Canada adopts open source mandate for government software

Canada flag (Photo: Caroline Ingram)
Canada flag (Photo: Caroline Ingram)

The Government of Canada has issued an information technology directive on business, information, application, technology and security architectures that includes a mandate to prioritize open source software. 


C.2.3.8 Use Open Standards and Solutions by Default

C. Where possible, use open standards and open source software first

C. If an open source option is not available or does not meet user needs, favour platform-agnostic COTS over proprietary COTS, avoiding technology dependency, allowing for substitutability and interoperability

C. If a custom-built application is the appropriate option, by default any source code written by the government must be released in an open format via Government of Canada websites and services designated by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

C. All source code must be released under an appropriate open source software license

C. Expose public data to implement Open Data and Open Information initiatives

Read the full directive.

About Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh, co-founder/CEO of ProudCity and co-host of the podcast, The Government We Need. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or email at


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