Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos speaks at a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, May 25, 2018. A digital overhaul to simplify how Canadians let their governments know someone has died is moving at an incremental pace with no end date in sight. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

Changes to death notice system slow going in Ottawa

Federal officials are developing a prototype website that would allow people to tell Ottawa about a death

A digital overhaul to simplify how Canadians let governments know someone has died is moving at an incremental pace with no end date in sight.

Federal, provincial and territorial governments agreed years ago to create a one-stop shop for a death notification so Canadians didn’t have to contact multiple governments who don’t share the information with each other.

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Federal officials are developing a prototype website that would allow people to tell Ottawa about a death and have that flow to all departments and agencies that need the information, particularly for tax and benefit reasons.

Documents obtained by The Canadian Press under the access-to-information law show top civil servants agreed in April 2017 that the federal government needed to fast-track work and asked the provinces and territories to help.

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Employment and Social Development Canada is now saying not all provinces are ready and can’t put an estimated timeline for when the system will be ready.

In the meantime Ottawa is updating its website so it is easier for people to see what they have to do when a loved one dies, rather than expecting them to navigate several pages of details.

The Canadian Press

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