The August long weekend goes by many names in Canada – Simcoe Day in Toronto, Colonel By Day in Ottawa, and British Columbia Day in B.C. – but the most common is simply Civic Day. On the week Canadians enjoyed Civic Day, my weekly technology column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes how our civic institutions are rapidly being transformed by open government mandates that leverage the power of the Internet to foster greater transparency and public engagement.
The City of Vancouver has led the way with the adoption of a resolution in May that endorsed open and accessible data, open standards, and open source software. The open data component states, "the City of Vancouver will freely share with citizens, businesses and other jurisdictions the greatest amount of data possible while respecting privacy and security concerns."