Archived from October 2023. Stay tuned for future events!

CIGF 2023: The Future We Want

Wednesday, October 4th, 2023

Computer Research Institute of Montreal 

8:00 A.M.: Registration begins

8:15 – 9:00 A.M.: Continental breakfast 

Location: Bistro

9:00 A.M.: Welcome to Canadian IGF 2023 by Canadian IGF Secretariat Georgia Evans 

Location: Plenary room

9:05 – 9:35 A.M.: Keynote 1: ICANN Board Chair Tripti Sinha  

Location: Plenary room

9:40 – 10:50 A.M.: Breakout Sessions  

Breakout Session 1: Canadians communications policy and internet governance

Location: Breakout room

Earlier this year, the Government of Canada issued a new telecommunications policy direction to the CRTC, with a focus on improving competition, supporting consumers, and lowering prices. The Government also issued a draft broadcasting policy direction to the CRTC, in pursuit of a “sustainable and equitable broadcasting framework.” These cabinet directives arrive on top of controversial legislation imposing new requirements on internet companies and streaming services, and ahead of anticipated ‘online harms’ legislation. Our panel of leading policy analysts and regulatory advocates examines what the evolving communications policy landscape means for Canadian internet users, and for Canadian leadership on internet governance.


Monica Song, Partner, Dentons, Moderator

Sue Gardner

Monique Simard

Keldon Bester, Executive Director, Canadian Anti-Monopoly Project 

Breakout Session 2: The 2025 Canadian presidency of the G7: What should the digital policy priorities be? 

Location: Plenary room

Canada will have a prime opportunity to help shape global thinking on digital policy when it hosts the G7 in 2025. In a context of rising geopolitical tensions and converging crises, G7 coordination and leadership on global issues is critical, from climate change and economic resilience to the response to Russia’s illegal war of aggression in Ukraine. When Canada hosted the G7 in 2018, we laid the groundwork for the creation of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence, an important multistakeholder initiative bridging the gap between theory and practice on responsible AI. Canada is well positioned to advance global digital policy, as a global champion of digital inclusion, notably chairing the Freedom Online Coalition in 2022 and launching the Ottawa Agenda for Freedom Online, and through its work on responsible use of AI. As the Government of Canada starts planning for 2025, this session represents an opportunity to exchange with policymakers and other experts and make your voice heard on what Canada should prioritize on digital policy during its G7 presidency.


Cindy Temorshuizen, Personal Representative of the Prime Minister for the G7, Global Affairs Canada, Introduction

Paul Samson, President, CIGI, Moderator

Brenda McPhail, Executive Director, MPP in Digital Policy, McMaster University

Philip Dawson, Head of Policy, Armilla AI

Kyle Matthews, Executive Director, Montreal Institute for Genocide Studies

10:50 – 11:05 A.M.: COFFEE BREAK

11:05 – 11:35 A.M.: Keynote 2: CIRA Chief Technology and Security Officer Jacques Latour

Location: Plenary room

In 2022, the Rogers’ outage that highlighted the massive dependency on internet-enabled technologies in Canada, and the devastating Hurricane Fiona inspired a new Telecommunications Reliability Agenda from the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. As well, the Canadian Forum for Digital Infrastructure Resilience (CFDIR), a public-private forum created recommendations to Minister Champagne about how to improve cyber resilience in Canada and guidelines for evaluating internet resilience for end users, businesses and internet service providers. CIRA Chief Technology and Security Officer and Co-Chair of both CFDIR report processes, Jacques Latour, will discuss internet resilience in Canada – from where we are to where we need to go, to make sure that Canadians stay online when they need the internet most.

11:35 – 12:35 P.M.: Panel 1: The pros and cons of regulating AI

Location: Plenary room

Interest in the usage of tools and systems utilizing Artificial Intelligence is increasing at a very rapid pace. Globally, governments are racing to develop regulations that provide guidance for the safe and responsible development and use of AI – particularly Generative AI – tools and systems. The publication of the EU AI Act has accelerated governments around the world to respond with their own approaches to AI governance. The response illustrates the range of choices to be made, with many governments’ strategies acknowledging the complexity of regulating a fast-moving general-purpose technology in their approach. The US and UK are pursuing vertical regulation, while Canada and China are pursuing horizontal approaches. This expert panel will explore and debate the pros and cons of the different approaches for AI governance and regulation.


Meaghan Wester, Milieux Institute, Moderator

Fenwick McKelvey, Co-Director Applied AI Institute, Concordia University 

Marc-Etienne Ouimette, Global Lead, AI Policy, AWS

Beth Coleman, Associate Professor, Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology, University of Toronto

Parteek Sibal, Programme Specialist, Digital Transformation, UNESCO [Virtual]

12:35 – 1:35 P.M.: Lunch 

1:40 – 2:40 P.M.: Panel 2: Data governance for a trusted global internet

Location: Plenary room

This panel will focus on the crucial topic of data governance and trust. The high-level findings of this session will be presented at the National Regional Initiative Main Session at the global Internet Governance Forum in Kyoto, Japan. This session will discuss the relationship between data governance and trust; how international data governance mechanisms and frameworks can be reconciled with local needs; the decolonization of data in Canada; and ethical considerations for data governance as AI continues to become an omni-present force.


Charles Morgan, Partner, McCarthy Tetrault, Moderator 

Sonia Carreno, President, Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada

Cristiano Therrien, Sr. Project Coordinator, Open North

Michael Lenczner, Chief Executive Officer, Ajah 


2:55 – 4:05 P.M.: Breakout Sessions 

Breakout Session 3: The ethics of AI: Hype versus reality

Location: Plenary room

2023 is the year of generative artificial intelligence (AI). With its rapid rise in sophistication, the current and future consequences of generative AI are and will be incredibly significant. While the ethical implications of AI are not new – the stakes of figuring out these near-existential questions have never been more important. On the input side, there are questions about how the data used to train AI and machine learning are with or without bias, and what level of human oversight needs to be embedded into the use of AI. On the output side, it is largely unknown what the future of work will look like. How can AI add value? Where will AI replace humans? As generative AI swept over the population, many tech giants called for the immediate cessation of its use. So – what’s AI hype? What are real, existential threats? How can we mitigate harms and take advantage of a very consequential general purpose technology?


Anna Jahn, Director of Public Policy and Learning, AI for Humanity, MILA, moderator 

Jonathan Durand Folco, Associate Professor, St. Paul University

Connor Wright, Partnerships Manager, Montreal AI Ethics Institute [Virtual participant]

Ellie Evans, Data and Evaluation Product Manager, Cohere AI

Zorina Alliata, Principal AI Strategist, Amazon [Virtual participant] 

Breakout Session 4: Towards WSIS +20: internet governance in 2025 and beyond 

Location: Breakout room

In 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) recognized the importance of multistakeholderism in internet governance and the respective roles played by governments, the private sector, civil society, intergovernmental and international organizations. The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is one of the major outcomes of WSIS. The IGF and its extension will be a critical aspect of the WSIS +20 review process, which will inevitably be informed by the proposed Global Digital Compact. Since WSIS, the world has changed – so too have the political, social and economic dynamics with it. As we head towards WSIS +20, this breakout session will invite folks to discuss what the future of global internet governance looks like. What should the Canadian priorities be and how can Canadian stakeholders engage in the process effectively?


Robert Guerra, Founder, Privaterra, Moderator

Michel Lambert, General Manager, eQualitie

Sabrina Wilkinson, Policy Program Manager, CIRA  

Paul Andersen, President, CNOC

Evan Leibovitch, Executive Director, Agridiscovery Foundation

4:10 – 4:40 P.M.: Fireside chat

Location: Plenary room


Maurice Turner, Technical Policy Lead, TikTok

Natalie Campbell, Sr. Director, North American Government and Regulatory Affairs, Internet Society

4:40 P.M.: Closing and thanks

Location: Plenary room

4:45 – 6:45 P.M.: Cocktail Hour  

Location: Bistro