Commitment 20: Enable open dialogue and open policy making


  • RSS
  • Cite

The Government of Canada will foster enhanced citizen participation through greater collaboration and co-creation with the public and stakeholders within and across government initiatives.

Lead department:

Privy Council Office; Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Email address for enquiries:

Other involved actors:

Public, civic tech communities and citizen engagement experts

Overall status:

Most deliverables on schedule.

Planned result

The Government will be better equipped to engage and collaborate with stakeholders and citizens on government priorities, policies, programs and services.

Key indicator
Indicator Target Latest actual data (and data collection date)
Availability of a Government of Canada policy supporting principled engagement with citizens and greater collaboration Policy requirements are published online by June 2018 Government of Canada has decided not to establish policy requirements regarding public engagement, but has instead developed and published extensive guidance to allow departments to identify the form of public engagement best suited to them (see, for example, our public engagement principles)
Availability of guidance and support that enable consultation practitioners to engage effectively with citizens Guidance is published online by June 2018 Principles published September 2017.

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


  • 20.1 Promote common principles for Open Dialogue and common practices across the Government of Canada to enable the use of new methods for consulting and engaging Canadians.
    • 20.1.1 Engage with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to ensure that these [Open Dialogue] principles and practices support meaningful engagement and reflect the renewed nation-to-nation/Inuit-to-Crown/government-to-government relationships
    • Draft principles are available online. Current work includes implementing and measuring principles in practice through Government of Canada engagement; collaborating with public servants from other levels of government, public engagement practitioners and others on making available guidance and supports that enable practitioners to engage effectively with citizens.
  • 20.3 Identify and support participatory processes undertaken by departments to share lessons learned and demonstrate the value of including stakeholders and members of the public throughout the policy, program or service design and implementation.


  • 20.2 Identify necessary supports (e.g. skills development, resourcing, technological innovation) needed to deliver on the full potential of engaging with stakeholders.
    • The Government of Canada is collaborating with civic tech and public engagement practitioners to co-create an eco-system of tools for citizens and government to engage online.
    • Government of Canada consultations are now published as an open dataset in the Open Government Portal.
    • A multidisciplinary team led by the Community of Federal Regulators prototyped the use of an open source platform that allows stakeholders to provide comments to a regulatory text directly online (eRegulations). The platform also enables Government of Canada analysts to effectively analyze stakeholder input, an important step in open policy making. The pilot project helped identify barriers to stakeholders participating online and internal barriers to creating online tools.
    • Conducted usability testing to inform improvements to Consulting with Canadians.
    • Developed public engagement training. Five 1-day sessions were delivered for 135 participants within 4 months. Two train-the-trainer sessions increased potential for these sessions to be offered in the future.
    • Hired a specialist to develop and conduct training and provide coaching to policy and communications analysts on evaluating public engagement.
    • Completed a Request for Information for public engagement services to hear from potential service providers. The goal is to expand the number and type of services that are available through a pre-qualified list of vendors.
  • 20.4 Develop, implement the measurement of, and promote indicators for open government to support benchmarking and continuous improvement.
    • Developed a performance measurement framework defining an approach to measuring process integrity, policy outcomes and trust in government.
    • Conducted Public Opinion Research on citizen engagement in Canada to understand extent to which Canadians were aware of, and participated in, government activities.
    • Published citizen feedback as open data, for example, on Open Government and National Security consultations.
    • Open government indicators have been developed and targets are being measured to support meaningful change and to track the impact of advancing open government in the Government of Canada. Additionally, work across Canadian jurisdictions is taking place to collaborate on developing a performance measurement framework for open government, with clear indicators that could be applicable to all Canadians jurisdictions (see Commitment 5).

Other completed milestones

  • The first DevEx opportunity was posted in December and awarded in January in 2018. We wrote a blog post to openly share the lessons we have learned so far developing this platform in partnership with TBS and PSPC.
  • We are building an evidence base to support citizen engagement within a transparent policy lifecycle, based on draft principles. We will exchange ideas, experiences and expertise through the Government of Canada’s Open Government blog
  • Developers and designers can register to be notified when opportunities are posted to the GC Developers Exchange, a pilot project to make it easier to co-develop digital engagement tools.

Add new comment

Rules of Engagement

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.

While comments are moderated, the portal will not censor any comments except in a few specific cases, listed below. Accounts acting contrary to these rules may be temporarily or permanently disabled.

Comments and Interaction

Our team will read comments and participate in discussions when appropriate. Your comments and contributions must be relevant and respectful.

Our team will not engage in partisan or political issues or respond to questions that violate these Terms and Conditions.

Our team reserves the right to remove comments and contributions, and to block users based on the following criteria:

The comments or contributions:

  • include personal, protected or classified information of the Government of Canada or infringes upon intellectual property or proprietary rights
  • are contrary to the principles of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Constitution Act, 1982
  • are racist, hateful, sexist, homophobic or defamatory, or contain or refer to any obscenity or pornography
  • are threatening, violent, intimidating or harassing
  • are contrary to any federal, provincial or territorial laws of Canada
  • constitute impersonation, advertising or spam
  • encourage or incite any criminal activity
  • are written in a language other than English or French
  • otherwise violate this notice

Our team cannot commit to replying to every message or comment, but we look forward to continuing the conversation whenever possible. Please note that responses will be provided in the same language that was used in the original comment.

Our team will reply to comments in the official language in which they are posted. If we determine the response is a question of general public interest, we will respond in both official languages.