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Winnipeg Council Documents Parser

Extracts data from Winnipeg Council Dispositions posted to data.winnipeg.ca.

Dispositions are prepared by the City Clerks' Department using Microsoft Word. Tables are used to structure the council meeting information.

Word saves files in docx format, which is actually a zip file full of XML. The disposition.rb extraction script uses the docx gem to load up the disposition tables.

Ruby methods exist to extract:

  • Council Meeting Attendance
  • Reports to Council
  • Bylaws
  • Motions
  • Recorded Votes
  • Conflict of Interest Declarations

Scripts exist to:

  • Download all available DOCX Disposition From Wpg Open Data Portal
  • Convert DOCX Dispositions to JSON Format
  • Convert JSON Dispositions to Web Pages for WinnipegElected.ca

To Do

  • Current tool can only parse Council's "Regular Meetings". Enhancements are needed to parse special meetings, like yearly committee appointment meetings.
  • Automate the retrieval of YouTube and DMIS disposition metadata.
  • HTML Disposition Styling and Features
    • Add images of "Movers" to Council Motions
    • Style Recorded Votes with Icons and Colours
    • Colourize Disposition Column for Reports, Motions, ByLaws
    • Show Councillors Not in Attendance
  • Some tables span multiple pages and can accumulate bad data when the paragraphs within the cells are join. For an example, see motion 2 in Dec 2017.

Changes Made to Official Disposition Docx Files

Most changes have to do with merging tables together. The hotkey to merge tables in Word is: ALT-SHIFT-UP

  • September 30, 2015 - Recorded vote Yeas/Nays lists changed from tables to line-separated text
  • October 28, 2015 - Recorded vote Yeas/Nays lists changed from tables to line-separated text
  • November 25, 2015 - Recorded vote Yeas/Nays lists changed from tables to line-separated text
  • January 01, 2016 - Recorded vote Yeas/Nays lists changed from tables to line-separated text. Recorded votes had to be combined into a single table. Removed a blank row from the first report.
  • February 25, 2016 - Conflict of interest declaration member lists changes from table to line line-separated text.
  • March 23, 2016 - Recorded vote Yeas/Nays lists changed from tables to line-separated text
  • April 27, 2016 - Motion table was connected to the bylaws table. Split the tables.
  • April 27, 2016 - Recorded vote Yeas/Nays lists changed from tables to line-separated text.
  • May 18, 2016 - Recorded vote Yeas/Nays lists changed from tables to line-separated text
  • June 15, 2016 - Recorded vote Yeas/Nays lists changed from tables to line-separated text
  • July 13, 2016 - Conflict of interest declaration member lists changes from table to line line-separated text.
  • September 28, 2016 - Recorded vote Yeas/Nays lists changed from tables to line-separated text
  • October 26, 2016 - Recorded vote Yeas/Nays lists changed from tables to line-separated text
  • November 16, 2016 - Recorded vote Yeas/Nays lists changed from tables to line-separated text
  • December 14, 2016 - Recorded vote Yeas/Nays and conflict of interest lists changed from tables to line-separated text. Fix recorded votes to match hansard.
  • February 22, 2017 - Conflict of interest declaration member lists changes from table to line line-separated text. Typos and cases fixed in two report headers that were blocking parsing.
  • April 26, 2017 - Added missing date to the header of the water and waste report.
  • May 24, 2017 - Split two report tables (Finance May 4 and Water and Waste May 1) that were accidentally combined.
  • July 19, 2017 - Fixed spacing in recorded vote subjects. Fix recorded votes to match hansard.
  • December 13, 2017 - Removed a misplaced comma from the end of mayor's entry in one of the recorded votes. Fix recorded votes to match hansard.
  • March 22, 1018 - Removed a rogue number "3" in under By-Law number 30/2018.
  • July 19, 2018 - Two rows from one of the report tables were orphaned. Joined these rows to the correct table.
  • January 31, 2019 - Split two Property And Development, Heritage And Downtown Development report tables. Reworded two report titled that didn't match the usual report template.
  • September 26, 2019 - Split a report table into two tables. Added the word "dated" to one report that was mistitled.
  • October 24, 2019 - Split a report table into two tables.
  • February 27, 2020 - Date was missing on two reports. Missing dates added after referencing official minutes on DMIS.
  • May 29, 2020 - Recorded votes table was split into multiple tables causing the parsing to fail. Joined all recorded votes tables into a single table.
  • July 23, 2020 - Motion 7 was missing mover and seconder. Added details from DMIS.
  • September 30, 2020 - The word "dated" was added to some report table headers to allow for parsing. Copied laid over motions from one section into the main motions table so they could be parsed. Laid over motion numbers are prefixed with an "L".
  • October 29, 2020 - Joined two separate motion tables into one for parsing. Joined a report table that had been split into two.
  • November 26, 2020 - The word "dated" was added to some report table headers to allow for parsing.
  • December 17, 2020 - Merged a number of recorded votes tables together to allow for parsing.
  • January 28, 2021 - Added the second header row that was missing from the notice of motion table.

Report to City Clerks' Department

  • Reported: Changes to disposition template: Recorded vote and conflict of interest lists changes from tables to line-separated text.

Setup Instructions

Assuming command line with git and Ruby (2.7.x) installed:

git clone git@github.com:OpenDemocracyManitoba/Winnipeg-Council-Document-Parser.git
cd Winnipeg-Council-Document-Parser
bundle install
bundle exec guard

WinnipegElection.ca Build Process

ruby download_dispositions.rb -l -f word_dispositions/
./all_docx_to_json.sh word_dispositions json_dispositions
ruby ./disposition_all_json_to_html.rb html_templates/disposition_template.html.erb html_templates/index_template.html.erb json_dispositions html_dispositions

Note: The disposition_all_json_to_html.rb script must be manually updated for each new disposition with YouTube and DMIS details.

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Parse City of Winnipeg Council Meeting Docs.

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