Advisory Panel on Open Government


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About the Advisory Panel

The Advisory Panel on Open Government consists of experts from civil society, business, academia, including independent commentators from Canada and abroad.

Mandate of the Advisory Panel

The mandate of the advisory panel members is to provide advice and guidance on Open Government activities, including:

  • finding ways to improve the delivery of open data and open information to citizens;
  • considering how to make the most of Open Government to maximize innovation and knowledge sharing; and
  • exploring how federal organizations can do an even better job of consulting Canadians.

Panel Meeting Notes

Panel Members

The Government has invited the following experts to consult on and help prioritize Canada's development and implementation of the Open Government Action Plan.

Bernard Courtois

Past President & CEO, Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)

Bernard Courtois is a lawyer with over 30 years experience in the telecommunications sector, and is an outspoken advocate for the deployment of information and communications technology tools to improve business productivity and to achieve societal and public policy goals. Named ITAC's leader in January 2004, he served on the ITAC Board of Directors from 1999 to 2012. Having also served on the executive of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Courtois was President of the International Institute of Communications, now serving on their Board of Directors, and is currently Director and Treasurer of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation.

David Eaves

Public policy entrepreneur, open government activist and negotiation expert

A public policy entrepreneur and negotiation expert, David Eaves has become internationally recognized for his work and advocacy on open government. In 2008, Mr. Eaves advised the Mayor of Vancouver on open government and open data, and helped draft the Open Motion—the world's first municipal motion on open government. Since then, he has advised several municipalities and international organizations on open data and innovation strategies, and is also credited with helping launch International Open Data Day.

Robert Herjavec

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Herjavec Group

Robert Herjavec has been a Canadian technology entrepreneur since the 1990s, having built and sold several companies including a computer security company to AT&T and a technology company to Nokia for $225 Million. He launched The Herjavec Group, listed as one of Canada's leading and fastest growing IT security and infrastructure integration firms. The Herjavec Group currently has sales of $125 million and employs almost 200 people.

Alexander B. Howard

Writer, editor, and Fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia University

Alexander B. Howard is a writer and editor based in Washington, DC. Currently, he holds a fellowship at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, is a columnist at TechRepublic, founder of “E Pluribus Unum,” a blog focused on open government and technology, and a contributor to TechPresident, among other fine publications. In the fall of 2013, he was a fellow at the Networked Transparency Policy Project in the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. From April 2010 to May 2013, he was the Washington Correspondent for Radar at O’Reilly Media.

Thomas 'Tom' Jenkins

Head of the Canadian Digital Media Network and Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer, OpenText Corporation

Tom Jenkins is Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer for OpenText, the largest independent software company in Canada. From 1994 to 2005, Mr. Jenkins served as President, then Chief Executive Officer, and has occupied his current role as Chief Strategy Officer of OpenText since 2005. Mr. Jenkins has served as Director of OpenText since 1994 and as its chairman since 1998. In addition to his responsibilities at OpenText, Mr. Jenkins is the Chair of the federal centre of excellence Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN). He is also an appointed member of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), appointed chair of the Government of Canada's Research and Development Review Panel, and past appointed member of the Government of Canada's Competition Policy Review Panel.

Herb Lainchbury

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Dynamic Solutions

Herb Lainchbury is a strategist in open data, technology, information management and privacy. He is the CEO and founder of Dynamic Solutions Inc., a firm providing Web consulting, design and delivery services to private and public sector clients. Mr. Lainchbury was a part of the organizing team for the first conference on open government in B.C., held in Victoria in November 2010, and has since founded OpenDataBC, a grassroots community dedicated to promoting the understanding and use of open data in British Columbia. Over the course of his 25+ year career, he has served the province of British Columbia both as a government employee and as an engaged citizen and public service advocate. He dedicates a large portion of his time to community building, learning and studying the latest trends in computing technology and solutions.

Colin McKay

Public Policy Manager (Canada), Google

Colin McKay is a member of the global public policy team at Google, advising on emerging communications, social media and public relations trends, and on economic and social policy issues, such as the impact of the digital economy on personal privacy. He was among the pioneers of private and government blogging in Canada and an early adopter of social media tools to discuss public policy, including open government. Prior to joining Google, Mr. McKay was Research, Education and Outreach Director at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Toby Mendel

Executive Director, Centre for Law and Democracy

Toby Mendel has published extensively on a range of issues, including freedom of expression, right to information, communication rights and refugees. He has also published comparative legal and analytical studies on public service broadcasting, the right to information and broadcast policy. Having spent 12 years as Senior Director for Law at ARTICLE 19, a human rights NGO focusing on freedom of expression and the right to information, Mr. Mendel has provided expertise to a wide range of actors, including the World Bank, various UN and other intergovernmental bodies, and numerous international governments and NGOs. On a number of occasions, Mr. Mendel has played a leading part in drafting legislation in the areas of the right to information and media regulation. Before joining ARTICLE 19, Mr. Mendel worked as a senior human rights consultant with Oxfam Canada and as a human rights policy analyst at the Canadian International Development Agency.

Alex Miller

President and Founder, ESRI Canada

Alex Miller founded Toronto-based ESRI Canada in 1984 to provide enterprise geographic information systems (GIS) solutions to Canadian organizations in the public and private sectors. In addition to his responsibilities in providing overall strategic direction for ESRI, Mr. Miller is a champion of Canada's advanced technology sector, having delivered numerous keynote speeches and presentations at international and local GIS conferences. Mr. Miller provides board leadership to several professional and industry associations in Canada, and is currently Chairman of the Natural Resources Canada Earth Sciences Sector Advisory Committee.

Marie-Lucie Morin

Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean, The World Bank

Prior to her recent appointment as Executive Director of the World Bank representing Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean, Marie-Lucie Morin was the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister and Associate Secretary to the Cabinet, applying diplomatic, policy and management skills to the field of security and intelligence. Her career to date has consisted of key international portfolios, including Deputy Minister of International Trade; Associate Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; Assistant Deputy Minister, International Business; and Chief Trade Commissioner.

Dr. Rufus Pollock

Co-Founder and Director, Open Knowledge Foundation

As an associate of the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law at the University of Cambridge (U.K.), Dr. Pollock works on social, legal and technological issues related to the creation, licensing, use and sharing of open knowledge. This includes enriched content and raw data, with particular emphasis in the governmental, scientific, economic and bibliographic fields. He has contributed to a robust definition of the concept of open knowledge and actively promotes the growth of a sustainable network of co-producers, developers, vendors and users of such open knowledge, with a special focus on innovative happiness and well-being research. The Open Knowledge Foundation is known namely for its "Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network" and original tools, such as Where Does My Money Go, Open Economics, Open Shakespeare, Open Biblio, Open Rights Group and the KnowledgeForge.

Dr. Teresa Scassa

Vice-Dean of Research and Professor of Law, University of Ottawa

Dr. Teresa Scassa is a former director of Dalhousie's Law and Technology Institute and a founder and former editor of the Canadian Journal of Law and Technology. Her writings cut across several areas of law, namely intellectual property, technology and privacy. She holds a Canada Research Chair in the hybrid area of Information Law and is a member of the External Advisory Committee of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Dr. Scassa is a past member of the Geoconnections Geospatial Privacy Advisory Group, and some of her current work involves geospatial data and geographical information systems.

Ray Sharma

Founder of XMG Studio Inc.

Ray is the founder of XMG Studio Inc., where he oversees the mandate of having fun developing innovative mobile games for tens of millions of XMG fans worldwide. Prior to XMG, Ray co-founded Xtreme Labs, where he was Chairman of the Board. Ray is also a founding Partner of Extreme Venture Partners. Prior to recent adventures in the mobile app economy, Ray spent over 10 years in wireless technology investment banking research.

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