E-Government and Canadian Politics

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E-Government and Canadian Politics

The greatest impact that the world today has experienced is the advancement of the information and communication technology (ICT). ICT has catapulted the world’s economy to heights that could not have been ever anticipated. (Allen B.A et al, 2001) Through the broad spectrum of ICT the world has been turned into a “global village” where at a click of a button, trade or transfer of information is exchanged from one end of the globe to the other effortlessly. The speed with which this industry has grown has astounded many, with close to a billion people predicted to go online by the end of next year. Already the global online population today stands at over 200 million, generating close to over 1.2 million jobs and raking in over $301.4 billion to the economy of U.S alone. (Allen B.A et al, 2001)

ICT in general and internet in particular are continuing to shape the world’s economy in a very big way and any organization or government that does not embrace it, risks being tossed into the sea of irrelevance. This is because this is the direction the world is going. The sector has realized unprecedented growth in entrepreneurial and employment sectors. ICT enables individuals in any community to actively participate in the shaping of the economy both locally and internationally. The rise in enterprise as one of its consequences has generated employment, has improved accessibility to health and greatly enhanced the interaction of the government with its citizenry. (Allen B.A et al, 2001)

Therefore the future of all governments increasingly rests on the adoption and utilization of ICT. Governments world over have one particular task, the task of providing services to the public whom it depends on for its own existence. (Gupta M.P, 2004) Governments are required to provide security, infrastructure, and other public goods that go towards creating enabling environments for the creation of wealth. Most governments are unable to provide such facility to the utmost expectation of the citizenry, failing to cater for the needs of the general population. Thus, if any government can be able to deliver such services in an efficient and inexpensive manner then they would have fulfilled their biggest obligation. (Gupta M.P, 2004)

The government of Canada is highly ranked globally in this sector and by 2005 as per the report of Accenture Consulting Group; Canada was leading 22 other countries in e-government a 5th time in a row to achieve such a feat. The success of the country is attributed to the commitment the Canadian government has constantly shown. On welcoming this report in the 3rd repot which the country had scooped the first title, the honorable Lucienne Robillard, the Member of Parliament for Westmont and The President of the Treasury Board of Canada stated clearly the governments role, which he described thus

“The success of Canada’s government online initiative has been built by listening to the views of Canadians and Canadian businesses on how we can improve our service delivery… we are responding by delivering services in ways that cross traditional programs, departmental and governmental boundaries” (www.pstm.net/article/index.php?anticlaid=144.)

Thus, Canada’s success relied not only on the government’s commitment but the commitment of the stakeholders as well. The stakeholders here include the private sector, the public, the civil servants, investors and other interest groups. E-governments and e-commerce deeply depends on the existence of e-citizens and e-communities. E-citizens are IT literate and have unlimited access to information technology and they provide the backbone to the growth of this industry. (Center for Technology in Government, 2003)

By the end of 2005, Canada continued to maintain this lead in the categories of e-government thus “setting the standard for the rest of the world”. Accenture attributed this success to “Canada’s focus on self-examination and...
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