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May 13, 2004
For immediate release
BROCKVILLE, ONTARIO - The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario have signed a memorandum of agreement that commits the two governments to exploring joint public service delivery, the Honourable Joe Volpe, federal Minister for Human Resources and Skills Development, and Jim Watson, provincial Minister of Consumer and Business Services, announced today.
"This agreement is another important step to finding ways for governments at all levels to collaborate in providing services that are responsive to the needs of Canadians whether that is at service counters, through the Internet or over the phone," said Minister Volpe. "It lays the groundwork for future collaboration with all provinces and territories to improve the quality and delivery of public services right across the country."
"This memorandum marks significant progress in improving the delivery of important public services that all citizens depend upon, and is an excellent example of governments working together," said Minister Watson. "Ontario has demonstrated considerable leadership in service delivery and in drafting this agreement."
The Honourable Joe Jordan, Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville and Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board with special emphasis on Regulatory Reform, also welcomed it. "This agreement will ensure that we will reduce red tape and improve service delivery for all citizens in Ontario," he said.
The agreement commits the two governments to exploring collaborative service delivery initiatives that will:
improve electronic service delivery;
co-ordinate emergency management systems;
integrate inspections, investigations and enforcement in areas such as workplace health and safety, environmental assessment and food safety;
improve immigration services;
develop a new, integrated labor market system; and
co-ordinate the approach to the auto sector.
The Collaborative Seniors' Portal is one example of what cooperation between the three levels of government can achieve. The web portal provides seniors in the Brockville area with improved access to information and services from all levels of government and service providers through a single online gateway.
"Today's announcement is another example of governments working together to ensure that seniors get efficient, effective services where and when they need them," said John Gerretsen, Ontario's Minister Responsible for Seniors.
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For more information, please refer to the Memorandum of Agreement below.
For further information contact:
Office of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Business Services
CANADA - ONTARIO
Memorandum of Agreement
Collaboration in the Delivery of Public Service
One of the great and enduring strengths of the Canadian federation is the opportunity it provides for innovation in the delivery of public services. Over time, public policy and service delivery innovations started in one part of the country have led to innovations right across the country.
Canada and Ontario recognize public policy has to be developed to respond to the needs of citizens, and public services delivered in ways that work for them.
Canada and Ontario recognize the need to work together to resolve issues around policy coherence, governance and accountability and information sharing.
Based on this shared vision, Canada and Ontario will work to establish new collaborative approaches to delivering results to the public through:
a. A commitment to continuously improving the quality and seamlessness of
b. Improving citizens' access to the information they need;
c. Sustainable and efficient delivery of public services;
d. Enhancing efficiency and service by co-locating offices where it makes sense
to do so;
e. Aligning complementary programs and creating new opportunities for
innovation in service delivery.
Canada and Ontario agree to enter into this Memorandum of Agreement to promote collaboration initiatives and establish a framework to pursue and implement agreed initiatives, within the following context:
Both Canada and Ontario are committed to ensuring that the Canadian federation works effectively and efficiently for citizens.
Canada and Ontario recognize that the key to achieving public policy outcomes is for each jurisdiction to focus on citizens, to work from their strengths, and to work in collaboration.
Statement of Guiding Principles
The governance and accountability frameworks developed to support cross-government collaboration initiatives will ensure that each government will remain accountable to their respective constituents for their own programs.
Investments in collaboration initiatives will be open and transparent to ensure full public accountability.
Collaboration initiatives will be documented, clearly setting out the objectives of the initiatives and the relative roles and responsibilities of the individual government ministries and departments involved.
The governments are committed to developing innovative and integrated service delivery models.
The governments are committed to working with municipalities in the development of integrated service delivery models.
Privacy and security protection for integrated service delivery models must enhance integrity and public confidence.
Communication and information technology investments and information policies and practices must be aligned to create and sustain a common service delivery infrastructure.
The governments shall pursue financial benefits in developing integrated service delivery models.
To implement this Memorandum of Agreement, the parties agree to establish a Canada-Ontario working group on integrated service delivery, consisting of a federal minister and the Clerk of the Privy Council, representing Canada, and the Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier and the Secretary of the Cabinet, representing Ontario.
The working group will develop its terms of reference and identify priorities for collaboration initiatives. The Appendix to this Memorandum of Agreement sets out priority collaboration initiatives to be pursued in the interim.
THIS MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO ON
FOR CANADA FOR ONTARIO
CANADA-ONTARIO MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT
PRIORITY COLLABORATION INITIATIVES
Citizen/Business Facing Services including counter consolidation with a priority on Ottawa and common electronic delivery channels
A common information technology backbone, standards and platforms
Jointly located coordinated Emergency Management System
Collaborative Seniors' Portal
Integrated inspections, investigations and enforcement (workplace health and safety, environmental assessment, food safety)
Immigration Letter of Intent
New, integrated labour market program and service delivery system
Collaboration on administrative efficiencies which are of benefit to both governments
Shared strategic approach to the automotive sector
Collaboration on research.
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