Digital Policy Salon: Planning for 2022

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Digital Policy Salon
Digital Policy Salon: Planning for 2022
By ICTC-CTIC • Issue #59 • View online
Welcome to the 59th issue of the Digital Policy Salon briefing.
This week’s issue features a new overview of our work on technology in the agriculture and food sector. As the world’s population grows, the global food and agriculture sector will need to produce more while reducing its environmental footprint, and agri-food stakeholders generated 7.4% of total Canadian GDP in 2018, making agricultural technology a key focus area for our country. Along these lines, the province of BC has announced its new economic plan, which includes provisions for an agricultural technology centre of excellence: learn more about BC and other important news in our policy updates section.
Our second perspective article highlights key moments from the ICTC Horizon conference in early February, including from keynote speaker Dr. Roberta Bondar. Last but not least, we invite GTA residents to join ICTC in a smart cities community engagement event featuring guest speaker Alice Xu. Reserve your seat today.
- Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)

Policy Updates 🇨🇦
British Columbia releases economic plan for 2022
The Government of British Columbia published its economic plan earlier this month. The Stronger B.C. Economic Plan seeks to foster inclusive economic growth by expanding opportunities for education and training, making sure B.C.’s infrastructure is modern and resilient to climate change, ensuring every B.C. community has access to high-speed internet, and helping B.C.’s high-tech sector find talent and scale-up. New measures relevant to the digital economy include:
  • Launching a Skills for the Jobs of Tomorrow plan
  • Accelerating the timeline to connect all B.C. communities to high-speed internet
  • Collaborating on an Indigenous economic development agency
  • Creating a Life Sciences and Biomanufacturing Strategy; Agritech Centre of Excellence; and ESG Centre of Excellence
United Nations opens data sharing lab to test privacy enhancing technologies
The UN Committee of Experts on Big Data and Data Science for Official Statistics launched a pilot program in January to make international data sharing more secure. The PET Lab, in partnership with four National Statistical Offices and technology providers will investigate how privacy enhancing technologies can be used for “fully compliant” data sharing. The United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Italy will be contributing to the project.
BDC Capital launches new diversity reporting tool for the Canadian private capital industry
The Business Development Bank of Canada launched a new reporting tool last month to better capture diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Canadian private capital industry. The tool, a reporting template, was designed to “make it easy” for Canada’s innovation ecosystem to report on gender, race, ethnicity, and other metrics related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
New study looks at competition issues in data-driven markets in Canada; Government of Canada announces Competition Act review
A new study published by Vivic Research with funding from the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development discusses “how data dominance may be leveraged within markets to increase profits and protect against competition.” Further, the study reviews nine case study examples of competition issues in data-driven markets, including self-preferencing, copycatting, labour market monopsony, algorithmic and personalized pricing, consumer IoT systems, commercial IoT systems, data-driven mergers and joint ventures, and killer acquisitions guided by data.
In February, the Government of Canada announced that the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Industry will evaluate potential ways to improve the Competition Act, including adapting the law to today’s digital reality to better tackle emerging forms of harmful behaviour in the digital economy.
Minister of Canadian Heritage tables Online Streaming Act
The Minister of Canadian Heritage tabled Bill C-11 earlier this month, which seeks to amend the Broadcasting Act to bring streaming content under its scope. The Online Streaming Act replaces Bill C-10, which died on the order table last Parliamentary session and sought to update the Broadcasting Act by subjecting Netflix, Prime, Hulu, and other internet giants to the same regulations as traditional broadcasters. If passed, among other things, internet broadcasters will have to host a certain amount of Canadian Content on their sites and fund the production of new Canadian content.
Our Perspective
Overview | Canadian Agri-Food Technology: Sowing the Seeds for Tomorrow
ICTC Horizon Recap | From Helicopters on Mars to Sustainable Growth and the Future of Work
Special Events
Toronto Smart Cities Community Event
What We're Reading
Ottawa to launch review of competition laws, catching up to ‘today’s digital reality’
Research Visualized
In the Canadian Agri-Food Technology study, ICTC’s survey respondents identify the cost of equipment, installation, maintenance, and operation as key barriers preventing agri-food tech adoption across subindustries. As with technology adoption, barriers vary by subsector. For example, ICTC survey findings show availability of equipment impacts agtech and manufacturing more than primary producers.
Source: ICTC Survey Data. 2021
Source: ICTC Survey Data. 2021
Our Research
Canadian Agri-food Technology: Sowing the Seeds for Tomorrow
Twitter Highlights
Stanford HAI
Using AI techniques, a new study led by HAI Faculty Affiliate Kaustubh Supekar helps explain why symptoms of autism show up differently for boys and girls. https://t.co/bmWnM5FWNv
Talk to Us 💬
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