In advance of the 2019 Canadian federal election, we have taken the opportunity to look through the national party policy platforms and draw your focus to the IP, innovation and privacy-related promises.
Links to all of the platforms can be found here:
Liberal Party of Canada: Forward – A Real Plan for the Middle Class
Conservative Party of Canada: Andrew Scheer’s Plan For You to Get Ahead
New Democratic Party of Canada: A New Deal for People
Green Party of Canada: Honest. Ethical. Caring. Leadership.
Intellectual Property and Technology
- Review program that will examine whether innovation programs support Canadian companies which keep their benefits, profits and patents in Canada (as opposed to the subsidiaries of foreign multinationals), including forming an expert panel to look at policies that will strengthen Canada’s ability to capitalize on intangibles like IP and improve incentives to patent;
- Green patents – Income generated from green technology patented in Canada attracts a 5% tax break;
- Require businesses that emit greenhouse gases over limits to invest in research, development and adoption of emission-reducing technology relating to their industry (facilitated by green investment certification);
- Set up a green technology venture capital fund that will leverage up to $1 billion in private investment for Canadian green technology companies;
- Make sure that IP protection is at the heart of new trade agreements;
- Provide government re-training programs to make sure that Canada’s tech industry can continue to grow, and make sure that academic curricula reflect the demands of the labour market;
- Launch a “Canadian Clean Brand” that will allow buyers to know they are getting a product that makes a difference for the environment;
- Expand rural broadband.
- Invest in job training for the new green economy (including by eliminating post-secondary tuition);
- Establish a Guaranteed Livable Income to respond to automation disruption (among other measures meant to respond to automation);
- Establish a corporate tax on transnational e-commerce companies doing business in Canada by requiring them to register in Canada;
- Fund research for shifting from conventional to organic and regenerative farming systems;
- Protect the right of farmers to save their own seed and promote heritage seed banks and seed exchange programs;
- Support the transition of the mining sector to an innovation hub for greener technologies, including $40 million for a proposed Sudbury-based mining innovation cluster;
- Invest in scientific research and implement the full funding recommendations from Canada’s Fundamental Science Review;
- Establish a portal where all government science, including the evidence the government uses to make its decisions, is available to Canadians in a comprehensible form;
- Adopt policies similar to Europe’s to ensure that publicly-funded research is available on the portal or in open access journals;
- Invest $400 million per year into a universal broadband strategy;
- Strike a parliamentary committee to examine the implications of introducing 5G technology and make recommendations on if and how Canada should proceed;
- Guard against threats to net neutrality;
- Make Canada the global leader in AI development and regulation, including by striking a parliamentary committee to examine the range of issues related to AI and provide recommendations for a legislative and regulatory framework;
- Institute a substitute tax for large corporations that is equivalent to the income tax paid by employees who have been laid off by AI;
- Track automation on a sector-by-sector basis with the aim of funding job creation;
- Ban autonomous weapons and fight for a global pact to make them illegal;
- Enact “Right to Repair” legislation;
- Amend CRTC regulations to increase competition in the provision of cellular and internet services;
- Protect consumers and investors from fraud and theft in the cryptocurrency spheres, and direct Revenue Canada and law enforcement to develop practical methods to prevent the use of cryptocurrency for money laundering and funding terrorism;
- Create a bulk drug purchasing agency and decrease the protection period for drug patents.
- Greater labour protections for those who work through digital platforms (ride-sharing, etc.);
- Halve corporate taxes for business that develop zero-emissions clean tech;
- Universal high-speed internet (95% coverage by 2026, 100% by 2030);
- Set up a cleaner fuel technology and commercial support to connect farmers, researchers, agribusinesses, and energy companies;
- Ensure accurate labelling on fish and seafood products to enable a “boat-to-plate” traceability program;
- Invest in marine science;
- Support an international protocol to ban the development and use of fully autonomous weapons systems.
- Price caps for cell and internet bills, expand broadband internet to every community in Canada, and make sure that a basic plan is available to everyone;
- Introduce a Telecom Consumers’ Bill of Rights;
- Introduce a right to repair electronic devices;
- Ensure that Canadians have access to proactive training and retraining programs for the new economy;
- Protect Canadians against trade agreements that could increase the cost of pharmaceuticals, undermine privacy rights, or weaken cultural protections;
- Invest in driverless technology, hybrid and electric vehicles, with an emphasis on made-in-Canada cars;
- Invest in clean aviation technology development;
- Sector-specific investments in innovation and R&D, focusing on low-carbon technology;
- Review federal procurement to ensure that, whenever possible, Canadian bidders are encouraged (including projects supporting the expansion of digital government);
- Foster entrepreneurship and support Canadian start up culture, helping Canadian companies commercialize new technologies and scale-up;
- Invest in public agricultural research and data collection, and ocean science and technology;
- Support bringing innovative Canadian clean technologies to market;
- Provide support for provinces to introduce smart grid technology;
- Set up stand-alone legislation to regulate natural health products.
- Increase funding to all of Canada’s arts and culture organizations including the Canada Council for the Arts, the National Film Board and Telefilm Canada;
- Restore anti-trust laws to enable the break-up of media conglomerates;
- Close the social media platform advertising tax loophole and ensure that all government advertising is in Canadian publications;
- Invest $300 million per year in the CBC/Radio-Canada until its funding matches the per-capita funding of the BBC;
- Ensure that foreign internet broadcasters are subject to Canadian Content regulations similar to those imposed on Canadian broadcasters.
- Make sure that Canadian talent can thrive on digital and traditional platforms;
- Ensure that companies like Netflix, Facebook, and Google have to pay taxes and comply with Canadian content requirements, just like other media outlets;
- Extend support to Canadian media to assist them in making the digital transition.
- Require CBC/Radio-Canada to open up its digital platform for use by journalism start-ups and community newspapers;
- Improve access to digital collections for national museums;
- Provide new legislation that will require internet content providers to offer meaningful levels of Canadian content, contribute to the creation of Canadian content, promote the content, and make it easily accessible on their platforms;
- Increase Telefilm Canada’s budged by almost 50% per year;
- Develop a framework for repatriating Indigenous cultural property and ancestral remains.
- Support cultural industries.
- Empower the Privacy Commissioner and move forward with Canada’s Digital Charter;
- Provide the right to: data portability; withdraw, remove and erase basic personal data from a platform; know how data is being used, supported by a national registry on data use or sale, and include an ability to withdraw consent; review and challenge the amount of personal data that a company or government has collected; data security; be informed when personal data is breached, including a right to compensation; be free from discrimination and harassment online;
- New Data Commissioner to oversee and regulate large digital companies;
- New regulations for social media platforms, including requirements that they remove illegal content within 24 hours.
- Introduce a Cyberbullying Accountability Act that will prohibit the use of a phone or the internet to threaten or advocate self-harm; the location of the crime will be the location where the victim is at the time the offence occurred, and the Act will include civil liability;
- Consent requirement for data collection, and a plain-language agreement requirement;
- Provide regulatory, ethical standards for the secure use of AI and the Internet of Things, as well as for other critical infrastructure sectors (like banks);
- Create a “Canada Cyber Safe” brand to allow Canadians to make educated choices about the security features of their devices, applications and appliances;
- Test and reform government cyber security.
- Require the Communications Security Establishment and CSIS to get a warrant before intruding on Canadians’ communications;
- Prohibit the routine surveillance of Canadians who protest against the government and the sharing of protester and NGO staff information with the NEB and others;
- Significantly increase the powers of the Privacy Commissioner, in particular to protect identity and personal data, and to enforce privacy laws;
- Require companies to grant access to all information they hold on an individual, and a right to be forgotten and to delete information from company databases upon request;
- Establish a parliamentary inquiry to recommend modernizing privacy laws respecting the internet of things;
- Create mandatory data breach reporting for the government, companies, banks and political parties;
- Regulate social media platforms to ensure that only actual people, with verifiable identities, are able to publish on those platforms;
- Prohibit cyber surveillance and bulk data collection by intelligence and police agencies;
- Require that ISPs can only release data when required by a warrant or in an emergency;
- Require that political parties follow the Privacy Act.
- Convene a national working group to counter online hate;
- Enhance real-time oversight of security services, fully respecting the privacy and Charter rights of all Canadians, to deal with foreign interference and espionage, terrorism and cybercrime;
- Boost the powers of the Privacy Commissioner to make and enforce orders;
- Require social media platforms to flag and remove fraudulent accounts, and to respond promptly to harassment, threats and hate speech.
Please remember to vote on October 21st if you are able!
Peter Werhun is an IPilogue Editor and a JD candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School