Government of Canada launches national consultations on digital and data transformation

News release

Canadians must have trust and confidence in a digital and data-driven world

June 19, 2018, Ottawa ON

New technologies have changed the way that we access information, shop, live, socialize and work.

As a result of these changes, our economy has transformed to become increasingly data-driven and critical innovations and unparalleled economic opportunity have been unlocked. At the same time, the digital transformation has brought with it new and uncharted challenges surrounding the changing nature of work, privacy, information and consent.

Digital innovation is essential to growing our economy, attracting investment and creating middle-class jobs for Canadians, but the government recognizes that the potential of a data-driven economy must be balanced against Canadians’ right to have their data and privacy protected.

That is why the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, has launched a national consultation on digital and data transformation in order to better understand how Canada can drive innovation, prepare Canadians for the future of work, and ensure they have trust and confidence in how their data is used.

Over the summer, roundtable consultations will take place in cities across Canada with business, academia, civil society and others. Because there is strength in our diversity, the roundtables will include women, Indigenous peoples and other under-represented groups. All Canadians are invited to have their say and participate in the Digital and Data Consultations online. Today, Minister Bains led his first roundtable with digital and data thought leaders on how to advance Canada’s competitiveness through the digital economy.

The consultations announced today are the next step in Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a plan that will make us a world leader in innovation and create well-paying jobs from coast to coast to coast.

The Government reinforced its commitment to ensuring Canadians’ personal information is protected and secure and to engaging with Canadians on the path forward by tabling its response to the Towards Privacy by Design report by the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics today.


Today, AI and big data are transforming all industries and sectors. They are presenting new opportunities for innovators to create jobs and generate prosperity. We have an opportunity to build a digital legacy for Canada and to become a global innovation leader. However, to spur digital innovation, investment and job creation in Canada, citizens must have trust and confidence that their data and privacy will be protected. This consultation is a first step in making this vision a reality.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick facts

  • 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last 2 years.

  • 87% of Canadians and 95% of Canadian businesses are connected to the Internet.

  • 94% of Canadian businesses use personal data.

  • Young Canadians spend on average 5 hours a day on the Internet.

  • Global e-commerce reached US$1.9 trillion in 2016.

  • 8 to 9% of labour demand in 2030 will be in jobs that do not exist today.

  • Canada ranks 5th in the OECD for creative thinking and 9th for problem solving in a technology-rich environment.

  • Canada ranks 4th in the world on patents related to quantum computing.

  • It is estimated that cybercrime will cost the world US$6 trillion annually by 2021.

Associated links


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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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