Thanks so much, Mr. Chair. It's good to see everyone virtually.
I'm pleased to appear before this committee from my home in the traditional territory of the Coast Salish peoples. I'm joined today by Paul Glover, president of Shared Services Canada; Raj Thuppal, SSC, senior assistant deputy minister for networks, security and digital services; Marc Brouillard, acting chief information officer of Canada; and Scott Jones, head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security.
Mr. Chair and colleagues, as Minister of Digital Government, I'm leading the Government of Canada's digital transformation. My mandate is to provide public servants with the tools they need and to deliver the digital services Canadians expect. This transformation is critical for the government to keep pace digitally, and as the pandemic has shown, it's more important than ever that we have secure, reliable and easy-to-use digital services to make sure that no Canadian is left behind.
It has been about 10 weeks since our government took the unprecedented step of asking federal employees to work from home, and to support this, the digital teams right across government stepped up their efforts to ensure the public service could continue working safely and effectively, because our government's first priority is to continue serving Canadians.
I have been so impressed by the work of Shared Services Canada, the office of the chief information officer and the Canadian Digital Service have been doing to ramp up our digital capacities almost overnight. SSC has been working to maintain IT support for efficient and secure delivery of critical services as citizen needs escalate, and this in addition to supporting an unprecedented increase in public servants teleworking from their homes. I can't express enough the magnitude of this work and I thank all of the public servants who've been doing it.
SSC expanded networks, boosted services and provided equipment and tools so employees were able to continue to deliver critical services while working from home. They also enabled WiFi-calling so that employees could call and receive calls where there was poor cell service, and they increased departments' Internet capacity, in some cases up to 300%. They nearly doubled government's secure remote access capacity so that we can currently have up to 270,000 simultaneous remote connections. SSC also tripled the ability of the CRA to manage the flood of Canadians applying for the Canada emergency response benefit and the emergency student benefit.
The Canadian Digital Service has also been helping with digital responses right across government. They created a digital tool kit, helping departments recruit tech staff and access a library of open source code solutions—and how to use them—and helping citizens navigate the multiple benefits that are available and sign up for secure notifications about COVID-19 from Health Canada and other ministries.
The office of the CIO has been working across government to provide guidance on COVID-19 IT challenges, making sure that private sector offers of help are assessed and connected quickly with departments as well. To keep information safe, this office has helped all federal employees make telework more secure and provided best practices for using digital tools safely.
Disruption attracts cybersecurity challengers and we're very aware that increased and new uses of digital tools carry the risk of malicious cyber-activities. Cybersecurity is and will continue to be a high priority for our government as we safeguard Canadians from cyber-threats. Let me assure this committee that we are constantly monitoring, detecting and actively neutralizing cyber-threats, and that we coordinate events effectively through the Government of Canada cybersecurity event management plan.
Shared Services Canada has increased the overall security of the government through services such as perimeter defence, vulnerability management, supply chain integrity and an integrated cyber and IT security program to protect the infrastructure supporting departments and agencies.
To combat COVID-19 misinformation and fraud, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security coordinated with industry partners to help remove thousands of fraudulent websites and email addresses that could have been used for malicious activity.
In conclusion, every crisis can be an opportunity to change for the better, and this pandemic is no different. In short order we have seen a move towards collaboration across all orders of government and industry. We've adopted digital solutions to unprecedented challenges at unprecedented speed, and we're doing it safely. I thank all our public servants for their Herculean efforts in this digital response.
Thank you. We'll be happy to now take your questions.