Canada plans to set up a government digital services unit that is similar to those in the UK and US, it has revealed.

It will draw lessons from existing units like the US Digital Service and 18F, and UK’s Government Digital Service, its Budget 2017 plan stated.

“The Government will adopt new ways of serving Canadians,” it said. Better digital services could improve support to setup and run businesses, speed up immigration by connecting data, and simplify access to social welfare and tax information, it added.

“The Government has an opportunity – and a responsibility – to lead the way when it comes to digital innovation, to support more widespread adoption of digital tools and to better serve Canadians,” it noted.

Ryan Androsoff, Senior Digital Advisor to the Canadian Government, said on Twitter: “Now the hard, but important, work begins.”

Canada also plans to set up a department to improve accessibility of digital services. The government plans to invest C$22.3 million (US$16.7 million) over five years to develop new assistive devices and technologies.

The new budget also announced a C$125 million (US$93.4 million) artificial intelligence (AI) fund. The fund will invest in research and skills, looking to make Canada a world-leading destination for companies to develop AI.