What is Open Council?
Open Council is a non-partisan, independent, non-governmental site with a simple aim: to make it much easier for anyone to follow what is going on in their municipality’s town council by making information more easily accessible.
Most municipal election candidates (and even many elected officials) do not meet Wikipedia’s notability test, so they are not eligible to have their own page.
Open Council a collection of information about municipalities, election candidates and elected officials that can be attributed to reliable, published sources in an effort to pick up where Wikipedia leaves off and democratize knowledge.
What are the goals of Open Council?
Through the publication of Open Data and by following Journalistic Standards and Practices our goals are to:
- Increase government transparency and accountability to push (and help) our representatives to make better decisions
- Increase public engagement and participation by making it easier for voters to inform themselves
- Improve government decision making by measuring how effective and efficient municipalities are compared to similar municipalities
- Increase participation in municipal government
- Promote the adoption of Open Data by municipalities
What is Open Data?
Open Data is structured data that is made freely available online for anyone to download, modify, build on and distribute without any legal or financial restrictions in a way that is easy to access (eg. searchable website) and in a format that is simple to reuse (eg. tables in an Excel spreadsheet).
Under an Open Data approach, all data is required to be made open and available by default, unless there is a legal, privacy, security, confidentiality or commercially-sensitive reasons reason for it to remain confidential/closed.
The data we use is from the thousands of datasets governments already collect, generate and maintain for their own use that have been made available through Open Data initiatives.
Help us monitor your municipality
If you are interested in tracking your municipality’s town council, join Open Council. Volunteering as much or as little of your time as you’d like, you can help by monitoring votes taken during council meetings, conflict of interest declarations, integrity commissioner complaints and investigations and more.
I’m not an MP, MPP or council member, and I don’t work for the government. If you want to get in touch with your elected representatives, enter your postal code on this page (coming soon), or use the call or email buttons found at the bottom of council members’ profile pages. Please don’t contact me for help with government problems or to express general political opinions.
Questions and comments related to this site are very welcome, though! You can complete this form or send an email.
Open Council contains information licensed under:
- Open North
- Statistics Canada
- Contains information licensed under the Open Government Licence – Canada.
- Open Government Licence – Ontario
Unless otherwise noted, the original content on this website is made available under a CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. This means that it is completely free of copyright and can be used or shared as you wish. Though not strictly required, we do kindly request you attribute us by linking back to our homepage from your project.