The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Governments too often do not act as much as they react. Nowhere is that truer than in the field of online connectivity. The government of Canada is to be commended for the steps, tentative though they may be, in extending our Internet capabilities. The appointment of Michelle d’Auray as chief information officer and the soon-to-be released recommendations of the National Broadband Task Force show the feds are trying to move this country forward. The Government Online program is a valiant effort to make services available to all Canadians more readily. We will no longer be dependent on someone else’s office hours to get information we need or to send material to Ottawa. In a country as geographically diverse as this one, that is no small feat. By the same token the provision of these services is useless if the citizens do not have the means to access them. The task force is seeking the best way to roll out Internet access to all facets of Canada by 2004. This, combined with the current CRTC initiative to provide full telephone connectivity to all parts of the nation, should help people stay connected to their government. There must be political will for these projects to succeed. There are several Parliamentarians on both sides of the House of Commons and the Senate who are championing the high-tech advances. Industry Canada began its move into the sector when John Manley was minister. His successor Brian Tobin is quickly getting up to speed on that facet of his portfolio. At the same time as we are deploying technology, we must remain aware of its dangers. Privacy concerns must be at the top of this list. The privacy commissioner George Radwanski and his predecessor Bruce Phillips have been vigilant in their concern for keeping confidential material under wraps. Canada is in the enviable position of providing topnotch service while still respecting the rights of its citizens. We are on the verge of leading the world. Let’s hope the will exists to carry through to the enviable conclusion.