Ontario to move toward open data, government


Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is launching a big open government/open data effort. The plan was announced yesterday during an event for the media at a startup incubator in Toronto. According to the administration’s plan, a significant amount of government data will be made public following a study.

A group of academic, business and community leaders will form an Open Government Engagement Team, which will be chaired by Don Lenihan. They will gather feedback from people across the province and report back to the government in spring, 2014.

The focus will be on three areas: open dialogue, open data, and open information. Ontario already has two sites up, Ontario.ca/open which has information on the open government projects and Ontario.ca/opendata which is the open data portal. It is promising that the Premier’s comments included a focus on valuable data, versus the usual volleys of transit data and non-informational government surveys.

The province also has an open data common licence which makes it easier for data users to collaborate and combine data from participating jurisdictions under the same common rules.

Data will be available following the study which is set to complete in 2014, although a more specific timeline hasn’t been set. The open data and open government sites have been operational since last year, but not much is on them yet. The administration posted this video explainer which doesn’t contain much but does highlight the focus on making government processes more transparent: