Minister Bains champions Canada's strengths at OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy

News Release

Ministerial discussions will inform Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda

June 27, 2016 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

In today's digital age, an innovation economy that creates well-paying jobs for the middle class depends on an open, secure and interoperable Internet. That is why the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, led the Canadian delegation at a recent meeting about the digital economy hosted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The ministerial meeting, held in Cancún, Mexico, from June 21 to 23, reinforced the need for policies that strengthen business and consumer confidence in the digital economy.

Canada recognizes the need for the Internet to remain a vibrant platform on which Canadians can compete and collaborate globally. An open and secure Internet enables companies to start up and scale up, which in turn creates well-paying and highly skilled jobs for the middle class. An open Internet also drives growth across all industries by increasing productivity, competitiveness and access to global markets.

The meeting provided Minister Bains with the opportunity to showcase Canada's partnership-based approaches to shaping international discussions about the digital economy. It also provided an opportunity for Canada to engage stakeholders in the development of the Government's Innovation Agenda—a plan to strengthen the middle class and put Canada on a firm path to long-term growth by making innovation a national priority.

In his remarks at the meeting, Minister Bains noted that Canada supports private sector leadership in the governance of the Internet, which has allowed it to develop into a powerful technology. Ministerial discussions also highlighted the importance of data as a valuable resource for innovation-based economies. Canada has become a top destination for data storage, research and innovation centres. Our country's ability to benefit from this data will depend on how we organize and use it responsibly to identify business opportunities and solve complex issues.


"Canada's ability to innovate will define its success as a country in today's digital economy. That economy depends fundamentally on an open Internet that enables the free movement of goods, services and ideas around the globe."

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick facts

  • The digital economy is a key part of Canada's drive toward innovation and is the foundation for businesses to grow globally, for citizens and consumers to access ideas and products and to express themselves, and for governments to serve their people more effectively.
  • Canada is committed to promoting innovation throughout the economy to encourage new investments, talent, exports and inclusive growth. Canada's Innovation Agenda will put in place the conditions that help facilitate innovation, improve employment prospects, enhance Canadian productivity and boost exports.
  • Canada plays an active role on digital issues within the OECD to ensure that the country is well positioned to benefit from new technologies.
  • This was the third OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy. Previous ministerial conferences dealing with the Internet and the economy took place in Ottawa in 1998 and in Seoul, Korea, in 2008.

Associated links


Philip Proulx
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation,
Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada

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