Policy on Communications and Federal Identity

Gives context and rules for how the Government of Canada (GC) enables communication with the public about policies, programs, services and initiatives, including the administration of the GC official symbols.
Date modified: 2019-08-10

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Communications are central to the Government of Canada’s work and contribute directly to the Canadian public’s trust in their government. The government communicates with the public in both official languages to inform Canadians of policies, programs, services and initiatives, and of Canadians’ rights and responsibilities under the law. The government also has a responsibility to communicate with Canadians to help protect their interests and well-being, and to promote Canada as a prosperous, diverse and welcoming country.

The Government of Canada considers the views of Canadians when developing policies, programs, services and initiatives. In order to have an effective and open dialogue with an increasingly diverse Canadian public, the government uses innovative digital tools and online platforms.

Government communications must be objective, factual, non-partisan, clear, and written in plain language. The communications function entails more than simply providing or receiving information. The way in which the government delivers its communications affects the value of the information, how it is received by the public, and the credibility of its source. Tailoring messages to specific audiences increases the impact of how the information is received.

Canadians increasingly use technology to communicate in their daily lives, and expect to interact with the government in the same way. Using new communications approaches that stem from the rise of digital technologies, balanced with using traditional methods, enables the Government of Canada to reach and engage with Canadians effectively and efficiently in the official language of their choice, regardless of where they reside.

The communications function is integral to developing, implementing and evaluating the government’s policies, programs, services and initiatives. The administration of communications is a shared responsibility that requires the collaboration, support and cooperation of various personnel within individual departments, throughout government as a whole, and across the country.

The corporate identity of the Government of Canada is managed through the Federal Identity Program (FIP). A unified federal identity that is applied consistently across all departments ensures that the public can easily recognize the Government of Canada and its programs, services, facilities, assets, activities and uniformed officials. FIP supports the principle of government accountability by clearly identifying areas of federal responsibility and the allocation of public funds.

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