The internet is more than just a communications tool—it is central to almost every aspect of Canadian life.
Whether you shop online, use mobile banking, access city services, or learn a new skill, the internet is the foundation that holds it all together.
Recently, the perception of the internet is one of danger and mistrust. Malware, fake news, and invasive tracking are just a few of the issues that are causing Canadians to pause before they click any link.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. At CIRA, we believe that the internet is an overwhelming force for good in the world, and with the right vision, Canada can be a leader in its resurgence.
As the 2019 Canadian federal election is upon us, CIRA and our industry and partners are calling on all federal parties to share their vision for the future of Canada’s internet. We believe that in order to build a competitive, safe, inclusive society for all Canadians; the internet must be:
One of the founding principles of the internet is openness. We believe the internet must return to its roots by being:
The internet must remain a place of free expression, the exchange of ideas, and differing viewpoints that advance democracy.
Canadians are empowered to create, build, and connect on the internet in an environment that encourages new ways of thinking and is unencumbered by entrenched interests.
The internet is a level playing field for new ideas, business models, products, platforms and companies of all sizes to compete online.
Internet openness is about empowering users to collaborate and explore creativity, opportunity, and new business models without the approval of established gatekeepers. The internet is for everyone, and openness is the foundation that supports it.
Trust is eroding on the internet which has severe implications for our culture, economy, and democracy. The future of Canada’s internet must be:
User privacy is the default setting of the internet. Services that involve reduced levels of privacy must be clearly labelled and opt-in only.
Canadian consumers, businesses and institutions are provided with the tools, best practices and support they need to ensure the security of their businesses and customer data. Compliance is backed by legislation.
Canadians can trust that devices, platforms, applications and networks are built with security and data privacy at their heart. Encryption should be the default setting when using or transmitting user data.
The internet is built on trust, and core to that trust is security. The federal government has a key role to play—along with the private sector—in keeping Canada’s internet safe, secure, and private.
The internet has been a democratizing force around the world. However, recently it has become centralized and controlled by a small group of entrenched interests. To reclaim the web for the people, Canada’s internet must embrace:
Internet users know what they are signing up for, how platforms are managed, how their data will be used and what their options are in plain language.
All Canadians should have access to a high-quality internet connection regardless of their location or background.
Internet and digital literacy should be a core part of lifelong learning so Canadians can successfully access the digital economy and manage their digital identity.
Canada's internet is at a crossroads. The decisions of our next policy-makers on issues like privacy, access, and free expression online will dramatically shape our digital future. CIRA's principles for a free and open internet put forward a positive vision of what that future could be, which should be supported by candidates from across the political spectrum.
Help support Canada's internet
So how can you help? If a candidate comes to your door this fall, ask them how they plan to support the future of Canada's internet. Find out how their party will promote an open, trusted and people-centered internet.
You can also share CIRA's vision on social media and tag your local candidates. Here are some images you can use!
- Read the press release, CIRA invites federal parties to adopt its vision for the future of Canada’s internet.
- Download a pdf version of CIRA's Vision for the Future of Canada's Internet.
- Grab some social images to share and tag your local candidates on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
- Check out the blog, Our vision for Canada’s internet.