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New National Program Funds Open North Project to Enhance Canada's Internet

Montreal, Quebec – Open North has received $25,000 from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) to maintain the largest database and API of Canadian electoral boundaries and elected officials at all levels of government, used by non-profits, businesses, journalists and individuals to connect citizens to representatives.

CIRA manages the .CA domain and also has a mandate to carry out other activities that support the Internet in Canada. Earlier this year, CIRA launched a Community Investment Program (CIP), to provide funding to community groups, not-for-profits and academic institutions for projects they could demonstrate would enhance the Internet for the benefit of all Canadians. Just over $1 million was earmarked for the first edition of the CIP.

Open North is one of only 28 organizations to receive funding in the first edition of the CIP, from among 149 applicants. These funds will be used to design an open data policy guide to increase the number of governments across Canada with open data policies.

To increase Represent’s impact and sustain its growth, Open North will conduct two activities – an open data policy guide and an elected officials data specification – which will reduce the cost of maintaining the data for each jurisdiction. The two activities will not only benefit Represent, but the broader Internet community by increasing the number of governments adopting open data and the standardization of open datasets for elected officials’ contact information. “We thank CIRA for recognizing how important our project is to governments and the broader communities of data users,” said Jean-Noé Landry, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach. “We will certainly put these funds to good use and welcome the opportunity to work with CIRA again in the future on initiatives that allow Canadians to safely take advantage of all the Internet has to offer.”

“The enthusiastic response we saw from applicants across the country is evidence of CIRA’s long-standing conviction that the Internet has become a critical daily tool in the lives of all Canadians,” said Byron Holland, CEO of CIRA. “Our selection committee faced a difficult task to review and choose from among 149 applications, representing just under $8 million in requests. I want to personally congratulate Open North as one of our first funding recipients.”

The list of CIP recipients and summaries of their individual projects is available on CIRA’s website.

About Open North

Open North is a Canadian nonprofit based in Montreal that creates online tools to educate and empower citizens to participate actively in Canadian democracy. Open North develops tools for civil society and governments to reduce the barriers to effective participation.

To learn more about Open North or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Jean-Noé Landry Director, Strategic Initiatives and Outreach 438-398-9338

About CIRA

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) manages the .CA top-level domain, Canada’s online identifier, on behalf of all Canadians. A Member-driven organization, CIRA also facilitates the development of a better Internet for all Canadians, and represents the .CA registry internationally.

To learn more about the CIP and to arrange interviews with CIRA, please contact:

Tanya O’Callaghan Communications Manager, Canadian Internet Registration Authority (613) 237-5335 ext. 262

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