Speaking Points for Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Minister Responsible for Shared Services Canada
Government of Canada Cloud First Day
February 7, 2018
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I’m very pleased to be part of the Government of Canada’s “Cloud First Day.”
Let me begin by acknowledging that we are on the traditional territory of the Algonquin people. I pay respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Indigenous peoples in the room.
I would like to acknowledge my colleague, the Honourable Scott Brison, for his leadership and collaboration in bringing cloud services to the government.
I would also like to thank all the public servants who worked so tirelessly to get us to this point.
I also recognize our strong partnership with the vendor community and industry leaders, who are well represented here today.
Today, we are gathered to mark an exciting new era in how government services and programs will be delivered to Canadians.
The Government of Canada is adopting public cloud computing services, as part of its ongoing efforts to modernize its information infrastructure.
This will enable the government to offer digital programs and services that benefit Canadians and their families in a more modern, reliable and secure way.
We’re focusing on cloud services for unclassified information that Canadians use every day, such as:
Digital collections of archived material;
Government open data; and
Big data sets for scientific purposes.
Much of this work supports our commitment to Open Government, which is about giving greater access to government data and information to the Canadian public and the business community.
Today’s announcement is also part of the ongoing transformation of the Government of Canada’s IT landscape, which is enabling us to offer modern, robust and secure services to Canadians.
We are taking advantage of affordable tools and systems that work together to support our operations, especially in our work with partners and stakeholders.
I’m excited about the opportunities public cloud services will bring to the Government of Canada and to Canadians.
And I would like to recognize the excellent collaboration that made this all possible.
As the Minister responsible for Shared Services Canada, I have seen firsthand the excellent work being done to modernize and transform government information technology.
Shared Services Canada has now positioned the government to leverage the power of the cloud in a consistent and secure manner.
After a rigorous collaborative procurement process, the department has qualified a range of cloud providers and is now acting as a cloud broker.
This has many benefits.
As a cloud broker, Shared Services Canada can work with departments to help them select the right solution for their needs from a wide range of cloud services and providers.
It can also ensure a consistent security and operational model for all departments and agencies.
The bottom line is that we now have an enterprise-wide approach to cloud adoption across the government.
This is something we can all celebrate and get behind.
It will help the government to maintain service excellence during a period of increasing demand for online services by Canadians.
Shared Services Canada has already begun awarding contracts for unclassified public cloud services.
In all, 22 contracts have been awarded to cloud vendors and are available for federal organizations to use.
And, to date, seven different federal organizations have started using these cloud services, for a total investment of about $2.1 million.
These organizations are using cloud services to help them meet everyday business needs in serving Canadians.
This includes hosting and replacing web applications, developing innovation hubs, and increasing the efficiency of their tools and processes.
I would also like to underline the work of Public Services and Procurement Canada in this area.
It has awarded contracts that include cloud-based solutions being used to deliver government programs and services.
For example, Correctional Service of Canada is managing its technical services and facilities at institutions across Canada using a cloud-based service.
It is clear that there is strong interest in cloud solutions within the government.
We understand that Canadians expect the government to deliver online services with the same quality of user experience they get from the commercial sector.
We understand Canadians expect the government to minimize the costs of IT applications and infrastructure.
And we understand that Canadians expect the government to make the privacy and security of information a top priority.
I’m pleased to say that we’re responding to those high expectations of Canadians.
And I’m confident that your activities today will contribute to this important objective.
Your sense of innovation and your technologies will allow us to provide better services to Canadians, as we support the middle class and those working hard to join it.
The government is also pleased with these new and important partnerships we have forged with leading technology companies.
Many representatives are here today and I would like to thank you for coming.
Our government is committed to continue working with you to ensure we benefit from your vast experience and innovative solutions.
I would add that we look forward to launching a future procurement process for cloud services to handle higher sensitivity data requirements.
This will be led by an integrated procurement team from Shared Services Canada, Public Services and Procurement Canada, the Communications Security Establishment, and the Treasury Board Secretariat.
This team is working jointly on a procurement framework to build a robust foundation for obtaining classified cloud services in the future.
This is part of our continued commitment to harness private sector innovation and creativity to respond to the ever-increasing demand for IT services.
I would like to emphasize that, as we move forward, the privacy and security of information will remain a top priority for the Government of Canada.
We are committed to safeguarding the personal information we have of all citizens.
Our government is committed to ensuring our programs and services to citizens are among the best in the world.
With the adoption of public cloud computing for unclassified data, and the work being done to advance the contracting of classified data, our government is delivering on this commitment.
I would like to thank everyone for joining us as we mark this next step in modernizing the government’s IT infrastructure and services.
I’m personally very excited to see how federal organizations are adopting cloud strategies to better serve Canadians in new and unique ways.
And I couldn’t be more pleased to be leading Shared Services Canada and Public Services and Procurement Canada at this crucial moment that is transforming how Canadians interact with government.
Thank you all for coming and for having me here today.
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