Prime Minister Trudeau concludes a successful visit to France
Hello everyone. First, I would like to thank President Macron for such a warm welcome here in France. As always, it’s wonderful to be back in Paris. The special relationship that unites Canada and France is rooted in our shared history and shared values. The French are not only our partners, but also our long-standing friends. And it was in this spirit of friendship that our visit unfolded. Every time I come to France or that I welcome President Macron to Canada, we make important progress, whether it is with a view to creating economic growth to benefit the middle class or working together in the area of artificial intelligence. We are just about to conclude another productive visit, in which we have strengthened the close ties that bind our two countries and have worked with other leaders on the most urgent of issues.
Over the past two days I’ve been here in Paris to talk about one of the biggest opportunities and challenges facing our globe, the evolving digital world. This is an exciting time with technological advances opening up incredible new possibilities. Just look at the work of Canadians that has redefined our lives, whether with life-saving medicine or by helping entrepreneurs thrive and build jobs for the middle class. But as with any change that happens quickly, there are risks too. New technologies being used to spread hate and broadcast violence. Online platforms are being co-opted to undermine democracy and circulate disinformation. Understandably, people are losing trust in digital institutions. They’re concerned about what new technology means, not just for elections or for privacy, but for their jobs and for safety. The horrific attack in Christchurch, an attack that was streamed live online, showed us that we cannot wait to take action. This is the moment to talk policy. This is the moment to do something.
Yesterday Canada signed on to the Christchurch Call to Action alongside like-minded leaders, like President Macron and Prime Minister Ardern. The global community must adopt a coordinated approach to eliminate online terrorist and extremist content. Clearly, platforms are responsible for ensuring that their technologies are not used to spread hate speech or broadcast acts of violence.
But as the government, we must do our part, specifically by enforcing the law if businesses refuse to take action. The call to action is an important and fundamental step in ensuring online security for everyone, but we must also develop solutions at home nationally. We must implement a global strategy to regulate the digital sphere. The reality is that the internet and new digital technologies have an impact on every aspect of our lives. But since the digital world is not regulated, people are in a vulnerable position.
Faced with troubling trends online, governments must take action. After all, we cannot simply count on businesses to protect the public’s interest; that is why our government has stepped up investigations into hate and extremist groups. We will continue to introduce new measures to prevent foreign interference in our election process.
At the VivaTech conference this morning I announced that in the coming weeks we will be launching Canada’s new digital charter. The digital world must be safe, transparent, accountable and private. We have to fight back against online hate, disinformation and election interference. Canadians deserve no less. By restoring trust in the digital world, we can focus on the incredible benefits that technology has to offer, whether that’s barrier-free business or better banking. The world may be changing, but with the right tools and the right leadership, we can make sure that it changes for the better.