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Explain conversations with Sidewalk Labs or ‘hit the pause button’ on smart city project, says NDP ethics critic to Trudeau government

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An opposition-party critic is calling on the Trudeau government to provide clarity about Google sister company Sidewalk Labs’ smart city development or to put the project on hold.

Charlie Angus, NDP ethics critic and Timmins–James Bay member of Parliament, sent a letter Tuesday to Infrastructure Minister François-Philippe Champagne, expressing concerns about Sidewalk Toronto. The project, which is a partnership between government agency Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs, has not been working in the public interest, according to Angus.

Since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was on-hand to announce the partnership in October 2017, the project has been “dogged by serious ethical, economic and technological concerns by Toronto residents as well as observers in Canada and around the world,” wrote Angus. He said it could “create a 21st century company town” by allowing Alphabet to “engage in anti-competitive practices favouring its own technologies and subsidiary investments.”

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