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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