The City of Markham, Ontario launched their Citizen Budget consultation last week. Markham’s use of the budget simulator takes advantage of the many customizable features the platform offers. For example, the consultation’s design is matched to the City’s website for a streamlined presentation, and, for the first time, it includes custom pie charts which change for each user’s property assessment. Markham plans to run the consultation into the upcoming budget cycle as an ongoing educational tool for residents.
Additionally, Citizen Budget launched last week in the City of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. We are pleased to deliver Citizen Budget to smaller Canadian municipalities like Yellowknife as we believe residents should be informed and consulted about their municipality’s budget process regardless of its size. If you’re interested in bringing Citizen Budget to your community, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Participatory Politics Foundation recently announced AskThem, a free and open-source website for questions-and-answers with public figures. AskThem will allow users to find and ask questions to over 100,000 elected officials in the United States, sign on to questions they care about, and review answers from public figures. Open North was involved in the early development of the tool, which uses the Popolo standard.
The Government of Canada recently launched a web-based information system to track Aboriginal and Treaty Rights (ATRIS). This open government project was a key commitment of the Government’s 2007 Action Plan on Aboriginal Consultation and Accommodation. Although ATRIS’ data is not open, the tool is inline with the Government’s open government principles, as the information in the database was not previously readily available to citizens and will be helpful in determining when consultations with Aboriginal groups are necessary.