Canada hosts Open Government Partnership: resolves to tackle threats to democratic participation and inclusion 

News release

May 29, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Canada is committed to strengthening democracy at home and around the world by working with government partners and civil society to build greater openness, accountability and civic engagement.

As co-chair of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), Canada has prioritized addressing threats to democracy and disinformation, and fostering inclusion and healthy civic space. Today, as part of the 2019 OGP Global Summit, the Honourable Joyce Murray, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, and Nathaniel Heller, civil society co-chair, met with the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee to together issue a strong call to action on these issues.  

Under Canada’s leadership, the Steering Committee, made up of 22 members from 11 countries, passed a resolution calling on the broader membership to work with civil society counterparts to build democratic legitimacy and health into their action plans on Open Government. This includes protecting participation, advancing inclusion and gender equality, and tackling transnational online threats while working to deepen digital democratic engagement.

The Steering Committee also resolved to develop and promote open, ethical algorithms and artificial intelligence the same day that Canada published our world-leading Algorithmic Impact Assessment (AIA) tool – designed to help government organizations transparently assess and mitigate the risks associated with deploying automated decision-making tools.

This week, Canada has brought together over 2,000 civil society, academia and government representatives and over 40 ministers from more than 70 countries, to work towards significantly improving citizen-government relationships around the world. This includes sharing best practices on open government that support peer learning, empowering citizens and improving public services. 

Quotes

“Promoting and protecting democracy around the world is at the core of the Open Government Partnership – and at the forefront of Canada’s efforts as lead government chair. By supporting this call to action, we are supporting the efforts of local governments to strengthen their institutions, improve important public services, and build trust with the citizens at the heart of their democracies.”

-       The Honourable Joyce Murray, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government

“The Government of Canada and the global open government community recognize that when diverse voices and perspectives are brought into government, government becomes more effective, services are more targeted and efficient, and trust in government improves.  Both online and off line, the ability to hear and respond to all voices – not just the privileged ones – is critical to cementing reforms that can positively impact people’s lives.”

-       Nathaniel Heller, co-chair of the Open Government Partnership and Executive Vice President of Results for Development

“In order to address the unprecedented rise in authoritarianism, shrinking civic space and new digital threats to democracy, OGP provides a platform for governments and civil society to take concrete actions to protect and enhance civic space, and advance new norms to tackle the spread of disinformation and threats to individual privacy."  

-       Sanjay Pradhan, Chief Executive Officer, Open Government Partnership

Quick facts

  • In 2011, government leaders and civil society advocates came together to create the OGP, a unique partnership to promote accountable, responsive and inclusive governance.

  • Seventy-nine countries and a growing number of local governments – representing more than two billion people – along with thousands of civil society organizations are members of the OGP.

  • Upon joining OGP, governments work with civil society to co-create two-year action plans, with concrete commitments across a broad range of issues. Collectively, nearly, 4,000 commitments have been made globally.

  • Canada is currently the lead government chair of the Open Government Partnership on the OGP Steering Committee.

  • Canada’s latest 2018-20 National Action Plan on Open Government includes an Open Government Community commitment to strengthen its open government collaboration with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments across Canada. It also includes commitments on digital government and healthy democracy

Associated links

Contacts

Farees Nathoo
Media Relations
Office of the President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government
613-369-3170

Media Relations
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Telephone: 613-369-9400
Toll-free: 1-855-TBS-9-SCT (1-855-827-9728)
TTY (telecommunications device for the hearing impaired): 613-369-9371
Email: media@tbs-sct.gc.ca

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