Positioning entrepreneurs and innovators to succeed in a data-driven economy

News Release

Government of Canada seeks public input on ways to use big data analytics to drive innovation and job creation

July 28, 2017 – Toronto, Ontario – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Entrepreneurs, innovators and community builders will benefit from new business and social opportunities as a result of the Government of Canada’s vision to support innovation in a data-driven world.

That message was delivered by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Minister Bains outlined the Government’s vision at a gathering of business leaders and data experts hosted by Environics Analytics, a leading provider of data services.  

Technologies that enable the continuous collection of large data sets have the potential to make companies innovative and valuable. Large-scale data collection also means that governments, businesses and citizens must continually review privacy and security policies and practices.

That means the Government has a role to play in collaborating with all sectors of the economy and society to promote data-driven innovation while preserving the freedoms that Canadians cherish: privacy, fairness and equality of opportunity.

Minister Bains, who is responsible for Statistics Canada, proposed a vision for an independent, modern and responsive statistical agency. That vision involves:

  • identifying new methods of generating and collecting data that move beyond a survey-first approach;
  • finding new ways to integrate data from a variety of sources;
  • making government data, including microdata sets, easier for anyone to find and use;
  • supporting the adoption across the economy of high-throughput tools to analyze and visualize data; and
  • ensuring that more end-users, whether they are businesses or individuals, can make evidence-based decisions from data.

Minister Bains invited Canadians to share their ideas on ways to use big data analytics to drive innovation, business growth and job creation while promoting a fair and just society. This effort is part of the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.


“We live in a world where more data come from a wider variety of sources. Data are being collected and analyzed at a speed that is rapidly approaching real time. That means the time between what we know and when we act on what we know is getting shorter. And as that lag time from knowledge to action shrinks, businesses are finding opportunities to innovate, serve their customers better and create jobs and industries that never existed before. Our government will position Canadians to seize the opportunities created by a data-driven world, while preserving the values of privacy, fairness and equality of opportunity that all Canadians cherish.”

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

Quick Facts

  • In the 2016 and 2017 budgets, the Government committed nearly $600 million to improve data collection and access to data.

  • Canada ranks second in the world on the Open Data Barometer, a global measure of how well governments use open data for accountability, social impact and innovation.


Follow Minister Bains on Twitter: @MinisterISED

Karl W. Sasseville
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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