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Digital Policy Salon: Join Us Next Week Live

Digital Policy Salon
Digital Policy Salon: Join Us Next Week Live
By ICTC-CTIC • Issue #58 • View online
Welcome to the 58th issue of the Digital Policy Salon briefing.
ICTC Horizon is almost here, running from February 1st to 2nd! We look forward to meeting our readers at a variety of live virtual panels, keynotes, and breakout groups, and encourage everyone to take a look at our agenda of speakers such as Dr. Roberta Bondar and Dr. Johan Rockström. We have a living conference program (with updates about breakout groups and networking opportunities to come) here.
In other news, our policy section this week offers important updates on domestic immigration and labour policy. We’re featuring a recent overview of last year’s report, Towards an Industrial Strategy for Canadian Artificial Intelligence, as well as a recap of our Waterloo smart cities engagement event. “What we’re reading” dives into the craft of writing in the digital age, and the internet’s potential to distract or inspire. Finally, our datavis takes a closer look at Canada’s large role in the world of agri-food technology.
Thank you for joining us this week on the Digital Policy Salon.
- Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)

Discover What's on the Horizon
Policy Updates 🇨🇦
Government of Alberta launches tech-focused immigration pathway
The Government of Alberta has launched a new immigration pathway to attract digitally skilled newcomers to Alberta from around the world (18 NOC codes will be eligible under the program). According to the province, the Accelerated Tech Pathway will help diversify Alberta’s economy and support the local tech industry by meeting the province’s growing demand for tech workers and attracting tech investment. According to a 2021 study of Alberta’s tech sector, access to talent is a challenge for Alberta-based firms, particularly for sales and technical talent. Meanwhile, a 2020 survey by the Boston Consulting Group found Canada to be the top destination among digital workers.
Supply chain issues, construction labour shortages may threaten labour supply
Canada’s housing industry has faced a slew of challenges in recent years, namely, construction labour shortages, ongoing supply chain issues, COVID-19 induced health and safety restrictions, and record immigration levels: together, these challenges have put downward pressure on housing starts and availability. At the same time, record levels of immigration are adding to demand. Housing affordability is an important consideration for migrants in search of a new home: in a recent interview, RBC CEO Dave McKay cautioned that high housing costs threaten to scare off digitally-skilled new comers from coming to Canada.
Ontario passes new labour legislation, removes barriers to the recognition of foreign credentials
New labour legislation, passed by the Government of Ontario in December, sets out to remove barriers that prevent foreign credentials from being recognized in the province. The bill, which applies to several regulated professions, including engineers, teachers, and accountants, will remove requirements related to Canadian work experience. According to the Executive Director for Economic Growth, Tourism, and Culture for the province of PEI, other provinces are looking at what the legislation would mean for them, and how it could help address labour shortages.
Economic development, industry, and environment top 2021 lobbying agenda
According to the Lobbying Commissioner’s annual report, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada was the second most lobbied government institution in 2021, behind only the House of Commons. Likewise, economic development, industry, health, and the environment led the lobbying agenda. On this topic, The Logic reported last week that Telesat, Blackberry, and Stemcell Technologies filed the most communication reports among Canadian innovation economy players; meanwhile, Amazon, Google, Adobe, TikTok, and Netflix led among Big Tech. - Mairead Matthews
Our Perspective
Overview | Towards an Industrial Strategy for Canadian Artificial Intelligence
Let’s Talk Smart Cities: Waterloo Region
What We're Reading
Can “Distraction-Free” Devices Change the Way We Write?
Research Visualized
ICTC’s report Sowing the Seeds for Tomorrow is a thorough investigation of the role of technology as it pertains to agri-food production in Canada. Given the nation’s large agricultural industry, it is no surprise that investment data cites Canada as a key player in the global agri-food tech industry. According to AgFunder, in 2014, Canada ranked third in global agri-food technology deals. Also in 2014, Canadian startup Clearpath Robotics made the Top 20 list of largest funding deals globally, while in 2017 and 2019, three Canadian startups made Top 20 and Top 15 lists. China, the United Kingdom, Colombia, and Israel have accounted for a greater number of deals in recent years, yet, as shown in the visualization above, Canada remains a key global player: in 2019, Canada was seventh in the total dollar value of new investment deals and sixth in the actual number of new deals, an even more impressive ranking considering investment per capita.
Twitter Highlights
IISD Energy
Save the Date: Join our very own @PhilGass on Feb. 2nd at the @ICTC_CTIC Horizon #Green Economy session!

Learn more about how we can support both economic growth & #sustainability. Register now 👉 #OnTheHorizon
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