Canadian provinces are torn on implementing digital IDs.  Alberta and Ontario have already begun the process while Saskatchewan has recently scrapped its plans.  However, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (“TBS”) and Digital Identification and Authentication Council of Canada (“DIACC”) seem determined to forge ahead regardless of how citizens feel about their plans. They, of course, use the sales pitch of convenience to convince the public to relinquish their freedoms.

In February Trudeau revoked his self-granted powers in response to the trucker convoy protests but last week indicated he may invoke the Emergencies Act again in the future.

Keeping in mind the mentality of Canada’s Prime Minister – the removal of rights and freedoms from those who show disapproval of the Government’s policies – the implementation of digital IDs cannot be viewed as benign.

Canadian provinces are torn on implementing a digital ID

As The Counter Signal wrote in a recent article, while Alberta and Ontario have already rolled out their digital ID, Saskatchewan recently scrapped its plan to launch one after polling citizens who wanted nothing to do with it. Instead, the provincial government now says they’ll monitor uptake and feedback from colleagues in other jurisdictions.  “We will be watching very closely to observe how their digital ID programs progress,” a Ministry of SaskBuilds official stated.

(Related: This is why Saskatchewan cancelled their digital ID program, Rebel News)

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s decision to pursue the implementation of a digital ID is curious as he infamously called out the World Economic Forum (“WEF”), its founder Klaus Schwab, and The Great Reset agenda in late 2020, saying it’s not a conspiracy theory and that people have a right to be concerned, noted The Counter Signal.

The Counter Signal added: “[His] statements now sound highly ironic as paramount to Klaus Schwab’s Great Reset agenda is linking humanity to a digital ID, central bank digital currency, and shoehorning in a Chinese-style social credit score for the Western world to lay the groundwork for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Sid Seixerio and Dina Pugliese, hosts of Breakfast Television, raised the alarm about Ontario’s digital IDs in March 2022.  Citizens of Ontario will be issued a government digital ID that will give them access to a slew of amenities like banking, making medical appointments, and even obtaining a marriage license. And all this personal, private information will sit comfortably on your mobile device.

“No way am I having that much personal information on my phone,” Seixerio declared.

Breakfast Television: Ontario Government to Roll Out Digital ID Cards Later This Year, 10 March 2022 (5 mins)

Opposition parties and candidates are voicing their concerns against centralised digital ID and currency

The Ontario Party, led by Derek Sloan, has presented a petition to the Ontario Legislature that proposes a ban on digital IDs.

“The dangers that this new program poses to upholding civil liberties and privacy rights, and the clear opportunities for abuse of governmental authority it presents in terms of surveillance and compelled behaviour, using access to basic resources as a tool of coercion, are ominous. They point toward progression to a dystopian communist Chinese-style ‘social credit’ system,” the petition states.  The petition goes on:

“Some Canadian citizens have already experienced such coercion through seized property and frozen bank accounts in retaliation for their having supported the ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest.”

CPC candidate Pierre Poilievre also recently proposed that he would ban centralised digital currency that the Liberal government snuck into their budget if elected.

The Government sponsored campaign – Can I see some (digital) ID?

Digital Identity, or Digital ID, works with Tell Us Once “as a dynamic duo to improve service user experience for online GC services,” a public servant wrote on the Government of Canada (“GC”) website.

The idea behind Tell Us Once is simple, it’s about providing citizens with one central place to log in: “one window to access government services,” said Teresa D’Andrea, Executive Director for Digital Enablement at TBS. Covid has undoubtedly pushed forward the need for Tell Us Once, another public servant wrote on GC’s website.

The Digital ID team is part of the Office of the Chief Information Officer of Canada within Cyber Security at TBS. The Director of the team, Michael Goit, describes Digital ID as “a tool for Canadians to access government services in a seamless and secure way”.

The GC currently has 33 departments managing over 270 online government programs and services. “Currently, you have to input your email and password to access different types of government services offered by different departments. This leads to fragmentation. Digital ID would be a single key to open up all the doors”, explained Goit in an attempt to sell the idea to the Canadian public. “Digital ID is about enabling trust in digital transactions and having it be fully digital end-to-end.”

Why is this transformation so important?  One of the reasons explained Po Tea-Duncan, Acting Executive Director of TBS, was “Covid has propelled digital in a major way.  Canadians now expect to be able to receive services online that they used to access in-person.”

When asked what Digital ID means to them, Po said it’s about “enabling secure and trusted online government services.” Goit takes it a step further: “Digital ID is about enabling trust in digital transactions and having it be fully digital end-to-end.”

TBS is on the Board of Directors of DIACC – a non-profit coalition of public and private sector organisations with a mission to unlock “capabilities of the public and private sector to secure Canada’s full and beneficial participation in the digital economy.”

The DIACC is providing the framework “to develop a robust, secure, scalable and privacy-enhancing digital identification and authentication ecosystem.”  The Trust Framework Expert Committee (“TFEC”) represents a diversity of public and private sector stakeholders who collaborate to deliver resources that help to solve and secure identity including validated use cases, standards, model agreements, international alignments, and informative policy development recommendations.

And it’s not only humans they want to “identify.”  The DIACC has dystopian special interest groups such as the ‘Identity Verification and Food Traceability’ for the creation and management of agri-food products or items’ unique identifiers to enable tracking and tracing.

Canada Moves Forward with Plans to Implement Digital IDs

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