Spotlight on Open Government at the United Nations

Follow:

September 22, 2017

I’ve just returned from New York City and the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. Every fall for 72 years, the UN’s now-193 member states have convened to seek solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. It’s an important opportunity for Canada to promote multilateralism and the rules-based international order, advance human rights, including gender equality, and champion diversity and inclusion.

While in New York, I had the honour of speaking to the Open Government Partnership Ministerial-Level Steering Committee Meeting about Canada’s leading role as an advocate for government openness, accountability and transparency. I also discussed ending violence and discrimination against LGBTI persons with the LGBTI Core Group.

These are both subjects close to my heart. They’re also fundamental to the success of modern nations. I heard repeatedly in New York how Canada’s leadership in promoting healthier, more credible public institutions serves as a model for how governments can stay in tune with the citizens they serve.

Open Government

I am also thrilled to say that Canada has agreed to take on a leadership role with the Open Government Partnership for the next two years. We’ll be the lead government chair of the OGP for 2018-19, while serving as supporting government chair for 2017-18. In my role as the President of the Treasury Board, I look forward to representing our country with enthusiasm, humility and great optimism.

Canada will bring three priorities to the table: participation, impact and inclusion. Participation is about strengthening the relevance of public engagement and civic participation to government decision-making. It’s also about making more government data and information available to citizens to enable innovation.

Our second priority is impact, or creating real change. To do this, we’ll publish targets for our work, measure the social and economic outcomes, and share our accomplishments and struggles so we can learn together.

But openness in government is about more than just data and information. It’s about inclusiveness. This means being open to different cultures and people, and to a diversity of views and new ways of thinking. It’s about empowering the people we serve, and particularly marginalized or under-represented groups, to positively engage with government.

Leadership in diversity, inclusion and gender parity

Inclusiveness is critical to the success of modern nations and governments. Governments need diverse views, experiences, backgrounds, orientations and ideas to find the best solutions to complex public policy problems. In short, we need to get the best from our entire population.

One way to do this is by working to end discrimination based on gender, race or sexual orientation. Making opportunity available to everyone is the message I delivered during the panel discussion on ending violence and discrimination against LGBTI persons.

I also affirmed Canada’s strong support for LGBTI rights internationally. We champion these rights in multilateral forums like the United Nations Human Rights Council, and will continue to do so in partnership with other governments and civil society organizations. These rights are far from universal; in some parts of the world, members of the LGBTI communities are rounded up and persecuted. In fact, Canada recently responded to just such evil by quietly rescuing some of our LGBTI brothers and sisters and giving them sanctuary in our country.

In Canada, we understand that we are stronger because of our differences, not in spite of them. As Prime Minister Trudeau said, “we cannot build a better world unless we work together, respect our differences, protect the vulnerable, and put people at the heart of the decisions we make.”

I anticipate a busy couple of years bringing Canada’s message of openness, opportunity, diversity and inclusion to the United Nations and the world, while working hard to give all Canadians the government they expect and deserve at home.


The Honourable Scott Brison is the President of the Treasury Board.

Minister Brison, the Member of Parliament for Kings–Hants (Nova Scotia), has been elected to Canada's House of Commons in seven general elections. He was a key spokesperson on economic issues and served as the Critic for Finance as well as Vice-Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.

He served as Minister of Public Works and Government Services, and Receiver General of Canada, and was the youngest member of Prime Minister Paul Martin's Cabinet. He also served on three Cabinet committees: Treasury Board, Domestic Affairs and Expenditure Review.

Add comment *

Provision of the information requested on this form is voluntary. The information is being collected for the purpose of responding to your inquiry or comments, and to improve our suite of online products and services. Personal information that you provide is protected under the provisions of the federal Privacy Act. Please do not include sensitive personal information in the message, such as your Social Insurance Number, personal finance data and medical or work history.

 
Read the Privacy Statement for this Website.

The collection and use of your personal information is authorized by the section 7 of the Financial Administrative Act. Collection and use of your personal information for data.gc.ca is in accordance with the federal Privacy Act. Your personal information is used to respond to your inquiries, if applicable, and may be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in responding to client needs. In exceptional circumstances (e.g., investigation of hackers, or of individuals who make abusive remarks or threats, etc.), personal information may be disclosed without your consent pursuant to subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act.

Any personal information that may be collected is described in the Standard Personal Information Bank entitled Public Communications, PSU 914, which can be found in the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) publication: InfoSource. The personal information collected will only be kept by TBS for a period of eighteen months of the completion of activity after which all personal identifiers will be deleted.

Under the Privacy Act, you have the right of access to, and correction of, your personal information, if you have provided any. Note however, that to exercise either of these rights, you must make a request for access to your personal information before the retention period has expired. For more information about your right of access, please read About the Access to information Program.

If you require clarification about this Statement, contact the TBS Privacy Coordinator at 613-957-7154. For more information about your privacy rights and the Privacy Act, consult the Privacy Commissioner through the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada website or 1-800-282-1376.