Digitizing Canada’s Parliament

May 3, 2017

Looking for a transcript of a Parliamentary debate? Well look no further than LiPaD.ca, an online platform that allows users to access a fully searchable version of the Debates of the House of Commons of Canada going back 150 years.

LiPaD (The Linked Parliamentary Data Project) was first conceived in 2013 when a group of political scientists, including Political Science faculty Christopher Cochrane and Ludovic Rheault, teamed up with computer scientists and historians at the University of Toronto to tackle this enormous project.

With support from the SSHRC, the NSERC, the Digging into Data initiative, the Library of Parliament, Library and Archives Canada, Canadiana.org, and Michael Mulley at openparliament.ca, a key output of this collaboration is the first machine-readable and fully searchable historical Hansard (the traditional name of the transcripts of Parliamentary Debates in Britain and many Commonwealth countries). Linked to these data are various biographical properties of parliamentarians, including their party and gender.

Other affiliates include Kaspar Beelen, a postdoctoral fellow in the Departments of Political Science and Computer Science and Tanya Whyte, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Political Science. Additional information is available on the website.