Federal announcement on digital and data transformation in Canada provides opportunity to create a more innovative and responsive data economy: National ICT industry association

OTTAWA, ON (June 19, 2018) – Proposals to support Canada’s changing digital landscape announced today by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (Minister Navdeep Bains), will help to position Canada as a data-driven economy, according to national industry advocate, the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC).

ITAC, which has long advocated for an immediate and coordinated approach to data governance – an approach that ensures privacy and security, while unlocking data for economic prosperity – is pleased that Minister Bains and the federal government is taking the necessary steps to consult Canadians to develop a modern approach to data that supports innovation and protects Canada’s citizens. The digital economy is one that will help drive Canadian economic prosperity, both now and into the future. Data has the power to shape society and directly impacts modern day approaches to healthcare, education, business and communications.  Today’s announcement demonstrates the need for government to consult industry and its citizens to create a new, made-in-Canada approaches to data.

“Data is a resource that can help define Canada’s economic opportunity in the coming decade,” said Robert Watson, president and CEO, ITAC. “Today’s announcement shows that the federal government recognizes that a strategy is required to balance privacy, consumer trust and the security needs of Canadians – and is making the necessary changes to help put Canada in a position of growth and as a data-driven economy.”

Recent federal investments in artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing and fifth generation (5G) are good examples of planning ahead for a data-driven digital economy. Moreover, strengthening industries that require data helps reach shared goals of improving talent and skills, and building stronger public-private partnerships.

“Governments across Canada have been slow to leverage data-sharing to better serve Canadians—slowed down by outdated policies and regulatory frameworks that were developed prior to today’s Internet,” added Watson. “ITAC and its members are positioned to help enable industries to grow and advance through technology. Leading a national dialogue to shape data governance and developing a national strategy that allows for growth and innovation is an important first step.”

About Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)

As Canada’s national ICT business association, the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) champions the development of a robust and sustainable digital economy in Canada. A vital connection between business and government, we provide our members with the advocacy, networking and professional development services that help them to thrive nationally and compete globally.

A prominent advocate for the expansion of Canada’s innovative capacity, ITAC encourages technology adoption to capitalize on productivity and performance opportunities across all sectors. A member-driven not-for-profit, ITAC has served as the authoritative national voice of the $170 billion ICT industry for over 60 years. More than 36,000 Canadian ICT firms create and supply goods and services that contribute to a more productive, competitive, and innovative society. The ICT sector generates over one million jobs directly and indirectly and invests $4.9 billion annually in R&D, more than any other private sector performer.


To arrange an interview, please contact:

Janet Gibson Eichner

Cell: 416-357-8908 or jgibson_eichner@itac.ca