Thank you, Mr. Chair.
It's a pleasure to join everyone here today. I was hearing the comments about the rain in Saskatchewan and thinking that we need that in British Columbia. We really don't want the fire risk hazard to be as high as it is.
I'd like to acknowledge that I'm joining you from my home in Vancouver on the unceded territories of the Musqueam nation.
I'd like to thank the committee for inviting me here to discuss the 2021 main estimates and the 2021-22 departmental plan for the digital government portfolio.
I'm pleased to be joined today by Marc Brouillard, acting chief information officer of Canada; Karen Cahill, assistant secretary and CFO; Paul Glover, president of Shared Services Canada; and Samantha Hazen, ADM and chief financial officer, Shared Services Canada.
Of course, after my remarks, we'll be happy to answer any questions members have.
As the minister responsible for the government's digital transformation, part of my mandate is to work with ministerial colleagues and provide federal public servants with the tools and strategies they need to design and deliver the services that Canadians expect in the digital era, services that are secure, reliable and easy to access.
We are focused on four areas. First is modernizing how the government replaces, builds and manages major IT systems. Second is improving the service delivery experience for Canadians. Third is coordinating government digital operations through collaborative platforms, tools and secure data sharing. Finally, we are removing organizational barriers to change by training and recruiting public servants with digital skills, diverse perspectives and other initiatives.
Work in these four areas advances my mandate to transform Canadians' experiences with Government of Canada services. While there's still much work ahead, we're making important progress. The investments we're discussing here today will play a major part in updating our systems and rolling out better and more powerful tools so that we can improve Canadians' access to trusted digital services.
In terms of the estimates and the main estimates, SSC is seeking additional funding to provide modern, reliable and secure IT infrastructure in support of government priorities and the digital delivery of programs and services to Canadians. This new funding includes $93.2 million for enabling digital services to Canadians by optimizing the efficiency and performance of IT systems throughout government. We're also looking for new funding of $37.3 million for IT modernization initiatives that will leverage the cloud and consolidate email, data centres and network systems.
Also, $36.5 million is being requested for the cost of core IT services, including funding to support new full-time staff and partner initiatives; $13.5 million for secure video conferencing; $6.7 million to support IT services, infrastructure and our direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and $14.1 million to enhance the integrity of Canada's borders and asylum system as well as respecting newly signed collective agreements and making federal government workplaces more accessible.
We're also seeking $282,000 for the Treasury Board Secretariat to contribute to the Open Government Partnership, a leading global forum for advancing open government around the world.
With regard to the Shared Services Canada 2021-22 departmental plan, our digital government teams will work with departments on several important initiatives. For example, we're continuing to modernize government IT with new iterative methods to plan, procure and manage mission-critical legacy systems. Our SSC data centre closure program is making great progress towards the goal of modernization and has closed 335 legacy data centres to date, of which 143 have been closed since 2019 alone.
We're improving service by ensuring that public-facing digital platforms are consistent across the government and designed for the person or organization using them, such as with Sign In Canada.
We're continuing to implement a modern strategic enterprise management approach to IT operations, like supplying a portfolio of tools to public servants based on job profiles and practical needs and leveraging Office 365 as an example of that.
We're identifying and tackling long-standing barriers to digital innovation that are typical of our traditional siloed processes, and we're working with organizations like Technation's digital marketplace, which helps us access the innovation of more tech SMEs. In taking an enterprise approach, Shared Services Canada is working to solidify network capacity and security, equip and empower employees to collaborate and support partners in the design and delivery of their digital service offerings to Canadians.
From responding effectively in times of crisis to delivering benefits to low-income Canadians to timely service from Service Canada, digital capacity underpins our ability to deliver on every priority and policy the government implements.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I'd be pleased to take questions from the committee.