Nation building in
Canada - from the earliest days when we traveled on foot, by sled
and canoe - has been all about making connections. Each wave of
technology, from sailing ships to steam-powered vessels and locomotives
to telephone and broadcast networks has consolidated our widely
dispersed community into a great nation.
And each wave of technology has brought challenges and transformational
change. Modern Canadians are the beneficiaries of the courageous
decisions taken by our forebears to build the networks of rivers,
rails, roads and wires that knitted our nation together and fed
our instinct to connect with one another.
The Internet is the latest manifestation of our human networking
instinct. No other previous technology has had the impact that it
has in a relatively short period of existence. In little more than
a generation, it has changed everything from the way we learn, to
the way we communicate, to the way we do business, to the way we
find human cultural expression.
Our obligation to future generations is to embrace our networking
responsibilities with as much vision as courage as the road builders
and network builders that preceded us. We have an obligation to
the future to ensure that the benefits of network computing over
broadband networks are available throughout Canada. It is, quite
simply, the next stage of our ongoing nation building.