Doug Ford’s Digital Dilemma

A decade ago as a Presidential candidate, then-Senator Obama was asked how he intended to pay for his signature promise of expanding health care coverage to all Americans. A frequent response was to invoke new technologies and the digitization of healthcare records as a source of significant savings. Such is the contrast between campaigning and...

Digital Privacy and Public Trust

As governments have sought to go digital, one of the most common barriers stymying progress in many jurisdictions is that of privacy – and the protection of personal and otherwise sensitive information. Despite the rhetoric of open government and information and data sharing within the public sector, the reality is a good deal more complex....

A.I. and Government

Cultivating more intelligent government has long been a hallmark of public sector reform, as more agile and learning-based forms of governance are essential to innovation. The rise of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is an extension of this logic – albeit with one important difference. In place of human ingenuity, the machines take charge. Well, perhaps not...

Skills Development and Digital Literacy

As the world grows more digital – and increasingly mobile – workforce development inside of government and digital literacy across all of society are interrelated challenges facing all countries. Government’s threefold task is to: first, nurture new skill sets for its own employee base (comprising multiple and distinct demographic segments); second, innovate and incentivize the...

From Silos to Synergies: Collaboration and Cabinet in a Networked Era

The Trudeau Government’s decision, in August 2017, to split the Indigenous Affairs Ministerial portfolio offers a potentially important inflection point in Canadian Westminster governance. Although skeptics have good reasons to be concerned that such a move is mere political window dressing and, worse yet, could yield the creation of two underlying and eventually even more...

The Liberals and Democratic Reform: From Offense to Defence

As the Liberal’s assumed office, three big democratic reform ideas were floated: electoral reform, e-voting, and mandatory voting. The second and third were never seriously entertained – swatted away by the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform. The first quickly became a quagmire due largely to the Government’s own failures in process design....

Web 3.0 – from Content to Control

The promise of web 2.0 was the emergence of a user-driven Internet where content was produced organically through online engagement, notably via social media. The simultaneous rise of big data reflected a similar trend: extracting value from the patterns of user interactions, transactions, and contributions. The enthusiasm for web 3.0 is pinned on connected and...

Canada 150: Disjointed Federalism and Digital Dysfunction

In recent months, Canadians have borne witness to a new cycle in the perennial spectacle of federal – provincial negotiations on health care. The federal government dangled new funding for items deemed high priority, notably mental health and homecare. As always, consistent with constitutional dictates, the provincial stance was to seek new funds while rejecting new...

Netflix Quandaries: Culture, Content and Social Capital

The last few months have showed a complex and potentially ominous relationship between digital content and community engagement. While Netflix announced stellar results in October (the result of a relentless global expansion), Shomi, the Rogers and Shaw domestic on-demand service was abruptly shut down. In November, Canadian Heritage ended its public consultations on the digital...

President Trump – The New Face of Digital Governance

The arrival of President Trump in the White House marks a new and potentially ominous phase in the evolution of digital government, one reflective of Mr. Trump and an emerging world order that may be less open and less democratic. Along with consequences for the United States, there are wider implications for the world. It...