12. Consulting with Canadians


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Lead implementing department(s)
Privy Council Office
Treasury Board Secretariat
Open Dialogue
Reporting period

Deliverables for this commitment are on track to be completed by June 2016.


Provide direction and next-generation tools and resources to enable federal departments and agencies to consult more broadly with citizens and civil society in support of the development and delivery of government policies and programs.

Results Next Steps Body Completion Level
  • The Consulting with Canadians website was re-launched on Dec. 18, 2014 on the Canada.ca website with enhancements to facilitate easier access to information on federal consultation activities for citizens.
  • Deliverable is now complete

1. Improve the existing Consulting with Canadians website to facilitate easier access to information on federal consultation activities for citizens.

  • High-level business requirements have been defined to guide the development of a new consultation portal that Canadians can use to discover, participate in, and monitor the results of public federal consultations of interest to them.Key features of the new consultation portal will include:
    • A unified calendar of consultations across government;
    • Enhanced search;
    • Notifications and subscriptions; and
    • Reports and outcomes.
  • The Government of Canada participated in Civic Design Camp, hosted by MaRS, on June 26 in Toronto, ON where the Government of Canada received input and design prototypes for an online consultation portal from designers, programmers, other government reps and civil society. Prototypes and artefacts from this event will be used to inform development of business and technical requirements for the new consultation portal.
  • In addition, to fulfill the need to provide opportunities for meaningful and effective stakeholder and citizen engagement, the Government of Canada has put in place a standing offer for Stakeholder and Citizen Consultation and Engagement Services.
    • Through this mechanism, departments and agencies can access the services of qualified firms with the capacity and expertise required to undertake the development, planning and implementation of in-person and online stakeholder and citizen engagement and consultation activities, on an as-and-when-required basis.
  • Design and launch a new government-wide consultation portal to provide consistent, user-friendly access to active consultations, as well as reports from previous consultations.
  • As part of the overall Canada.ca web presence the consultation portal will adopt a user-centric design and be continuously improved based on user experience.

2. Develop and launch a new government-wide consultation portal to promote opportunities for public participation, host online consultations, and share findings from completed consultations

  • Activities to expand federal departments’ use of social media are underway:
    • Departments are being on-boarded to a hosted Social Media Account Management Solution (Hootsuite).
    • An Interdepartmental Task Force on Social Media is developing guidance for departments so they can expand their use of social media.
    • A Social Media Community of Practice is collaborating on adapting communications processes to the evolving social media landscape.
  • Continue to expand departments use of social media:
    • Complete privacy guidelines and protocols for official social media accounts.
    • Collaborate with the Canada School of Public Service on improving social media learning opportunities.

3. Expand the use of social media across government to enable departments and programs to connect to Canadians in innovative ways and enhance engagement in support of citizen-centric services.

  • An environmental scan of internal and external consultation guidance has been completed. In addition, external consultations to support the development of principles for public consultation were conducted at the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences in June 2015. Furthermore, internal consultations are underway to identify principles, standards, and best practices for public consultations and use of social media.
  • Define draft principles and best practices supported by internal consultations.
  • Conduct additional external consultations on draft principles in early 2016.

4. Develop a set of principles and standards for public consultations in discussion with citizens and civil society.

  • Consultations with targeted groups have been undertaken in support of the implementation of key commitments in Canada’s second Action Plan, including the introduction of new legislation to support Mandatory Reporting on Extractives, which was supported by discussions with Aboriginal stakeholders.
  • Identify additional opportunities to integrate target groups (e.g., Youth) in other planned consultations (ongoing).

5. Conduct targeted consultations on open government themes with key groups in Canada (e.g., youth, Aboriginal populations).


Supports the principles of civic participation, and is targeted at helping address the OGP Grand Challenges of improving public services by establishing standards, approaches, and best practices for robust, inclusive, and open citizen engagement in support of the development and delivery of federal programs and services.


Establishes innovative, government-wide solutions to enable Canadians to become more aware of, and more easily take part in, federal consultations of interest to them

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