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New Streetcars Roll Into Service

Ontario News - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 11:00

Ontario is investing $416.3 million to provide better transit service to TTC riders as a new generation of streetcars go into service on the 510 Spadina line route, marking another step in the province's plan to help improve transit in Toronto.

Northern Ontario Drivers Get Studded Tire Extension

Ontario News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:00

Drivers who live in northern Ontario can now put on studded tires earlier and keep them on longer, providing motorists with more options to stay safe during severe or extended winter weather.

Helping Make Postsecondary Education More Affordable

Ontario News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 07:00
Ontario is helping college and university students save 30 per cent off their tuition for the 2014-15 school year.

Protecting Mississippi-Rideau-Area Drinking Water

Ontario News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 15:00

Ontario has approved the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Plan to strengthen local source-to-tap drinking water protection.  

Inquest Into The Death Of Stephen Campbell Announced

Ontario News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 15:00
Dr. Roger Skinner, Regional Supervising Coroner for Toronto West, today announced that an Inquest will be held into the death of Stephen Campbell.

Ontario Reaches Four-Year Agreement with AMAPCEO

Ontario News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 14:00
Ontario and the Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario (AMAPCEO) have ratified a new four-year collective agreement.

Ontario Establishes Ring Of Fire Infrastructure Development Corporation

Ontario News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:10

Ontario has taken another step to drive progress in the Ring of Fire region, delivering on its
July 3, 2014 commitment to establish a development corporation within 60 days. 

Getting the Most out of Postsecondary Life

Ontario News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 07:00
Ontario is offering postsecondary students a variety of tips, programs and resources to help them save money, stay healthy and make the most of their experience as they return to campus this fall.

Helping Children and Youth with Special Needs Achieve Their Goals

Ontario News - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 13:00

Ontario is reducing wait times and enhancing rehabilitation services for children and youth with special needs, and their families.

Helping Students Achieve Success

Ontario News - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 12:00

Ontario students continue to make progress, with 72 per cent of Grade 3 and 6 students meeting or exceeding the provincial standard in reading, writing and math, according to the latest test scores from the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO).

New and Renovated Schools for Ontario Students

Ontario News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 14:00

Ontario is continuing to invest in building and renovating schools to provide children with the best possible learning environments.

Improvements Begin on Highway 427

Ontario News - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 11:00

Ontario is widening a seven-kilometre stretch of Highway 427 from Campus Road-Fasken Drive to Steeles Avenue to improve traffic flow and safety in the Greater Toronto Area, while creating or sustaining 830 construction jobs. 

Labour Day Weekend Fun in Ontario

Ontario News - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 07:00
It's not too late to plan a Labour Day weekend excursion. Whether you're interested in food, culture, wildlife or history, Ontario's provincial parks and other tourist attractions have something for everyone this long weekend.

The Cloud Era

Open Parliament - Fri, 08/22/2014 - 16:01

As of today, you'll see colourful word clouds in prominent positions all through this site: on this page, and on the pages for debates, meetings, committees, and politicians.

As a data visualisation, word clouds are much maligned, not to mention so five years ago. So why Open Parliament's sudden embrace of cloud computing?

Well, because I think they're genuinely useful, and because they're effective across the very different types of documents (and quantities of words) that this site deals with. Our clouds were built according to a few principles:

  • Visually simple. I think they came out real purty, but I kept visual touches to a minimum: no text going off in various directions, for example. The sole purely visual elements are the colours, which are randomly assigned. I originally tried colour-coding words according to which party used the word the most, but it didn't really work: sometimes there was a fun insight, but mostly it just made the different words blur together visually.

  • More than a word count. Our clouds include not just words but two- and three-word phrases. And rather than just show which words were said the most, we try to show which words were spoken unusually often. (Techie digression: at the moment, our algorithm is to take the probability of a given word or phrase in a document, and subtract the probability of that word in other, similar documents.)

  • A jumping-off point, not a glib summary. Crucially, every word or phrase is a link. Click it, and you can read context and see what your representatives are actually saying.

I hope you like! Comments and suggestions are, as always, welcome: michael@michaelmulley.com. And if you have some knowledge of data visualisation and text analysis, you are heartily encouraged to suggest — or, better, implement — alternate or additional visualisations.

Developers, come get your data

Open Parliament - Fri, 08/22/2014 - 16:01

This site now has a comprehensive HTTP JSON API.

If, to you, that was an gibberish sequence of letters, what it means is that I've made it far easier for other computer programmers to build sites and tools that tell you about Parliament.

If you recognized all those acronyms, if you know your REST from your RPC, then by all means poke around, and let me know if you build anything with it!

(This is technically old news — this new API has been around for several months — but I hadn't previously written a post about it.)

Inquest into the Death of Renato Marchione Announced

Ontario News - Fri, 08/22/2014 - 15:00
Dr. David Evans, Regional Supervising Coroner for Central Region, Central East Office, today announced that an inquest will be held into the death of Renato Marchione.

Fall Asleep in Ontario Parks This Autumn

Ontario News - Fri, 08/22/2014 - 07:00
As fall approaches, cooler evenings mean better sleeping conditions, especially if you're enjoying fresh air during the day and sleeping under a roof in an Ontario provincial park at night.

First Nation Begins Land Use Planning Process

Ontario News - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 14:45
Webequie First Nation has become the fourth community in the Ring of Fire area to reach an agreement with Ontario to work together on a community-based land use plan.

Québec and Ontario Partner to Strengthen Central Canada's Economy

Ontario News - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 13:00
Québec Premier Philippe Couillard and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne met today and announced their commitment to reinvigorate and strengthen the relationship between the two provinces in order to reinforce regional partnership in central Canada.     

Construction Begins on Waterloo Rapid Transit

Ontario News - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 12:00

Ontario is helping to break ground on the construction of 36 kilometres of rapid transit that will link Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge and connect commuters to full-day, two-way GO Train service between the Region of Waterloo and the Greater Toronto Area.

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