Legislatures are increasingly attuned to the rhetoric of open data for legislative content like bills and Hansards that dictates it be freely accessible, repurposable, machine-readable, standardized across subregions, and available without licensing restrictions. The call for legislative openness also derives from open data advocates, who seek to apply the rules of open data to unstructured information. We do not know whether legislative openness in Canada, at the provincial and territorial level, matches the rhetoric of open data. This study focused on commonly occurring categories of information on subnational legislative websites and examined their copyright, availability, archivability, information timeliness, and plain language descriptions.
Authors: Paulina Marczak (Queen’s University, former OpenNorth research intern), Renée Sieber (McGill University, Geothink Lead) in September 2017