This week is Right to Know Week. Recognized across Canada since 2006, Right to Know Week is a way to raise awareness of people’s right to access public information held by governments and other public bodies. It’s in this spirit that the Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government would like to encourage you to exercise your right to know.
Over the past years, the province has made significant progress towards being more open with the information people have a right to access. More information and data is available, and it’s easier to find. The shift has begun as B.C. strives to be more open with the information it collects and proactive in releasing information people have a right to see.
With the launch of DataBC, British Columbia became the first province in Canada with an open data website that allows people to use the data. On the website, you can find nearly 2,500 datasets that were previously spread out all over government, making them hard to find. We’re always looking for new data to make available, and in fact, we’ve added about 50 new entries since launching the website in July.
As well, the Province has begun posting information requested through Freedom of Information (FOI) online on the new Open Information website. The website is fully searchable and updated regularly, as frequently as daily, as new FOI requests are released. It’s on this website where you can also find Ministers’ and Deputy Ministers’ monthly travel expenses.
In the spirit of Right to Know Week, we encourage you click around and find out just how much of the information you may be looking for is currently available. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, contact us or leave a comment and please let us know. The important thing is to exercise your right to know, become more informed, engaged and help make government better able to serve you.
In the spirit of Right to Know Week, it is equally important that individuals take the opportunity to use the information and data; generate new ideas, spark discussions and find uses that create value for citizens and enhance the quality of life in our province.