Politics and technology. It just doesn’t sound right, does it? But here’s the thing: Elected officials are, in general, tapped into the latest developments within their areas of responsibility. Their offices—or the departments under their offices—usually get to stamp applications for business permits and give out R&D grants for startups developing the latest consumer, commercial, or government technology. Plus, they’re often invited to events where new innovations are announced, and that’s where government social media comes in.
In Canada, governments on all levels have embraced the idea of technology innovations as critical to economic prosperity. At the same time, politicians are increasingly turning to consumer and government social media to raise their profile and connect with their constituents. For IT execs, it’s never been easier to stay current with what the country’s top officials have to say about what’s coming down the innovation pipeline.
But where can you start? After all, there are hundreds of politicians and senior public servants in Canada. The good news is not all of them have government social media accounts. There’s even better news: To make it easy for you to follow the ones whose tweets are most likely to make your day—or at least make you say, “Hmm, very interesting”—we’ve compiled a list of the top five Canadian government officials to follow on social media.
1. Justin Trudeau
Our guy on Parliament Hill really knows how to use government social media. This year, Canada’s prime minister became the country’s first politician to host a Snapchat Live Story—a newly introduced Snapchat feature that stitches together photos and videos to form a narrative. But that’s not the only reason the PM made it on this list. The Trudeau government is behind an ambitious innovation strategy aiming to transform Canada into a country that knows how to bring cutting-edge ideas to market. The strategy includes building Canada into a global leader in artificial intelligence and teaching kids how to code. Trudeau is prolific on social media, too—in addition to Snapchat, he posts regularly on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
"It's becoming more and more apparent that Montreal is the AI hub of the world.” https://t.co/SpqRCAlqyl— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 24, 2018
2. Navdeep Bains
Canada’s minister of innovation, science, and economic development clearly has a good handle on what the country is doing in the realm of consumer, commercial, and government technology. While Bains tweets on a wide range of topics—from girls’ education to racism—he also zeroes in on developments in certain areas, such as clean technology and digital education. Watch for shout-outs highlighting the latest technologies and projects from local and global companies.
Coding is the next big job, and we’re setting up our kids for success with digital skills training through #CanCode. Liberals spending $50M to teach K-12 students and their teachers coding. #cdnpoli https://t.co/WOvG3YezyA— Navdeep Bains (@NavdeepSBains) January 22, 2018
3. Berry Vrbanovic, Dave Jaworsky, and Doug Craig
These three amigos head Canada’s leading technology triangle, Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge, which is home to such giants as Google, Open Text, and Intel Security, as well as a dynamic ecosystem of innovative tech startups. Follow these city leaders on their government social media platforms to receive updates on who’s starting a new business, where the tech investment dollars are going, and which companies are looking to set up shop in the region.
We are part of this bid and would love to welcome @Amazon’s new HQ2 to join the growing cluster of tech companies between #Toronto and the #waterlooregion. Our competitive advantage is the steady stream of talent from our world-class research universities & technical colleges. https://t.co/cnw9cNgDVP— Doug Craig (@MayorDougCraig) January 18, 2018
4. Kirsty Duncan
Want to know who’s just announced major investments in genomics research or what machine learning startups in Toronto are doing? Canada’s minister of science has the scoop on all kinds of tech—and science—related gems. That’s the thing about being the country’s top dog in science: You have first dibs on breaking news and get invited to a variety of press conferences and ribbon-cutting ceremonies. And then, you get to share them on government social media for everyone to see.
5. Dominique Anglade
With a degree in industrial engineering and a career history that includes technical and management roles in various blue-chip organizations, Dominique Anglade is well versed in innovation and business. Her portfolio also includes Montreal, a city known globally as a hub for AI. Anglade tweets mostly in French, though, so if you don’t parlez, you’ll need to break out your Larousse dictionary or turn to Google Translate.
Whether you’re looking to follow government officials to know exactly what’s happening in your area or searching for the latest in tech news and innovation, you can’t go wrong checking out these accounts. Who knows what you might glean?