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Opinion

Smart planning for smart cities

By Teresa Scassa      

Even on this smaller scale, we need to be asking hard questions about privacy, data ownership and data sovereignty. There needs to be a plan, and it should be a plan built around the public interest rather than private profit.

Building a ‘smart city’ sounds like a good idea, but what lies behind a city’s IQ? Smart cities involve innumerable sensors of all kinds, gathering data in real-time throughout the city. The Hill Times file photograph

Building a ‘smart city’ sounds like a good idea, but what lies behind a city’s IQ? Smart cities involve innumerable sensors of all kinds, gathering data in real-time throughout the city. Together, these sensors harvest data about every aspect of urban life, including temperature, air quality, traffic flows, and infrastructure issues. Some of the most valuable smart city data is about how individuals live, move, and interact within the city. Data about individuals is captured by security and traffic cameras, by transit cards, by sensors measuring their consumption or use of utilities and resources, and increasingly by sensors carried by individuals themselves in the form of mobile phones and apps.

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Budget 2020, election promises in question amid COVID-19 global pandemic crisis, say McKay, Delacourt

‘It is going to blow a hole in the government’s legislative agenda,’ says Liberal MP John McKay.

COVID-19 can’t end parliamentary scrutiny, say experts

News|By Neil Moss
'There is no incompatibility between an effective and efficient government and legislative scrutiny,' says Carleton University professor Philippe Lagassé.

Guilbeault announces support for media; Winnipeg Free Press publisher blasts feds, saying ‘no new support’ forthcoming

News|By Mike Lapointe
Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said he has spoken with representatives from media groups and trade unions representing journalists, and the government is doing 'everything we can to help them make it through this cr

Government should be careful in using cellphone data to track COVID-19, advocates say

‘In normal times, most Canadians would respond to the collection and use of sensitive health and location information with a hard no. But these are not normal times,’ says professor Michael Geist.

Senate leaders point fingers as deal to oversee government COVID-19 spending falls apart

The Senate’s inability to supervise the government’s unprecedented crisis spending is an ‘institutional failing,’ says the leader of the Upper Chamber's largest group.

Federal lobbyists registry sees crop of new COVID-19 filings, as groups grapple with pandemic

At least 35 organizations are either lobbying federal officials about their needs or looking to assist the government in its response to the escalating coronavirus crisis.

‘More of a social work role’: MPs on balancing constituency work with emotions of electorate during COVID-19

'The level of correspondence has been hard to describe,' says rookie Green MP Jenica Atwin. 'People are really worried. They're really stressed out.'

Canada’s chief public health officers take centre stage amid COVID-19 crisis

News|By Tessie Sanci
Federal officers such as Dr. Theresa Tam and Dr. Howard Njoo, and provincial chief doctors, are involved in daily live press conferences to update Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ottawa should trigger Emergencies Act amid COVID-19 crisis, says retired general and former Liberal Andrew Leslie

The Emergencies Act was carefully crafted and revised in the 1980s so that governments wouldn't have to 'reinvent the wheel' when crisis struck, said the former Liberal whip and army commander.
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