Congratulatory Letter to Premier Doug Ford
June 3, 2022
The Honourable Doug Ford
Premier of Ontario
Premier’s Office, Room 281
Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1
Dear Premier Ford,
On behalf of TECHNATION and its members, I want to extend my congratulations on being re-elected as Premier of Ontario. Thank you for your hard work and leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and for your focus on inclusive growth and prosperity for all Ontarians.
This is a critical time for Ontario’s government leaders to get the economy back on track and to achieve the status of a world leading digital government. As you begin work on forming a new Cabinet, we urge you to take into consideration the following:
- Focus on Ontario’s tech sector as a key driver of our economic future: Over 24,000 technology businesses employ 320,000 Ontarians, generate $43.3 billion in annual revenue, and pay wages that are 40% higher than average private sector jobs. Ontario’s tech sector must be a priority. This means a coherent approach that combines Ontario’s digital transformation with an economic development agenda – fueled by innovative technology businesses that are creating the jobs of today, and tomorrow.
- Build on lessons learned from COVID: The Ontario Government made critical investments in digital government prior to the pandemic, and these investments enabled the government to respond quickly to citizens’ needs throughout the COVID-19 crisis. We encourage the government to take important lessons from the pandemic to help improve government, including digital government (especially procurement of tech), health data, learning new digital skills, and programs like Digital Main Street. TECHNATION and its members stand ready to help your government become the world’s leading digital government.
- A modernized Health Care System for all Ontarians: We applaud and support the continued implementation of the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Digital First for Health Strategy as the key successor to delivering a more modern, integrated digital enabled Ontario health system. We encourage continued investments into improving healthcare service delivery by leveraging available and new data solutions. This will improve the effectiveness and efficiencies of data used in decision-making, information sharing and reporting, but further supports an accessible, sustainable, and modernized health care system for all Ontarians.
- Make future tech workforce development a top priority: While the technology sector is poised to create many more high-quality jobs for Ontarians, the ability of the tech sector – especially our small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – to fill those jobs will continue to be a major challenge in a competitive, and borderless, national and global economy. The government must work with industry and other levels of government to develop sustainable strategies to upskill and reskill workers, as well as attract and retain new professionals in Ontario.
- Government and Industry collaboration: We encourage your government to engage tech industry leaders in a true collaboration approach to assist with the province’s digital transformation and procurement reform, in support of delivering online services to the citizens of Ontario. Industry remains willing to come together to provide agnostic input to critical initiatives including, but not limited to, centralized procurement with Supply Ontario and Supply Chain Ontario, the Building Ontario Businesses Initiative (BOBi), Ministry of Health on their Digital Health Data Strategy and other new policy and procurement programs.
- Appoint a Minister of Digital Government to Cabinet: It’s important to have a Minister whose role is to make Ontario a global leader in digital government services. The responsibility for improved service delivery, particularly digitally, has been a key pillar of your government. By having a central decision-making Minister, it will bring together the work being undertaken by various Ministries and will give clarity of objectives to both the tech sector and the taxpayer.
I would welcome the opportunity to personally connect with your team to discuss our roadmap for sustained growth. Once named, we will be reaching out to your new Cabinet Ministers, who are responsible for technology portfolios, to engage with members of our tech sector over the summer.
Once again, congratulations on your election victory. I look forward to continuing our work with you and your government moving forward.
President & CEO
For over 60 years TECHNATION, formerly the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), has been the industry-government nexus for technology prosperity in Canada. As a member-driven, not-for-profit, vendor-neutral TECHNATION unites Canada’s technology sector, governments, and communities to enable technology prosperity from coast to coast. Our top ten largest companies collectively employ over 92,000 Canadians in every region of the country.