PCTF​: Pan-Canadian Trust Framework

Case Studies

Canada has a rich spectrum of identity initiatives, including national as well as provincial level programs such as MyAlbertaID, with this intro video for businesses.

Quebec is employing a digital ID app for drivers licences, provided by Bluink, who also enabled British Columbia to launch their eID scheme.

Self Sovereign Identity

At the federal level Canada is a pioneer of key identity innovations such as Self Sovereign Identity, such as running a supplier innovation competition. There are also provincial projects, such as British Columbia, documented in this Sovrin case study.

National Identity Framework

In their blog ‘Why Canada Needs a Digital ID Framework‘ DIACC describes a compelling argument for accelerating the development and adoption of a Canadian digital identity system.

The mission of the DIACC is to unlock interoperable capabilities of the public and private sector to secure Canada’s full and beneficial participation in the digital economy by fulfilling the following strategic goals aligned with their 10 Principles for an Identity Ecosystem.

They define the implementation of this ecosystem through ‘Identity Networks‘:

“Some countries, such as the Nordics, have a history of collaborative approaches to digital identity that is suitable for regulated services. In the case of the Nordics, the banks have over several years provided “BankID” services for use in financial services, government services, and the wider economy. Several other initiatives – some national, some international – are seeking to create similarly robust and ubiquitous digital identity networks in other regions.

These identity networks will allow digital identities to be portable, they will help to detect and reduce fraud, and they will provide mechanisms to ensure identity data is up to date. They will create collaborative environments where the needs of all stakeholders (not just a few) are met. The work of the DIACC, and in particular the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework, is helping to ensure that this is accomplished in identity networks in Canada and internationally.”

DIACC estimates a $15 billion value to the Canadian economy through implementation of this ecosystem, building a rising tid

For example they highlight that during this time of coronavirus crisis there is a massive rise in remote working, a trend that is likely to continue, and that too presents risks that identity would address. Canada as a nation of digital identity would be better prepared to continue working in the event of future crisis and is thus a critical infrastructure that should be invested in accordingly.


In the feature video Tim Bouma Senior Policy Analyst Identity Management for the Canadian Government, shares an overview of the PCTF: Pan-Canadian Trust Framework.

Tim explains that the Canadian Government’s Identity strategy has been under development for over a decade, evolving from a program to a user to now a Self Sovereign view for Digital Identity, and that is an ongoing process of innovation, with key goals of a pan-Canadian, technology-agnostic model.

A key design requirement for their framework is the ability to integrate with numerous existing legacy systems, those that operate via centralize and federated architecture.

The model itself is a combination of agreed concepts, process definitions,  conformance criteria and an assessment framework, to enable acceptance of trusted digital identities, and is accessible as an open source repo:

Github repository – The latest update PCTF Version 1.3 Consultation Draft for public review is now available.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button