December 30, 2016

Mr. Yvan Baker
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for Digital Government
7 Queen’s Park Crescent
7th Floor, Frost Building South
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1Y7

Dear Mr. Baker:

It is my privilege to welcome you to your new role as Ontario’s first Parliamentary Assistant for Digital Government. Our mandate is to make government work better for citizens by delivering simple and straightforward digital services and products.

As we embark on this important work, together, I ask you to continue building on the progress we have made in our ‘digital by default’ approach by driving digital transformation across government and modernizing service delivery for the digital age.

As you know, 90 per cent of Ontarians use the internet to shop, find information, learn new things and interact. The public expects to connect with their government anytime, anywhere and on any device. To meet these changing needs, we must fundamentally rethink how we design and deliver public services for people.

In your new role, you will work closely with me, in my capacity as Minister Responsible for Digital Government, to transform the way that citizens engage and interact with their government through the power of digital technology. As parliamentary assistant, your specific responsibilities include driving both delivery and engagement efforts.

High-impact Signature Projects

You will take an active role in the design, delivery, engagement and promotion of a series of signature projects that will visibly and fundamentally change the citizen’s experience with government and achieve better value in measurable ways. Along with partner ministries, you will champion and support:

  • Making it easier for students to complete online tasks that support their postsecondary education or training, including applying for the new OSAP, which will make average tuition free for eligible low- and moderate-income students, and will reduce the cost for many more.
  • Providing better access to information and data to help people make the right choices about their health and effectively navigate the health care system.
  • Improving key online transactions and supporting the development of a government-wide digital identity that enables citizens to verify their identity online in a simple, consistent way.
  • Helping to create new modes of public engagement and taking an active role in advancing open government projects as part of Ontario’s role in the Open Government Partnership.
    Developing new digital tools for engaging key business sectors on reducing red tape, improving business information online, and developing new services and tools to attract greater investment.

Building a Strong and Diverse Digital Community

As a key voice representing Ontario’s commitment to digital innovation, you will help lead our government’s engagement with various communities of interest in civic tech and digital domains to advance collaboration as we work to accelerate digital transformation.

Lead an Ontario Digital Design Challenge

To encourage new modes of engagement and interaction, you will lead the development of a digital design competition that will engage Ontario’s technology and design sectors, postsecondary students, or others, to create a digital solution to a public challenge, modeled after successful citizen co-creation efforts in other jurisdictions such as in the United States or the Vancouver Design Challenge in B.C.

Canada’s Most Open, Transparent and Digitally Connected Government

To achieve our vision of digital transformation, you will:

  • Join me in releasing the government’s first Digital Government Action Plan, which will serve as a roadmap for change, making recommendations that can advance digital transformation and promote economic growth.
  • Champion the work of the Ontario Public Service in attracting, developing and empowering in-demand digital skills across government.
  • Partner with me, and the Treasury Board Secretariat and Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, to remove barriers to, and enable, wider digital adoption in government through an enterprise-wide digital standards framework for the public-facing digital channel.
  • Work together with me to make government more responsive to citizens by developing a digital literacy strategy in partnership with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.
  • Develop online tools and resources to help students make more informed decisions about which postsecondary institution to attend, which program of study to pursue, and how to access financial aid.

Together, I am certain that we can drive digital change that improves the citizen’s experience with government, in collaboration with partners both inside and outside of government. I look forward to working with you as we deliver our digital mandate and work to build opportunity and prosperity for all Ontarians.


Original signed by

Deb Matthews
Minister Responsible for Digital Government