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A view of Parliament Hill, in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
A view of Parliament Hill, in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Secrecy

Tony Clement vows to make government more transparent with online data Add to ...

New Treasury Board President Tony Clement says he's committed to releasing raw government data online so that Canadians can keep tabs on federal departments.

His predecessor, Stockwell Day, released an "open data portal" at www.data.gc.ca in March that includes databases of government statistics on everything from forest fires to the size of Canada's military and public service.

The government vows of transparency garnered little attention at the time, as the Conservatives were under fire over a contempt-of-Parliament motion accusing the Tories of hiding key information such as the cost of crime legislation.

In an interview Thursday, Mr. Clement said he intends to carry on efforts to disclose more information.

"I supported Stock's initiative in this area," Mr. Clement said, referring to Mr. Day. "It was very consistent with what I was trying to do as Industry minister with the digital economy strategy and so I would seek to continue on with some of his initiatives in this area for sure," he said.

Journalists and the public are increasingly using the Access to Information Act to obtain the databases that are behind the search tools on many government websites. The raw data can then be used for research into a broad range of areas that impact Canadians directly, such as health statistics or aviation safety records. These requests often meet with stiff resistance from government departments.

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