At OPSEU I helped develop the “We Own It” Campaign. At its core, the campaign was structured on the fundamental belief that the key infrastructure that makes our cities, province, and country work should be publicly owned and operated.
Just south of Toronto Centre is the proposed Sidewalk Labs development. There are so many more questions than answers when it comes to the big plans for Google’s Sidewalk Labs. There’s a term for these massive scale “smart city” projects - surveillance capitalism. It is the marketization of human behaviour in a way we’ve never seen and will open the door to so many unknowns.
Charlie Angus, the NDP Critic for Ethics, submitted a report to Parliament outlining many concerns the party has with the process and on the fundamental idea of “smart cities.” Great care should be taken before committing any public resources to Sidewalk Labs. An unprecedented project of this magnitude deserves intense scrutiny.
I support the NDP position and will stand with our fellow candidates to fight for infrastructure that is publicly owned and operated. I am not convinced that Sidewalk labs is anything more than a way to monetize and privatize critical infrastructure.
Here’s how our NDP Candidates are fighting for our Public Infrastructure:
Torontonians and Canadians must be skeptical of this project. Canadians have a right to live free from being watched all the time by both the government and the private sector. Smart cities can be good, but a privatizing experiment in surveillance capitalism is not the way forward for Toronto, or for Canada.
Min Sook Lee, NDP Candidate for Toronto—Danforth
A corporate-designed mini-city is tearing down democracy in Canada. Toronto’s Port Lands, our waterfront, is prime real estate and can be an opportunity for us to create low-carbon, deeply affordable housing. But we can do it without Sidewalk. Google are not the government - they must make a profit off this development. Let’s ensure our community priorities do not get lost in this process.
Diana Yoon, NDP Candidate for Spadina—Fort York
Google has deep pockets and a long memory. They’re not doing this as a charity project, and the business model is constant, total surveillance.
Charlie Angus, NDP MP for Timmins—James Bay