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The British Columbia MP was parliamentary secretary for the cabinet role for three years. She replaces Jane Philpott, who resigned over the government’s response to the SNC-Lavalin affair. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Murray is a continuity pick, and her experience with the portfolio will be crucial on two of the most important “boring” files in government. The Treasury Board is set to pick a replacement for the beleaguered Phoenix public service pay system this spring, and must handle the backlash caused by the current software; the country’s largest public sector union wants a 3.75 per cent wage hike in ongoing contract negotiations because of its members’ pay problems. Murray will also oversee an overhaul of Canada’s regulatory system—including a key requirement that regulators assess the economic impact of new rules—that the government promised in the Fall Economic Statement in November 2018.

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The Treasury Board Secretariat “continues to promote” the exposure-notification app, but has not mandated its use, spokesperson Bianca Healy said. The government has 331,499 active cellular plans. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The Ontario government is remote-installing the app ahead of this weekend on more than 25,000 phones used by provincial public servants, while Toronto city council voted in September to do the same for the 9,235 devices used by municipal staff. (Users would still have to choose to activate the app). The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has opposed government-mandated downloads, even for public-sector employees, noting that federal and provincial privacy commissioners approved it on the basis that it was voluntary. In August, Digital Government Minister Joyce Murray stressed to The Logic that the app was optional, but declined to commit to introducing legislation preventing employers and service providers from requiring its use, as policy experts like Ryerson University’s Cybersecure Policy Exchange had recommended.

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The federal government will test off-the-shelf software from the German software giant in an as-yet undetermined department, Sarah McMaster, director of communications for Digital Government Minister Joyce Murray, told The Logic.  (The Logic)

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Talking point: The government has budgeted $117 million for pilot projects to find a replacement for Phoenix, which has caused widespread issues with civil servants getting paid since its launch in 2016. In June 2019, SAP was named one of three finalists for the new HR and pay system. The other two are Workday, and Minneapolis-based, Toronto-run Ceridian, which set up a new public-sector vertical last year to chase larger government contracts. While those firms still qualify for future work from Ottawa, Friday’s announcement could put SAP in pole position; McMaster said the pilot’s results “will help inform and define the way forward” for Phoenix’s replacement. “We are committed to expanding our presence in Canada,” Workday country manager Jennifer Buckley said. “We have a growing public sector vertical and our work with the Government of Canada, unions and employees continues,” said Teri Murphy, director of corporate communications.