Canadian Manufacturing

Long awaited digital strategy close to release, says industry minister

The promise of a digital strategy has taken on mythical qualities over the years in Canadian technology circles, as ministers repeatedly promised action but never delivered



OTTAWA—Industry Minister James Moore says the Conservative government’s long-awaited digital strategy is coming soon.

“When we put forward the policy there will be some policy initiatives, some investment initiatives and some new things that I think will be well received in terms of a true, comprehensive and effective digital policy,” Moore told reporters following a speech at the Manning Centre’s networking conference.

The promise of a digital strategy has taken on mythical qualities over the years in Canadian technology circles, as two of Moore’s successors repeatedly promised action but never delivered.

The federal government undertook a public consultation on building a digital economy in 2010, but no policy emerged from the process.

Moore says the digital strategy will not only focus on economic issues, but also delve into the cultural realm with measures to expand Canadian content. He held the Heritage portfolio for many years and introduced the Canadian Media Fund that supported Canadian production, as long as it could also be distributed digitally.

He also noted the strategy will ensure that Canadians are able to properly connect with the federal government digitally.

This month’s federal budget included a number of measures that fit within the digital heading, including $350 million for extending broadband to rural and remote areas.

It also set a target of 2019 for ensuring the entire country has access to high-speed Internet of at least 5 Mbps. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission had originally proposed a goal of 2015.

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