November 2013

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Jean-Noe Landry and Tracey P. Lauriault have an article entitled:

Les données ouvertes : la matière première du nouvel engagement citoyen

in this fantastic almanac type of publication produced yearly by L’institut du nouveau monde. The article features the unique type of open data movement in Quebec, which is a rich combination of  community development, grass roots engagement, technological activism and public policy making.  It is one of the few Canadian open data initiatives that really make data work to change public policy by embedding the work into a political process, while concurrently working within the political process to ensure evidence informed democratic deliberation and keeping government accountable.


L’État du Québec est publié une fois l’an depuis 1995. Destiné au grand public, il fournit aux lecteurs l’ensemble des données factuelles utiles sur le Québec dans tous les domaines. On y trouve également le bilan politique, économique, culturel et social du Québec pour l’année écoulée ainsi que des textes d’analyse, produits par des spécialistes, sur tous les grands enjeux auxquels le Québec est confronté.
• Historique de la participation publique au Québec
• L’éducation civique à l’école
• Les formes innovantes de la démocratie participative à travers le monde
• Le mouvement des données ouvertes
• Participation et corruption coexistent : comment l’expliquer ?


The article was co-authored by both of us, however, it is important to mention that Jean-Noe, in his true collaborative, consultative and democratic style, consulted a number of actors in the Montreal and Quebec open data space to ground the content in its local context.

On a seperate note, it is serendipitous that Jean-Noe read philosophie at Trinity in Dublin, I now live in Ireland, we both travelled in Japan and his mom was my French prof.  Life is very interseting sometimes!

Greetings folks!  Below is a presentation about the genealogy of open access to data and open data in Canada.  It was great to finally have the space to demonstrate the earlier work done in this space and to showcase the different open data open access communities.  The open data movement has a long history in Canada, and I believe we can thank research librarians and geomaticians for getting the ball rolling, at least if we tentatively assume that it began in the 80s and the use of the Internet.  The history of sharing data in science and geomatics does however go way back.

The other presentations which were part of the Programmable City Seminar discussed the Irish context at a County Council called Fingal level and the Irish Environmental Protection Agency.  They were great as they featured what it means for a public servant, citizen and a researcher to do this work.  Folks who follow open data in Canada would have been most impressed by their frank talks and their oratorial styles.  A video will be released in the coming weeks.