Open Data Core Action Plan Commitment: Action Plan Commitment 5


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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)



Continue to unlock the potential of open data through a series of innovative and forward-looking projects that drive government-wide progress on open data and prioritize easy access to high-value federal data.

Deliverables Status / Final Results Lessons Learned Completion Level

Continue to prioritize and expand the release of high-quality open data from federal departments and agencies under a single Open Government Licence.

Since , more than 500 new datasets have been added to the Government of Canada's open data portal from 56 federal institutions under the Open Government Licence – Canada.

Governance and resources are a challenge for releasing datasets within departments. Sharing governance models, and improved guidance, including dataset quality guidelines have been helpful to releasing higher quality data.


Rolled over in 2016-18 Plan

Complete public consultations with Canadians and civil society organizations in support of the prioritization of open data releases.

To support implementation of the Directive on Open Government, a prioritization guide has been developed that has been informed by the results of a session held at the International Open Data Conference in .

Public and business input is highly valuable in guiding government departments and agencies in releasing in-demand data, ensuring a positive return on investment.


Launch a new government-wide open government portal ( with expanded open data services

  • Interactive, thematic open data communities and enhanced consultation functionality and online forums;
  • Directory of open data services across Canada;
  • Expanded developers' tools to support reuse of federal data
  • Enhanced data discovery; and
  • Standardized release procedures, formats, and metadata.

On , was officially launched as the Government of Canada's new open government portal. In addition to revised navigation and search capabilities that align with overall renewal activities, new features of the site include:

Releasing datasets is only the first step in developing a mature open data program. The releases need to be accompanied by tools, services and complementary information that assist Canadians in understanding and using the released data.

It is important to work with and learn from other governments with open data services in order to promote alignment, interoperability and enhance data discoverability.


Expand and deliver the Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE) by:

  • Increasing promotion of CODE activities and events;
  • Expanding the use of regional hubs to increase participation in all areas of Canada; and
  • Creating sub-themes to focus application development on everyday challenges facing Canadians.

The CODE 2015 hackathon was held - , with approximately 1,300 participants and 125 total submissions (respectively 40% and 15% increases over CODE 2014):

  • CODE 2015 was expanded to three VIP hubs in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, with seven additional community-hosted partner hubs established in Victoria, Calgary, Sarnia, London, Ottawa, Quebec City, and Fredericton. 
  • Participants developed their applications in one of three sub-theme categories: Quality of Life (Healthy Living), Commerce (Business Opportunities), and Youth (Employment).
  • CODE 2015 Winning Teams, were announced on at a Grand Finale event held in Toronto, ON. 
  • The grand-prize winning Career Path by Niew Labs app helps Canadian youth discover, research, and choose future career paths.

CODE participants were interested in expanding beyond the focus on commercialization. Future appathon events could do a better job at embracing those who want to solve problems and be civic hackers and not necessarily entrepreneurs.


Consolidate the management of federal geospatial data across the Government of Canada to make this information more accessible and reusable via federal open government websites.

The Federal Geospatial Platform (FGP)) was launched on .  The FGP is an initiative of the Federal Committee on Geomatics and Earth Observations (FCGEO), a committee of senior executives from 21 departments and agencies that are producers and/or consumers of geospatial data. The FGP:

  • Makes geospatial information available in a coherent way through open government's Open Maps portal. Hundreds of geospatial datasets are available on Open Maps to the public to conduct research or produce value-added products and applications, driving innovation and stimulating economic development. Many of the datasets can also be layered together and viewed as a map, providing instant insights and opportunities for location-based analysis of information. The number of available datasets on Open Maps continues to grow as more federal departments are onboarded into the FGP;
  • Provides a collaborative space for federal departments to not only access data but to share a common application development framework to enable reusable mapping tools. FGP has made over 130 ArcGIS Online licences available to federal users with plans to further expand participation in the FGP collaborative mapping environment as the FGP moves into post-project operations; and
  • Provides an efficient process to allow departments to easily onboard into the FGP Catalogue to make data and services available to both the federal community and the public (via Open Maps). The FGP Data Dissemination Repository is poised to assist departments lacking geomatics capabilities or infrastructure to make their data broadly available for use.

Foundational work completed in support of the FGP initiative includes a harmonized metadata standard and a data inventory for Release 1 of the FGP portal.

Creating a common configuration of a geospatial metadata standard provides the ability for users to have access to a single geospatial data search that is collected from over 30 departments. This allows the ability for Canadians to discover data through a mapping interface, as well as combine and compare related content.


Broaden adoption of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) standard in the Government of Canada, and encourage other Canadian actors to publish their own data, in particular, civil society organizations.

The IATI standard has been adopted by federal departments implicated in the delivery of international development aid.

A new, whole-of-government IATI Implementation Schedule has been published, including a specific schedule for Global Affairs Canada.

Three federal departments representing over 90% of Canada's official development assistance are now publishing data in accordance with the IATI Standard - see links below to departments' IATI data from:

Various outreach activities to encourage the participation of Canadian civil society organizations in IATI took place over 2014-2016, including:

  • Discussions during open data events in Ottawa in to to understand constraints to the adoption of open aid data standards and explore potential solutions;
  • Sharing of information on other donors' approaches to supporting the publication of aid data by implementing partners.

The use of the IATI standard by non-government actors in Canada remains low and more promotion and encouragement is needed by the IATI community to expand the implementation of the standard.


Additional Deliverables Beyond the Action Plan

In , new consultation tools were developed using open source resources to host and manage online open government consultations. Given the tools are based on open source code, scaling them for use by other departments and agencies to host their consultations is possible.

In , Canada further increased its engagement toward aid transparency by becoming the Chair of IATI's Governing Board. The first IATI Members' Assembly under Canada's chairmanship, which took place - , agreed to important steps towards the sustainability of the initiative.


Supports all four OGP principles: transparency, civic participation, accountability, and access to new technologies for openness. This commitment is targeted at helping address the OGP Grand Challenges of improving public services, increasing public integrity, and effectively managing public resources by making more high-value, standardized data available from federal institutions and engaging Canadians in reusing that data.


Accelerates the proactive release of high-value data promoting government transparency, supporting international standards, furthering innovation, maximizing reuse, and continuing to enhance and improve government-wide open data platforms and services.

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