Open Government Story

On January 5, 2015 the Open Government Task Force (PDF) was created by a Council resolution. The task force established three guiding principles to define the Open Government movement. The principles are as follows:

  • Increase citizen's access to information.
  • Increase citizen participation, engagement and collaboration in community issues.
  • Increase transparency and accountability of actions.
On February 10, 2015, the Citizen’s Representative Working Group (CRWG) was formed and Terms of Reference built. The role of this group was to operate as an independent body to gather citizen feedback and prepare recommendations to bring back to the Open Government Task Force on how the City can increase accountability, transparency, and citizen’s understanding of and contribution to decision-making. The CRWG held regular open meetings throughout the spring and early summer of 2015 and hosted a community forum where members of the public could make presentations or submit information. The CRWG delivered 58 recommendations that were presented to the Open Government Task Force on October 8, 2015.

Guided by the recommendations of the CRWG, advice from external experts and staff input, a three year plan was developed to build an extensible Web Portal with corresponding Customer Service, Communication and Policy Plans.

The web portal, along with its flagship application What's Happening Around Me? (WHAM), was launched as a beta site on October 17, 2017, after a reveal to Council. The Open Government Portal was created to engage citizens and to increase accessibility, transparency and accountability.