Jim Balsillie writes about the need for Canada to have a national data strategy.
This is not the first time Canada has dropped the ball on this topic. Maclean’s magazine wrote about it in September 2017, Michael Geist wrote about it in December 2017, the CBC posted about it in July 2017, and CTV also covered it in September 2017. All in all, there has been some coverage of the topic spread out over a long period of time, but I doubt Canadians realize what is going on, and are definitely not getting on the phones to their MPs and telling them to get educated and stand up for Canada.
Given the many instances of data abuse by individuals and organizations, it is quite worrying that even in the year 2018 an alarm is not being raised over this issue.
The City of Mississauga has a pretty decent Open Data page.
However, as is often the case, the one major aspect of Open Data that takes a long time to filter through to the entire organization is the idea of cross linking. That is, the data is in fact at only one location but every reference to it on any webpage only links to the data. Thus, there is only the “one” data that everyone refers to and not different copies. This somewhat falls apart when you note that the Mississauga Votes page has PDFs of municipal election data.
Granted that a data enthusiast who wants Open Data would actually figure this out and actually go to the Open Data page, but what about those who are just merely curious and do not really know about Open Data? Or what if someone does not really think of election related information as Open Data? By making data available in PDF the City is definitely making it easy for novices but it goes against the idea of Open Data. Cruel though it sounds, everyone must actually refer to only the “one” data and it is up to the City to ensure that it also follows through on this.