue its welcome emphasis on open data, and push the Digital Privacy Act.

The latter aims to give the privacy commissioner new powers and responsibilities to enforce and protect the privacy of individuals “as they venture increasingly online”, Industry Minister James Moore said.

Besides connecting 280,000 households to the Internet, the Business Development Bank of Canada will invest $500 million on behalf of the government, with $300 million for digital tech companies and $200 million for business adopting the technology.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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