Commitment 16: Align open data across Canada (Open Data Canada)


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The Government of Canada will expand collaboration with provincial, territorial, and municipal partners on further standardizing and harmonizing the delivery of open government data across jurisdictions.

Lead department:

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Email address for enquiries:

Other involved actors:

Provinces, Territories, Municipalities, and Indigenous Peoples

Overall status:

All deliverables on schedule.

Planned result

Data from different levels of government will be easier for you to access and use.

Key indicator
Indicator Target Latest actual data (and data collection date)
Increase in the number of common datasets released by the federal government, provinces and territories. Identify 15 common datasets that all jurisdictions release by June 2018 An initial list of 15 high value datasets have been identified for priority release across jurisdictions.

Status of Open Government Plan milestones (complete, substantial, limited, not started)


  • 16.1 Foster the adoption of common open data principles that are consistent with the International Open Data Charter by all levels of government.
    • The Canada Open Government Working Group is supporting the adoption of the principles of the Open Data Charter across jurisdictions, and has created a shared space on GCcollab for collecting resources and sharing actions taken toward the adoption of the Charter.
    • Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, along with the Government of Ontario, City of Edmonton and Open North, delivered a panel session at the 2017 Canadian Open Data Summit to promote the adoption of the principles of the Open Data Charter
    • Notable recent adopters of the Charter include the Government of Ontario and the City of Edmonton.
  • 16.4 Host a national Open Data Canada summit in 2017 to bring together federal, provincial/ territorial, and municipal officials to collaborate on setting a national agenda for aligning and improving the delivery of open data across the country.
    • The Government of Canada (along with the Government of Alberta) hosted a half-day senior executive meeting of the Canada Open Government Working Group during the 2017 Canadian Open Data Summit held in Edmonton to develop a cohesive approach and work plan for a pan-Canadian framework on open government.
    • The Government of Canada also collaborated with provincial and municipal partners to host a panel session on aligning open data across Canada at the event.
    • The Canada Open Government Working Group (a collaborative forum made up of representatives from provincial and territorial governments, as well as the Government of Canada) also engaged Indigenous Open Data Leaders on Indigenous data governance, infrastructure, analytics and reporting during the summit.


  • 16.2 Develop a list of high-value, priority datasets for release in collaboration with key jurisdictions to make it easier for Canadians to compare data across different governments.
    • The Canada Open Government Working Group has developed a criteria tool for identifying high value datasets as well as examples of categories of associated datasets.
    • The Working Group has identified an initial list of 15 high value datasets for priority release across jurisdictions and is evaluating its readiness for the release of additional datasets
    • Online public engagement over the list of high value datasets is planned for May 2018.
  • 16.3 Launch an online, federated, multi-jurisdictional open data search service in partnership with one or more provinces and territories to allow Canadians to search and access data from across jurisdictions, regardless of its origin.
    • The Government of Canada has developed an memorandum of understanding with the Government of Alberta on a Federated Open Data Search Service across the open data portals of both governments. 
    • Mapping of metadata and controlled vocabulary for both jurisdictions have been completed
    • The technical architecture has been created, implementation and testing are occurring.

Other completed milestones:

  • The Government of Canada in partnership with Open North (a not-for-profit organization) has released a Do-It-Yourself Open Data Toolkit specifically tailored to municipalities. The DIY Open Data Toolkit, which outlines best practices on open data principles, will further help cities to align their open data practices with those of other jurisdictions.
  • Do you know of any currently existing federation of open data across multiple jurisdictions? We’d love to know some of the challenges that were encountered in the process and how these barriers were overcome.

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