WHITEHORSE—Yukon’s IT sector is getting a boost thanks to increased funding in the upcoming budget. Subject to legislative approval, an additional $3 million will be invested in information technology capital spending, bringing the total IT budget to $9.5 million.
“Investing in IT will provide a foundation for growth for Yukon’s knowledge and technology sector,” Minister of Highways and Public Works Scott Kent said. “This spending will help make Yukon a hub for innovation, and create new employment by increasing the opportunities for local IT businesses to bid on government projects.”
Highways and Public Works’ Information and Communications Technology division works closely with many Yukon-based systems development and infrastructure firms to source essential IT products and services locally.
"The Yukon Information Technology Industry Society has long advocated for an increase in the Yukon government's investment in its information technology capital funding envelope,” Society president Chris Lane added. “We view that investment as a vital component in the health of the IT ecosystem in Yukon. We are very gratified it has come about.”
The increased funding will support work to continue to bring the following services online: hunting licences, professional and trades licensing, government forms and birth, death or marriage certificate requests.
As well, the funds will continue work to improve Yukon government web sites. Updated sites will improve social media integration and search functions as well as incorporate new tools like calendar views to find services by theme or event.
Other projects include a new system to improve efficiencies in the courts. The first phase of this project is expected to go live later this year. A local contractor has been engaged as the primary developer to configure the system to Yukon’s requirements. The project budget is approximately $800,000 with two-thirds of the work completed by Yukon companies.
The Yukon government will also issue a tender to identify the best approach for a Yukon land titles system, to allow Yukon to evolve from a paper-based titles system to a digital system that will eventually provide for electronic access to land title information.
The Yukon government will also continue to invest in information security architecture to keep pace with increasing security threats to digital information.