Ontario introducing action plan to improve access to government services

Premier Doug Ford during today's press conference at Queen's Park. Premier Doug Ford announces government's new action plan during today's press conference at Queen's Park.

The Ontario government is working to provide easier, more convenient, and secure access to government services, including a new digital identity tool.

It introduced a plan Monday called Ontario Onwards: Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan for a People-Focused Government will include over 30 projects to improve services across the province.

“When COVID-19 hit, like many businesses, the government had to adapt quickly to meet the needs of Ontarians… we found ways to go digital, we found ways to simplify processes, we found ways to be more responsive and flexible,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford at a press conference today in Queen’s Park.

“I am proud to announce our all-new action plan to make government services better for people. We want to make services more accessible, more reliable, and more convenient for you.”

The action plan will focus on making government services more digitally accessible, reducing red tape and simplifying policies while protecting public health and safety, improving government purchasing, and creating more responsible and flexible public services.

“Our government is (seizing) this moment to deliver government programs and services which meet the public’s needs with unprecedented speed and convenience,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Ontario Treasury Board.

Digital Identity Project 

One of the key projects is the Digital Identity Project. It will allow people and businesses to create a secure online identity to verify their identity quickly and easily. The digital identity documents will be saved to a Digital Wallet on a mobile device, which can be used anywhere. This will eliminate the need to send identification information through email.

For example, a farmer could register a farm vehicle online instead of spending the day driving to government offices.

The Digital Identity Project will begin in January with a consultation with industry on how a secure digital identity can be brought to Ontario by the end of 2021. Further news on the action plan will be announced in the coming months.

“From banking to groceries, businesses have adapted their operations to reach their customer’s needs online, the government must do the same. Our customer is the taxpayer. We need to deliver the same level of services, they have come to expect from other services they rely on every day,” said Ford.  

Protestors outside Ford’s home

Ford also addressed protesters showing up outside his house. He said protesters are intimidating children in the area and making them unable to play outside their homes due to COVID concerns.

“If you want to protest me, I’m all for it, freedom of speech, come down here, protest, do whatever you want, but just please leave my neighbours and their kids alone,” said Ford.

More info:

Original news announcement
Press conference video
Comments on the new action from businesses