Do Canada’s digital legal guidelines want tightening for an always-online future?

Canada is one of the most modern countries around and is known as being a pioneer in fields like science and tech. Despite this, it is not always a place that leads the pack when it comes to digital laws. In fact, Canada can often lag behind its neighbors in North America and countries from Europe, such as the UK, when it comes to comprehensive digital legislation for its citizens.

To be fair to Canada, it is not usually a case of legislation for digital activities not existing at all. The recently passed Digital Charter in 2020 shows the Canadian Government is taking steps in this area, as does the recently announced Bill C-11 to help protect Canadian’s privacy online.

There are some good examples though where the lax nature of current laws for digital activities does cause issues. If digital laws could simply be tightened up in key areas, the country would be in a much better position moving ahead. This would not only put it on a level footing with other countries but also set it up for an always-online future in the 2020s.

Online casino sector a prime example

You only have to compare the laws around online casino gaming in Canada against other countries to get a sense of this. New Zealand for example has recently regulated its iGaming sector and this has led to top platforms, including, being available to a game at legally in the country now. This was mainly done via a Gaming Act in 2003 and an update to tighten regulations in 2015. Although NZ players still have to game at offshore sites, this tightening up of regulations has helped provide greater clarity to the sector there overall.

Many people in Canada feel that an updating and tightening of digital laws for casino gaming online in their country would also be useful. At present, it seems something of a gray area for many still and this can discourage them from playing. If Canadian lawmakers were to follow the example of countries like New Zealand, this could set out clearly what is permitted and allow people in Canada to feel more comfortable with having fun in this way.

Of course, if the Canadian Government were to open its borders to allow non-state sanctioned online casinos sites to operate there, the tax revenues and jobs this could bring would allow the country to expand moving through the 2020s.

What other online-focused laws could help Canada thrive in 2020?

More and more of us live online in the modern world and people in Canada are no exception. But what other digital laws could be tightened up to help the country move forward in the coming years?

One that many would point to is increased regulation of online social media platforms. While these are great fun to use, they can be places where the complex problem of misinformation rears its head or trolls can roam all too freely. This is actually an issue the country has been grappling with for a while but didn’t make concrete steps to address until late 2020.

This period led to Bill C-10 being brought in to modernize the standards around content regulation in Canada and Bill C-36 being introduced to address the strengthening of Canadian hate speech legislation on social media platforms. Both bills have yet to make it into law and this shows that Canada is lagging behind countries like the UK when it comes to regulating social media sites. This is something which is very important for the country’s future though, as it will make it a happier, more inclusive place to be online.

Digital laws in Canada are crucial

There is no doubt that online is where lots of us spend a great deal of time now and where we like to engage in multiple activities. Due to this, it is key for countries to have clear, strong and fair laws around digital activities. Canada has certainly started to take steps towards this, as the recent decision to allow single-game sports bets shows online, but it is fair to say it could do more to tidy up current digital laws which might be a little loose. If this can be done to not only make a safer place to be online, but also open up more digital activities to Canadians, it will only benefit the country moving forward.

(Devdiscourse’s journalists were not involved in the production of this article. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)

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