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Archived - Canada Welcomes Global Commission on Internet Governance and Chair Carl Bildt

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November 24, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today welcomed members of the Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG) and Carl Bildt, former Swedish prime minister and foreign minister and current GCIG chair, to Ottawa.

“The Global Commission on Internet Governance comes at a critical time,” said Baird. “The Internet has always been a game changer, with email, the World Wide Web and now, social media. It is also a powerful tool that enriches and empowers the lives of individuals, creates space for open dialogue and gives voice to the voiceless.”

The Government of Canada is hosting the GCIG meeting, at which a panel of 29 global leaders on Internet issues will help articulate and advance a strategic vision for the future of the Internet.

“Canada is proud to host the Global Commission in Ottawa,” said Baird. “The work of these leaders is essential to ensuring that the Internet remains innovative, free, open and secure for all users.”

A backgrounder follows.

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Backgrounder - Global Commission on Internet Governance

The Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG) is a Centre for International Governance Innovation-Chatham House initiative to develop and advance a strategic vision for the future of the Internet. Chaired by Carl Bildt, the GCIG is composed of 29 international members with a mandate to help educate the public on the most effective ways to promote Internet access, while simultaneously championing the principles of freedom of expression and the free flow of ideas over the Internet.

“The Internet is a dynamic, evolving and diverse ecosystem. It has emerged as a powerful vehicle for free expression, and the Government of Canada’s support of the open Internet is a valuable step in preserving its security, stability and openness.”

- Sam Sebastian, Managing Director, Google Canada

“Facebook Canada supports the Government of Canada’s commitment to a free, open and secure Internet. Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected, and we appreciate the strong leadership of the Canadian government.”

- Kevin Chan, Head of Public Policy, Facebook Canada

“Canada’s Digital Policy Forum welcomes the Government of Canada’s leadership in protecting a free and open Internet. Public policy such as this is critical to resisting censorship and preventing disruptions to the fair provision of service. In many ways, the Internet is just beginning. It unleashes Canadian creativity and promises further fluid access to knowledge and to each other.”

- Jeremy Depow, Executive Director, Canada’s Digital Policy Forum

“At Intuit, we rely upon a free and open Internet to simplify the business of life for the taxpayers and small businesses we serve. Canada’s continued commitment and leadership on the world stage is critical to this outcome.”

- John Midgley, Head of Public Policy, Intuit Canada

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