1.9 Open source computer software

As computer hardware improves, it is important that software programs are readily modifiable by the people who buy and use them. Developing alongside the proprietary software sector is Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS). This software is generally available at little or no cost, making it very popular in the developing world. It can be used, copied, studied, modified, and redistributed with little or no restriction. Businesses can adapt the software to their specific needs.

Under the free software business model, vendors may charge a fee for distribution and offer paid support and customization services. Free software gives users the ability to work together, enhancing and refining the programs they use. It is a pure public good rather than a private good.

The Green Party supports the goals and ideals of FLOSS and believes that Canada’s competitiveness in global information technology (IT) will be greatly enhanced by strongly supporting FLOSS.

Green Party MPs will:

  • Ensure that all new software developed for or by government is based on open standards and encourage and support a nationwide transition to FLOSS in all critical government IT systems. This will make Canada’s IT infrastructure more secure and robust, lower administration and licensing costs, and develop IT skills;

  • Support the transition to FLOSS throughout the post-secondary educational system.