At Google Canada, we see the impact digital technology can have in the everyday lives of Canadians. As smartphones and high speed Internet have become available in communities across the country, Canadians have jumped at the chance to record and share their stories, consume online content and even dabble in some online shopping. Canadians are world leaders in terms of the number of webpages we visit monthly, we’re second only to the United Kingdom when it comes to watching online video, and more than half of Canadian consumers have used the Internet to order a good or service.

Still, many Canadians have been slow to recognize the potential for digital technology to transform our economy. For instance, according a recent study by L2, Canadian retailers are falling significantly behind on e-commerce and digital marketing, driving 68 percent of Canadian online shoppers to purchase from non-Canadian retailers and effectively ceding the Canadian market to international competitors.

Digital tools can accelerate innovation in every sector of our economy, help Canadian businesses develop new products, and access new markets at home and abroad.

Digital Canada 150, released today by the Government of Canada, makes it clear that Canada must embrace this digital challenge, much as our ancestors explored our great rivers, laid a ribbon of rail from sea to sea, and first established radio-communication across the country with the help of microwave towers.

With this strategy, the Government of Canada not only recognizes that digital technology is having an impact on every aspect of Canadian life, but argues for us to make a greater investment in digital adoption - as individuals, communities, businesses and a nation.

Digital Canada 150 also commits to supporting the collection, preservation and popularization of our cultural and historical heritage. We share this focus, making information available through Google Maps, the Cultural Institute, the Maps Gallery, and our partnerships with groups like Parks Canada.

We are a digital nation. Digital Canada 150 challenges us all to have a truly global impact by revolutionizing how we interact with our government, our customers and each other.

Posted by Chris O’Neill, Managing Director of Google Canada