The Time to Adopt Open Source Software in Canadian Public Sector Has Come

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The Open Source Alliance of Canada is Founded, Launching a New Centre of Excellence

The Open Source Alliance of Canada ( announces the establishment of a centre of excellence to promote the use of open source technology and foster its sustainability in the Canadian public sector. Adoption of open source technologies has allowed governments worldwide to demonstrate measurable cost savings, improve citizen services and spur innovation and adaptation to the demand of the digital economy.

OSACAN will help the Canadian public sector join a growing global movement of government agencies looking to open source as a pragmatic means by which to deliver better services and regain control of their own technology priorities. In an era of budget reductions, tax dollars are better spent on fulfilling core departmental missions, not on costly software licenses that often sit unused.

Over the last decade, governments in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia have made significant strides in assessing the security and suitability of open source to run public sector data centers, web sites, open data portals, defense systems and mission-critical applications. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been saved, new high-tech job opportunities have been created, and better collaboration among government, commercial, academic and individuals has been facilitated by adopting open source technologies. Now it is Canada’s turn to take this step into the digital future.

“It’s rewarding to see government adopting these platforms with so much momentum. There are many people inside Canadian government and its partners community who have worked extremely hard to prove these technologies can deliver results beyond what closed source applications do. Major departments such as Statistics Canada and Health Canada are already in full adoption of web initiatives based on the Drupal WxT platform. The new Shared Services Canada public website also runs Drupal. There is a great community of evangelists for open Source in the National Capital Region and these important web sites demonstrate the impact they have had on public sector”, said Robin Galipeau, president of and co-founder of the Open Source Alliance of Canada.

“OSACAN is a non-profit initiative that provides a vehicle by which to engage government, help to build community, and develop the expertise of proven enterprise-level open source partners. This Centre of Excellence and its training facility will be an asset in fulfilling this mission”, added Galipeau.

According to Mike Gifford, president of and co-founder of OSACAN, “we have co-founded OSACAN because we are seeing a rapid adoption of open source software in the Government of Canada. This adoption trend represents a huge cultural & technological shift. This new Centre of Excellence will work to support institutions who want to collaborate more effectively, reduce their IT and program costs and improve the tools that benefit everyone - inside and outside government institutions”.

The Open Source Alliance of Canada makes its public debut at the GTEC 2012 – Canada’s Technology in Government Event, November 5-8 in Ottawa, in Booth 219. Charter members, including Alfresco, Drupal, Apache Lucene, OpenPlus, OpenConcept, Modis and Candy Strategies Inc., will be present to talk about upcoming events, publications and OSACAN’s plans to help put the Canadian public sector on a course for better citizen services, better collaboration, and better return on technology investments.

About Open Source Alliance of Canada

The Open Source Alliance of Canada ( is a non-profit organization, founded to promote, foster and sustain the use of open source technology in Canadian government. As a centre of excellence, we facilitate education and collaboration among government departments, private sector companies, educational institutions, individuals and open source communities. Our members believe that public sector institutions can use open source technology to reduce costs, gain control over their technology road maps, share innovation with peer agencies and adapt faster to the demands of the digital economy. We produce educational content, promote the best practices of open source implementation and governance, and encourage and foster collaboration among institutions, individuals and businesses for jointly-developed open source initiatives.

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Cheryl McKinnon
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