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Launch of the Canadian Digital Service

Canadians deserve government services that are easy to access and to use. They expect their government to be focused on service to citizens. In the connected world of the 21st century, good service means digital delivery, whether you are ordering take-out, rearranging your mortgage, managing your prescriptions – or accessing government programs and services.

The Government of Canada has an opportunity—and a responsibility—to deliver world-class services to Canadians. This will require disruption as we make the switch, both technically and culturally, to agile digital delivery models. To accelerate these efforts, I am excited to announce the launch of the Canadian Digital Service (CDS) to modernize the way the Government of Canada designs and delivers digital services.

CDS will be a partner to departments in delivering measurably improved services. We are rethinking the service design and delivery process from the user’s perspective, and engaging users every step of the way.

We’re going to grow digital capacity across government, amplify and replicate pockets of innovation, and solve common problems. We’re adopting proven (though sometimes new-to-government) technologies and ways of working and we will scale what works.

Agile digital government requires taking risks. We need to challenge assumptions, think experimentally, and constantly measure ourselves against that end goal: better service to Canadians. No doubt we’ll make mistakes, but we will make them at the alpha and beta stage, not after launching at scale.

As I have often said, in this world you’re either digital or you’re dead. We can’t be a Blockbuster government serving a Netflix citizenry!

We need to change the way we do business. CDS is just one tool in the kit, but it stands as a clear signal of our commitment. We aren’t the first government digital service in the world, but I believe we can be the best.

I hope you join us on this journey. I’m excited to share more with you as delivery starts in earnest.