Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]

Top Story CP

Political parties urged to commit to policies for data-driven economy

Published

OTTAWA — Chambers of commerce from Canada’s biggest cities will release a campaign wish list Wednesday urging political parties to commit to establishing national data-governance standards, making government research more available for businesses and fully harnessing the value of intellectual property.

These issues are likely to draw more attention from politicians than in the past. Experts, however, have doubts any party will go far enough to prepare Canada to compete in the new economy and to fully protect the privacy of its citizens.

Four years ago, issues related to data governance, intellectual property and digital privacy received few, if any, mentions in party plans. Since then, there’s been a surge in awareness about the opportunities tied to the fast-growing innovation economy as well as in public concerns about the risks.

Parties have sent signals their platforms will include vows in these areas and business leaders from Canada’s urban centres hope to start the conversation at the outset of the campaign, which begins Wednesday.

“The permeation of technology in nearly every aspect of our lives mandates the need for new legislation that creates a predictable and level playing field for businesses while ensuring that Canadian interests are protected,” the Canadian Global Cities Council, which is made up of chambers of commerce from the country’s eight largest cities, said in its pre-election release.

The document also noted new “serious concerns around privacy and personal control of data.”

Jan De Silva, CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, said the council has been actively discussing the need for these policies with political parties.

“I would say there’s heightened awareness on the part of all parties in terms of what’s next with the economy,” De Silva said in an interview. “From my travels, this is a top-of-mind issue in many markets around the world.”

The council will also release additional recommendations Wednesday to press parties in several other areas such as diversifying trade, helping smaller companies get government business and conducting a comprehensive review of the tax system.

Among its recommendations on the digital economy, the council is stressing a need for the next federal government to improve business access to data and research held by Statistics Canada and to take steps to make it easier for companies to capture the value of IP.

It’s also calling for a national data strategy to guide companies on data portability, privacy, security and commercialization.

After taking office, the Liberal government said it would work toward a national data strategy. Last spring, it released principles under a “digital charter” that critics say lacked firm policies, regulations or standards. 

Political parties, for the most part, have yet to say very much about these issues. Last week, however, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said, if elected, he would set regulatory standards for the ethical use of artificial intelligence and to protect the privacy of consumers and their data.

Since the 2015 election, the “surveillance economy” has become a bigger public concern for a number of reasons, says Dan Breznitz, co-director of the Innovation Policy Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs.

For instance, he said more and more of people’s lives are now managed through their smart phones, which has made the issues very personal. 

He also said there are deepening worries about technological disruption of the labour force and how the inappropriate use of social-media data can alter electoral outcomes.

The Liberals, he said, came to power with a realization that the innovation economy was important and they talked about it. Business leaders and public intellectuals fuelled the public debate.

Politicians, however, are reluctant to make major changes because innovation policies are longer-term, complex, sometimes hard to explain and attract limited media attention, he said.

“On one side, those issues are much more prominent, and business leaders and people … start to realize that those things — data and IP and innovation — will determine whether we can continue to be a prosperous society,” he said.

“On the other, there’s still a very … confused understanding of what innovation is all about and, therefore, what should be the IP and data policies involved.”

Dan Ciuriak, an innovation-policy expert, said he doesn’t expect serious debate about the data-driven economy during the campaign. He noted the issues cannot be addressed through “sound-bite messaging,” nor will they swing many votes.

He recommended Canada adapt its regulations and policies on such an important issue in a manner “free of ideology.”

“The federal civil service is really only starting to grapple with the issues,” Ciuriak, a former deputy chief economist of Canada’s foreign-affairs department who now runs a consultancy, wrote in an email.

“Change is happening at a speed that is overwhelming the ability to learn about governance from experience.”

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press

Top Story CP

Trudeau was only one in dark makeup at 2001 party but nobody took offence: attendee

Published

on

trudeau blackface

VANCOUVER — A man who attended an “Arabian Nights” gala held by a private school in Vancouver says no one besides Justin Trudeau attended in skin-darkening makeup, but no one else there was dressed as Aladdin.

Wayne Hamill, who is white, says he doesn’t recall anyone expressing any offence over Trudeau’s costume or “brownface” makeup at the time.

Hamill went to the 2001 party because his kids were West Point Grey Academy students and he says the future Liberal leader’s costume was in keeping with the theme and others were dressed as belly dancers or wearing saris or veils.

He says he’s not a Trudeau supporter but he believes the uproar over a photograph showing Trudeau made up in brownface is unfair because it’s applying today’s standards to yesterday’s context.

Trudeau has apologized for the image and others that have emerged of him wearing skin-darkening makeup, saying he had a blind spot because of his privilege and he deeply regrets behaviour he now recognizes as racist.

He says in his 2014 book, “Common Ground,” that teaching at West Point Grey Academy gave him new insights into the “privileged lives” of private-school students that he didn’t glean from his own advantaged upbringing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2019.

The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

Top Story CP

Ontario Human Rights Commission unveils new policy to tackle racial profiling

Published

on

VAUGHAN, Ont. — Ontario’s Human Rights Commission says racial profiling in law enforcement is profoundly harmful.

It says the police practice hurts black, Indigenous and other racialized communities.

The commission today released a new policy on eliminating racial profiling called Under Suspicion.

It says it’s the first such policy in the country.

Recommendations include acknowledging the problem, collecting data on police stops and independent accountability.

It also calls for officers to wear body cameras.

 

The Canadian Press

Continue Reading

september, 2019

tue06augAll Daysun29sepHot Mess - Erin Boake featured at Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery(All Day)

sun22sep2:00 pm4:00 pmVinyasa with a View2:00 pm - 4:00 pm MT Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, 120 College Circle Event Organized By: Lululemon Red Deer

Trending

X