Previous Print
Blawg Briefs
Industry Minister James Moore unveils “Digital Canada 150”
Blog entry graphic

On April 4, 2014, Industry Minister James Moore unveiled “Digital Canada 150,” a comprehensive digital policy (click on TEXT of SPEECH and POLICY DOCUMENT). The Government describes the issuance of Digital Canada 150 as the culmination of its public online consultations held over three years ago (in 2010). The Government reviewed 250 submissions from more than 2,000 Canadians who registered to participate in the online consultation.
There are a multitude of issues addressed in the Digital Canada 150 Policy, classified under “five pillars”: “Connecting Canadians,” “Protecting Canadians,” “Economic Opportunities,” “Digital Government” and “Canadian Content.” The policy spans a broad range of issues including television unbundling, roaming rate caps, high speed Internet access in remote/rural areas, online privacy and anti-spam.

However, much of Digital Canada 150 is not new. Rather, the Government has used this announcement to summarize previous initiatives taken in the area of digital policy, with some hints of future directions.
The Government has framed the Digital Canada 150 Policy by reference to two categories, “What We’ve Done” and “What’s New." Among the key elements of the Policy are:
“What We’ve Done”

  • The Government concluded the 700 MHz spectrum auction, enabling at least four players in every region of the country to provide all Canadians with dependable, high-speed wireless services on the latest technologies.
  • Under its “use it or lose it” policy, the Government did not renew the licences of companies holding 2300 and 3500 MHz spectrum licences, potentially making the spectrum available to other proposed uses. 
  • Measures such as spectrum caps on incumbents have enabled access to spectrum for new entrants in recent and upcoming auctions for wireless airwaves, thus fostering more competition.
  • In  2013, the Government issued its Spectrum Licence Transfer Framework Policy, which confers on the Minister of Industry broad discretion to review proposed spectrum licence transfers “to ensure that consumers continue to benefit from competition in the wireless sector.”
  •  The Government expanded the requirements for wireless companies to provide roaming services to other companies.
    The Government strengthened the rules requiring carriers to share existing cell towers to reduce the need for more towers across Canada.
  • The Government liberalized foreign investment rules for smaller companies in the telecommunications sector.


“What’s New” 

  • Digital Canada 150 will connect over 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet with speeds of at least five megabits per second. This means that an additional 280,000 households, mostly in rural and remote communities, will have access to high-speed Internet for the first time.
  •  The Government will strengthen the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act “to better protect the online privacy of all Canadians.”
  • The Government’s anti-spam law comes into force July 1, 2014 aimed at “protecting Canadians from malicious online attacks.”
  • The Government will work with the CRTC to develop a plan to unbundle television channels and ensure cable and satellite providers offer Canadian consumers the option to pick and choose the combination of television channels they want. (The accompanying text of the Minister’s speech is more forceful: “We will unbundle TV packages, so consumers can pick and choose the combination of channels they want”).
  • The Government is committed to reducing roaming costs on networks within Canada, preventing wireless providers from charging other companies more than they charge their own customers for mobile voice, data and text services. (The accompanying text of the Minister’s speech is more forceful: “We will cap domestic roaming fees on networks in Canadians to increase competition and lower prices for consumers”).
  • The Government will continue to apply Canada’s Spectrum Licence Transfer Framework Policy to all licence transfers to ensure consumers benefit from more competition in the wireless sector. 
  • The Government will introduce enforcement measures to increase consumer protection in the telecommunications sector by giving regulators (presumably the CRTC and the Minister of Industry) the ability to impose monetary penalties against companies that violate rules such as those for wireless services, spectrum use and cellphone towers.


As noted earlier, Digital Canada 150 is to a large extent a summary of  the Government's previous initiatives. Some have argued that we continue to lack a clear "vision" for a digital Canada, which would involve a more collaborative approach among partners from the private sector, governments, not-for-profits and academics with a view to a unified national digital policy. 

For more information, please contact:

Stephen Zolf


Canadian Government


Stephen Zolf

Add A Comment
Please login on the right-hand sidebar to leave a comment
Search Entries
Entries By Author
Entries By Tag
Advantage Aeroplan Aeroplan Miles Age Air Canada Air Canada Foundation Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner Alberta’s Privacy Act amicus briefs Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bitcoin Blockchain Bozzo Broadcast Agreement Broadcasting Broadcasting Act Broader Public Sector Budget Budget 2013 Business Buy America Buying a Franchise C-51 Canada Canada Media Fund Canada Revenue Agency Canada Tax System Canada’s anti-spam law Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation Canada-Netherlands Tax Treaty Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation Canadian broadcasting Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Canadian copyright law Canadian Government Canadian law Canadian Law Blog Awards Canadian Pacific Railway Canadian Securities Administrators Canadian take-over bid regime Canadian Trade-marks Journal Carding CASL CBC CCTV CDS Clearing and Depository Services Cerner Corp. Certified Independent Production Funds Challenges CIPO CIRA Clarity Class Action Clawbies cleantech clear and convincing evidence Commercial Activity Communication Communications Competition Bureau Condominium Condominium Conference Condominium Group Consent Consolidated Debenture Stock constitutional challenge consumer products contract errors contracts Copyright Copyright Act Copyright damages copyright extension acts Copyright infringement Copyright Modernization Act copyright policy copyright reform Corporate corporate governance Corporate Measures CRA Crime-Related Death and Disappearance Leave Critically Ill Child Care Leave Cross Border Outsourcing CRTC custom XML Cyber Security data Data Breaches Data Protection database Denise Lash Densification Digital Currency digital downloads digital media levy Digital Millennium Copyright Act digital music Directive 2016/680 Divisional Court Doing Business in Canada Domain Name domain name registry Domain names domain registry scam Donation Download dube Early Warning System East Texas District Economy eHealth eHealth Ontario Electricity electronic health records electronic medical records email scam Employment Employment Standards Act (Leaves to Help Families) Employment Standards Act, 2000 empty voting Enforceability of terms of use Entrepreneurs Environment Eric Schmidt ERT evidence ex parte Excise Tax Act Execution Act Expansion expired patents Facebook Failure Fair dealing fair use/fair dealing Family Caregiver Leave FAPI Federal Budget Federal Court of Appeal federally regulated financial institutions fee-for-carriage Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act file sharing Financial Firewalls FINCEN FINRA FINTRAC FISA FIT Foreign foreign investment Foreign ownership Franchise Franchisor free trade FSB Fundamental Freedoms Fundamental Rights G20 summit G8 and G20 GameStation GDPR Gift GlaxoSmithKline Gmail goals Gold Payment Clause Google Google Buzz Google Buzz privacy Google executives Google Italy Google privacy Google privacy appeal Google Street View privacy governance issues government Government of Canada government policy green economy Green Energy GST Hanna Harassment House of Commons HST i4i ICANN IDN Improving Business Income Tax Act Income Taxt Act Industry Canada consultation Infrastructures for Information innovation intellectual property International Internationalized domain names Internet Internet competition Internet copyright issues internet domain name scam intrusion on seclusion invalidate patent inventiveness investing ISP Italy privacy law prosecution Jennifer Stoddart Jim Flaherty Jones v. Tsige judgment against Microsoft June Budget Justice Charles Hackland Law Law Times Lawson v. Accusearch Let's Talk TV Licensing LimeWire litigation local government Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP), M&A Magder v. Ford Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench manufacturing Mason Capital Management LLC McNamee Media Mental Health metadata Microsoft patent infringement Microsoft Word Ministry of Energy Multi-national Municipal Conflict of Interest Act municipal projects music industry music licensing Napster Nature of Transaction Nevada NHL NIST 800-63-3 NIST 800-63B notice and takedown nuisance Occupational Health and Safety Act offering memorandum Office of the Privacy Commissioner OHSA Online Online Activity online contracts Ontario Ontario Court of Appeal Ontario Divisional Court Ontario Family Law Act Ontario Superior Court of Justice OPA OPC OSFI issues outsourcing Owner Parliament passphrase password patent system patents Personal Health Information personal information Personal Information Protection Act personal injury Personal Measures personally identifiable information PHIPA PIPEDA Planning Policy Politics Porter Power Premier Kathleen Wynne preponderance of the evidence privacy Privacy Commission Privacy Compliance Privacy Policy privacy protection privacy rights private copying private equity procurement productivity Profiling Profit Proper Execution proxy battle public infrastructure Public Utilities Commission Ratemaking Real Estate Real Property Association of Canada Reference re Broadcasting Act renewable energy Renewable Energy Approvals renewable power requisition RIAA Rob Ford Rogers Secure Air Travel Act Securities security Security of Canada Information Sharing Act Security Registration Errors selling your soul share consolidation shareholder activism shareholder democracy Shareholder rights plan Shares Sick Kids Simplified Procedure social networking software patent Solar Sound Sound Marks Spam sparks Sport Sportsnet St. Michael Trust Corp St. Michael Trust Corp. Startups State Farm steganography Strengths Success Successful Franchise Systems Supply Chain Guideline Supreme Court Act Supreme Court of Canada Sydney, Australia Tax Tax Court of Canada Tax Credit Tax News Flash Taxpayer Technological Protection Measures technology Telecommunications TELUS Corporation The Financial Stability Board The Hospital for Sick Kids The Queen the U.S. dollar Toronto tort TPM TPP Agreement Trademark Trade-marks Act Tranmer, J. transit transmission project Trans-Pacific Partnership Trusts TSN TSX Venture Exchange TSXV Typosquatting United States UrbanGrowth NSW Annual Conference Usage Velcro Canada Inc. venture capital Violence Weakness Webcrawling Website writ of certiorari Writing XML YouTube
Entries By Date
User Settings
Login to select personalized notifications for this blog

Register | Forgot your password?