Posted on 16 June 2010
Ottawa, June 16, 2010 – The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications tabled its report Plan for a Digital Canada.ca today. The committee began its study in March 2009 with a main focus on the wireless sector in Canada. However, because of the fast pace of change in the industry, the study evolved from one with a narrow focus on Canada’s wireless sector to one with the broader focus on a digital society.
The report and its recommendations reflect the committee’s optimism that the promised digital economy strategy, now at the consultations stage, can be adapted into a strategy for a broader and inclusive digital society. The government should avoid the international game of setting faster and faster broadband speeds, and instead set a goal in terms of being able to provide basic and essential digital services to all Canadians. Canada can transform itself into an inclusive digital society that allows Canadians to reap the benefits of advances in technology without creating new digital divides.
Canada has a long history of accomplishments in telecommunications, from the invention of the telephone to being the first country in the world to connect all its schools to the Internet. For some, these accomplishments are in the past, and one witness suggested, “... that the Canadian telecommunications scene is in a state of crisis.”
“The members of this committee have discussed national digital strategies with officials from several countries and have recommendations for transforming Canada into a digital society. We want to bring Canada into the modern age.” said Senator Dennis Dawson, chair of the committee.
Senator Leo Housakos, deputy chair of the committee stated that “we need a multi-targeted policy approach to prepare the way for a digital society. We need a principal of true universality to avoid the creation of ‘information haves’ and ‘information have-nots’.”
The report contains 18 recommendations and can be found at www.PlanforadigitalCanada.ca or www.PlanforadigitalCanada.com.
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