The Regional Municipality Of York

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York Regional Council approves York Region Open Data program

Open Data concept adopted by growing number of municipalities world-wide

After a one-year pilot project, York Regional Council today approved an Open Data program for The Regional Municipality of York.

Open Data refers to the release of data maintained by government without charge, through on-line catalogues to the community and private sector, so it can be used in new and innovative ways.

“An Open Data program provides the foundation for self-service access to information,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “Making York Region data accessible to the public, other levels of government, public sector agencies and the private sector raises the profile of Regional government as a reliable source for self-serve information.”

Making authoritative government data available enables private sector businesses to add value to it, rather than trying to duplicate it, which reduces their costs and helps them grow. Within government, Open Data reduces the staff effort and associated costs in distributing data and administering data licenses.

“Open Data can be a driver for economic development,” said Town of Newmarket Regional Councillor John Taylor, Chair of Planning and Economic Development. “To remain a competitive location in which to live and do business, York Region will provide public access to data that businesses may use freely to create new apps that make our communities more competitive and appealing to our residents.”

York Region is building on the best practices of other jurisdictions. The Region set-up a pilot Open Data site in 2012 to determine resourcing, benefits, risks and to develop recommendations on how to move forward. More than 2,500 downloads have occurred, showing strong demand for information exists.

The new program includes a guiding set of principles, an Open Data license and a process for publishing data.

The Open Data program will help “Streamline customer access to services and information,” one of the deliverables of the Region’s goal to enhance Open and Responsive Government in Vision 2051, the Region’s long-term plan. It will also help to “Increase the number of service options offered,” which is an objective in the 2011 to2015 Strategic Plan.

For more information, visit the York Region Open Data website at or call 905-830-4444, ext. 1546.

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Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications, The Regional Municipality of York
905-830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1238  Cell: 905-251-6413

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