British Columbia launches open data portal, posts freedom of information requests online

Open data is moving forward in Canada. The provincial government in British Columbia launched its own open data portal on Tuesday. The site, has been in the works for a long time and will provide nearly 2,500 data sets covering a broad range of information from salaries to student performance.

The B.C. government has long promised that an open data portal was coming, and with this launch, residents and developers will now be able to download government data for free. Premier Christy Clark has been an advocate of opening up the data saying that if the government is doing the public’s business that information should be made available back to the residents to interpret on their own.

The new site will allow visitors to sort through government data, download and use it for a variety of purposes. Much of the information included was already available as a matter of public record but was moved on to the site for ease of use. Developers will also be able to use all of the data on the site under an open use license which will allow them to do what they wish with the information.

The B.C. government will also be releasing information that has been requested under Freedom of Information requests online at

These two initiatives indicate growing support for open data throughout Canada. Last year, CivSource spoke with Toronto CIO Dave Wallace about the creation of that city’s sustainable open data strategy.