Government of Canada shows global leadership on open government

News Release

December 9, 2016 – Ottawa – Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Government data is an important resource that can drive innovation, inform businesses, and enhance government accountability.

The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board, is in Paris, France, today leading Canada‘s delegation at the Open Government Partnership Global Summit, where he announced that Canada is taking a leadership role in the global movement to improve transparency and open government.

The Minister announced that Canada will adopt the International Open Data Charter. This is a key commitment in Canada‘s 3rd Biennial Plan to the Open Government Partnership, and it will support strategic partnerships with governments and civil society organizations in Canada and around the world. The shared global principles expressed in the Charter reflect the Government of Canada‘s ongoing commitment to making government data open by default.

Minister Brison also announced that Canada endorses the “Paris Declaration, 4th Global Summit of the Open Government Partnership: Collective Actions to Accelerate Open Government.” Canada will partner with other governments to share best practices and support peer learning on the following themes: 

  • Using data to promote sustainable development and fight climate change
  • Employing online tools for digital collaboration
  • Applying principles and policies to release more open data
  • Promoting budget transparency
  • Modernizing the criminal justice system through information technology and citizen engagement

Quick facts

  • The Open Government Partnership is an international multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together more than 70 governments and hundreds of civil society organizations.
  • The Paris Declaration encourages governments and civil society organizations to sign up to collective actions that will advance open government in their countries and around the world.
  • Other Government of Canada activities to strengthen openness and transparency include:
    • Reviewing the Access to Information Act, with legislation to be introduced in early 2017 and a full and now-mandatory review to follow in 2018. In May 2016, the Government issued the Interim Directive on the Administration of the Access to Information Act, which enshrined “open by default” in government policy and eliminated all access to information fees except for the initial five dollar filing fee.
    • Updating and modernizing the Policy on Communications and Federal Identity to clarify the role of departmental officials in ensuring government information is made available to Canadians in a more complete and timely manner. According to the new directive, subject matter experts, including scientists, can speak publicly about their work without being designated.
    • Releasing a new Policy on Results to improve the timeliness, transparency and clarity of reporting to Parliament, so that Canadians know how the Government spends their tax dollars, what results are expected from their programs, and how they are being measured and achieved.
    • Working with parliamentarians to better align the Budget and Estimates processes so that Canadians can more easily track how the Government spends their money.


“Government information belongs to the people we serve and it should be open by default. By adopting the Charter and signing on to the Paris Declaration, Canada is taking steps to drive innovation and play a leadership role in matters of openness and transparency on the world stage.”

Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board

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