June 18, 2013


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Hi and welcome to the new data.gc.ca, the flagship of Canada’s Action Plan on Open Government.

First of all, let me say that our primary goal with data.gc.ca is to provide single-window access to all Government of Canada searchable open data and open information to enhance government accountability and transparency, as well as to create opportunities for innovation and socio-economic benefits through reuse.

This is important, because in the 21st Century information age, data is the new raw material, with tremendous potential to spur innovation, increase productivity, and expand economic and social opportunities.

With the launch of Canada’s new Open Data Portal and the new Open Government Licence, we are solidifying our commitment to openness and democratic values, and redoubling our efforts to unlock the potential of Open Data - simplifying access to public sector data, so that Canadians are empowered to reuse it in innovative ways, or to better engage with their government on the issues that matter to them. People can explore local census or crime statistics, immigration and air quality data, coast-to-coast mapping data, and much more. The list is long and will keep getting longer.

All this is accessible through a completely overhauled data.gc.ca, which is relaunched with more data, better search facilities, and simpler ways for you, the citizen, to help guide our future open government activities. Over the past months, a number of suggestions have come from users on how to improve data.gc.ca, many of which have culminated in new features and functionality available on the new data.gc.ca. Our thanks to all of you, who have provided us with valuable feedback and suggestions on the original data.gc.ca pilot site, but we are still not done. There is much more to do. Moving forward, we will be continually working to enhance the data and features available here on data.gc.ca, so tell us what you think, and tell us what we’ve missed. Use our feedback page to give us your thoughts and ideas. We will also cultivate every opportunity to share our experiences with other jurisdictions, and leverage all the lessons we can learn from others.

There is still a long road stretched out before us, but we have made a sharp turn toward enhanced transparency and unleashing the potential of open data and information. Furthermore, we are resolved to release all the data and information possible, and to shifting the culture of the public sector toward an attitude of “open by default”, while respecting personal privacy and legislative boundaries. Our success will be measured simply by the usefulness of the data and information made available, and on how our efforts impact the ongoing dialogue between Canadians and their government.

Stephen Walker

Lead, Open Government
Treasury Board Secretariat

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We look forward to hearing from you. Your ideas and feedback are central to the development of both the Open Government portal and the Government of Canada’s approach to Open Government.

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Submitted by Michael Hardner on October 13, 2013 - 3:51 PM

Also - comments appear to not be moderated in real time... This speaks to the lukewarm and tentative nature of this entire endeavor. Again, it's welcomed, but realizing that online commenters are constituents might make the ministries more responsive here. Would it help if we were asked to sign in with our real names, rather than internet handles, I wonder ? After all, most letters to the editor are nonymous too.

Submitted by open-ouvert on October 17, 2013 - 7:32 PM

Comments are moderated and posted as promptly as possible, e.g. normally within 4 hours of receipt, during business hours, Monday to Friday, except for statutory holidays. As to your point about signing-in, we are currently exploring different options to improve the commenting sign-in process for this site. Thanks for your suggestion.

Submitted by Michael Hardner on October 13, 2013 - 3:47 PM

This initiative is welcome, and overdue. However there are questions: 1. Is there a more clear summary of the milestones for the plan ? This site seems to be very text based, and therefore not in tune with the technology it intends to exploit. 2. Consultation and participation seems to be limited, and time-based with dependence on infrequent milestones. Can we have some online discussion forums set up, to get Canadians interested in what is happening ?

Submitted by open-ouvert on October 17, 2013 - 7:31 PM

Great feedback. The goal of data.gc.ca is to provide valuable data and information to Canadians in a format that they can reuse. In addition to the data portal available at http://data.gc.ca/data/en/dataset?wb48617274=98CD4984, there is additional text on the site about current open data and open government activities taking place across the Government. As data.gc.ca continues to grow, we will utilize additional visualizations and applications that will make it easier for Canadians to consume government data. An online discussion forum is a great idea Michael. We are working on developing a consultation plan for the year to come, and we will keep this suggestion in mind. Do you have some online discussion topics that you would like to propose?

Submitted by Anonymous on July 23, 2013 - 6:41 PM

I read with interest two items on the open data web page: 1. The G8 Open Data Charter. It mentions a technical annex that signatories need to be compliant with by 2015. Where can I get a copy of the annex? 2. The Roundtable Consultation report. Thank you for doing this but I am disappointed there were no consultations conducted in eastern Canada.

Submitted by Anonymous on June 19, 2013 - 6:20 PM

Bonjour! Très belle refonte du site Web sous des logiciels libres et félicitation d'avoir publié le code source sur GitHub (https://github.com/open-data/) :) En passant, "Bienvenue" s'écrit avec un "e" dans le titre du billet. Merci de corriger. Au plaisir de suivre les prochains développements!