Madam Speaker, it is an honour to rise this evening to talk to Motion No. 168. I would like to thank the member for Oakville for bringing the motion forward. I would also like to thank the member for Beauce, who is our critic for innovation, science, and economic development, for supporting it.
Motion No. 168 is about net neutrality. It is about equal opportunity and equal access to information and the Internet.
Net neutrality is the notion that Internet service providers should treat all content that runs on their networks equally. That includes whatever the source or application is, in any direction the content is headed.
All content on the Internet should be available to consumers and it needs to be available at an equal cost and speed. These consumers include youth and people with disabilities. That is why equal access to information is so important.
I look to my own riding and to southwestern Ontario where we have seen an investment by the federal and provincial governments as well as the different wards throughout the region in the neighbourhood of $200 million to $300 million to ensure that high speed Internet access is provided. This investment mirrors what happens in many urban centres where we see infrastructure on smaller levels present for pre-WIFI and other opportunities to have free access or equal access to the Internet.
The reality is that much of the infrastructure that is brought forward and installed or implemented throughout Canada has some sort of source of government dollars. For this reason, the citizens of Canada are the ones who are actually investing in this infrastructure to begin with. We are the ones who are making it so that the Internet can be seen by so many across the country.
As the critic for youth sport and disability, I understand the positive impacts that net neutral brings for young Canadians and Canadians living with disabilities. The motion would help both groups overcome barriers they often had to deal with by allowing greater access and more equal access.
The motion calls on the House of Commons to recognize the importance of net neutrality as a main reason for the ongoing success of the Internet. Net Neutrality has the potential to significantly continue to benefit Canadians. It allows Canadians to access their content of choice without having unnecessary restrictions put in place by Internet service providers.
I will get into some specifics of the motion.
It is important for the House to recognize that the Internet has continued to thrive due to the principles put in place by net neutrality. These principles are transparency, freedom, and innovation. The motion is set to recognize Canada's strong net neutrality rules already in place. The rules are grounded in the Telecommunication Act and are enforced by the CRTC.
With an open Internet, there is a free flow of information for Canadians. The free flow of information is key for many aspects of a Canadian's life, and those are only becoming greater and greater year after year. They include freedom of expression, diversity, education, entrepreneurship, innovation, and democracy. These are the skills that youth can carry forward into their personal development, their business development, and their educational development. Access to more education online is vital to the development of our young people and vital to our ability to compete around the world. This is beneficial for the future economic and social prosperity of all Canadians.
We have no reason to limit the freedom of Canadians when it comes to access to the Internet. It would not make sense. The House must express its firm support for net neutrality and the continued preservation of open access to the Internet, of equal access to the Internet.
The House must continue to support the Internet free from unjust discrimination and interference so people can access the content of their choice at the rate they choose.
There is not just bipartisan but multi-partisan support for the motion. Un a sense, we have an obligation to see this motion pass. Members among all parties have supported and continue to support net neutrality. A Liberal member has written and moved this motion. Members from the NDP support Motion No. 168. Members from the Conservative Party support the motion. Net neutrality is one of the reasons for the continued success of the Internet, and it is getting support from all parties. It is up to us to ensure the next generation of Canadians has equal access to the information and opportunities that are found online.
We all have the opportunity to make a positive change in the lives of Canadians, especially youth and people living with disabilities, ensuring they have an equal opportunity to access all the information needed for the different matters they go through in their lives, and we have to do this collectively.
In order for this to happen, it is essential that we continue to support Motion No. 168 today and, quite frankly, in the future, at every opportunity reinforcing our support. All Canadians should have access to the content of their choice in accordance with the law. I feel this is something on which everyone in the House of Commons can probably agree.
Through our collective support, it also gives us an opportunity for net neutrality to expand in the future. It is important for net neutrality to be a guiding principle in both the Telecommunications Act and the Broadcasting Act. It should explore opportunities to further enshrine legislation and protect the equal opportunities that Canadians have. If this is to happen, the principles behind net neutrality must be included in new legislation. Principles of freedom must be enshrined.
We do not want to waste this opportunity. Our collective support would be for nothing and future generations, quite frankly, would be at risk. This is something simple that we can use to help our youth and certainly those living with disabilities.
Just a few weeks ago, we debated a motion regarding access to services for persons living with disabilities and having a single website. The motion was moved by the New Democratic Party to allow people at home to access a single website to find out what services would be available to them. This further falls in line with what we see with respect to net neutrality, ensuring that when they access that space, they are not overcharged because it is not perhaps something that falls in line with what the Internet service provider would want to put at a high speed or a low rate.
There is no reason for us to limit the freedom of Canadians to access information. As young people go through the education system, they need to be able to access information around the world to ensure they are competitive in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education. It is becoming more and more critical that this net neutrality be maintained. That is why we are calling on the government to continue working on this important issue. I, along with many others, will keep a close eye on the government's next steps.
I would like to thank all members of the House for listening to my speech. It is an important topic that will influence the lives of many Canadians. Youth will have more access to education. People with disabilities will have a greater quality of life and easier access to government programs. We can make a positive change for people in our constituencies and around the country. Net neutrality is a way to give Canadians more freedom and more information to make better decisions.
With better access to the Internet, Canadians are able to educate themselves more, innovate more, and freely express themselves in the means they choose. I thank everyone for listening to the importance of net neutrality today. I look forward to working with members to better the lives of Canadian citizens and maintaining equality in access to information.