Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to the virtues of net neutrality.
In an exchange with Motherboard, Trudeau said that he’s “very concerned about the attacks on net neutrality,” on the same day that U.S. Federal Communication Commission’s head Ajit Pai unveiled his agency’s plan to rollback America’s existing net neutrality protections.
“Net neutrality is something that is essential for small businesses, for consumers, and it is essential to keep the freedom associated with the internet alive,” said Trudeau, in an interview with Motherboard.
While Trudeau didn’t reveal any specific plans to issue a Canadian response to Pai’s plans, Trudeau emphasized that the federal government would continue to defend Canadians’ ability to freely access the internet.
“We need to continue to defend net neutrality,” said Trudeau. “And I will.”
Motherboard reported that Trudeau also didn’t comment on whether or not he would personally speak with U.S. President Donald Trump about the subject of net neutrality.
“We are just absorbing the position the president has taken and looking at the impact it’s going to have in the United States and in Canada,” said Trudeau, in the same Motherboard exchange.
Trudeau’s comments came on the same day that innovation minister Navdeep Bains tweeted his continued support for net neutrality protections in Canada.
— Navdeep Bains (@NavdeepSBains) November 22, 2017
Critics of Pai’s anti-net neutrality position argue that eliminating net neutrality protections places more power in the hands of telecom service providers, closing off the internet to those who can’t afford to access it.
Advocates of Pai’s position argue that net neutrality protections stifle innovation while ultimately preventing smaller service providers from providing services.