CFLA-FCAB Applauds Federal Government’s Response to “Protection of Net Neutrality in Canada” Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GATINEAU, July 4, 2018 – The Canadian Federation of Library Associations/Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques (CFLA-FCAB) applauds the federal government’s response to the “Protection of Net Neutrality in Canada” report from the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics.

The report, and the government’s support, emphasized the need to ensure the continuation of net neutrality in Canada.

“Net Neutrality is a vital underpinning of the universal access to information and knowledge that our organization strives for,” said Alix-Rae Stefanko, Chair of CFLA-FCAB. “In our digital world, net neutrality is a crucial principle of equity.”

The government’s response highlighted its commitment to support principles of net neutrality in telecommunications services, particularly through the Telecommunications Act. The government has also supported motion M-168, which indicated the need to uphold standards of net neutrality that are globally recognized.

CFLA-FCAB is also pleased to see the government is committed to ensure that international regimes will not inhibit Canada’s position on net neutrality noting “The Government of Canada is mindful of the concerns of Canadian enterprises and citizens over the recent changes in the United States (US) to its net neutrality regime and will seek to address with the US any situation whereby a Canadian enterprise is negatively affected by the traffic management practices of a US ISP.“1

A comprehensive framework for net neutrality should be implemented that reflects the government’s support. As governments, businesses, civil society groups and private citizens move more data and activities to web-based platforms and more products and services go online, action is needed to ensure the governments support translates into legislative and regulatory reality.

“Committee members and the government understand that Net Neutrality will limit the tendency toward monopolistic behaviour by service providers and other web-based

1See https://www.ourcommons.ca/content/Committee/421/ETHI/GovResponse/RP9998948/ 421_ETHI_Rpt14_GR/421_ETHI_Rpt14_GR-e.pdf, last accessed June 29, 2018.
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companies,” added Stefanko. “We need to preserve an online ecosystem that creates opportunity for learning, innovation, and dialogue for all Canadians as our society becomes increasingly integrated and the internet becomes ubiquitous in our daily lives,” she added.

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations/Fédération Canadienne des associations de bibliothèques (CFLA-FCAB) is the national voice of Canada’s library associations. Our purpose is to advance library excellence in Canada, champion library values and the value of libraries and influence national and international public policy impacting libraries and their communities. -30- For more information please contact:

Katherine McColgan Executive Director 613.867.7789 [email protected]