Canadian Open Data Summit 2018: Open Action Plan – What’s Next for Open Data in Canada

This resource package includes presentation files and additional resources for the closing panel at the Canadian Open Data Summit (CODS18) on November 8, 2018 in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Sharing of this package is made possible by ODX in partnership with Niagara Connects.

This closing panel consisted of experts from government, academia, civil society and business, and focused on charting the way forward into the future of Open.

Moderator: Paul Connor is currently director of operations at CleanTech North, a community of interest among clean technology founders, investors and supporters; and a volunteer at Niagara Connects, currently the secretariat for the 5th Annual Canadian Open Data Summit.  Paul has previously served as Economic Research & Analysis Manager / Foreign Trade Zone lead at Niagara Region, and President of NAO-Ontario (now called Angel Investors Ontario), a provincial network of groups of technology investors.  His abiding interests and specializations include open data, communities of practice, social enterprises, technology investment, economic development, and corporate communications


Connie McCutcheon is the Open Data Project lead for the Niagara Region and Administrator. Connie is also President of MISA Ontario (Municipal Information Systems Association) and co-chairs the MISA Canada Open Data Special Interest Group (SIG) and PSOD – Ontario’s Public Sector Open Data group. Connie holds a degree in Urban Geography from the University of Western Ontario as well as a certificate from Brock University in Urban and Environmental Studies. She is passionate about citizen engagement and the opportunity open government provides for new innovations and insights.

Mélanie Robert leads the Government of Canada’s efforts to transform the public service culture and processes towards an “Open by default” mindset and open-by-design approaches. She coordinates efforts across the federal family to improve transparency, accountability and citizen participation, which include the open government portal,, and the Government of Canada’s Biannual Action Plans. Acting as Canada’s Open Government Partnership (OGP) point of contact, she coordinates Canada’s international engagement and collaboration with provincial, municipal and Indigenous partners to advance open government goals. With more than 20 years of experience in the federal public service in operational, advisory and challenge-function roles, Mélanie has advanced files related to technology, innovation and engagement. She holds a BSc in Communications and Political Science from the Université de Montréal and a Master’s degree in Economic Development and International Cooperation from the Université de Paris in France.

Jury Konga is an Associate with OpenNorth, Canada’s leading non-profit in Open Government, Open Data and Smart Cities. His recent work with OpenNorth includes been a principal author of the Do-It-Yourself Open Data Toolkit. He is an innovator and long-time advocate and international speaker on Open Government, Open Data, e-Government, m-Government, transformative/disruptive innovation and Smart Cities/Intelligent Communities. He has over 40 years’ experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in diverse areas including GIS services, land information management, public policy development, IT consulting, intelligent community assessment and Open Government and Open Data strategic and tactical plan development and implementation. Jury supports open data internationally primarily as an active member of the International Open Data Charter’s Measurement and Accountability Working Group and also as the Canada Ambassador for Open Knowledge International. Jury was appointed as an IPC “Access by Design” Ambassador by Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s former Information and Privacy Commissioner and he is a Co-founder of the former Canadian Open Data Institute. He was the inaugural Chair of MISA’s Gov 2.0 Committee (2010), Chair for the GO Open Data Conference 2014 and acts in an advisory capacity for a variety of community focused innovation and service projects. Jury is also the Executive Director of the GO Open Data Association, a grass roots organization that holds a successful open data conference annually in Ontario, Canada.

Kevin Tuer is Managing Director of the Canada’s Open Data Exchange, a national initiative launched in May 2015 with a mandate to help the private sector adopt and commercialize data from public and private sources for the purpose of enhancing their current products or creating new products. As Vice President Strategic Initiatives for Communitech, Kevin leads data driven innovation cluster building activities including open data, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT), for the purpose of creating or accelerating new opportunities in emerging fields for the private sector. Previously, Kevin was the founding Managing Director of the Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN), a federal Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, which is dedicated to establishing Canada as a world leader in Digital Media by enabling connections and collaboration of people across the country and bringing more digital solutions to market. In addition, he led the design and deployment of the Communitech Hub, a world leading innovation centre located in the Waterloo Region as well as the CDMN’s national network and associated programming strategy. Prior to launching the CDMN, Kevin held several engineering and senior management positions in the high tech industry including Senior Research Engineer with Computing Devices Canada (now General Dynamics Canada), VP Engineering for Control Advancements Inc., as well as co-founder and CTO of Handshake VR. Kevin holds a BASc (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering, a MASc in Mechanical Engineering, and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

Charles Conteh is an Associate Professor of Public Policy and Management in the Department of Political Science (Brock University), and Director of the Niagara Community Observatory. Charles’ research and teaching interests are in the areas of Canadian and comparative public policy, public management, political economy and governance. He currently investigates how local and regional communities are reinventing themselves in the face of economic, social, digital and ecological changes.

Christine Hagyard leads the Policy and Partnerships team and champion’s Ontario’s Open Data and Open Information work. Christine is passionate about change and leads her team in an effort to drive an open culture across the OPS, increase demand and supply of Ontario’s information, and foster collaboration and partnerships to improve all Ministries and Agencies efforts in becoming more open

Additional Resources:

View Closing Panel

Niagara Knowledge Exchange & Community Calendar

Designers of the Future: Application of Dementia-Friendly Design Principles @ Online
Jan 27 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Short summary of the presentations: In the fall of 2018, the Ryerson School of Interior Design 3rd year studio students were tasked with creating a conceptual redesign of the Alzheimer Society of Ontario’s (ASO) offices. During the development of the conceptual redesign, students met with the ASO and received a tour of the ASO’s and Alzheimer Society of Toronto’s facilities. Students were tasked with creating a new office interior design for staff and spaces for client and community programs. These two student presentations are notable due to how principles of dementia-friendly design were used in these projects. This studio emphasized the importance for future designers that universal accessibility needs to accommodate those with physical and cognitive disabilities.

This webinar is hosted by brainXchange.

Cyber Security: Best Practices and Being Prepared @ Johnny Rocco's
Jan 28 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Every day, new security concerns arise in the digital world. If you think you’re too small to be noticed, you’re wrong.

Protecting your computers is more than just installing an anti-virus and trusting it to work. Hackers and scammers go after all kinds of businesses and organizations — big and small — with constantly changing methods. It is essential to stay on top of emerging techniques in the digital security world.

Attendees will learn:

  • Best practices for password policies
  • How to recognize phishing attempts and deceptive links
  • Potential risks of accessing storage devices such as foreign USB drives and unproven network locations
  • Modern virus protection and emerging viral trends and technology

Presented by: Non-Profit Niagara Council with special presenter Bryan Lachapelle, President, B4 Networks

Sponsored by: YMCA Niagara

This event is hosted by the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce.

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and design, and Mathematics) Rich Environments @ ECCDC
Jan 28 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

The first session in this series will consider what STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and design, and Mathematics) is and what this can look like in an early learning and child care setting. Educators will have opportunities to reflect on how they can integrate STEAM into a variety of program areas that support and encourage inquiry based learning.

Educators will have opportunities to Mess About with materials that they can utilize to provide STEAM rich early learning environments and the links to Tinkering.

This workshop is hosted by the Early Childhood Community Development Centre.

Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region Caregiver Wellness: Travel Tips and Virtual Travel Experience @ Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region
Jan 29 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Topics for this caregiver learning session include:

  • Strategies to reduce stress while travelling with someone living with dementia
  • Explore respite options
  • Experience a virtual armchair travel vacation to Tofino, B.C.
  • Learn how to create & enjoy your own armchair travel experiences

This event is hosted by the Alzheimer Society of Niagara Region.

Regional Chair’s Address @ Americana Conference Resort
Jan 30 @ 11:30 am – 2:00 pm

Join the South Niagara Chambers of Commerce (representing Fort Erie, Niagara Falls, Port Colborne-Wanfleet and Welland/Pelham Chambers of Commerce) for lunch as Regional Chair Jim Bradley presents his Regional Chair’s Address.

The moderated discussion will cover topics including the aftermath of non-amalgamation, the status of development in Niagara, and transportation including land, sea and air.

This event is hosted by the South Niagara Chambers of Commerce.

Five Ways Volunteering Can Enhance Your Job Search @ Online
Jan 30 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Job hunting can be challenging in today’s market and applicants need every edge they can get. Volunteering is a great way to gain crucial experience, build transferable skills, network and cultivate references, and hone your approach to job applications. Discover how to search for and apply to volunteer positions and what to expect along the way!

Topics will include:

  • The benefits of volunteering
  • The types of volunteer roles available and the commitments they require
  • How to locate your nearest volunteer centre and search for volunteer roles online
  • What to expect when applying for a volunteer role
  • The five ways volunteering can enhance your job search

This webinar is hosted by CharityVillage.

Renting in Niagara: Housing Supports and Tenant Rights (Fort Erie) @ Fort Erie Public Library
Jan 31 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Offered in partnership with the Niagara Community Legal Clinic and local libraries throughout Niagara, these sessions support the goals of Niagara’s 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Action Plan, A Home for All by increasing access to education about rights and responsibilities for those who rent property in Ontario.

You will:

  1. Learn about housing programs in Niagara and how to access them.
  2. Know your rights as a tenant. Topics will include: maintenance and repair issues, common grounds for eviction (the process and amount of notice required), when can a landlord enter a tenant’s unit.

Session dates and locations:

  • January 31, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Fort Erie Public Library (Central Branch)
  • January 31, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., St. Catharines Public Library (Central Branch)
  • January 31, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., West Lincoln Public Library (Smithville Branch)
  • February 26, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Port Colborne Public Library
  • February 28, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., Niagara Falls Public Library
  • March 27, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m., Welland Public Library (Main Branch)

This event is hosted by the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network.


Ontario Trillium Foundation

Explore Our Network

Get Connected

Sign up to receive communications from Niagara Connects! We will keep you connected with what’s going on in our community, without spamming your inbox. Get started now!
Niagara Knowledge Exchange is powered by a Niagara-wide network of people for collaboration, planning, learning, innovation and community action toward a stronger future for Niagara. We work hard to help foster a culture of Niagara-focused research and evidence-informed planning to support your community development innovations. To learn more about Niagara Connects, please visit our central website: or contact us: Email:, Phone: 905-688-6236
Copyright © 2018 Niagara Connects. All rights reserved.