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Digital Policy Salon: New Hopes for News Media

Digital Policy Salon
Digital Policy Salon: New Hopes for News Media
By ICTC-CTIC • Issue #37 • View online
Welcome to the 37th issue of the Digital Policy Salon briefing.
We’ve got several exciting new releases to announce this week, including a new paper on strategic procurement for smart cities and a preview of ICTC’s upcoming Skill Mapping Tool. The team is incredibly excited to showcase the final results of a year and a half of research on Canadian digital job data across 14 cities.
In addition, this issue covers several important tech policy debates spanning the gig economy, biotechnology and cloning, and clean energy. Not least, all eyes are on Australia as it bargains with Facebook and Google to finalize legislation on news media distribution. In this week’s Q&A, two ICTC analysts explore the topics of open banking and data mobility in Canada with the Director of Regulatory R&D at Wealthsimple, including a discussion of recently proposed legislation. In addition, our perspective piece is an overview of recent ICTC research on ethical technology development and regulation.
At the bottom of the issue, don’t forget to check out our weekly data visualization (this week on the “COVID-safe” scores of occupations based on a telework index) and recordings of webinars you may have missed.
Finally, be sure to register for our upcoming event on Smart Government, with guest speaker Dr. Ann Cavoukian.
- The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)

Policy Updates 🇨🇦
UK Supreme Court rules in favour of worker’s rights for ride-share drivers
The UK Supreme Court has ruled in favour of ride-share workers in a landmark case between Uber and 20 of its UK-based drivers. While the long-term impacts of the ruling are still unclear, general secretary of the App Drivers and Couriers Union James Farrar believes that “[the] ruling will fundamentally reorder the gig economy,” giving ride-share drivers explicit rights to the same rights enjoyed by all UK workers: a minimum hourly wage, workplace pension, and paid holidays.
Endangered black-footed ferret Elizabeth Ann shows biotechnology has lasting impacts outside traditional healthcare, food production, and biomaterials fields
A black-footed ferret named Elizabeth Ann has made history as the first endangered species to be cloned in the United States. She was created using the DNA of Willa, another ferret who died in 1998. According to Ben Novak, lead scientist on the project, Elizabeth Ann will bring “an eighth gene pool” into the existing endangered population, “a huge paradigm shift” in endangered species work.
Technologies like artificial intelligence and hydrogen continue to transform the global energy system
Toyota and Lyft are making hydrogen-powered sedans available to Lyft drivers in Vancouver, BC to showcase the benefits of hydrogen-powered cars. Cars fueled with green hydrogen are zero emissions and take significantly less time to refuel than electric vehicles. BC has four hydrogen fueling stations, including three located in Vancouver.
Shell, Baker Hughes, C3 AI, and Microsoft announced the Open AI Energy Initiative this week, creating an open framework for energy operators, energy providers, and other stakeholders to build and offer AI-based energy solutions.
The Government of Australia and Facebook reached a deal on Tuesday regarding Australia’s proposed media legislation—the legislation has since passed
The Government of Australia and Facebook reached a deal on Tuesday regarding new amendments to the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code. These events followed a temporary news ban whereby Facebook blocked all news content on its platform in Australia.
The legislation, which has since passed, will require online platforms to reach compensation deals with local Australian news outlets. It is being hailed as a possible model for other countries to follow, and as one commentator noted, has proven that regulation can work. Canada and Australia have since announced that they will coordinate regulatory efforts going forward to ensure platform revenues are shared equally with creators and the media. - Mairead Matthews
Our Perspective
Closing the Digital Skills Gap: A Preview of ICTC’s Skill Mapping Tool
Responsible Innovation in Canada and Beyond | Report Overview
Special Events
Privacy by Design: The Vital Need to be Proactive in Data Management and Analytics
Interviews in the Field
Open Banking and Fintech in Canada: A Conversation with the Director of Regulatory R&D at Wealthsimple
Hanna Zaidi, Director, Regulatory R&D at Wealthsimple
Hanna Zaidi, Director, Regulatory R&D at Wealthsimple
What We're Reading
Canada and Australia agree to co-ordinate efforts to regulate online platforms such as Facebook
Research Visualized
Using O*NET data that breaks down occupations by required skills, tasks, and aptitudes, ICTC created a COVID-Safe Score for all 500 national occupation codes (NOCs), and subsequently for each sector based on its respective occupational composition. The COVID-Safe Score captures the extent to which an occupation can either be performed remotely (with the use of digital infrastructure and tools) or is an essential service and, therefore, is relatively “safe” from the immediate economic effects of COVID-19. The figure below shows the correlation of ICTC’s COVID-Safe Score with an index of teleworking in each industry code. The correlation between these two is strong, suggesting that the two variables are related or are picking up the same underlying characteristic. For more on this, see ICTC’s report The Digital-Led New Normal.
Index of Teleworking vs COVID-Safe Score - Source: ICTC
Index of Teleworking vs COVID-Safe Score - Source: ICTC
Our Research
Procurement Office or “Living Lab”?
ICYMI
Indigenous EdTech, Teaching & Issues of Connectivity: A Panel Discussion
Indigenous EdTech, Teaching & Issues of Connectivity: A Panel Discussion
Twitter Highlights
Volta
Join Volta and Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce for an engaging and informative workshop on the Power of Supplier Diversity. On March 4, learn about supplier diversity, corporations championing diverse procurement processes + more. Register now here: https://t.co/QIVWY3rMqV
Talk to Us 💬
Send your comments, questions, and tech policy insights to:
Subscribe to ICTC’s flagship newsletter here.
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