Michael Geist holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law.
Here are his suggestions to Tony Clement, Treasury Board President, Government of Canada (published on Sunday, May 29 2011, at The Star).
With the new Parliamentary session set to kick off later this week, new cabinet members are busy brushing up on the myriad of issues they will face in the coming months. The appointment to cabinet comes with a private mandate letter from the Prime Minister that sets out his expectations and policy goals. If Canadians focused on digital policies were given the chance to draft their own mandate letters, they might say the following:
Tony Clement, Treasury Board President: While you are leaving behind much of your digital economy work, your new responsibilities include the open government initiative. Over the next four years, we should work to make as much government data openly and freely available as possible. We should re-examine the licenses associated with the data to ensure that Canadians are free to use the information in whatever manner they see fit. Moreover, we should at long last remove crown copyright restrictions over government documents and maximize the benefits of our public research funding by requiring researchers to make their work available under open access.(read more, suggestions to Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry; James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage; Robert Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety; Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade)