Archived — FAQs—Digital Canada 150

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What is Digital Canada 150? Why is it needed?

Today, we are living in a transformational digital age where there are few jobs, few sectors and few aspects of our lives that remain untouched by digital technologies. Our challenge is to connect all Canadians to the opportunities afforded by a digital world.

Digital Canada 150 represents a comprehensive approach to ensuring Canada can take full advantage of the opportunities in the digital age. Digital Canada 150 is a strategy for Canada's digital future based on five pillars — Connecting Canadians, Protecting Canadians, Economic Opportunities, Canadian Content and Digital Government. These are all areas where we have taken significant actions and where we will continue to progress in the future.

Digital Canada 150 is an ambitious plan that will provide a new direction and vision for Canada.

How does Digital Canada 150 build on the 2010 digital economy consultations?

The 2010 consultations provided an opportunity to hear from Canadians and Canadian businesses on how Canada could benefit from the opportunities of digital technology.

As a result of the comments we received, we are investing more money into broadband services for underserved communities; we are making more spectrum available and we are ensuring choice and competition in the wireless sector.

We are putting in place a strong legislative framework to protect Canadian families and businesses from malicious online threats and to safeguard their privacy. We have made more venture capital funding available and have asked the Business Development Bank of Canada to provide more loans and services to businesses to help them adopt new digital technologies.

We, as a Government, are strengthening our web presence and the way we use technology, as well as making it easier than ever to access government services and information online.

And we have made it easier to access Canadian content online that will allow us to celebrate our history, arts and culture.

In the digital world, change is the only constant. We are committed to continuously updating Digital Canada 150 and adapting it to better serve Canadians.

How did Economic Action Plan 2014 contribute to advancing the digital agenda?

Economic Action Plan 2014 included a number of initiatives that advanced Canada as a more digital nation:

  • We committed $305 million to extend and enhance access to high-speed broadband networks in rural and northern communities.
  • We announced $36 million to renew the Computers for Schools Program which works with provinces, territories, and the private and volunteer sectors, to collect, repair and refurbish donated surplus computers from government and private-sector sources and distribute them to learning organizations in need.
  • We proposed to create the $1.5 billion Canada First Research Excellence Fund to help Canadian post-secondary institutes excel globally in research areas that create long-term economic advantages for Canada.
  • We are helping those entrepreneurs create new companies by providing $40 million to the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program. We also committed $40 million to create up to 3,000 internships in high-demand fields and an additional $15 million annually to internships with SMEs.
  • We are continuing to support the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Music Fund with permanent funding to create new digital content and to enhance the visibility of Canadian content on digital platforms.
  • In addition to the investments from the Economic Action Plan 2014, the Business Development Bank of Canada will be making an additional $200 million available in loans for digital technology adoption, and $300 million for venture capital. This will help SMEs adopt digital technologies and provide access to much needed capital for new start-ups.

This strategy is intended to be "evergreen" — how often will it be reviewed and/or updated?

This strategy asks each of us to do our part — individuals, businesses, not-for-profits and government. As such, we will continue to hear the great ideas that Canadians and Canadian businesses have to improve our country. And we, as government, will continue implementing the policies required and creating the environment necessary for Canada to be a leading-edge digital economy.

How do I apply to get funding for Digital Canada 150?

Digital Canada 150 is a strategy that outlines how Canada can take full advantage of the opportunities of the digital age. It is a broad strategy that establishes clear goals of what Canada can achieve by the time we celebrate our 150th birthday in 2017. There are five pillars, 39 new initiatives, one national plan for 35 million Canadians.

For example, as part of Digital Canada 150, the government is launching a program to ensure that over 98% of Canadians have access to high-speed Internet at 5 megabits per second, providing rural and remote communities with access to faster, more reliable online services. The government also recently tabled a bill, entitled the Digital Privacy Act, to strengthen the Personal Information Protection and Electronics Documents Act and better protect the online privacy of Canadians. The Business Development Bank of Canada will allocate an additional $200 million to support small and medium-sized businesses with digital technology adoption so these businesses can offer Canadians better services. Support for the Computers for Schools Program will continue to provide students and interns with access to digital equipment and skills training. These are just a few examples of the actions taken to ensure that Canada, and Canadians, succeed in the digital age.

Digital Canada 150 is not a specific program that provides funding.