Increasing transparency puts citizens at the centre

VICTORIA – Since its inception in July, B.C.’s Open Data initiative has
successfully connected and engaged British Columbians in new and more
meaningful ways.

This is just one more example of significant progress made by government
in the last year to improve the lives of British Columbians and their
families by creating and protecting jobs, by becoming more open and
transparent, and by continuing to be fiscally responsible in these
uncertain economic times.

The Province launched a new Open Information website this year, where
people can find information requested through Freedom of Information, as
well as ministers’ and deputy ministers’ travel expenses. The
information provided on both of these sites has been accessed and used
by researchers, university students, media, and enabled citizens to
build creative applications, ask better questions and engage in
discussions that will positively affect the lives of British Columbians.

British Columbia is also the first province to create a site like
DataBC, a catalogue of close to 2,700 (and growing daily) government-
generated data sets that are free, searchable and available for anyone
to use.

Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open
Government said, “We have worked hard to make government information more accessible and
more transparent. Citizens are using this data to create value and solve

Luke Closs, a founder of Vancouver’s open data community said, “I believe strongly in the importance of open data, and am really proud of the leadership shown by the government of B.C. Their actions encourage other municipalities, provinces and even the federal government to open up their data. As more governments buy in to Open Data, the citizens of B.C. will benefit even more, by building on the hacks, visualizations, apps, services and infrastructure created around
the world.”