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Digital Policy Salon: Embracing the Digital-Led Recovery

Digital Policy Salon
Digital Policy Salon: Embracing the Digital-Led Recovery
By ICTC-CTIC • Issue #24 • View online
Welcome to the 24th issue of the Digital Policy Salon weekly briefing.
September is upon us and beyond adapting to cooler weather many of us have started juggling a new school year or semester, planning for the conference season, and assessing how COVID-19 may permanently impact our work going forward. While the long-term impacts of COVID-19 are still unknown, this week, ICTC’s Ryan McLaughlin dives into Statistics Canada’s newly released sector-level Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and breaks down what it means for Canada’s recovery.
Our policy update covers the signing of a new competition enforcement framework with the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand and what that could mean for Canada’s Competition Bureau. We also highlight a potential Albertan hyperloop from the minds of a Toronto-based startup and new labour standards protections for interns and student interns that will be coming into effect soon.
With an eye on the future, our research visualization, research, and what we’re reading sections all highlight how our world is changing due to COVID-19. One thing is clear, being digital-ready is no longer merely a potential competitive advantage, it is paramount to ensuring Canada’s recovery. With many wondering what being digitally-ready may look like, today’s interview is pulled from the archives to highlight how a Canadian strength trainer went digital and grew her traditional business in an international digital economy.
We’re happy to have you here and hope you enjoy this week’s issue!
- Khiran & Tyler

Policy Updates 🇨🇦
New mobility projects in the sky, on land, and at sea are changing the face of modern transport
Toronto-based startup, TransPod, in partnership with the province of Alberta, is pursuing a feasibility study for a hyperloop track between Edmonton and Calgary. If pursued, the project would provide a fossil-fuel-free alternative to short-haul flights. 
Kraken Robotics, based out of St. John’s, has secured almost $3 million from the National Research Council of Canada to build an autonomous underwater vehicle. The vehicle will be capable of staying underwater for up to a year and will reach depths of up to 6,000 metres.
A Swiss parachutist completed the first ever jump from a solar-powered aircraft last week. The plane reached a height of 1,520 metres using only solar energy, and the team hopes to be able to reach an altitude of 20,000 metres by 2022.
Competition Bureau strengthens information sharing and enforcement mechanisms abroad
Canada’s competition authority signed on to a new competition enforcement framework with the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand on Tuesday. The framework will strengthen the Bureau’s ability to cooperate internationally on investigations and enforcement in “an increasingly digital and global economy.”
Traditional frameworks for competition policy have been called into question in recent years: intangible assets like data and IP account for an growing share of company value and pricing decisions are increasingly made by artificial algorithms.
A paper published this month by the Queen’s University’s Economics Department provides the first real-world case study on algorithms and competition, and suggests that “AI adoption has a significant effect on competition.”
Government of Canada establishes new policy for work integrated learning programs and work permit applications
Monday marked the coming into force of new labour standards in federally regulated workplaces. Going forward, interns will be entitled to new labour standards protections, and the right to be paid at least minimum wage (though the former doesn’t apply to internships for academic credit).
A temporary policy change will allow visitors to Canada to apply for a work permit without having to leave Canada; and allow some workers to begin working for a new employer before their application has been fully approved. The change is intended to benefit employers who are facing difficulty finding workers. - Mairead Matthews | email
Our Perspective
V for Recovery: Canada’s newest GDP data reveals a promising trend
Chain Reaction: Investment in Canada’s Blockchain Ecosystem | Overview
Interviews in the Field
The Unseen Side of an Increasingly Popular Digital Career
Katie Crewe, Canadian blogger and certified strength trainer
Katie Crewe, Canadian blogger and certified strength trainer
What We're Reading
Workforce development, preparedness a must for post-COVID economy
The Siren Song of Scranton
Research Visualized
After a recession, business travel is more volatile and slower to recover than leisure travel is.
Source: National statistical offices; UN World Tourism Organization
Source: National statistical offices; UN World Tourism Organization
Beyond the tragedy wreaked by COVID-19 and its immense and enduring economic and social impacts, the pandemic has certainly ruined more than a few travel plans. As this chart shows, traditionally, people are fast to get back to travel after recessions, particularly when compared to business travel. This perspective is based on data from recent recessions. Nonetheless, we might have to throw some historical analysis out of the window when trying to predict the wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19: business travel, along with remote work, may have been permanently altered.
Our Research
The Digital-Led New Normal: Revised Labour Market Outlook for 2022
Twitter Highlights
Invest in Canada
Canada is home to many #blockchain experts! #DYK: blockchain is applicable beyond just #cryptocurrency!

Learn more about this technology, its applications across sectors and Canada's ecosystem in @ICTC_CTIC's detailed report:

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