OTTAWA–New technology has transformed the way we access information, shop, live, socialize and work. On June 19, the Government of Canada launched a national consultation on digital and data transformation. The Canada-wide consultation will help the government understand how Canadians want to drive innovation in a data economy, prepare for the future of work and ensure that citizens have trust and confidence in how their data is used.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, today announced that six innovation experts have been selected to host these roundtable discussions with Canadians across the country. Many of these leaders were part of the Innovation Agenda consultations in 2016 that supported the development of the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, announced in Budget 2017.

The digital innovation leaders are:

Janie Béïque, Executive Vice-President, Investments, Fonds de solidarité FTQ
Dr. Arvind Gupta, professor of computer science at the University of Toronto and former president and vice-chancellor of the University of British Columbia
Sarah Lubik, Director of Entrepreneurship for Simon Fraser University
Carole Piovesan, lawyer with McCarthy Tétrault
Mark Podlasly, founder of Brookmere Management Group
Ilse Treurnicht, former CEO of MaRS Discovery District

From early August to mid-September, these leaders will host roundtable discussions in cities across Canada with business, academia, civil society and others. Target cities for roundtables include Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Waterloo, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Halifax, St. John’s, Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit.

Because there is strength in our diversity, the roundtables will include women, Indigenous peoples and other under-represented groups.

Those interested in attending a roundtable in person should contact and include their contact information and preferred target location.

All Canadians are invited to participate in the National Digital and Data Consultations online.

The consultations are the next step in the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan and will provide the information needed to boost competitiveness and secure Canada’s position as a global innovation leader.

“Unlocking the economic opportunities from digital transformation will help Canada’s competitiveness, attract investment and create middle-class jobs from coast to coast to coast. I thank these strong leaders for the key role they will play in engaging with Canadians on how we can leverage data to drive innovation while respecting the privacy of Canadians,” said 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.

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