Canada announces expert advisory group on online safety

Canadian Heritage

With Canadians spending more time on social media to connect and share information, it has become easier for us to be exposed to harmful content online. While online platforms play a central role in the lives of Canadians, bringing many benefits to society, they can also be used as tools to cause real and significant harm to individuals, communities and our country. The Government of Canada is committed to a digital society that creates safe and respectful spaces online and protects Canadians’ freedom of expression.

Today, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pablo Rodriguez, and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, David Lametti, announced a new expert advisory group on online safety as the next step in developing legislation to address harmful online content.

The expert advisory group will be mandated to provide advice on a legislative and regulatory framework that best addresses harmful content online. The group is composed of diverse experts and specialists from across Canada who will contribute their knowledge and experience from a variety of fields:

  • Amarnath Amarasingam, Assistant Professor, School of Religion, Queen’s University
  • Bernie Farber, Chair, Canada Anti-Hate Network
  • Chanae Parsons, Community Activist and Youth Engagement Specialist
  • David Morin, Full Professor, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Université de Sherbrooke
  • Emily Laidlaw, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Calgary
  • Ghayda Hassan, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Heidi Tworek, Associate Professor, School of Public Policy and Global Affairs and History, University of British Columbia
  • Lianna McDonald, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Child Protection
  • Pierre Trudel, Professor, Faculty of Law, Université de Montréal
  • Signa A. Daum Shanks, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
  • Taylor Owen, Beaverbrook Chair, Media, Ethics and Communications
  • Vivek Krishnamurthy, Samuelson-Glushko Professor of Law, University of Ottawa

The expert advisory group will hold nine workshops to discuss various components of a legislative and regulatory framework for online safety. They will also take part in additional stakeholder engagement, including with digital platforms. The work of the expert advisory group will be open and transparent. The group’s mandate, the supporting materials for each session, and non-attributed summaries of all sessions and discussions will be published. All Canadians can follow the progress of these discussions on this important issue that affects us all.

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