TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 06/18/13 -- The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, today launched the Government of Canada's much-anticipated next-generation Open Data portal, data.gc.ca, providing unprecedented access to government data and information and demonstrating Canada's international commitment to transparency and open government.
The next generation portal was unveiled as Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Canada's support for an international Open Data Charter of Principles while attending the G-8 Leaders Summit in Northern Ireland. The Charter commits Canada to the proactive release of more, high-quality, user-friendly data that is unrestricted in its use and re-use.
"Our Government is committed to the Open Data movement in Canada and around the world. Open Data is a global phenomenon that holds incredible opportunity to spur innovation and economic growth and improve the lives of everyday citizens," said Minister Clement. "I encourage all Canadians to explore the potential of this powerful 21st century resource."
The launch of data.gc.ca coincided with an event by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in Surrey, B.C., highlighting highly sought-after immigration data that underscores the innovative potential of technology and information.
In Toronto, Minister Clement was joined by Robert Herjavec, renowned Canadian entrepreneur and star of the Emmy nominated ABC show, Shark Tank, to showcase data.gc.ca's new interactive capabilities and Web 2.0 features. The site includes new targeted search capabilities and a Developers Corner, where Open Data developers can access specific technical information to assist them in creating user-friendly applications. As part of the launch, Minister Clement also announced plans for a National Open Data Challenge and Appathon using federal datasets, which will take place in the fall.
"The Government's commitment to unleashing the potential of Open Data and helping to drive innovation represents a unique opportunity for Canadian entrepreneurs," said Mr. Herjavec. "Data is a key strategic tool companies are now using to get ahead and succeed. The launch of this site opens the doors for innovative and creative thinkers to come up with all kinds of user-friendly applications."
A key feature of the next generation data.gc.ca site is the new Open Government Licence, which offers unrestricted re-use of government data and information. The new Licence is also being adopted by Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, making it easier for users to combine data from different levels of government to create richer, more contextualized information and applications.
Data.gc.ca contains datasets compiled by over 20 departments and agencies, covering a broad range of topics, from housing, to health and environmental data. People can explore local census or crime statistics, immigration and air quality data, coast-to-coast-to-coast mapping data, and much more.
"Open Data is Canada's new natural resource," said Minister Clement. "The possibilities for using this data are as infinite as our imaginations. I look forward to seeing what innovative and entrepreneurial Canadians are able to create with this newly accessible information."
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