Toronto, Ontario, Canada — April 15, 2013 — Internet end-users in Canada who are concerned with issues of Internet governance, rural accessibility and technical advancements now have a national organization to address their interests.

The Internet Society, a leading advocate for the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for everyone, announced today the establishment of the Canada Chapter.

"The Internet Society enthusiastically welcomes the Internet Society Canada Chapter as the newest member of our worldwide community of Chapters,” said Walda Roseman, Chief Operating Officer of the Internet Society. “Canada has played an important role from the early days of the Internet in supporting an Internet that is open, global, and accessible as well as in advancing the multi-stakeholder model that continues to make the Internet the robust and resilient transformative platform that it is.

“We are confident that the Canada Chapter will play an important role in advancing key issues related to the Internet in Canada, as well as contributing to global discussions that will influence the future of the Internet. We congratulate the many individuals and organizations involved in the formation of the Canada Chapter and look forward with them to a future of progress for the Internet," Roseman said.

The Internet Society Canada Chapter will provide a national voice on policy relevant issues and advocate for Canadian priorities at the international level. It will also begin to develop public policy, community and educational programs to help forge a strong national community on Internet governance. Membership is currently open and free by registering at: www.internetsociety.ca.

Key issues to be addressed by the Internet Society Canada Chapter include:

  • Net neutrality, which pertains to Internet transparency, freedom of expression and user choice
  • Technical standards
  • Accessibility to quality Internet in rural and remote areas of Canada
  • Internet service provider concentration
  • Cross-ownership of content providers by Internet carriers

The Canada Chapter of the global Internet organization will be led by Interim President Evan Leibovitch and Interim Vice President Glenn McKnight. The two co-founders unveiled the new chapter today at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, Ontario. The event was sponsored by The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), which is currently researching Internet governance through its Global Security program.

“The creation of the Internet Society Canada Chapter comes at an important time as international issues, such as the future of Internet freedom, governance and security, as well as Canadian issues, such as rural accessibility and provider concentration, becomes more central in national and global discussions,” Leibovitch said.

“As an independent voice, the Canada chapter is an integral part of national and regional Internet Society chapters around the world and will work to play a leading role at the policy level in Ottawa and internationally,” McKnight said. “The membership, made up of Canadian-based users who use the Internet to communicate, conduct business and engage with a global community, will shape the chapter’s priorities. We look forward to building and engaging with this community from coast to coast.”

The Internet Society is a global cause-driven organization that is dedicated to ensuring that the Internet remains open and transparent. Backed by more than 65,000 members and 92 Chapters around the world, as well as more than 145 organization members, the Internet Society works in the areas of technology, policy, development, and education to promote an open, accessible Internet for everyone. The Canada Chapter of the Internet Society is open to working with a range of partners that share mutual interests, including individuals and organizations from academia and policy making to local councils and the technology sector.

More information on the Internet Society Canada Chapter, including how to become a member, can be found at www.internetsociety.ca.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Evan Leibovitch, Co-founder and Interim President, Internet Society Canada Chapter
Tel: 416.418.0574, Email: [email protected]  

The Internet Society is the trusted independent source for Internet information and thought leadership from around the world. With its principled vision and substantial technological foundation, the Internet Society promotes open dialogue on Internet policy, technology, and future development among users, companies, governments, and other organizations. Working with its members and chapters around the world, the Internet Society enables the continued evolution and growth of the Internet for everyone. For more information, visit www.internetsociety.org.

Event Sponsor:

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, non-partisan think tank on international governance. Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI’s interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2001 by Jim Balsillie, then co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit www.cigionline.org.

Venue Sponsor:

MaRS Discovery District (www.marsdd.com) (@MaRSDD) is a mission-driven innovation centre located in Toronto. MaRS works with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify innovation. MaRS supports entrepreneurs building Canada’s next generation of growth companies.

The opinions expressed in this article/multimedia are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of CIGI or its Board of Directors.