Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

September 05, 2013 14:15 ET

Minister Clement Talks Open Data with OpenText CEO Mark Barrenechea and Waterloo Tech Entrepreneurs

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 5, 2013) - The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, today highlighted opportunities to spur innovation and growth using Open Data during a unique armchair discussion with Mark Barrenechea, President and CEO of Canadian tech success, OpenText, and Waterloo tech entrepreneurs.

"The Open Data phenomenon is an incredibly exciting opportunity to unlock the value embedded in rich stores of government data and transform it into user-friendly applications," said Minister Clement during a gathering at the OpenText Waterloo campus. "These data applications not only spur innovation and economic growth, but they have the potential to improve the quality of life of everyday citizens."

The Government of Canada's recently launched next generation Open Data Portal, www.data.gc.ca, is a gateway to a rich trove of government data that can be downloaded free of charge by citizens, researchers, voluntary organizations, and the private sector. The enhanced portal, which includes new targeted search capabilities and Web 2.0 features, houses popular datasets ranging from residency wait times and air quality to energy use.

A number of Government-sponsored applications using federal data have already been developed, including Health Canada's drug recall app and a border wait time application developed by the Canada Border Services Agency.

"The Government of Canada's Open Data Portal is just the beginning of what is possible with the convergence of data and technology," said Tom Jenkins, chair of the Canadian Digital Media Network and OpenText chairman. "Countries around the world are embracing the Open Data phenomenon, and the companies that can tap into this resource have a huge opportunity to employ previously inaccessible data to better understand their markets, create new products and bolster productivity. Any business that isn't thinking about data should be."

Canada recently endorsed an Open Data Charter at the G8 Summit that aims to increase government data availability and ensure all data released is easy to use, comparable, and interoperable with other datasets. The Charter commits Canada to implement five foundational Open Data principles and international best practices by the end of 2015.

"With increased access to government data repositories, developers will be able to create applications, advance the digital economy and expand the boundaries of the possible," said OpenText CEO Mark J. Barrenechea. "OpenText, as Canada's largest software company, is committed to advancing these important Canadian initiatives."

An online consultation on Canada's progress on its Action Plan on Open Government is currently underway and remains open until Monday, September 9, 2013, on data.gc.ca. The results of this consultation will help develop the Government of Canada's report on Year 1 commitments as part of its membership in the Open Government Partnership. This includes commitments to Open Data, Open Information, and Open Dialogue.

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Contact Information

  • Matthew Conway
    Press Secretary
    Office of the President of the Treasury Board
    613-957-2666

    Media Relations
    Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
    613-957-2640