Last week a gathering of Canada’s digital media leaders took place in the small city of Stratford, Ontario. The Canada 3.0 conference was designed to engage industry leaders, government officials, and academia in a discussion that would identify national priorities and a national strategy for the future development of the country’s digital media industry.
The welcoming remarks were delivered by David Johnston, President of the University of Waterloo and Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) which lead into a speech by Tony Clement, Minister of Industry. The introduction and following speech stressed the benefits of fostering a strong digital media industry in Canada and the economic rewards it would bring. They also encouraged conference attendees to recognize that academia, industry and government must work together to create a unified strategy in developing its digital future.
Mr. Clement also acknowledged the need for the Canadian government to embrace new media technologies and make more of their content and services easily accessible to all Canadians. Government projects mentioned included: the expansion of broadband access to all Canadians, improvements to government websites, investment in small to medium sized business and programs like the Digital Media Corridor in the Stratford and Kitchener-Waterloo area.
Other topics included a mention of the government’s responsibility to tax and regulate online economic activities as well as the need for a fairer more effective copyright protection for online content. While this will ultimately bring an end to the wild west spirit of the web it may also bring greater economic rewards for those producing digital content.