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.
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.