Minister Bains announces Canada’s Digital Charter

News release

The Charter’s 10 principles will build a foundation of trust for Canadians in the digital sphere

May 21, 2019 – Toronto, Ontario

Canadians are understandably anxious about how their data is being used and how digital technologies are affecting their lives. Meanwhile, the data-driven economy represents limitless opportunities to improve the lives of Canadians—from producing faster diagnoses to making farming more efficient.

Today, during an address to the Empire Club of Canada, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, launched Canada’s new Digital Charter. Minister Bains also announced an initial set of actions that will serve to implement the Charter’s principles, highlighted by proposals to modernize the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which governs the use of data and personal information by private entities. Additional actions will be announced in the coming days.

With Canada’s Digital Charter, the Government is laying the foundation for modernizing the rules that govern the digital sphere in Canada and rebuilding Canadians’ trust in these institutions. The Charter outlines what Canadians can expect from the Government in relation to the digital landscape, addressing important issues like universal access and hate online. The 10 principles set out in the Charter will provide the framework for continued Canadian leadership in the digital and data-driven economy. This principled approach will not only protect Canadians’ privacy and personal data but also leverage Canada’s unique talents and strengths in order to harness the power of digital and data transformation.

Under the multi-year Innovation and Skills Plan announced in Budget 2017, the Government of Canada set out to develop an ambitious plan for economic growth, creating jobs for Canadians and helping them gain the skills they need to succeed in a competitive global economy.

Canada’s Digital Charter, informed by the National Digital and Data Consultations, is the next phase of the Plan. It builds on the commitment made by Prime Minister Trudeau to join the Christchurch Call to Action, first announced in Paris on May 15, alongside French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, among other world leaders.

Announced today


“Canadians’ trust in the digital world is shaken. But in this new age, Canada’s competitiveness will depend on our ability to use digital innovation to harness the power of data. Canada’s Digital Charter and its 10 principles set the foundation to rebuild Canadians’ trust and empower them to reach their full innovative and economic potential. We are building a Canada where citizens have confidence that their data is safe and privacy is respected, unlocking the kind of innovation that builds a strong economy that works for everyone.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick facts

  • Canadians are among the most digitally connected people in the world. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, 89% of Canadians and 98% of businesses are online and 88% of Canadians use a mobile device.

  • The Digital Charter is a government-wide approach that will ensure Canadians can trust new digital technologies and that their data and privacy will be safe. It will ensure that our democratic institutions will be protected, and that Canadians will be able to take full advantage of the many new opportunities unlocked by data-driven technologies.

  • The recently announced Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council will be a central reference point for government to draw on leading artificial intelligence (AI) experts from Canadian business, academia, civil society and other partners so that we can realize the full economic and social benefits of AI that support ethical, human-centred uses of digital and data applications.

  • Canada’s first-ever Smart Cities Challenge winners have been announced and are now ready to start implementing their visions for harnessing the potential of connected technology and data to improve the lives of Canadians.


Dani Keenan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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