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Canada’s net neutrality failure

This Magazine Staff

Last month I posted about the net neutrality fight in the U.S., and noted in an update that Canadians couldn’t sign the petition set up by the Save The Internet campaign urging the U.S. Congress to legislate against a two-tiered Internet.

Since then The Tyee has picked up on this blind spot north of the border, writing recently that the fight is just as relevant in Canada, and that we may actually be in worse shape because the growing Internet inequalities are going largely unnoticed:

Just like in the States, net neutrality in Canada hovers in a state of legal limbo; the threadbare language of the Telecommunications Act means that two-tier Internet is more than a distant possibility; it’s already here.

“I think it’s already happening now but for the most part people don’t recognize it,” says [professor Michael] Geist, who is based at the University of Ottawa.

But they did not, strangely, pick up on our John Degen’s Deadwood analogy.

While I can appreciate that this fight wouldn’t be nearly as big without the self-interested businesses on the ‘support net neutrality’ side, for independent web publishers and new media users concerned about a diversity of voices, this may be the best opportunity to make a case to regulators while their attention is caught by big players.

From what The Tyee reports it appears Industry Minister Maxime Bernier is so far only responsive to big telecommunications companies, but at you can sign a petition (scroll all the way down) and get a button for your website to show you support a free and equal internet for all.

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