Open Data Canada: Action Plan Commitment 2


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Lead implementing department(s)
Treasury Board Secretariat
Open Data
Reporting period

End-of-term (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016)


Behind Schedule

Work with provinces, territories, and municipalities to break down barriers to integrated, pan-Canadian open data services through the establishment of common principles, standards, and licensing across all levels of government.

Deliverables Status / Final Results Lessons Learned Completion Level

Establish common open data principles for adoption by governments across Canada.

With feedback from members of the Open Data Canada (ODC) Subcommittee, Canada and international partners led the development of an international Open Data Charter that was announced in that can align open data approaches across all levels of government.

Sustained efforts are needed to secure adoption of Open Data Charter principles by governments in Canada. The development of the principles has been a significant step forward, and widespread adoption is the next challenge.


Facilitate adoption of common or compatible open government licence.

All active open data provinces and several municipalities have adopted licences that are compatible with Canada's Open Government Licence.

Work is ongoing to draft implementation resources for the Open Government Licence to support all governments wishing to implement the licence in their jurisdiction.

Consistent and compatible licensing is essential to supporting open data across Canada. Further work is required to provide implementation guidance for the Open Government Licence.


Establish or identify common open data standards (e.g., metadata, data formats).

A draft Open Government Common Core Metadata Element Set (note: GCpedia is not accessible to the public) has been developed by the Government of Canada. In addition, a metadata mapping exercise has been completed across 5 provinces and shared with members of the ODC Sub-committee in .

Much of the practical work on open data, including open data standards, continues to focus on bilateral or small multilateral initiatives. At the pan-Canadian level, governments have engaged on open data standardization, but discussions have not yet translated into pan-Canadian data standards. There may also be opportunities for the federal government to collaborate more closely with Indigenous peoples on open data. Further work is required, including raising awareness of existing data standards and those under development.


Rolled-over in 2016-18 Plan

Develop a federated open data search service.

All active open data provinces have expressed an interest in participating in the federation of open data. The Government of Canada is currently working with the Government of Alberta to develop clear guidance and governance for a pilot federated search feature, to be launched as part of Canada's Third Biennial Plan to the OGP.

Development of a federated search capability will require more technical collaboration between participating governments. While an initial pilot should serve as an effective model for future launch of a nation-wide federated search capability, the work will require significant effort on the part of participating governments to resolve privacy, security, and technical issues.


Rolled-over in 2016-18 Plan

Expand and deliver a national appathon event – the Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE) - to promote reuse of multi-jurisdictional data.

In the Government of Canada and XMG hosted the second edition of the CODE. Over 1,300 participants from across Canada took part, submitting approximately 125 apps.

TBS is currently working with partners inside and outside government to identify additional opportunities for events supporting the innovative reuse of open government data.

CODE has provided an excellent opportunity for developers to showcase their talents while also showcasing the enormous potential value of open government data. In future, consideration should be given to potential open data engagement activities that allow developers to tackle particular policy challenges or problems facing Canadians.


Additional Deliverables Beyond the Action Plan

Conducted a pan-Canadian survey of all provincial and territorial members of the ODC Sub-committee to obtain and document information on best practices, challenges, opportunities and lessons learned on Open Data.

Thirteen out of 14 responses were obtained. Combined results and findings were shared with ODC Subcommittee members, and a discussion on possible follow-up was held. Responses were also used to inform a blog post published on


Supports the principles of transparency and civic participation, and helps address the OGP Grand Challenge of improving public services by establishing common principles, standards, and good practices to enable and encourage Canadians to access consistent, interoperable data from governments across Canada.


Develops common principles and standards for the release of open data across all levels of government in Canada.

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