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Frank Clegg, a director at Indigo and former president of Microsoft Canada, and researchers at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Trent University co-authored a submission claiming that limiting residents’ exposure to radiation from wireless networks “will enhance human and environmental health.” The council voted not to consider their recommendations, which included public education on “safer” alternatives, calling on the regional health authority to monitor the radiation and requiring public consultation before installing new antennae. It did invite Health Canada officials to testify on the effects of wireless networks. (Niagara Falls Review)

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Talking point: Clegg has led other unsuccessful campaigns to convince policymakers to limit the use of wireless technology in Ontario. In 2013, his non-profit Citizens for Safe Technology called for the Mississauga municipal government to restrict cell towers, and organized Peel parents to push the local school board for a ban on classroom Wi-Fi. Many of the concerns around 5G and radiation have been traced back to a single debunked study. As Canada’s major telecommunications firms build out their infrastructure for 5G, however, at least one federal party has expressed concern. The Greens are promising to set up a parliamentary committee to look at the “implications of introducing 5G technology” and to recommend “how and if Canada should proceed.”

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Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Montreal to demand action on climate change—one of the largest of about 250 such strikes planned across Canada. Companies including Indigo, Lush Cosmetics and Mountain Equipment Co-op encouraged their employees to join Friday’s marches. The Quebec government announced an $80-million fund for cleantech in response. The federal Liberals said if re-elected they would plant two billion trees. (CTV News, La Presse, CBC)

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Talking point: As protests over climate change increase in both frequency and intensity, governments and businesses are announcing initiatives at a quickening pace. Last week, Toronto Mayor John Tory said the city should declare a “climate emergency.” On Monday, Quebec’s largest pension fund, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, promised to become carbon neutral by 2050. The unanimity of Friday’s marches—the leaders of the NDP, Greens and Liberals all marched today, as well as several Conservative MPs—masks growing and increasingly intense political conflicts over how to deal with the problem, and how urgently. A court challenge to the federal government’s carbon tax plan is ongoing. And at a pre-march meeting in Montreal, the preeminent youth climate activist Greta Thunberg told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau he isn’t doing enough.

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The foundation of Onex CEO Gerald Schwartz and Indigo CEO Heather Reisman is making the school’s largest-ever donation. It will fund a 750,000-square-foot facility that will include a new institute named for Schwartz and Reisman to study AI-related ethical issues. The complex, which was first announced in July 2018, will also house the Vector Institute. (Toronto Star)

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Talking point: The Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society is likely to have an easy time attracting people who want to study the ethical implications of AI; it’s become a key part of the nascent Canadian subsector’s brand. Earlier in March, the federal government released a policy that requires the civil service to assess the impact of using algorithms and inform the public when decision-making is partly or entirely automated. And, Scotiabank is among the companies that have bought into Montreal-based Integrate.ai’s framework for responsible AI use. That do-no-harm image is good marketing in the international battle for AI talent and investment.