City of Vancouver releases digital strategy while Industry Canada quietly continues to delay
As Canadians wait with increasingly less patience for Industry Canada’s long-promised digital strategy, it appears that one city is taking matters into its own hands. From their mountainous British Columbia home, councillors of the City of Vancouver have crafted a plan that includes providing public wi-fi, sponsoring digital literacy programs, and creating a dedicated “digital services” department.
The Digital Strategy is slated to be implemented over a four year period, and is valued at approximately $30 million.
We at OpenMedia.ca have decried the ongoing delays in the federal government’s digital strategy—one promised four years ago—and we're now lauding the City of Vancouver’s plans, agreeing that they take steps toward a more vibrant digital future for Vancouverites.
“Since the federal government is ignoring their committment to providing Canadians with a digital strategy, we’re pleased to see the City of Vancouver step in,” said our executive director, Steve Anderson. “We hope that other cities across Canada will take similar initiatives.”
“In conjunction with other initiatives, we’re especially excited about public wifi. We hope it will be spread citywide and that it will be delivered independent of big telecom companies – Vancouverites are looking for alternatives.”
The City of Vancouver was also the first to show support for the Stop The Meter campaign, which engaged over 500,000 citizens to push back against price-gouging in the Internet service market. Councillor Andrea Reimer, also a leader in the City’s digital strategy initiative, introduced the motion that had the City call on the CRTC to take action.
While waiting on the federal government’s digital strategy, we at OpenMedia.ca released a 144-page report on digital policy in Canada, including an action plan with recommendations for the federal government and the CRTC. Canadians can send the plan to their MP using the tool at http://openmedia.ca/report.