Welcome to a community of common interests

Peace, order and good e-government. It isn’t what we originallysigned up for, but more and more it’s what Canadians expect. Andmanaging citizens’ expectations is a gargantuan task for any levelof government.

But why shouldn’t we expect increasing electronic capacity forour many and various dealings with government? Electronic servicedelivery (ESD) isn’t rocket science, isn’t even Texas Hold’em.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great things going onright now, and I hope you’re here to find out more about them,share your own ideas and initiatives, and basically contributeanything you can to this community to make it more informed andwiser going forward.

So, to that end, what I would like to do right here, right now,on day one, is get a discussion going. I’ll tell you one of anumber of things I think is fundamentally broke in ESD, and you cantell me what you think. Very basic stuff, I know. But I sense itwill get us collaborating, providing a living record — from heretill whenever — to record our collective thoughts.

For my part, I don’t think the feds get it. I think theprovinces are missing it too. The municipalities have the greatestunderstanding – just look at 311, if you want to take two stepsforward you better first take one step backward, and 311 is abrilliantly conceived catchall for a government moving forwardelectronically.

So what is it the first two don’t get? Web savvy.

In the mid to late 90s when the Internet was emerging, I thinkmaybe 5 to 10 per cent of Canadians were truly Web savvy. Now,about a decade later, after the bust and the emergence of theInternet as a service vehicle, I’d say 90 per cent of Canadians areWeb savvy.

But our appetite for progression doesn’t end there. Canadiansnow know enough to want an extension of what is commonly calledInternet 2.0 – the capacity for what we need to find us, instead ofhaving to look for it ourselves.

Governments have a ways to go to get ahead of this wave, but itcan be done. And after all, in an intergovernmental sense, that iswhat this Web site is for.

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