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Navigating the minefield of net neutrality at the NCC

“We’re not going to clear out the field. We’re going to clear the land mines out of the field so people can play in it safely,” says New Canada Conference delegate Sivansh Padhy.

Day two of the New Canada Conference shifted focus from general discussion to theme-specific solutions. A major point of contention amongst our technology and media working group was addressing the divide between Internet regulation and openness.

The above quote from Padhy illustrates the thinking required to combat the many contradictions present as we formulate a plan for Canada’s next fifty years in the technological sphere.

 One hundred young Canadians have gathered in Charlottetown, PEI to re-imagine Canada's future.

One hundred young Canadians have gathered in Charlottetown, PEI to re-imagine Canada's future.

Net neutrality has been a popular topic in the news lately, and although we were in favour of a free and open Internet, concerns about policing – international cybercrime, personal security – were fresh on everyone’s minds, as well.

It’s food for thought, yet it was evident that most of these relationships were symbiotic, rather than contradictory. Making Canada a world leader in the tech industry, for example, worked alongside our goals of creating accessibility and technological literacy, which bled into discussions about creating a more media-savvy Canada, which directly influenced our conversations about journalistic standards and practices.

Halfway through the day, two of my colleagues – Michael and Erine – presented our work to the group at large, and their extensive feedback only amplified what we already knew: this is a heck of a lot of ground to cover in three days.

 Michael and Erine present the group's work to fellow delegates.

Michael and Erine present the group's work to fellow delegates.

Tomorrow, one way or another, we’ll concentrate all of these ideas, all of these dualities into what we all hope will be an all-encompassing idea book and a five-minute presentation.

It’s a massive task, and sometimes it’s difficult to see how it could be done. Thoughts like Sivansh’s, though, give us all confidence. We’re bright, energetic, and already thinking not only about big issues, but how to boil them down to simply, manageable, and actionable ideas.

Another duality. Par for the course.

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