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Digital Policy Salon: Trees, Printers, Teachers

Digital Policy Salon
Digital Policy Salon: Trees, Printers, Teachers
By ICTC-CTIC • Issue #43 • View online
Welcome to the 43rd issue of the Digital Policy Salon briefing.
Our briefing this week highlights the ubiquity of technology in the world today. While our policy updates are largely energy and budget-related, the remainder of our briefing discusses the role of technology in three very different fields: forestry, manufacturing, and education.
To begin, we hope that you will join us next week for an event led by ICTC’s Olivia Lin on The Future of Precision Agriculture and Forestry. Our “What We’re Reading” piece, meanwhile, covers the role of algorithms and satellites in detecting hidden northern forest fires.
Our perspective piece offers an overview of ICTC’s recent report, Just Press Print, while we continue on the same topic in our discussion about additive manufacturing with Frank Defalco of Next Generation Manufacturing Canada.
To cap this issue off, we’re excited to share our latest edtech report, 21st Century Digital Skills: Competencies, Innovations and Curriculum in Canada, along with a research visualization that explains a model used to understand the integration of technology into education.
Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)

Policy Updates 🇨🇦
Parliamentary Budget Officer releases report on Budget 2021
The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO), which supports Parliament by providing independent analysis of the nation’s finances, published its report on the federal budget. According to the PBO, while “almost all of the ground lost in the labour market due to the pandemic will be made up by the end of 2021-22… Budget 2021 estimates overstate the impact of stimulus spending over the next 3 years.”
International Energy Association publishes net-zero roadmap
The International Energy Association (IEA), an intergovernmental organization that focuses on energy, recently published Net Zero by 2050, a roadmap for the global energy sector. According to the report, to reach net zero emissions by 2050, global investment in clean energy will need to more than triple by 2030—to around $4 trillion per year. Global investment in new fossil fuel supply projects would have to cease entirely, while existing projects would need to become greener.
Suncor and ATCO interested in pursuing new hydrogen facility in Alberta
Suncor Energy and ATCO announced last week that they are interested in building a hydrogen facility in the Edmonton area, but would require government support to do so. According to the companies, the project could produce more than 300,000 tonnes of hydrogen annually and “would reduce CO2 emissions in Alberta by more than two million tonnes per year, equivalent to taking 450,000 cars per year off the road.
Budget 2021 border levy seeks to mitigate “carbon leakage”
Included in the recent federal budget is a newly proposed “border adjustment” for carbon-intensive goods. The proposed adjustment is designed to mitigate “carbon leakage,” which happens when carbon-dense goods are imported into Canada from other parts of the world that have weaker climate regulations. Similar measures have been proposed in other parts of the world, such as the European Union.
US government shifts position on international tax system
The US government has dramatically shifted its position on the taxation of multinational companies globally. A recent document sent by the US to 135 countries at the OECD outlines the United States’ new preferred approach: have multinational companies pay taxes in each country based on the sales they generate in that country, and establish a minimum tax rate on company profits across the OECD.
International negotiations on these topics will continue at the OECD over the summer. To date, global responses to the proposals have been mixed. Some economists estimate that tax planning by big tech and other large multinationals is equal to US $427 billion in lost tax revenues annually. - Mairead Matthews
Our Perspective
Just Press “Print" | Report Overview
Special Events
You're Invited to an ICTC Discovery Forum
Interviews in the Field
Building the Future, Layer by Layer
What We're Reading
A Zombie-Fire Outbreak May Be Growing in Alaska and Canada
Research Visualized
The SAMR model is helpful for classifying and understanding how digital technologies can be used in the classroom so that educators fully utilize their capabilities. It provides a four-level conceptual framework for the impact of technology on teaching and learning, and was developed to share a common language across disciplines as teachers strive to help students visualize complex concepts.
The SAMR Model can act as a useful planning tool for educators because this framework helps design better learning activities by understanding how tech can and should be used in classroom. During the early years of technology adoption in the classroom (and the transition to online learning environments), teachers “often focused on the first two levels, which involve replacing traditional materials with digital ones, converting lessons and worksheets into PDFs and posting them online or recording lectures on video and making them available for asynchronous learning.”1 As educators become more comfortable with embedding digital technologies into the teaching process, there are more significant opportunities: “In classrooms where tech integration has moved to the mastery level, the last two levels of the SAMR model— modification and redefinition—should also be in the mix.”2 For more about the SAMR model and the role of technology in education, see ICTC’s report 21st Century Digital Skills.
Our Research
21st Century Digital Skills: Competencies, Innovations and Curriculum in Canada
Twitter Highlights
Future Skills Centre
.@jsutherland_ca shares more about EDGE UP, which retrains oil-and-gas sector workers for careers in tech.
#CyberTitan IV winners announcement. Congratulations to the Final National winning team, team Teapot from William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute in #NorthYork, #Ontario!
Talk to Us 💬
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