Privacy commissioner wants to learn more about new tech

Two people who seem eager to understand AI and how it will impact their work: Peak Tech readers, and Privacy Commissioner Philippe Dufresne.

What happened: The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) released a new strategic plan, laying out its priorities for the next five years, and a key theme is improving the OPC’s understanding of emerging technologies like AI. The intention is to not only help the OPC better respond to the concerns of Canadians, but also provide better guidance to ensure privacy is considered as tech is developed — a framework known as privacy by design.

Feds list over 100 foreign institutions deemed security risks for tech research

Canadian researchers in some of the most innovative fields are going to face greater government scrutiny over who they work with.

What happened: The federal government released a list of over 100 schools and research organizations from China, Russia, and Iran that it says pose a risk to national security. It also defined 11 “sensitive” research areas representing leading-edge and disruptive technologies that may also interest those “seeking to misappropriate Canada’s technological advantages.”

Chinese mining investments face pressure

A little over a year after Canada’s big “crackdown” on Chinese investment in mining, companies are still lining up to pour money into the sector. 

What happened: Chinese mining giant, Zijin, plans to invest $130 million for a 15% stake in Vancouver-based critical minerals company Solaris Resources, the latest in a string of proposed investments by China-based firms into Canada’s critical minerals industry. 

SpaceX and Xplore are competing for Ontario’s rural internet customers

The new space race is turning into a David versus Goliath battle in Ontario.

What happened: The Government of Ontario issued a request for proposals for a company to provide high-speed internet to rural areas using satellites. Two companies were pre-qualified to submit: SpaceX and New Brunswick-based rural internet provider Xplore.

Everybody wants a piece of the Arctic seafloor

Like a pair of bickering roommates, Canada and the U.S. are arguing over shelf space… continental shelf space, that is.

Driving the news: The U.S. filed claims to a portion of the Arctic seafloor that Canada has also laid claim to. The two countries have agreed to work together to settle the dispute by following the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea — a process that will take several years. 

The public sector swells

What do Canada’s public sector and Inter Miami’s fan base have in common? 

Both got much bigger in 2023. 

Canadian innovation funding hits another snag

Canada is a land of innovation. Look no further than the pizza dip roller or ketchup chips! Unfortunately, innovation funding continues to be a serious challenge.  

What happened: The Canada Innovation Corp. (CIC) — a new innovation funding body that was supposed to launch this year and receive $2.6 billion over four years to invest in businesses looking to innovate — will now be delayed by as much as three years.

How to sell a province with Vic Fideli

Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade, Vic Fedeli sits down with us to chat industrial policy, EV battery plants, and how to attract business development. 

EU sets landmark rules for AI

The EU is once again leading the charge on regulating tech, this time with a new set of rules for AI businesses. 

What happened: The European Union has reached a deal to establish the world’s most comprehensive AI legislation to date, including strict regulations for AI model developers and restrictions on the use of AI in biometric surveillance. 

Government agencies play iSpy

Not to alarm you, but for some reason, the federal agency managing our seafood has the power to snoop at your phone. Allow us to explain. 

What happened: The Parliamentary Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics is launching an investigation into the government’s use of spyware technology that can extract sensitive personal data from smartphones, computers, and tablets.