Photo: Minister Finley and Communitech CEO Iain Klugman.

Diane Finley, Canada’s Minister of Public Works and Government Services, dropped by the Communitech Hub Tuesday to discuss how to improve the government’s IT systems with local technology representatives.

Finley, who also serves as the regional minister for southwestern Ontario, was here as part of the IT roundtable she is conducting throughout Canada as the government develops its shared services strategy.

Finley is trying to solve and streamline the Canadian government’s IT-infrastructure service challenges. Currently the government has over 63 email services, overlapping telecommunications networks and expensive data centres. Finley’s reaching out to experts across Canada to find solutions.

“We’re meeting with industry up front before we do the specs to find out what’s out there, what’s possible, what should we be doing, and how should we be doing it,” she said.

In her roundtables, Finley said she asks industry leaders “what their views are on how they can help, what we need to watch out for and how they think we should move ahead in the best interest in developing a new integrated IT system.”

She isn’t looking to work with just the big-name players.

“We want to make sure that there’s a role there to play for our small and medium-sized enterprises,” Finley said. “And that goes from the smallest [startup…] to big companies because so much of our IT talent is there.”

While this wasn’t her first tour of the Hub, Finley remains impressed with the energy and talent in the building.

“It’s a hotbed of development here,” she said as she viewed the Google for Entrepreneurs space and the Canadian Tire innovation lab.