+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 13-23S

Municipal Access to Open Data

February 23, 2023
Expiry Date:
March 1, 2026
Active Status:
Smoky Lake County
5 - Edmonton East
Industry and Resource Development
Awaiting Vote
Vote Results:
Awaiting Vote

WHEREAS municipal decision-making is best aided and informed by access to fulsome data; and

WHEREAS rural municipalities face constraints in accessing expensive data subscriptions such as LiDAR; and

WHEREAS several provincial ministries, including Municipal Affairs, Health, Transportation and Economic Corridors, Environment and Protected Areas, and Forestry, Parks and Tourism,  enjoy substantial data capacity and data warehousing; and

WHEREAS provincial ministries have occasionally proven unreasonably data-protectionist; and

WHEREAS entering into data-sharing agreements with individual ministries is cumbersome and time-consuming, as it imposes severely limited scope and terms; and

WHEREAS Albertans should not be required to pay for  access to data that they have already paid for through their tax dollars at higher orders of government; and

WHEREAS considerable progress has been made in the last decade by provincial ministries in enhancing Open data; and

WHEREAS unlocking data provides opportunities for crowd-sourced solutions, efficiencies, collaboration, public safety, and economic development;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta advocate to the Government of Alberta to continue to prioritize increased access to Open data for municipalities.

Member Background:

Open data is a practice that makes data freely available, easy to access, and most importantly, simple to reuse. This can help empower stakeholders and citizens to make informed decisions, to build or grow their business, to better understand issues, and to hold government to account.

There are many ways we can expect Open data to be of value, just as there are also many groups and organizations who can benefit from the availability of Open data, including government itself. Smoky Lake County believes that it is imperative that the Government of Alberta continues to endeavor to increase municipal access to Open data. In turn, this would support for innovation, research, and informed decision-making, as well as proactive disclosure and increased accountability.

The nature of innovation is that advancements often stem from unlikely places.

RMA Background:

RMA has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.

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