Government of Canada Launches National Consultations on a Digital Economy Strategy

The Government of Canada today unveiled a national consultation aimed at building consensus among governments, the private sector, academia and the Canadian public in developing a digital economy strategy for Canada. The commitment to developing the strategy was outlined in both the government'€™s Speech from the Throne and Budget 2010 and is aimed at positioning Canada for leadership in the global digital economy.

The announcement was made jointly by the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

'€œCanada can and should be a leader in the global digital economy,'€ said Minister Clement. '€œNow is the time for the private sector to step up and contribute their ideas for a digital strategy and, when that strategy is in place, to implement the plan.'€

'€œOur government is committed to ensuring that creators, inventors and entrepreneurs have the incentives to innovate, the confidence to take risks and the tools to succeed,'€ said Minister Moore. '€œWe recognize the important role the digital media and content sector plays in the digital economy, and we intend to develop a long-term plan that will stand the test of time.'€

'€œOur government wants Canadians to have the skills that will make them leaders in this rapidly developing and globally competitive industry,'€ said Minister Finley. 
'€œThrough these consultations, we will work with industry and other partners to identify areas where we need to develop our workforce of the future.'€

The consultations, which begin today and close on July 9, 2010, will be hosted online. A discussion paper posted on the consultation site provides details on the key themes being considered:

'€¢Capacity to Innovate Using Digital Technologies;
'€¢Building a World-Class Digital Infrastructure;
'€¢Growing the Information and Communications Technology Industry;
'€¢Digital Media: Creating Canada'€™s Digital Content Advantage; and
'€¢Building Digital Skills for Tomorrow.

The consultation seeks feedback from all interested parties on priorities and targets as Canada moves toward improving innovation and creativity, adopting new technologies and achieving the shared goal of making Canada a global leader in the digital economy.

A strategy for Canada'€™s digital economy will recognize that success will not come through a particular government program or combination of government programs, but from a concerted effort '€” combining government vision and the resolve of individual businesses to be global leaders in their fields.

Once the consultation process has closed in July 2010, the government will review the information and use it to inform the development of a national digital economy strategy.

For further information, please click here.