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Question 1: "What could be done to make it easier for you to find and use government data provided online?"
In terms of finding existing data, a central portal is the most useful tool. The current data.gc.ca is a start, but falls well short of the similar sites in other countries. I would strongly suggest building Canada's data catalogue on top of open, standard software for this purposes, like the Open Knowledge Foundation's CKAN (or potentially data.gov's open-source release). Among many other features, the portal should allow more sophisticated browsing, rating of datasets, sorting by added/updated date…- Michael Mulley