Saskatchewan Sets Out on Path to Digital IDs

Saskatchewan is the latest Canadian province to weigh the benefits of a digital ID program. The provincial government is already a member of the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC) and has been since 2020, and its leadership believe that digital IDs will make it easier for residents to access government services online.

In that regard, the province argued that a digital service option would be far more convenient than the current system. As it stands, Saskatchewan residents need to visit a government office to apply for many services or sit on hold with an agent if they do try to sign up at home. In some cases, people may even need to wait for a PIN number in the mail to complete their registration.

A digital ID would presumably streamline that process, giving people a secure way to verify their identity remotely. The province has not yet made any formal announcement and is currently soliciting proposals from technology providers interested in building a digital ID system. However, the province stressed that digital IDs would be strictly optional, so residents do not need to sign up for one if they prefer to use a traditional paper document.

Saskatchewan is not the only Canadian province moving forward with plans for digital IDs. Bluink has already launched its eID-Me app in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia, giving residents of those provinces the ability to store a digital version of their driver’s license on a standard Android or iOS smartphone. The company itself is based in Ottawa.

There has also been growing momentum for a national digital ID program in Canada. The Canadian Bankers Association recently advocated for the creation of a federated identity system, while the DIACC has published a Pan-Canadian Trust Framework in an effort to establish comprehensive standards for digital IDs within the country.