At the same time, the Government of Canada announced a few of the priorities that would guide its actions in the Speech from the Throne (Government of Canada, 1999a). One of these was to ensure that all government services would be available electronically by 2004. Another priority and corollary of the first was to facilitate Internet access for all Canadians, whether living in urban or rural areas. The Connecting Canadians
1 program addressed this need. Lastly, a policy favouring the use of partnerships for planning and managing development projects had also been formulated by the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) in the Auditor General’s Report (Government of Canada, 1999b). Add to all this the fact that the vast majority of industrialized countries had already embarked on reinventing or at least modernizing their services, and the Canadian government had always played a leadership role on the world stage. Moreover, the country was enjoying a stable political climate and fast-growing economy. All of these factors fostered the quest for alternatives to the way in which federal public services were being delivered at the time, and the creation of a strategic development plan.