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Digital Policy Salon: From Cybersecurity to CETA

Welcome to the 17th issue of the Digital Policy Salon briefing. This week, we to return to our regula
Digital Policy Salon
Digital Policy Salon: From Cybersecurity to CETA
By ICTC-CTIC • Issue #17 • View online
Welcome to the 17th issue of the Digital Policy Salon briefing.
This week, we to return to our regular format, including our updates on COVID-19 and tech policy. If you missed our Spotlight Series on British Columbia last week, you can read it here.
Our first perspective piece this week provides a statistical overview of diversity in the Canadian digital economy in 2019, while the second is the final installment of our Future of Canada series examining the ongoing impacts of the pandemic on telehealth, remote work, and cybersecurity. Building on the theme of the “future of work,” our two interview pieces this issue take apart two different consequences of remote labour. One examines mobility in a low-commute era, while the other explores the challenges inherent in digital labour for vulnerable populations.
Finally, our featured research this week looks to the world: an overview of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) highlights key European trade partners and opportunities for Canada to increase digital economy exports. We hope you enjoy this week’s issue. If you like this newsletter, don’t forget to check out our upcoming special event on cybersecurity talent, demand, and workforce development featuring a panel of Canadian cybersecurity professionals.
- Tyler & Faun

COVID-19 and Tech Policy Updates 🇨🇦
Supreme Court rules in favour of genetic non-discrimination law
The Supreme Court ruled in favour of Bill S-201—Canada’s genetic non-discrimination law—earlier this week. Having been passed by the House in 2017, the Bill was challenged by the province of Québec for infringing on the province’s legal jurisdiction. S-201 makes it a criminal offence for employers, companies, and other third parties to demand genetic information from individuals as a condition of service or contract agreement.
AI, AI tools top of mind for Canadian watchdogs
Canada’s Competition Bureau assumed presidency of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network late last month. Among other things, the Bureau hopes to explore the potential benefits of AI as an investigative tool, as well as its use by businesses in misleading consumers.
Public discussion regarding the safety and ethics of facial recognition software continued this week, as Clearview AI terminated business with the RCMP, its last remaining client in Canada.
Tech in the workplace and education brings new challenges and new solutions
UK hospitals have begun using augmented reality (AR) to facilitate the world’s first virtual rounds—doctors wearing AR glasses examine patients, while students watch remotely, allowing for larger, more remote cohorts.
A new study by organizational behaviour specialist, Mahdi Roghanizad, warns that video calls may bypass social triggers vital for establishing trust, with possible implications for cohesion and productivity among fully virtual teams.
BC government launches digital services card and online identification system
BC residents can now use virtual service cards to verify their identities and access provincial services remotely. The province is allegedly the first government to deploy such a system in North America.
Masks, vaccines, and antibodies tests
The first round of Canadian antibodies testing began this month, as Québec-based biopharmaceutical company Medicago initiated the first human trials for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Meanwhile, a new study from the UK suggests that an individual’s immunity to COVID-19, if at all possible, may disappear within months. 
Masks have become mandatory in a variety of public and indoor settings in provinces and municipalities across the country, and some businesses are using made-in-Canada AI solutions to help track compliance. - Mairead Matthews | email
Our Perspective
Digital Economy Annual Review 2019: Part 3
Cybersecurity, Healthcare, and Our New Office Environment
Special Events
Join Us For a Virtual Panel
Interviews in the Field
The “Future of Work” and Digital Livelihoods for Vulnerable Populations
Dr. Andreas Hackl, Lecturer in the Anthropology of Development at the School of Social and Political Science
Dr. Andreas Hackl, Lecturer in the Anthropology of Development at the School of Social and Political Science
Commuting, COVID-19, and the Shift to Remote Work
Antoine Abribat, Founder & CEO of Commut
Antoine Abribat, Founder & CEO of Commut
What We're Reading
Canada's food insecurity problem is about to get worse due to COVID-19, experts say
Research Visualized
Technology goods accounted for more than 10% of all Canadian exports; technology goods exported to the EU increased by 6% when compared to pre-CETA period. The EU represents considerable potential for Canadian exporters, but a 2019 survey by Global Affairs found that only 9% of Canadian SMEs were taking advantage of CETA, with only another 17% planning to do so. Over a quarter of all businesses surveyed had never heard of the agreement.
Canadian Exports and Imports of Technology Goods, October 2019 to September 2019 - Source: Statistics Canada
Canadian Exports and Imports of Technology Goods, October 2019 to September 2019 - Source: Statistics Canada
Driving these exports was commercial and service industry machinery manufacturing, which increased by $71 million or 20% two years after CETA. Conversely, exports of computer and peripheral equipment from Canada to the EU saw a decline of $66 million during this period.
Our Research
CETA: Strengthing Canada-EU Ties and Scaling the Canadian Digital Economy
Twitter Highlights
Ontario BIA Association (OBIAA)
🗣 Applications for #DigitalMainStreet #Ontario's Digital Service Squad Grants💰 are underway!

Ontario-wide BIAs or municipal groups can apply for Digital Service Squads 👨‍💻👩‍💻 to deliver one-on-one assistance and digital assessments to local businesses.
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