Who is datalibre.ca?

datalibre.ca is written mostly by Tracey Lauriault, on rare occasions Hugh McGuire, and once in a while other guest bloggers. Our mission is to collect, disseminate, and discuss issues around access to government data in Canada, and beyond. datalibre.ca is inspired by civicaccess.ca.

If you would like to get in touch please send an email to: contact AT datalibre DOT ca

Reasons for Free Data

Here are some reasons why we believe the government should make data available for free, in open formats, to citizens:

  • We paid for the data collection with our taxes
  • Access to tax-payer funded goods should not be limited to those who can afford the exorbitant fees
  • Citizens can do all sorts of useful things with the data – and help solve problems
  • Aslo: we paid for the data collection with our taxes

An Example

Here is a quick example of what we are talking about, when we say that government data should be available to citizens for free:

  • you would like to start a web site promoting democratic engagement among kids
  • you would like implement a feature that allows someone to type in their postal code and find what federal/provincial riding they are in
  • you contact the government to get the dataset with this information (which is implemented on a number of sites, including Elections Canada, and Parliament of Canada)
  • after many inquiries, you are told to contact Statistics Canada to get the data
  • Statscan tells you that the dataset will cost $9,000 and will have a restrictive license

Header graphic designed by Shawna Nelles