A simplified digital experience

Lots of websites today let you use a single ID and password to access multiple services. So why not the same when it comes to government services — instead of having to enter personal information over and over? These key initiatives are bringing this vision closer to reality.

Toward the vision of OneGC

“OneGC” is the Government of Canada’s long-term vision to provide any service on any platform or device and through any trusted partner. Whether it’s digital by design, the pursuit of common services such as digital identity, or making use of emerging technologies, the government is incorporating a wide range of approaches to achieve OneGC. You can find out more in the Digital Operations Strategic Plan (2018-2022). Linking the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) My Account and Employment Social Development Canada’s (ESDC) My Service Canada Account is a step toward this, though there are still challenges to overcome. Existing legislative frameworks may not enable effective sharing of information across departments, and the government’s current IT environment needs updating to support a true “one-stop shop” service approach. Efforts are underway to address these challenges going forward.

Log in once, tell us once: CRA and ESDC

In October 2016, CRA and ESDC linked two key services so Canadians can access both with a single login. CRA’s My Account service lets people track their tax refunds, review or change their returns, and choose whether to receive a refund by cheque or direct deposit. ESDC’s My Service Canada Account is the place to update personal information for some of ESDC’s benefits, including employment insurance, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and other benefits.

In addition to the new single sign-in, CPP recipients are able to update their direct deposit information with either the CRA or ESDC and, with their consent, have the information automatically updated at the other organization, providing Canadians with a “tell us once” experience.

Going paperless with CRA

Providing a single point of access isn’t the only way to streamline government services. Shifting from paper to electronic correspondence is fast, efficient and sustainable.

Today, Canadians who opt into Online Mail receive communications from CRA electronically, including notices of assessment, benefit statements and more, all viewable directly from the My Account page. Email notifications tell users whenever a new piece of correspondence has arrived.

Account information at your fingertips

It used to be that if you were using your CRA My Account to manage your taxes and benefits and wanted to learn more about your Canada Pension Plan benefits, Employment Insurance claim or other benefits, you had to log in separately to Service Canada. Now that the two services are linked, you can simply click a button to be transferred to your My Service Canada account — no separate username or password required.