With some changes to legislation, Canada could become a leader in datacentre construction and operation, according to the Green Party of Canada. “We have top-calibre minds in Canada thinking about the opportunities in hosting facilities, but government needs to be responsive in creating the right atmosphere for these opportunities to become reality,” said Leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
An idea floated during the ongoing Industry, Science and Technology Committee meetings was the establishment of carbon-neutral server farms, with the added benefit of co-generated heat that could be used in communities. “Competition for hosting these facilities has already begun,” said May. “Our vastness and cold climate make Canada potentially attractive, but surveys show confusion about Canada’s legislative frameworks and applicable policies.”
Experts suggest that Canada needs strong privacy laws, including anti-spam regulations, tougher enforcement measures, and court oversight for mandatory personal information disclosure. Canada also needs to invest more heavily in research and development, including incentives to invest in equipment and technology. Another serious impediment: the talent pool of Canadian professionals in relevant fields is not keeping up with rapidly growing demand.
“Canada is the last among OECD countries for R&D spending. Our universities are struggling with lack of funds. Government programs should encourage more partnerships and provide more long-term, stable funding. Datacentres can be part of a strong economy for the future if it is nurtured and encouraged,” said May.