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Digital Policy Salon: Privacy and Sustainability by Design

Digital Policy Salon
Digital Policy Salon: Privacy and Sustainability by Design
By ICTC-CTIC • Issue #38 • View online
Welcome to the 38th issue of the Digital Policy Salon briefing.
Nearly a year since the first lockdowns in Canada, several trends are beginning to feel like they might outlast the pandemic, and serious sustainability planning is first among them. Our featured research, Designing Smart & Sustainable Communities, highlights important opportunities in environmental technology and infrastructure in Canada. In addition, this week’s policy updates bring you news about ongoing COVID subsidy programs, novel regulations on premature obsolescence, and the first glimpse of Uber Canada’s plans for worker benefits.
We’re also turning our attention to smart government this week. Our perspective piece offers a high-level overview of recent research into public-private partnerships for smart city projects in Canada. While “what we’re reading” features a light discussion of the latest cryptocurrency craze, we’re sure that NFTs will soon find interesting applications beyond buying and selling Nyan Cat. Finally, and not least, we’re incredibly excited to be hosting privacy expert Dr. Ann Cavoukian for her live talk,Privacy by Design: The Vital Need to be Proactive in Data Management and Analyticsin a free event today. We look forward to seeing you there.
- The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)

Policy Updates 🇨🇦
Ottawa announces extensions to emergency COVID provisions
On March 3, 2021, Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland announced an extension to several emergency subsidies from March 14 to June 5, 2021. These include wage and rent subsidies for employers, as well as lockdown support, which provides eligible businesses (those hardest hit) with rent support of up to 90%. Recent analyses of job loss data have demonstrated that workers in lower wage brackets have been most effected, and that small businesses in Canada continue to experience insecurity and challenges with digital adoption.
UK government pursuing enhanced rules around premature obsolescence in manufactured goods
The UK government is strengthening its rules on premature obsolescence, a practice whereby manufacturers build short lifespans into products so that consumers have to replace them sooner. Newly introduced legislation will bring UK rules in line with the EU by providing consumers with the “right to repair” manufactured goods and obliging manufacturers to make spare parts readily available for their products. The government expects this to extend the lifespan of manufactured goods by up to 10 years and reduce electrical waste in the UK.
Starlink signs first Canadian customers for beta testing
US-based internet service provider Starlink has started providing broadband internet to Canadian users under its beta testing program. Starlink was approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) last year and is expected to increase high-speed options for rural internet users. Initial feedback suggests that the service is a major improvement over spotty, unreliable internet, however, the service is expensive, costing as much as $800 for equipment alone, alongside an additional $150 monthly.
Uber Canada press release discusses self-directed benefits
In an announcement yesterday, Uber Canada asked provinces to require its industry to provide self-directed benefits for drivers and delivery people. Self-directed benefits would be based on hours worked and benefit holder priorities (e.g., vision, dental, or RRSPs).
SAP Canada survey identifies career growth barriers for women in tech
A recent survey of just under 600 Canadian women found that women in tech were more likely to report career growth barriers than women in non-tech industries. For example, women in tech were more likely to report feeling unmotivated in their careers or having been negatively impacted by the pandemic. In addition to this, 44% of respondents agreed that “the pandemic notwithstanding, they believe tech companies do not really want to hire women.” - Mairead Matthews
Our Perspective
Procurement Office or “Living Lab?” | Report Overview
Special Events
Privacy by Design: The Vital Need to be Proactive in Data Management and Analytics
What We're Reading
NFTs, explained: what they are, and why they’re suddenly worth millions
Research Visualized
Research conducted by the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme demonstrates the trajectory of 24 socioeconomic and earth system indicators from the early 1900s until 2010. Mapped out, these indicators form a series of exponential curves that make visible the staggering growth of the global population, and with it, the growth of many other things, including gross domestic product (GDP), GHGs, fertilizer consumption, surface temperature, water use, and paper production. Dividing these trends between “socio-economic” and “earth systems” highlights the clear and dramatic correlation between human activities and environmental changes.
Source: Adapted from Steffen et al., Global Change and the Earth System, 2004. See: “Great Acceleration,” 2021, International Geosphere Biosphere Programme, http://www.igbp.net/ images/18.950c2fa1495db7081ebd1/1421396650502/GreatAcceleration2015igbpsrclowres.jpg
Source: Adapted from Steffen et al., Global Change and the Earth System, 2004. See: “Great Acceleration,” 2021, International Geosphere Biosphere Programme, http://www.igbp.net/ images/18.950c2fa1495db7081ebd1/1421396650502/GreatAcceleration2015igbpsrclowres.jpg
Our Research
Designing Smart & Sustainable Communities
ICYMI
Panel on Fostering Digital Literacy in Your Organization
Panel on Fostering Digital Literacy in Your Organization
Twitter Highlights
ICTC-CTIC
What #skills do you have in common with a full stack developer? To find out and keep up with Canada’s rapidly changing economy & #labourmarket, watch for the release of our comprehensive Skill-to-Job Matching Tool. https://t.co/Zjwbc0S3Sr #jobs #DigitalThinkTank #digitaleconomy
Calgary Economic Dev
“Successful #5G deployment relies on collaboration between local and federal governments, and wireless service providers.” Join the conversation on the future of Calgary's #connectivity at #NewEconomy Live this Friday. Register ➡️ https://t.co/gxhUhYzRn8 @cityofcalgary https://t.co/CIIRUdQzKx
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