Dear Minister Beech:
Thank you for agreeing to serve Canadians as Minister of Citizens’ Services.
You take on this role at a consequential moment in our history.
When our government was given a new mandate, a little over two years ago, the world was still in the midst of a global pandemic. Thanks to science—to vaccines and medical expertise—and the actions of Canadians across this country, this emergency has ended. But we have emerged into a world that is facing more uncertainty than we have seen in our lifetimes.
Global events—wars, climate change, inflation—are having very real consequences in the lives of Canadians. There are more and more anti-democratic forces that seek to destabilize our democracy and our democratic institutions. The cost of living has increased faster than it has in a generation, driving up the cost of necessities; housing costs are especially high, and families are worried about their futures. A strong Canada must have a strong middle class. We need to fight as hard as ever to build the future the middle class and all those working hard to join it deserve.
With all that is going on in Canada and around the world, serious, responsible government has never been more important. And your work in this Cabinet is essential so that Canada continues to stand strong and meet the challenges before us—so that we can protect our values of freedom and openness, protect our environment, and protect the promise of Canada.
Two years ago, Canadians elected our government to deliver on what matters to them. You are responsible for upholding the commitments made to Canadians in 2021, which are outlined in the mandate letters issued to Cabinet in December 2021 (for your reference linked here).
As you undertake your responsibilities at a consequential time—with your officials and with your Cabinet colleagues—you are building on all the positive progress we have delivered for Canadians over the last eight years. And I want to remind you that—as has been our core value since 2015—it is people who must be at the heart of every decision we take.
I ask that, as Minister of Citizens’ Services, you achieve results for Canadians by delivering the following commitments.
- Serve as our government’s champion for service delivery excellence, ensuring we place Canadians at the core of how we design and deliver their services, with emphasis on delivering services where and when Canadians need them.
- Develop a whole-of-government Cabinet directive that outlines our objectives, expectations, and plans with respect to the delivery of federal services, such as establishing new services as digital by design, creating a more convenient and accessible front door to government, and improving, measuring, and reporting on service standards. You will be supported in this work by the President of the Treasury Board.
- Take steps to bolster Service Canada’s leadership role in delivering services to Canadians. This should include identifying high-impact service improvements in the short-term and leveraging its expertise to support colleagues in delivering priority initiatives, including the Canadian Dental Care Plan.
- Work with the President of the Treasury Board to drive the digitalization of government services, with particular emphasis on accelerating and expanding the use of Canadian Digital Service across government.
- Work with the President of the Treasury Board to create a trusted digital identity platform to support seamless service delivery to Canadians across the country.
- Support the President of the Treasury Board in advancing the Public Service Skills Strategy, with particular emphasis on identifying, recruiting, and retaining employees with digital and customer service experience, including at management levels.
- As Chair of the Sub-Committee on Service Delivery, drive government-wide coordination and focus to ensure that the full suite of government services are delivered in a more efficient, timely, and accessible manner for Canadians.
- Explore opportunities to organize the delivery of services in more convenient ways for Canadians, including by life events (i.e., birth, marriage, etc.).
- Building on lessons learned from summer 2022, take steps to proactively identify potential service delivery challenges and develop mitigation plans, especially with regards to passports.
- Supported by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, lead the ongoing development and implementation of modern, resilient, secure, and reliable services and benefit delivery systems for Canadians and ensure those services and benefits reach all Canadians regardless of where they live.
- Supported by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, work with the Minister of National Revenue toward the implementation of a real-time e-payroll system and ensure that businesses of all sizes benefit from this work.
Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada