Opening Up Canada's Parliament - Civic Tech + Open Data Meetup
Do Canadians really care about what goes on in the federal parliament? Some people would argue that they simply don't. We think that maybe they lack the necessary means to access and understand what takes place in their legislature. Let's at least give them the tools to make up their mind. So, how can technology help? Which datasets could form the basis of a civic tech project that enables civic engagement and greater awareness of what's going in parliament?
The House of Commons IT team produces and publishes lots of data about what goes on in parliament, lots of it in open data format (e.g. XML). This includes documents such as Bills, Journals, Debates (Hansard) and Committee Proceedings. Yet, making data accessible doesn't mean it's discoverable or useful for the broader public. Platforms like OpenParliament, Lipad, and the TrudeauMeter help make the legislative process, the actions and attitudes of MPs, and official records from committees and debates more easily searchable, interactive, and relevant.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
The HoC IT team will kick off our meetup with a short presentation on the current state of legislative openness in Canada. They've also suggested these datasets to inspire participants. So what do these datasets tell us? What type of tools, analysis or visualisation could we create to open up parliament? (Click on the XML button)
- List of MPs
- Interventions in the House of Commons
- Interventions in Committee
- Voting Record
- Bills Sponsored
Meetup participants are invited to think of a problem or question related to to tackle while considering international examples from the Opening Parliament Network.
WHAT DO WE WANT TO ACHIEVE?
This meetup is designed to identify potential federal legislative data use cases, problem statements, or open parliament civic tech project ideas in collaboration with the House of Commons IT team. Come with your ideas or simply to learn and exchange with members of the local tech and open data communities interested in strengthening legislative transparency, accountability, civic engagement. Everyone is welcome.
We'll be sharing a list of international examples ahead of the meetup to give us some food for thought!
We also have the pleasure of collaborating with the IT team of the House of Commons:
- Soufiane Ben Moussa, Chief Technology Officer
- Francis Morin, Principal tech strategy advisor
- Étienne Labrie, Enterprise architecture
Here's how we envision our agenda for the evening:
6:05-6:20pm Presentation by the House of Commons IT team
6:30-6:45pm Ideas, pitches, possible projects
6:45-7:15pm Small group discussions
7:15-7:30pm Report back and next steps
Jean-Noé Landry, Open North's Executive Director, will facilitate the meetup.