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Privy Council Office - Government On-Line 2003


In the Speech from the Throne on October 12, 1999, the government made the following commitment: 'By 2004, our goal is to be known around the world as the government most connected to its citizens, with Canadians able to access all government information and services on-line at the time and place of their choosing.'

The Government On-Line (GOL) strategy will meet this commitment and is a critical step to provide key government services electronically by 2004 through common government-wide infrastructure.

The GOL strategy supports Service Canada, and the vision for client-centred, single-window service for all channels including in person, by phone or electronically.  It will put in place the backbone for the electronic links within government that modern, seamless service delivery requires through all channels, and will give public servants the electronic information and tools they need to serve Canadians.

The GOL strategy is guided by the following set of principles.  All Government of Canada on-line services must be:

  • Bilingual and client-driven,
  • Accessible from home, the workplace or public access points 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use and navigate, including for citizens with special needs,
  • Respectful of privacy, security and confidentiality, and
  • Implemented to ensure Canadians have choice in how they access government.

The GOL strategy will follow a phased or 'tiered' approach to demonstrate visible progress within a manageable framework.  The tiers are:

  • Tier one will establish a minimum on-line presence for all departments and agencies plus a new portal for the government by December 2000,
  • Tier two calls for all key government services on-line by 2004 organized around citizens needs, with the capability to process applications on-line in 'real time' and securely handle financial transactions, and
  • Tier three builds on the inter-jurisdictional service delivery initiatives, to provide for joint Electronic Service Delivery (ESD) with provinces, territories, municipalities, business, volunteer organizations and international partners.


The Privy Council Office is the Prime Minister's department and the Cabinet Secretariat. It is a focal point of action in the Government of Canada's public service. Our work requires close and continuous contact with other federal departments and agencies to support their ability to work effectively and to ensure overall consultation and coordination. We provide non-partisan advice and support to the government, and leadership, coordination and support to the departments and agencies of the government.

The primary responsibility of the Privy Council Office is to provide public service support to the Prime Minister, to ministers within the Prime Minister's portfolio, and to the Cabinet in order to facilitate the smooth and effective operation of the Government of Canada.

The Privy Council Office is staffed by career public servants. Our activities are guided by our mission and our values. Our work reflects and supports the three core responsibilities of the Clerk of the Privy Council, who is the head of PCO.

PCO's GOL Vision

« The Privy Council Office is not primarily involved in delivering services and programs directly to citizens. However, Government On-Line is one of the external business drivers of the department's strategic plan and its internal business processes. Three key external client services provided by PCO to the Canadians have been identified as candidates for the Internet channel.

Privy Council Office is committed to accept correspondence and requests for congratulatory messages through the Web interface and respond, as appropriate, via the same means or through other channels like the regular mail or telephone.  Our website is made available to the public.  Information about our mandate, our services, and various information resources can be found at this site. »

Key External Client Services

Prime Minister's Correspondence

This external service has been established in order to provide information and increase understanding of the government and its policies by dealing with correspondence directed to the Prime Minister from a broad spectrum of individuals and organizations in Canada and abroad.  The on-line electronic mail correspondence was implemented in November 1997.  It is fully operational and no further costs need to be incurred.

The clients of this service are Canadians, businesses, non-Canadians, and schools.

For more information on this on-line key external service, please contact :

Michèle Saint-Laurent  
Phone : (613) 941-6888
Address : Privy Council Office, 80 Wellington Street, Ottawa , Ontario , K1A 0A3
E-Mail :
E-Mail :

Prime Minister's Congratulatory Messages

On request, the Prime Minister sends congratulatory letters and certificates to Canadians celebrating a significant birthday or wedding anniversary.  Some on-line features available on the Prime Minister's website since November 2000 allow access to a form to request congratulatory letters and certificates.  In addition, an electronic form and an alternative format (PDF form) have been available for on-line submission on the same site since April 2001.

Privy Council Office is planning to enhance this service so that the electronic requests for congratulatory letters and certificates will be submitted on-line and integrated into the new system to support end-to-end transactions. The current automated system supporting the operations of this service will be, in a first phase, redeveloped by June 2003 and, as a second phase, linked with the Web interface by the Fall 2003.

The new system, after having captured the information from the requestor,  will automatically generate the appropriate letter(s) or certificate(s) with transposition of the collected information in the adequate format, get it verified by a qualified resource, print the envelope, and package it so that it goes for signature and mailing.  This milestone was completed.

The clients of this service are the Canadian public.

For more information on this on-line key external service, please contact :

Michèle Saint-Laurent
Phone : (613) 941-6888
Address : Privy Council Office, 80 Wellington Street, Ottawa , Ontario , K1A 0A3
E-Mail :

Privy Council Office website

The website provides information on the Privy Council Office mission, values, activities and programs, publications, and related Ministers' Offices. The request for publications, the public inquiries on-line, automatic e-mail acknowledgement, basic search and link to GOC portal were completed in December 2000. A new graphic design following Common Look and Feel Standards was completed in October 2001 and further content enhancements were completed by March 2002.

The clients of this service are Canadians, Canadian businesses, non-Canadians, media, academics, other departments/agencies and other governments.

For more information on this on-line key external service, please contact :

Jean Weerasinghe
Phone : (613) 957-5133
Address : Privy Council Office, 85 Sparks Street , Room 1000, Ottawa , Ontario , K1A 0A3
E-Mail :

GOL Contacts

PCO Lead Contact

Lois Pearce
Assistant Deputy Minister
(613) 957-5151

PCO Communications

Renée Saint-Arnaud-Watt
(613) 957-5424