Post Tagged with: "open government"

Justin Trudeau at Canada 2020 by Canada 2020 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

C-51 Reform, TPP Top the List of “Real Change” Tech Policy Priorities

Digital policies may not have played a significant role in the just-concluded national election, but the arrival of a majority Liberal government will leave many expecting “real change” on the digital front in the years ahead. My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau is likely to focus on key economic promises from his platform once Parliament resumes. However, there will be several digital issues that should command attention during his first 12 months in office.

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October 28, 2015 1 comment Columns
push to reset by voodooangel (CC BY-NC 2.0)

New Year Offers Chance to Hit Reset Button on Digital Policies

A new year is traditionally the time to refresh and renew personal goals. The same is true in the digital policy realm, where despite the conclusion of lawful access, anti-counterfeiting, and anti-spam rules in 2014, many other issues in Canada remain unresolved, unaddressed, or stalled in the middle of development.

With a new year – one that will feature a federal election in which all parties will be asked to articulate their vision of Canada’s digital future – there is a chance to hit the policy reset button on issues that have lagged or veered off course.

There is no shortage of possibilities, but my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the following four concerns should be top of mind for policy makers and politicians:

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January 5, 2015 5 comments Columns
open government data (scrabble) by justgrimes (CC BY-SA 2.0)

What Open Government Hides

Treasury Board President Tony Clement unveiled the latest version of his Open Government Action Plan last month, continuing a process that has seen some important initiatives to make government data such as statistical information and mapping data publicly available in open formats free from restrictive licenses.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes there is much to like about Canada’s open government efforts, which have centred on three pillars: open data, open information, and open dialogue. Given the promise of “greater transparency and accountability, increased citizen engagement, and driving innovation and economic opportunity”, few would criticize the aspirational goals of Canada’s open government efforts. Yet scratch the below the surface of new open data sets and public consultations and it becomes apparent that there is much that open government hides.

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December 1, 2014 7 comments Columns

Statscan To Make All Online Data Free

Big news on the open government front where Embassy is reporting that Statistics Canada will make all of its online data free starting early next year.

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November 25, 2011 Comments are Disabled News

Was Canada’s Open Government Delay Part of the Plan?

The Canadian government’s open government initiative was back in the spotlight this week with Treasury Board President Tony Clement discussing the issue at a speech in Ottawa. I wrote about the open government in my weekly technology law column (homepage version, Toronto Star version) noting that seven months later the initiative is gathering dust. As of Monday, the original website – online at – still featured a photo of Day, who retired from politics just one week after the initial announcement. The site had been last updated on March 18, 2011, the same date as the policy announcement. The site was updated over the past couple of days.

While some delays due to the election call were understandable, seven months of inaction led skeptics to wonder whether the entire announcement was little more than a publicity stunt.  The delays are particularly discouraging given Canada’s willingness to pressure others about the value of open government. Last month, Canada became one of 46 countries to join the Open Government Partnership, which is focused on the availability of information about governmental activities, supporting civic participation, and increasing access to new technologies for openness and accountability. A letter from Foreign Minister John Baird to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirming Canada’s participation noted the June Speech from the Throne that reaffirmed support for open data, open information, and open dialogue.

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October 21, 2011 5 comments Columns