Digital Policy Salon: Welcome to 2022



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Digital Policy Salon
Digital Policy Salon: Welcome to 2022
By ICTC-CTIC • Issue #57 • View online
Welcome to the 57th issue of the Digital Policy Salon briefing.
We wish all of our readers a Happy 2022. We’re kicking off the year with policy updates that recap investment in Canadian startups in 2021, while pointing towards the future with a look at climate-related financial disclosure. Our two interviews continue with an environmental theme by examining the role of AI in ecology (and the data it needs) and Safe-by-Design, a framework to help companies consider the entire lifecycles of the materials they use. Don’t miss “what we’re reading,” which looks at the controversial story of Clearview AI in Canada (see our overview of this issue from 2020). Finally, we’re very pleased to invite you to join our upcoming conference, ICTC Horizon. Free to attend, this virtual event has six streams of content with an international lens on investment in technology, environmentalism and technology, the future of work, and more. Reserve your place here.
- Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)

Policy Updates 🇨🇦
Canadian VC investment for 2021 surpasses previous annual investment record
According to the Canadian Venture Capital Association, as of Q3 2021, $11.8 billion worth of venture capital funding was invested in Canadian startups in 2021. The $11.8 billion represents a new annual investment record for Canada, surpassing the previous record of $6.2 billion, set in 2019. Growth in funding is a result of larger investment rounds, and more investment in later and growth-stage companies. The average deal size during the first three quarters of 2021 was $20.7 million, nearly double the 2019 average. According to CVCA’s CEO, “Investment in Canada’s startups has never been stronger,” “a testament to the maturing Canadian venture ecosystem.”
Government of Canada seeks new members for Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Open Government
The federal government has announced that it is seeking new applicants for Canada’s Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Open Government. The forum, established in 2018, is a collaborative platform that serves to strengthen dialogue between the Canadian government and civil society in support of a more open and transparent government. The submission process includes a CV and a cover letter and is open until January 25, 2022.
British Columbia passes Bill 22, amending provincial privacy legislation
On November 25, 2021, the Government of British Columbia passed Bill 22, amending the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, BC’s public sector privacy legislation. According to the province, Bill 22 will help the government “keep pace with advancements in technology” and “access the most robust technology solutions.” The Bill also increases information sharing with Indigenous Peoples and removes non-inclusive language. While some amendments were celebrated by BC’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, such as new provisions related to data-linking, others, such as the removal of data-residency requirements were seen as a cause for concern.
Federal government announces plan for mandatory climate-related financial disclosures
The federal government plans to work with the provinces and territories to move toward mandatory climate-related financial disclosures; and require federally regulated institutions to issue disclosures and net-zero plans. The global effort to reduce carbon emissions is transforming the face of many industries, yet without reliable climate-related financial information, it is unclear to investors, lenders, and insurers which companies will survive the change. Climate-related financial information can help financial institutions price climate-related risks and opportunities appropriately, making the financial sector’s transition to a low-carbon economy more stable. Similar work is taking place both at the international level and within the Canadian Securities Administration, which is holding a public consultation on the topic until January 17, 2022. - Mairead Matthews
Interviews in the Field
Green Tech: Fishing for Dark Data
How “Safe-by-Design” would reduce production of “Forever Chemicals” and support a circular economy
Digital Future Summit 2022
Discover What’s on the Horizon
What We're Reading
Use of controversial surveillance technology demonstrates the need to limit police power
Twitter Highlights
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