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Consulting Canadians (CA0041)



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

Action Plan Cycle: 2014

Status: Inactive


Lead Institution: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Privy Council Office

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Marginalized Communities, Public Participation, Regulatory Governance

IRM Review

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

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information , Civic Participation , Technology

Potential Impact:

Implementation i



The Government of Canada will provide direction, and next-generation tools and
resources to enable federal departments and agencies to consult more broadly with
citizens and civil society in support of the development and delivery of government
policies and programs.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 12. Consulting Canadians

Commitment Text:

The Government of Canada will provide direction and next-generation tools and resources to enable federal departments and agencies to consult more broadly with citizens and civil society in support of the development and delivery of government policies and programs.

Modern technology has enabled governments to connect faster and more easily with citizens. Given Canada's geographic diversity, federal departments and agencies often face a challenge in conducting wide-ranging consultations with Canadians from diverse areas of the country and backgrounds. Evolving technological solutions can help government departments and agencies better consult with citizens and civil society organizations on a wide range of policy, program, and regulatory issues. The result will be a more informed society on government programs and direction, and improved policy development for the government.

To meet this challenge, the Government of Canada will develop new and innovative approaches and solutions to enable Canadians to more easily take part in federal consultations of interest to them. The government will also develop a set of principles and procedures to guide consultation processes in order to increase the consistency and effectiveness of public consultations across government. As a result, Canadians will be more aware of the opportunities to engage with their government, will have consistent, advance notice of government consultations, and will have access to easy-to-use solutions for providing their ideas on federal programs and services.

Deliverables to be completed in 2014-16:

  • Improve the existing Consulting with Canadians website to facilitate easier access to information on federal consultation activities for citizens.
  • Develop and launch a new government-wide consultation portal to promote opportunities for public participation, host online consultations, and share findings from completed consultations.
  • Expand the use of social media across government to enable departments and programs to connect to Canadians in innovative ways and enhance engagement in support of citizen-centric services.
  • Develop a set of principles and standards for public consultations in discussion with citizens and civil society (e.g., advance notice and promotion of consultations, best practices for in-person and online engagement, effective use of social media, reporting on results), including setting out minimum benchmarks for consultations.
  • Conduct targeted consultations on open government themes with key groups in Canada (e.g., youth, aboriginal populations).

Responsible institution: Treasury Board Secretariat, Privy Council Office

Supporting institution(s): None

Start date: November 2014   End date: 30 June 2016

Commitment Aim:

The aim of this commitment is to improve the tools and resources that allow for enhanced citizen engagement.


Mid-term: Limited

The new site for consultations, milestone number two, was part of Canada’s  first action plan and was not completed. As was noted in the mid-term progress report, the government posted a bid for solicitations on 21 March, 2014 and had established a standing offer for stakeholder/citizen engagement services.  According to mid-term interviews with government officials, the new consultation portal was to be launched by June 2016 and was to include a unified consultation calendar, enhanced search functionality, notification and subscription service, and reports and outcomes.

In April 2014, the government contracted with Hootsuite to provide social media account management services. According to information provided to the IRM researcher, 47 federal institutions were using Hootsuite’s services as of July 2015. A review of existing principles and best practices on consultations was underway at that time, including an environmental scan of internal and external guidance documents. The review will be used to draft new principles and best practices. Government officialssaid the draft would be released for public consultation early in 2016 and then finalized. The final milestone of engaging in targeted consultations with key constituencies was behind schedule. Government interviewees noted that some targeted consultations were done with what they referred to as “key” groups around specific commitments in the second national action plan, but no such consultations took place between November 2014 and April 2015.

End of term: Limited

The Consulting Canadians site had been modified in the first year of the action plan. No clearly identifiable progress was made in the development of a new consultation portal during the second year of the plan.

The Treasury Board Secretariat issued new policies and guidelines that, among other things, support the use of social media. The Policy on Communications and Federal Identity went into effect in May 2016. Policy on Communications and Federal Identity,  The Directive on the Management of Communications went into effect the same month.  Directive on the Management of Communications,

There was no clearly identifiable progress on the development of principles and standards for public consultation after the first year of the action plan. Similarly, there is no evidence of additional ‘targeted consultations’ beyond those mentioned in the mid-term progress report, or reported on in this end of term report in reference to previous commitments. Both of these milestones are ongoing.

Did it open government?

Access to information: Did not change

The reorganization of the existing Consulting Canadians website on the website may facilitate citizens’ ability to discover and access information regarding federal consultations. However, it did not lead to the flow of new information.

Civic participation: Did not change

Overall, the incomplete fulfillment and limited progress made on this commitment presents little evidence that civic participation has been enhanced in any meaningful way. The provision of new tools and resources for consultation, which are at the heart of the commitment, are still works in progress - they have been carried forward to the next action plan.

Carried forward?

This commitment is carried forward to the third national action plan, of which the 19th commitment is to ‘Engage Civil Society on Open Government.’ Milestones include:

  • Develop and maintain a renewed mechanism for ongoing, meaningful dialogue between the government of Canada and civil society organizations on open government issues across the country.
  • Undertake targeted engagement activities to discuss open government issues in specific domains with key civil society stakeholders.  Government of Canada, Third National Action Plan,

Commitment 20 of the third action plan is to ‘Enable Open Dialogue and Open Policy Making.’ Milestones include:

  • Promote common principles for Open Dialogue and common practices across the government of Canada to enable the use of new methods for consulting and engaging Canadians.
  • Engage with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to ensure that these principles and practices support meaningful engagement and reflect the renewed nation-to-nation/Inuit-to-Crown/government-to-government relationships.
  • Identify necessary supports (e.g. skills development, resourcing, technological innovation) needed to deliver on the full potential of engaging with stakeholders.
  • Identify and support participatory processes undertaken by departments to share lessons learned and demonstrate the value of including stakeholders and members of the public throughout the policy, program or service design and implementation.
  • Develop, implement the measurement of, and promote indicators for open government to support benchmarking and continuous improvement.  Government of Canada, Third National Action Plan,


  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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