Last week, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced that the federal government has committed $9 million dollars to a new project to increase digital communication access for citizens under oppressive governments. Launched by the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, the Digital Public Square Project will be headed by former Munk School Director Janice Stein.
“Canada believes that by harnessing new digital technologies to support freedom and democracy we can help give a voice to the voiceless,” Baird told U of T News. “Through the Digital Public Square project, the Munk School of Global Affairs will create open digital spaces to enable citizens to hold their governments to account in defending freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”
Professor Stein indicated that the Digital Public Square Project will build on past Munk School initiatives, such as the Global Dialogue on the Future of Iran, which built tools and platforms used by 4.5 million Iranians. For the Digital Public Square project, Stein also stated that the Munk School will work with Canadian and international private sector partners.