Sabrina Azzi, Stéphane Gagnon, (2023), “Ontology-Driven Parliamentary Analytics: Analysing Political Debates on COVID-19 Impact in Canada”, The 12th International Conference on Electronic Government and the Information Systems Perspective (EGOVIS 2023), Panang, Malaysia, August 28-30, 2023; Proceedings published by Springer, Chapter 7, in “Electronic Government and the Information Systems Perspective“, LNCS Volume 14149, ISBN 978-3-031-39840-7.

Abstract: Parliamentary debates are usually published in Parliament’s websites to allows citizens to be informed on the latest national debates, proposals and decisions. To enhance citizen experience and engagement, functionalities such as debates annotation and question answering are necessary. Annotating text requires semantic content and ontologies are known for their ability to describe a common vocabulary for a domain and can be a solid base for annotation and question answering. We report on an ongoing study to enhance parliamentary analytics using an ontology and knowledge graph to sharpen annotations and facilitate their query by end-users. As a salient case, a sample of debates are collected on the COVID-19 impact in Canada, as its complexity shows the relevance of using advanced knowledge representation techniques. We focused on the development of a new “Impact of COVID-19 in Canada Ontology” (ICCO) that provides contextualized semantic information on impact in numerous policy areas, as this ontology is entirely built from Canadian parliamentary debates. It has been evaluated and validated by experts. Our conclusion underscores the importance of integrating ontology-driven parliamentary analytics within the broader context of digital transformation in legislative institutions, and the need for new platforms supporting free and open Digital Humanities.