E-Government in Canada: Transformation for the Digital Age


364 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7766-0617-4
DDC 351.71'0285'4678





Reviewed by Jeffrey Moon

Jeff Moon is head of the Maps, Data, and Government Information Centre
at Queen’s University.


E-Government in Canada:Transformation for the Digital Age looks at how
digital technologies have been embraced by the Canadian government in
recent years. The book takes a balanced view of this phenomenon,
recognizing that

the creation of “e-government” has followed both traditional and
transformational paths. The former refers to digital technologies
incorporated into existing structures, while the latter encompasses
“new potentials” and “continuous innovation.”

The book is divided into three parts: “Dimensions of Change,”
“The Canadian Experience,” and “Looking Ahead.” Part 1 deals
with issues of service, security, transparency, and trust in
e-government. These themes are woven into the Part 2, which focuses on
issues of e-government at the federal, provincial, and local levels.
Part 3 extends the discussion to include accountability, public
engagement, and how e-government goes beyond Canada’s borders.

Drawing on a rich array of Canadian, American, and international
examples, Roy explores many key issues surrounding e-government. At the
federal level, not surprisingly, there is an emphasis on
security-related issues driven by post–9/11 concerns. The author
characterizes provincial and local governments as being a “robust
laboratory of democratic and digital reforms.” For these jurisdictions
he asks, “Should government be expected to deploy power or share
it?” This question is timely given recent debates about
federal–provincial fiscal relations and electoral reform.

The notes section at the end of the book deserves special mention.
Organized by chapter, these notes include web addresses and often
extensive commentary (up to half a page) on the issue at hand. Some
errors were made in the numbering of notes, but they are still well
worth a look. In addition, there are 19 pages of academic and government
sources and a 14-page index.

Roy’s book will appeal to government insiders and anyone interested
in the prospects for “e-democracy” in Canada.


Roy, Jeffrey., “E-Government in Canada: Transformation for the Digital Age,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/16028.