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Home arrow News arrow Open Source, OpenGov and Open geo arrow New civic engagement tool opens up city hall to residents in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa     

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New civic engagement tool opens up city hall to residents in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa PDF Print E-mail
GIS News - Open Source, OpenGov and Open geo
Written by Open Nort   
19 February 2013

MONTREAL, QC City halls in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa will soon be moreaccessible and transparent thanks to three major projects announced today by Open North.The MyCityHall.ca online platform will launch in all three cities this summer, giving citizens
more access than ever before to municipal decisonmaking.
Open North is turning to
citizens to fund this initiative, with the first crowdfunding campaign for Toronto launching on
today on Indiegogo.com.
MyCityHall.ca will be a free, open source platform for citizens to learn about, track and
influence the decisions of their city councils. With MyCityHall.ca citizens will be able to:
● Set up alerts and subscribe to email updates when council discusses issues they
care about
● Publicly ask questions and receive answers from councillors, which helps inform
voters and hold politicians to their word
● Track and share the current motions before council
● Monitor their councillor’s activity, including attendance and voting records
● Read explainers on how council works and get advice on how to lobby council
“When citizens participate actively in decisionmaking
at city hall, our leaders make better
decisions. MyCityHall.ca will help make our cities safer, healthier, smarter and more
efficient.” James
McKinney, Executive Director of Open North
Councillors can use MyCityHall.ca to engage constituents in new ways and to better
understand which issues matter. Activists and nonprofits can use it to track issues and
mobilize supporters. Open North is working with partner organizations to ensure the
website presents government information in a way that is easy to understand and use.
Open North will also invite community leaders to workshops to receive their feedback, to
ensure the platform meets citizens’ needs and empowers them to act.
In late 2012, Open North was selected to lead technical development of the Participatory
Politics Foundation’s (PPF) OpenGovernment project at the municipal level. PPF, who in
conjunction with the Sunlight Foundation, operates the successful OpenCongress.org and
OpenStates.org websites in the United States. This project will grow upon tested open
government tools such as Sunlight’s Scout alert system. Open North’s contributions will be
used to launch municipal tracking websites in San Jose, CA, Washington, D.C. and
Philadelphia, PA and reused to launch MyCityHall.ca across Canada.
About Open North
Open North is a nonprofit that creates online tools to educate and empower citizens to
participate actively in Canadian democracy. It develops tools for civil society and
governments to reduce the barriers to effective participation. The organization works to
improve access to government information and to make participation fun, easy and
Open North’s portfolio includes a budget simulator to consult citizens on budget priorities, a
web service that helps nonprofits run effective campaigns connecting citizens to
representatives, and an open data standard for sharing road event information.
For more information please visit http://www.opennorth.ca

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