Help us make government more open

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March 14, 2018

We make better decisions when more Canadians are involved in shaping them. In that spirit, since last fall, the government has been welcoming your ideas for our commitments in Canada’s 4th plan on Open Government for 2018-2020. The clock is ticking: we need your ideas by March 25.

The relationship between government and citizens is changing. Citizens have more information than ever before and new tools to use that information to drive change. We’re moving from sharing information for transparency purposes to sharing it so that government officials and citizens can collaborate. We need to create new ways for governments and citizens to work together to find solutions that benefit everyone.

To build that collaborative relationship, it’s essential for Canadians to know what’s working, and what isn’t. With that in mind, we’ve taken major steps forward in making government data and information open by default, and we intend to do more.

For example, our government has opened the doors for Canadians to see Cabinet ministers’ previously secret mandate letters. We publicly report on how far we’ve come in keeping the promises we made. And government departments track the outcomes of their programs, with indicators, and then publish the results online for public scrutiny.

We have an open data portal that makes vast amounts of government data accessible, and we have taken this data portal from a pilot project to a permanent program.

We’re also trying to take the idea of open by default to a deeper level through a pilot portal that provides public access to internal, working documents.

And we recently proposed important changes to our Access to Information Act, such as mandatory proactive publication for 240 government institutions, as well as ministers’ offices such as my own.

Accomplishments like these are what led to Canada being elected co-chair of the Open Government Partnership Steering Committee for 2018-19. I am excited for Canada to take on this leadership role because open government is about putting you, our citizens, at the centre of our work. As co-chair, we will focus on 3 priorities: inclusion, participation and impact.

These 3 principles also apply to Canada’s plan on Open Government because its commitments will adhere to them. The good news is you still have a chance to participate.

Help drive the future of open government

That’s why we’ve asked for your input. You need to be part of that design. If we’re building an open government, we have to build it in an open way.

So take advantage of this opportunity and submit your ideas before March 25. I am excited to co-create this plan in collaboration with you; let’s get ambitious and redesign government for the open era. We’ve already heard some incredible ideas, and I’m excited to see what else people have to tell us during our final weeks of consultation.


Scott Brison

The Honourable Scott Brison, 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.

Blog comments

Robert Russell - March 27, 2018

It was a shock to my family to discover that our system of Municipal Bylaw in Ontario is not a system of rules and requirements, as it appears to be, but a completely discretionary system whereby the current administration can act at will, enforce or not enforce items that are clearly written in bylaw. This is how third-world, cash-in-hand governments operate. We live in a society of written, established law, and can normally refer to a document to ensure our rights. Not so with the OMB’s handling of municipal bylaw. It is completely open to bias and abuse. Here are some steps to make this a democratic system that works for the citizens of Ontario, rather than promoting the agenda of the current crop of local employees:
1 – Let the document stand. It is not discretionary; it’s a list of rules – an agreement on living conditions in the community.
2 – Provide a realistic body of appeal for residents. Right now, the cost of appeal is beyond residents, and municipal employees are aware of this advantage.
3 – In cases of property bylaw, suspend permit issuance at the disputed property while the dispute is active. As it stands, the municipality can lend tacit support to one side by continuing to issue permits.
4 - The municipality should be required to make all communication in the matter in writing. If it isn’t written down, the municipality just blows smoke until the resident gives up. A written record would document these dismissive responses.

Bendali Tayeb - March 21, 2018

Mon défunt grand père ancien combattant nommé Bendali Ahmed né en 1876 à Ouled izmeur Dpt d'Oran matricule 12878 mort pour la France en date du 09/09/1915 à grosmagny territoire de Belfort mort par accident et enterré en France désire obtenir son acte de décès à cet effet je vous prie de bien vouloir m'orienter vers quel organisme ou service dois je m'adresser pour pouvoir obtenir son acte de décès, avec mes remerciements anticipés.

Lisa Daher - March 20, 2018

I was issued a collection notice after filing my taxes twice in 2017 for 2016 and never received any assessment or notices. I tried to complaining to everyone. Check out this. I also have had no response from Minister. I have to put it all on Facebook.

mgifford - March 15, 2018

I wanted to thank you for taking political leadership with the Open Government Partnership and Digital 7. Committing to Open Standards & Open Source is key to having a modern, responsive Open Government platform.

It will be a huge culture change in government, but so important if we are going to build a culture of innovation here in Canada.

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