Whether you’ve used the internet to fact check information during a debate, explore a party’s campaign platform, or watch a debate live on YouTube, Canadians are turning to the web during this election more than ever before.

With week three of the campaign trail underway, we took a look at the role the internet is playing in #elxn42.

Even the term #elxn42 is a nod to the new Digital Voter -- one who spends almost all their time online when looking for information about politics and elections. In fact, nearly half of Canadian voters in this election report watching less live TV than four years ago.
Digital adoption is moving so quickly, that in 2015 fully 30 per cent of eligible voters are “digital-only” – they have no cable or satellite, watch less than 2 hours of live TV per week or prefer to view online only. And these digital-only voters aren't just millennials: 20 per cent of voters aged 50 and over are “digital-only” Canadians.
While voters still rely on TV for politics and election information, we found that digital video viewing is becoming increasingly important. 1 in 3 Canadian voters are choosing to watch video content online as their primary source of information. And interestingly, “change” voters – voters who would most favour a change in government – are more likely to rely on the internet as their primary news source about politics and the election.
So, what are Canadians going online for? Today, people don’t go to vote without searching for more information to inform their choice, from looking up news stories to finding out where to vote. And that gives campaigns an extraordinary series of opportunities to reach and engage with voters at the exact moment they’re looking for more information.
Throughout the election, the Google Trends team shares regular updates on what Canadians are searching for online, so follow us at @googlecanada or check back here for updates! You can also follow the campaign trail on YouTube via the YouTube Canada Elections Hub.

Posted by Leslie Church, Head of Communications & Public Affairs, Google Canada

Cross posted from the Official Google Blog

Ugh...not again. You get home at the end of the day, and sit down to stream a new movie or upload vacation photos — and your Wi-Fi slows to a crawl or just stops working. Instead of relaxing in front of the screen or sharing those photos with friends, you spend it unplugging and re-plugging cords, trying to decipher blinking lights, or contemplating a call to customer support. 

While we count on Wi-Fi more than ever to be entertained, productive, and stay connected, we’re streaming and sharing in new ways our old routers were never built to handle. So today, with our partner TP-LINK, we’re launching OnHub, a different kind of router for a new way to Wi-Fi. Instead of headaches and spotty connections, OnHub gives you Wi-Fi that’s fast, secure, and easy to use. 

Designed for the HomeMany of us keep our router on the floor and out of sight, where it doesn’t work as well. We replaced unruly cords and blinking lights with internal antennas and subtle, useful lighting, so you’ll be happy placing OnHub out in the open, where your router performs its best.

Starts Fast, Stays FastDuring setup, OnHub searches the airwaves and selects the best channel for the fastest connection. A unique antenna design and smart software keep working in the background, automatically adjusting OnHub to avoid interference and keep your network at peak performance. You can even prioritize a device, so that your most important activity — like streaming your favourite show — gets the fastest speed.
A simple mobile app
OnHub makes it simple to set up and manage your Wi-Fi, all from the Google On app, available on Android or iOS. The Google On app tells you how much bandwidth your devices are using, lets you run a network check, and if there’s an issue with your Wi-Fi, the app offers suggestions to help. And, instead of lost passwords and sticky notes, it even reveals your password with a single tap and lets you text or email it to friends.

Just gets better
OnHub automatically updates with new features and the latest security upgrades, without interrupting your connection. In the future, OnHub can support smart devices that you bring into your home, whether they use Bluetooth® Smart Ready, Weave, or 802.15.4. We also plan to design new OnHub devices with other hardware partners in the future. Stay tuned for news from our second partner, ASUS, later this year.

OnHub will be available for sale for $269 in the Google Store and Best Buy in the coming weeks.

At the end of the day, we want our Wi-Fi to just work, so that we can do all the things we love to do online. Here’s to Wi-Fi with the reliability, speed, and security you want at home, without the frustrations you don’t.

Last night,  Canadians had their first opportunity to hear directly from Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May in the inaugural leaders’ debate of #elxn42.

Canadians turn to Google for all sorts of reasons, but the trending questions we saw last night point towards a sense of curiosity about the big issues including the economy and the health of our democracy.
In terms of real-time search interest, we saw the highest number of searches for Justin Trudeau, followed by Stephen Harper. The peak moment for search volume related to the leaders was around 8:50, as Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Mulcair squared off about support for expanded pipelines into eastern Canada.
Mr. Trudeau generated a high volume of search interest across the country, as seen below:
There is still a long way to go before election day, but these searches show us that even on day four of the campaign, Canadians are eager to look beyond the sound bites and to learn more about the issues.

The Google Trends team will share regular updates throughout the election, so follow us at @googlecanada, or check back here for updates!

Posted by Aaron Brindle, Communications & Public Affairs, Google Canada


(Cross-posted on the Google for Work blog.)

Congratulations to Canadian teens Isabella O'Brien, 13, and Calvin Rieder, 18, on becoming finalists in the Google Science Fair!

Sometimes the biggest discoveries are made by the youngest scientists. They’re curious and not afraid to ask, and it’s this spirit of exploration that leads them to try, and then try again. Thousands of these inquisitive young minds from around the world submitted projects for this year’s Google Science Fair, and today we’re thrilled to announce the 20 Global Finalists whose bright ideas could change the world.

From purifying water with corn cobs to transporting Ebola antibodies through silk; extracting water from air or quickly transporting vaccines to areas in need, these students have all tried inventive, unconventional things to help solve challenges they see around them. And did we mention that they’re all 18 or younger?

We’ll be highlighting each of the impressive 20 finalist projects over the next 20 days in the Spotlight on a Young Scientist series on the Google for Education blog to share more about these inspirational young people and what inspires them.
Then on September 21st, these students will join us in Mountain View to present their projects to a panel of notable international scientists and scholars, eligible for a $50,000 scholarship and other incredible prizes from our partners at LEGO Education, National Geographic, Scientific American and Virgin Galactic.

Congratulations to our finalists and everyone who submitted projects for this year’s Science Fair. Thank you for being curious and brave enough to try to change the world through science.

This Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, New Democratic Party Leader Thomas Mulcair, Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May will square off in the first debate of the federal election campaign.

This year, for the first time, you can watch the debates live and in full on the YouTube Canada Elections Hub, via our partners at Maclean’s Magazine, who will be live streaming the debate on the Maclean’s Magazine YouTube Channel.

The YouTube livestream will give Canadians a new option to follow the debate on the screen of their choice, whether that’s a television, laptop, tablet or phone. So, no matter where you are in the world or how you’ll be accessing the internet, you’ll be able to watch the most important events of the 2015 election on YouTube.

This will be Canadians’ first opportunity to hear the leaders test each other on a wide range of critical issues, including the economy, energy and the environment, foreign policy, security and the health of Canada’s democratic institutions.

So, tune-in to the Elections Hub on Thursday, August 6 at 8:00PM EDT to watch the first debate live. And if you miss it, we’ll have the full debate, highlight clips and commentary from across the web, available to watch at after the debate is over.

Ahhh, summer. Time to shop for bathing suits, beach towels and… backpacks? That’s right. July is almost over and it’s already time to start shopping for school. But before they step inside a store, today’s back-to-school shoppers do their homework, heading online to find out what trends are hot, where to get them, and how to get the best deals.

And where are we getting inspiration for what to buy? A quarter of Canadian university students saying that they go to YouTube to find out what’s cool to purchase. In fact, Canadian searches for “back to school” on YouTube  grew 67% last year, and this year we’ve seen a 120% growth in watchtime of back-to-school videos globally.

It’s only July, and we’ve already seen twice as many back to school videos posted on YouTube as last year, including perennial favourites like hair tutorials and dorm room tours, along with rising trends like nail art (which we’ve already watched 2 million hours of on YouTube this year!)

So what items are likely to be on Canadians’ back-to-school shopping list? We looked at search trends year-over-year and identified three distinct patterns:

  • Rising stars - you can think of these as fast fashion trends, they’re things that get really hot quickly, but can fizzle out; we’re searching for them a lot.
  • Seasonal Growth - these are trends that last for several seasons, they have staying power; these searches are steadily increasing year-over-year.
  • Seasonal Decline - these are trends that are slowly on their way out; we’re searching less for them now than we used to.

Canada’s Back-to-School Hot (and Not) List

Happy shopping!

Posted by Jenn Kaiser, Communications Manager, Google Canada

Whether it’s a crash course on the Greek economic crisis through the lens of a gyro lunch, or turning the tables on a political opponent with a bit of cell phone-destroying comedy, YouTube is a powerful platform for political engagement. When it comes to having a voice in our democracy, it levels the playing-field – anyone with a webcam and an internet connection can be seen, heard and make a difference.

As we head towards our own moment at the polls this fall, online video will be a major source of news, commentary and insight.

To make it easier for Canadians of all ages to discover online videos about the Federal Election, we’re launching a new YouTube Canada Elections Hub. Our channel will highlight video content from a variety of Canadian news sources in the lead up to the election. Into this mix we’ll also add topical vlogs from Canada’s YouTube Creators, along with user-generated content from the campaign trail.

Curated by Storyful, the team behind our popular YouTube Newswire service, The YouTube Canada Elections Hub will spotlight top trending video content on a daily basis, giving Canadians a one-stop shop to start exploring the latest videos from across the country and across the political spectrum.

On the YouTube Canada Elections Hub you’ll find:
  • Video content from news media across the country
  • Content and campaign videos from political parties
  • Live streams of the federal leaders’ debates
  • Topical vlogs and commentary from YouTube creators
  • Weekly themed playlists on key election issues
  • Breaking election trends and viral videos 
So get engaged in the issues that matter to you - Subscribe to the YouTube Canada Elections Hub to be notified when new trending videos are posted, and stay tuned for more updates from Google Canada on the ways we’re helping Canadians stay educated and engaged as we head towards the polls on October 19th.

Posted by Leslie Church, Head of Communications, Google Canada