A belated first anniversary post
The first post containing a collection of links to Ontario news stories went up on this site on August 5th of last year. I guess that qualifies as the day the doors officially opened and I'm nearly a month late noting the anniversary. But the middle of the last long weekend of the summer and the day before Labour Day seems like as good a time as any.
I began with the premise that in order to hold a government to account it was necessary to know what that government was up to. So I began with the practice of reviewing all the news items that seemed to directly involve the provincial government and organizing them in categories that corresponded roughly with the provincial ministries (though I've added some extras for a variety of reasons). That produces what I've come to call the digest post. After producing one of those virtually every day for over a year, I have a much better appreciation for the scope of a provincial government in Canada and the many ways it directly influences our lives, for the way Ontario's government works and for just how large this province is.
Along the way, on the News page, I've built up a collection of links to media sites and a few single-issue sites that have been linked to often enough that it seems like they should be part of the mix. I've also been fleshing out the Ministries page with links to the ABCs -- agencies, boards and commissions -- and other organizations of various kinds that are really extensions of the government. I haven't made an exhaustive effort to identify them all at once. Instead I've picked them off as they pop up in news stories. If you haven't visited that page in a while, or ever, you might want to have a look. Then bear in mind that I'm guessing there are many more where those came from. The latest addition was a link to the site of the newly announced Northern Policy Institute (though I can save you a trip because at the moment it might as well be an Under Construction sign).
The plan is to continue building on this foundation as well as to try and drill down into some specific areas and hopefully do some more thorough analysis and more writing. In the context of the latter I should point out that this site can also host conversations that require more than the 140 characters that Twitter allows. You have to register to take part and that's unfortunate but this software is a magnet for spammers. I started out with everything wide open and came to regret that pretty quickly.
There's also a Donate button on the right, should you wish to support the effort financially. It's a funny thing but the hosting company insists on being paid*. And that's not to mention the time involved in doing those digest posts -- I figure they increase the coffee budget, at least. So contributions are gratefully received (and thanks for the contributions already received -- you know who you are).
And finally, I'm open to suggestion. The main focus of this site was always intended to be the provincial government of Ontario. With that in mind, if there's something you'd like to see, some way to make this a better tool for the purpose, let me know. You can reach me by email here or use the Contact form.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
* Adding: I should probably make it clear that the money for hosting this site comes out of the same pot as the money that pays to host Peace, order and good government, eh?. Maybe that doesn't make a difference to you. Or maybe it'll send you running for the exit. Either way, you should probably be aware.