So far 2023 has been the year of bad Internet policies. The government seems hellbent on putting forward Internet legislation for everyone BUT ordinary Canadians. Broadcasting Bill C-11 was passed with dangerously open powers for the CRTC to regulate our personal online posts– a huge vulnerability they’ve ‘fixed’ only with draft instructions to not abuse that power, not real legal protections we can rely on.1 Online News Bill C-18 was supposed to bring new funding from tech giants to struggling Canadian news outlets – but in practice it has gutted their traffic, without generating a single new dollar of support.2
All the while, initiatives that would actually benefit the ordinary Canadian nowhere in sight. Let’s list the ways! Every day it is easier for companies to steal and spy on us our most sensitive data, yet the privacy laws we have are practically toothless – and have laughable penalties even when deeply violated. The need could not be more obvious, but privacy reform Bill C-27 has been collecting dust since it was first proposed in 2020. Our competition laws are a global embarrassment, allowing companies like Rogers and Amazon to run amok with anti-consumer mergers and market shenanigans while our competition regulator can only stand idly by. From enabling us to repair our own devices, to passing legislation that gives us power to protect our online safety as WE see fit, the government is squandering opportunities left and right to improve our digital lives, which increasingly shape our entire existence.
It is time our government refocused on helping the people who vote them in and can vote them out. Fall brings change, and it’s time every party change their tune and start telling us how they’re going to make our Internet better for our wallets, our rights, and our freedom to choose. Speak up now and ask your MP what they’re doing to make YOUR Internet experience better!