Controversial bill is opposed by huge majority of Canadians, with even the government’s own supporters opposing it by over 2.5:1
October 20, 2014 - The government looks set to pass its unpopular online spying legislation, Bill C-13, through the House of Commons later today. The House is due to vote on the controversial legislation sometime after 6.30pm ET.
The vote comes after the government recently used a time allocation motion to cut short debate and prevent MPs from fully discussing the implications of the Supreme Court’s landmark R. v. Spencer ruling that renders C-13’s controversial warrantless spying provisions unconstitutional. Community-based OpenMedia.ca, which is leading a nationwide campaign against online spying, says the fight against C-13 will continue as focus now shifts to the Senate. Read more »
Despite promises from government to encourage greater choice and affordability, new report confirms Canadians are still being price-gouged by telecom giants
October 16, 2014 – On the heels of recent official confirmation that the Big Three are keeping wireless prices artificially high, the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has released the annual Communications Monitoring Report for 2014, which provides an overview of the Canadian communications sector. The report confirms that Canadians have been hit with a year-to-year increase of 3.2% in costs for telecom services, despite government promises of lower prices.
The report shows Canada has a long way to go to achieve more affordable rates for mobile phone and Internet users, as we continue to pay some of the highest prices for some of the worst service in the industrialized world. While the report suggests Canadians are using more wireless data and subscribing to higher broadband Internet speeds on average, this increased usage is coming with huge costs. However, a growing movement of tens of thousands of Canadians are pushing back against sky high bills, calling for the networks to be opened to enable independent providers to operate on a level playing field. Read more »
October 16, 2014 – This morning Wikileaks published a second leaked draft of the Intellectual Property chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The draft confirms people’s worst fears about Internet censorship. That’s according to community-based organization OpenMedia, which is leading a large international Fair Deal Coalition aimed at securing balanced copyright rules for the 21st Century.
“It is hugely disappointing to see that, yet again, Canadians - and members of the public worldwide - have to be informed about these critical issues through leaked drafts, instead of through democratic engagement on the part of governments and elected officials,” said OpenMedia Campaigns Coordinator Meghan Sali. “When will our decision-makers recognize that negotiating serious issues - especially proposals that would censor our use of the Internet - must be considered and debated democratically instead of in secret meetings with industry lobbyists?” Read more »
In response to this morning’s announcement by Industry Minister James Moore regarding funding for Internet service providers (ISPs) looking to expand broadband services into rural and remote parts of Canada, OpenMedia.ca Campaigns Coordinator, Josh Tabish, said:
“While we welcome any measure that would improve Internet service for rural Canadians who have long suffered from poor service and sky-high prices, we are sad to see public funds continue to prop up Big Telecom providers who have been under-serving and over-charging Canadians for years. Simply handing over taxpayer money to these giants won’t solve our national digital deficit. The Big Three have a terrible track record of mismanaging funds that have been explicitly collected to improve Internet services for rural and remote communities. This past June, the CRTC wrote a letter expressing concern over Big Telecom’s failure to deliver high speed Internet to nearly 40% of the 272 communities that they were mandated to serve.”
Tabish continued, “These giants have been coddled by government for too long, and these services are too important to leave in their hands. What’s worse: our government's digital strategy has been unambitious from the start. First, they back-paddled on a CRTC commitment that would have ensured 100% of Canadians had high-speed access by 2015 – instead, pushing those numbers to 98% in 2019. Second, their goal of 5Mbps is embarrassing when compared with our global counterparts. Consider Australia, where most residents will have access to 25 Mbps speeds by 2016. Every Canadian should be able to access reliable, affordable broadband Internet, but simply handling public money over to the Big Three is not the way to do it.” Read more »
OpenMedia launches report crowdsourced from over 300,000 people in 155 countries worldwide. The findings are a direct challenge to the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership where extreme proposals to censor the Internet are being created in near-total secrecy
October 15, 2014 – Citizens from across the globe want balanced copyright rules that are shaped democratically, respect creators, and prioritize free expression. That’s the message of Our Digital Future: A Crowdsourced Agenda for Free Expression, a new report launched today by community-based OpenMedia. The overall consultation process took place over 2 years engaging 300,000 people from Australia to Vietnam.
The report is being launched just days before a crucial round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks take place in Australia. The findings come as a significant blow to Big Media lobbyists, who have been using the secretive TPP talks to ram through extreme proposals that would censor the Internet and criminalize many everyday online activities. The report finds that over 72% of respondents want copyright rules to be created through “a participatory multi-stakeholder process” in contrast to closed-door TPP meetings from which citizens are completely excluded. Read more »
Responding to the government's proposal to carve our copyright exemptions for political parties, OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson said:
“Copyright laws should never be used to stifle free political expression. However, this government is shamefully trying to carve out a self-serving, narrow exception that would only benefit political parties, while excluding the free expression rights of everyday citizens. Every Canadian should benefit from sensible fair use rules that enable us to express our views freely.”
“It is also deeply hypocritical for the government to oppose copyright laws that undermine their narrow political interests, while at the same time pushing forward extreme copyright rules in secret Trans-Pacific Partnership talks - rules that could censor the Internet and criminalize everyday sharing and collaboration online.” Read more »