Following the federal and provincial governments’ decision to order the removal of the Tik Tok video app from all electronic devices used for official purposes, the City of Laval is following suit.
The move is considered a preventive measure in view of growing suspicions that various kinds of data gathered by TikTok, which is owned by China-based business interests, could be compromised to serve Chinese national interests.
Laval’s decision followed a recommendation made by the Union des municipalités du Québec (UMQ), the province’s largest lobby group for municipalities.
Effective immediately, the City of Laval has suspended all activity on its professional TikTok account. In addition, the installation and use of TikTok is forbidden on devices owned by the city until further notice.
According to the city, the measure applies to all mobile phones, tablets and computers used by municipal employees, as well as public work stations and self-service terminals installed in municipal buildings and used by residents.
The city says it is taking this action in order to prioritize the protection of the security of its citizens, employees and suppliers. The city also says it is continuing to monitor the situation, and that for that reason the measures applying to TikTok could be revised as the situation evolves.
City introduces improved ‘Mon dossier’ online digital interface
The city is pursuing a strategy for shifting many of its longstanding transactional practices into the digital realm with the announcement of a new interface to facilitate communications between municipal officials and residents.
“This improved version of the online portal Mon dossier [My file, in English] is perfectly suited for the digital acceleration of the implementation of services for Laval residents which started several years ago,” says city councillor for Saint-Martin Aline Dib who is responsible for the oversight of citizen services.
“Following a consultation with citizens and municipal employees, a long reflection brought us to position self-service at the centre of the citizen digital experience,” Dib added. “With Mon dossier, our fellow citizens will find the information they are seeking faster, while also interacting with the city efficiently thanks to new functions that are within easy reach.”
Since December 2022, the Mon dossier portal has allowed applications to be made electronically for environmental subsidies involving things such as washable diapers and rainwater recuperation barrels. Over the next two years, additional types of applications will also be available, such as e-payment options for special certificates and muncipal permit applications.
More than $500,000 for Laval groups helping the disadvantaged
The Table régionale de concertation des aînés de Laval (TRCAL) and the Association lavalloise de parents et amis pour le bien-être mental will be sharing the lump sum of $556,165 coming from the City of Laval, the Municipal Affairs Ministry and the CISSS de Laval.
Support to the two social social services umbrella groups will help deliver services to seniors in the Laval region, as well as mental health services for the English-speaking population. “This support to community organizations is a real way to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable people,” says Mayor Stéphane Boyer.
“This initiative shows the value added by projects born from a shared vision of social development. This is the very reason that there is a regional social development policy that has been implemented thanks to the participation of 26 Laval organizations, including the CISSS and the City of Laval.”