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____ Monday November 30, 2015 ____



Ontario Making Data Open by Default

New Open Data Directive Drafted with Feedback from Ontarians

Queens Park - As part of Ontario’s commitment to Open Government the province is making government data publicly available to increase transparency and spur innovation. “By making government data open by default, Ontario has taken a critical step towards accelerating open data driven innovation. Not only will this directive further promote transparency, it will also serve to make even more of this rich data available to both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, resulting in more products, services and efficiencies in both the private and public sectors," said Kevin Tuer, Vice President, Communitech and Managing Director, Open Data Exchange.

The Open Data Directive will take effect on April 1, 2016 and will apply to all Ontario ministries and provincial agencies requiring them to make data public, unless it is exempt for privacy, legal, confidentiality, security or commercially sensitive reasons. The directive will ensure that open data does not contain personal or confidential information.

The government collects and generates data on a wide variety of topics such as school enrolment and traffic volume. The new directive will give the public greater access to this data to use for a variety of purposes, including research and application development to help Ontarians tackle everyday problems like gridlock.

The province engaged with Ontarians on the draft directive to make sure it reflects their needs, and used public feedback to help shape the final version. Ontario was the first jurisdiction in Canada to consult on a draft open data directive.

Creating a more open and transparent government is part of the government’s plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

“We are making government data open by default in order to support innovation and problem-solving through new ideas and applications. We have already seen how apps such as GridWatch and MapYourProperty can create new uses for Ontario data and we’re looking forward to seeing what Ontario’s tech community can do in the future. This is part of Ontario’s commitment to be the most open and transparent government in the country," said Deb Matthews, President of the Treasury Board.

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