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Open Data Canada (CA0031)



Action Plan: Canada, Second Action Plan, 2014-2016

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive


Lead Institution: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Support Institution(s): Provinces, territories, and municipalities

Policy Areas

Access to Information, Open Data, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Canada End-of-Term Report 2014-2016, Canada Progress Report 2014-2015

Starred: Yes Starred

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i



The Government of Canada will work with provinces, territories, and municipalities to
break down barriers to integrated, pan-Canadian open data services through the
establishment of common principles, standards, and licensing across all levels of

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 2. Open Data (✪)

Commitment Text:

The Government of Canada will work with provinces, territories, and municipalities to break down barriers to integrated, pan-Canadian open data services through the establishment of common principles, standards, and licensing across all levels of government.

As announced at the OGP Annual Summit in October 2013, the pan-Canadian, Open Data Canada strategy will remove existing jurisdictional barriers to realizing the full potential of open data in Canada. By harmonizing and integrating the diverse range of open data activities happening at all levels of government across Canada, we will facilitate a 'no wrong door' approach to open government data, regardless of which government owns it.

This is a challenging prospect given that Canada is a decentralized federation in which government programs and services cut across multiple jurisdictions. Health, transportation, and agriculture are just a few examples of government activities that have municipal, provincial/territorial, and federal involvement.

Our consultations with citizens and civil society organizations have reinforced how important it is that users be able to combine data from multiple jurisdictions in spite of any challenges that stand in the way. Such challenges include data ownership, search and discovery barriers, licensing, cataloguing, and significant differences across jurisdictions with regard to capacity. As part of our commitment to open data in Canada, we will address these challenges head-on.

Work on these activities will be governed by a national Open Data Canada Steering Committee with representation from all levels of government. The end result will provide unprecedented access to comprehensive open data from across Canada to spur innovation, increase productivity, and ultimately improve the lives of Canadians.

Deliverables to be completed in 2014-16:

  • Establish common open data principles for adoption by governments across Canada.
  • Facilitate the adoption of a common or compatible open government licence by all Canadian governments to enable the release and reuse of open data and information.
  • Establish or identify common open data standards (e.g., metadata, data formats) that align with existing international standards for adoption by governments across Canada.
  • Develop a federated open data search service with provinces and municipalities to provide users with a 'no wrong door' approach to accessing open data, so that data can be easily found and downloaded regardless of which government open data portal is used.
  • Expand and deliver a national appathon event, the Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE), to promote access to, and reuse of, multi-jurisdictional data to develop new and innovative tools and services for Canadians.

Responsible institution: Treasury Board Secretariat

Supporting institution(s): Provinces, Territories and Municipalities

Start date: November 2014   End date: 30 June 2016

Editorial note: This is a starred commitment, because it is measurable, clearly relevant to OGP values as written, of transformative potential impact, and was substantially or completely implemented.

Commitment Aim:

The purpose of this commitment is to facilitate Canadians’ retrieval of data across various levels of government in Canada by developing a pan-Canadian open data service with common principles, standards, and licensing across all levels of government. The additional federated open data search service aims to provide users with a ‘no wrong door’ approach, so they can retrieve data easily regardless of which portal they use. The commitment also included access to and reuse of multi-jurisdictional data via an expansion of the Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE), part of Canada’s national appathon.  CODE 2015,  At the appathon event, participants were encouraged to “mash-up federal datasets as well as include provincial, territorial, and municipal data when building apps.” Prior to this commitment, the majority of municipalities, provinces, territories, and the federal government were using a range of open data standards, principles, and licenses - users had to know which level of government housed which data in order to retrieve what they were looking for.


Mid-term: Substantial

Fundamental work on this commitment took place in the first year, including a survey on best practices, challenges, and opportunities with provinces and territories, a metadata mapping exercise with five provinces (to be used as a foundation for drafting common standards), and published guidelines for implementing the Open Government Licence. The CODE appathon was completed - it took place from 20 – 22 February 2015. However, the federated open data search service was not established.

End of term: Substantial

The government considers the Open Data Charter announced in May 2015 the common data principles to be used for adoption by governments across Canada.  Open Data Charter,  As such, milestone 2.1 (establishment of common data principles) was completed. The government of Canada played a significant role in the development of the Charter.

Little changed with the common open government licence from the mid term progress report to the end of term report. Active open data provinces and some municipalities have adopted licences that are compatible with the Open Government Licence.  Open Government Across Canada,  However, more work remains to be done when it comes to providing support and guidance to jurisdictions considering adoption of a licencing regime compatible with the Open Government Licence.

No notable progress took place in the second year of the action plan cycle for the common open data standard and federated open data search service.

Expansion of the national appathon event was completed during the first year of the action plan cycle and is discussed at length in the mid term progress report.  Canada Progress Report 2014-2015:

Did it open government?

Access to information: Marginal

This commitment had a marginal effect on government openness. It resulted in some discussions and work between the federal government and other levels of government regarding common open data principles, licencing, standards, and search services. These are necessary and important steps forward, but work remains to be done for this commitment to be fully implemented.

Carried forward?

The third and fourth milestones have been carried forward to the third action plan under that document’s commitment 16: ‘Align Open Data Across Canada.’ The milestones under this commitment include:

  • Foster the adoption of common open data principles that are consistent with the International Open Data Charter by all levels of government.
  • Develop a list of high-value, priority datasets for release in collaboration with key jurisdictions to make it easier for Canadians to compare data across different governments.
  • Launch an online, federated, multi-jurisdictional open data search service in partnership with one or more provinces and territories to allow Canadians to search and access data from across jurisdictions, regardless of its origin.
  • Host a national Open Data Canada summit in 2017 to bring together federal, provincial/ territorial, and municipal officials to collaborate on setting a national agenda for aligning and improving the delivery of open data across the country.  Canada’s Third Biennial Plan to the Open Government Partnership 2016 – 2018,  


  1. User-Friendly Open Government

    CA0064, 2018, Access to Information

  2. Financial Transparency and Accountability

    CA0065, 2018, Access to Information

  3. Corporate Transparency

    CA0066, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  4. Digital Government and Services

    CA0067, 2018, Automated Decision-Making

  5. Open Science

    CA0068, 2018, Access to Information

  6. Healthy Democracy

    CA0069, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  7. Access to Information

    CA0070, 2018, Access to Information

  8. Feminist and Inclusive Dialogue

    CA0071, 2018, Capacity Building

  9. Reconciliation and Open Government

    CA0072, 2018, Access to Information

  10. Open Government Community

    CA0073, 2018, Access to Information

  11. Enhance Access to Information

    CA0042, 2016, Access to Information

  12. Streamline Requests for Personal Information

    CA0043, 2016, E-Government

  13. Expand and Improve Open Data

    CA0044, 2016, Access to Information

  14. Provide and Preserve Open Information

    CA0045, 2016, E-Government

  15. Define an Approach for Measuring Open Government Performance

    CA0046, 2016, Capacity Building

  16. Develop Open Government Skills Across the Federal Public Service

    CA0047, 2016, Access to Information

  17. Embed Transparency Requirements in the Federal Service Strategy

    CA0048, 2016, Capacity Building

  18. Enhance Access to Culture & Heritage Collections

    CA0049, 2016, Capacity Building

  19. Enhance Openness of Information on Government Spending and Procurement

    CA0050, 2016, Capacity Building

  20. Increase Transparency of Budget and Other Department of Finance Information

    CA0051, 2016, Capacity Building

  21. Starred commitment Increase Transparency of Grants and Contributions Funding

    CA0052, 2016, Capacity Building

  22. Improve Public Information on Canadian Corporations

    CA0053, 2016, E-Government

  23. Increase the Availability and Usability of Geospatial Data

    CA0054, 2016, Access to Information

  24. Increase Openness of Federal Science Activities (Open Science)

    CA0055, 2016, Capacity Building

  25. Stimulate Innovation through Canada’s Open Data Exchange (ODX)

    CA0056, 2016, Access to Information

  26. Align Open Data Across Canada (Open Data Canada)

    CA0057, 2016, Access to Information

  27. Implement the Extractives Sector Transparency Measures Act

    CA0058, 2016, Anti-Corruption

  28. Support Openness and Transparency Initiatives Around the World

    CA0059, 2016, Access to Information

  29. Engage Civil Society on Open Government

    CA0060, 2016, Public Participation

  30. Enable Open Dialogue and Open Policy Making

    CA0061, 2016, Capacity Building

  31. Promote Open Government Globally

    CA0062, 2016, Access to Information

  32. Engage Canadians to Improve Key Canada Revenue Agency Services

    CA0063, 2016, Access to Information

  33. Implement Directive on Open Government

    CA0030, 2014, Access to Information

  34. Starred commitment Open Data Canada

    CA0031, 2014, Access to Information

  35. Canadian Open Data Exchange (ODX)

    CA0032, 2014, Access to Information

  36. Open Data for Development

    CA0033, 2014, Access to Information

  37. Open Data Core Commitment

    CA0034, 2014, Access to Information

  38. Starred commitment Open Science

    CA0035, 2014, Public Participation

  39. Starred commitment Mandatory Reporting on Extractives

    CA0036, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  40. Open Contracting

    CA0037, 2014, Anti-Corruption

  41. Open Information on Budgets and Expenditures

    CA0038, 2014, Fiscal Openness

  42. Digital Literacy

    CA0039, 2014, Capacity Building

  43. Open Information Core Commitment

    CA0040, 2014, Access to Information

  44. Consulting Canadians

    CA0041, 2014, Marginalized Communities

  45. Starred commitment International Aid Transparency Initiative: Publish Plan to Make CIDA Activities Available and Accessible

    CA0010, 2012, Aid

  46. International Aid Transparency Initiative: Implement Plan

    CA0011, 2012, Aid

  47. Opening Government of Canada Records: Increase Access to Archived Federal Documents at Library and Archives Canada

    CA0012, 2012, Records Management

  48. Opening Government of Canada Records: Issue New Mandatory Policy on Document Classification

    CA0013, 2012, Records Management

  49. Opening Government of Canada Records: Make Classified Information Available Online

    CA0014, 2012, E-Government

  50. GCDOCS: Deploy Wave One of Electronic Record and Document Management Solution

    CA0015, 2012, E-Government

  51. GCDOCS: Deploy Across Federal Government

    CA0016, 2012, E-Government

  52. GCWEB: Develop Consolidated Web Presence

    CA0017, 2012, E-Government

  53. GCWEB: Implement New Platform

    CA0018, 2012, E-Government

  54. Data.Gc.Ca: Expand Number of Datasets Available

    CA0019, 2012, Access to Information

  55. Data.Gc.Ca: Implement Data.Gc.Ca Portal

    CA0020, 2012, Access to Information

  56. Data.Gc.Ca: Improve Standardization of Data

    CA0021, 2012, Access to Information

  57. Government of Canada Resource Management Data: Publish Resource Management and Performance Data

    CA0022, 2012, Access to Information

  58. Government of Canada Resource Management Data: Enhance Search and Data Tools

    CA0023, 2012, Access to Information

  59. Consulting Canadians: Develop New Platform for Consultation

    CA0024, 2012, E-Government

  60. Consulting Canadians: Develop Standard Approach to Use of Social Media

    CA0025, 2012, E-Government

  61. Consulting Canadians: Pilot a Crowdsourcing Initiative

    CA0026, 2012, E-Government

  62. Consulting Canadians: Enable Use of Common Online Tools

    CA0027, 2012, E-Government

  63. Open Regulation: Federal Regulators to Post Forward Regulatory Plans

    CA0028, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  64. Open Regulation: Simplify Engagement Activities

    CA0029, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  65. Open Government Directive: Issue Directive on Open Government

    CA0001, 2012, E-Government

  66. Open Government Directive: Implement Directive on Open Government

    CA0002, 2012, E-Government

  67. Starred commitment Open Government Licence: Issue Open Government Licence

    CA0003, 2012, Legislation & Regulation

  68. Starred commitment Open Government Licence: Adopt Open Government Licence

    CA0004, 2012,

  69. Modernising Administration of Access to Information: Pilot of Online Request and Payment Service

    CA0005, 2012, Access to Information

  70. Modernising Administration of Access to Information: Implement ATI Solution

    CA0006, 2012, Access to Information

  71. Modernising Administration of Access to Information: Make Completed ATI Request Summaries Searchable

    CA0007, 2012, Access to Information

  72. Virtual Library: Begin Design of Virtual Library

    CA0008, 2012, E-Government

  73. Virtual Library: Launch Virtual Library

    CA0009, 2012, E-Government

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