Friday, January 24, 2003
ethics office to scrutiny: watchdog
Ottawa Citizen 12/16/02
Legislation that shields
the new federal ethics office from public scrutiny is another step in increasing
government secrecy, Canada's information commissioner told a Commons committee
court deals blow to federal secrecy
Ottawa Citizen 11/22/02
Renowned lawyer Clayton Ruby won a small victory
against state secrecy yesterday, when the Supreme Court
ruled that a judge, not the government, should decide
whether court proceedings involving national security
will happen entirely in secret.
decries tilt toward 'secrecy'
Ottawa Citizen 10/11/02
Adoption of government task force proposals to overhaul the Access
to Information Act would turn a law that's supposed to ensure openness
into secrecy legislation, the federal information watchdog warns.
access law could bring more gov't secrecy, says info watchdog
Canadian Press 10/10/02
The Access to Information law is in danger of becoming a
vehicle for making government information even more secret if changes proposed
by an insider task force are accepted, the federal access watchdog says.
"Open and accountable" BC Liberals slam door on information flow
BC NDP 10/10/02
Premier Gordon Campbell
is sneaking through a change to BC's Freedom of Information and Protection of
Privacy legislation that will prevent British Columbians from accessing a wide
variety of previously obtainable government documents, Opposition Leader Joy
MacPhail said today.
access to information fading
Ottawa Citizen 10/04/02
Prospects for reform of Canada's freedom-of-information law faded
yesterday amid talk of further government study of possible changes. Key officials involved in a review of the Access to Information Act
indicated there would be many months of consultations and preparatory
work before proposals could be drafted for consideration by the
to expand access to info
Canadian Press 08/06/02
Extending the Access to Information Act to Crown corporations
and other institutions not currently covered by the law will be among the
major changes introduced this fall by Prime Minister Jean Chretien, sources
have told The Canadian Press.
to guard info about industrial chemicals . . .
Canadian Press 07/21/02
People living near
industrial sites will soon find it more difficult to get information about
dangerous chemicals stored on the properties. Ottawa has drafted new
environmental regulations that will classify certain information on materials
that could be dangerous in the hands of terrorists.
gov't plans to keep more public records secret
Ottawa Citizen 06/24/02
use it as
czar fears 'zone of secrecy' expanding
Ottawa Citizen 06/19/02
The federal information watchdog has lambasted a government task
force's proposed changes to the country's freedom-of-information law
as timid moves that would "expand the zone of secrecy in
watchdog chastises PMO for attacks on right to know
Southam News 06/06/02
Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his senior officials continue to display a
"hostile attitude" towards the public right of access to government
records, says the federal information watchdog, in his annual report tabled
get C grade on information access
Canadian Press 06/06/02
The right of access to government information is under siege, the
federal information commissioner says. New ways to obscure ministerial
spending, new laws brought in after Sept. 11 and new government bodies not
subject to access laws all point to a steady erosion of the right to key
information, John Reid said Thursday in his annual
office appeals database release
Toronto Star 05/28/02
and privacy commissioner is appealing a court order requiring the release of
Toronto's municipal election donations in the hopes of keeping the electronic
database from the public. The appeal is being made by the office of commissioner
Ann Cavoukian despite a willingness by the city to open its computer records.
targets Parliament's 'weakest link'
Ottawa Citizen 05/28/02
super parliamentary committee being set up to oversee the spending of $170 billion
taxpayer dollars previously unscrutized by Parliament will also provide a home for independent officers
of Parliament, who have long complained their reports don't get the
attention they deserve, such as the Information and Privacy
Commissioners and Public Service Commission.
under political fire
The Hill Times 05/27/02
Two Liberal MPs
are attacking Federal Privacy Commissioner George Radwanski's
confrontational approach to public policy issues and former privacy
commissioner John Grace says Mr. Radwanksi's style is
senator attacks governments' nuclear bill
The Hill Times 05/20/02
A government bill to set up a $550-million agency designed to
develop Canada's long-term nuclear waste policy is coming under fire
by a Liberal-dominated Senate committee because the body won't be
subject to the Access to Information Act or the Auditor General's
Ruling opens elections database
The Toronto Star 05/11/02
A Divisional Court panel
has rejected attempts by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
and the City of Toronto to prevent The Star from having access to an electronic
database of campaign donations made to political candidates in the 1997
Force to call for access-to-info changes
Southam News 05/10/02
A federal task force
studying Canada's freedom-of-information law is poised to call for an array of
changes to improve public access to government records such as now-secret
Access to information fee hike a concern
CBC Nova Scotia News 05/09/02
Darce Fardy, the person
responsible for overseeing the province's access to information law is speaking
out against the Hamm government's new access fees.
right to know in a timely fashion [Op/Ed]
Ottawa Citizen 05/07/02
right-to-information laws are supposed to give every Canadian equal access to
documents by government departments. But many who use these laws suspect that in
reality there is a double standard on access to information -- and now there is
more evidence that they're right, according to Dr. Alasdair Roberts.
politicians get slower Access to Info service: study
Southam News 05/06/02
Formal requests for
information submitted by journalists and
political parties to the Human Resources Department took at least three
weeks longer to answer than queries from other Canadians, a new study has
Province short on freedom of information
CBC Manitoba News 04/25/02
Manitobans are filing a
record number of complaints about troubles they're facing while trying to access
public information, according to the provincial ombudsman's annual access and
Province hikes price of truth
The Daily News (Halifax) 03/27/02
Scotians may no longer be able to afford the truth. The
provincial government is hiking fees on freedom of information requests
more than fivefold, to $25 from $5 for each request, making it the most
expensive province in which to obtain public information.
servants face criminal charges under secrets law
National Post 03/03/02
could face criminal charges for violating a strict new official secrets law,
part of the federal government's anti-terrorism bill, according to the Canadian
Security Intelligence Service.
files routinely lost, destroyed: government
Southam News 02/07/02
Many federal records are permanently lost or difficult to find because of a lack
of staff, inadequate training and new technology that makes it easy to delete
files, government departments candidly admit in a new report.
spending hidden from public
Ottawa Citizen 01/22/02
The federal government has dropped a veil over the spending habits of
cabinet ministers and their aides by refusing to release expense
reports requested through the Access to Information Act.
bill threatens public's right to know, information watchdog says
Southam News 11/26/01
Canada's information watchdog broke a week of silence Monday by expressing deep
concerns about the government's amended anti-terrorism bill as it heads for a
final vote in the House of Commons.
demand limits to terror bill
Ottawa Citizen 11/01/01
A special Senate committee report is recommending an appeal system for the
portion of the
government's controversial anti-terrorism bill that allows the government to issue a certificate
exempting records from the Access to Information Act.
plan to let Minister shield data, MPs advise
National Post 11/01/01
The government should drop plans to give the Justice Minister the
power to keep information permanently secret if it pertains to national
security or foreign relations, a committee of MPs will recommend today.
hints at concession in terror bill
Southam News 10/29/01
Justice Minister Anne McLellan, under pressure from critics who say her proposed anti-terrorism
bill restricts the public's right to know, signalled Monday she is prepared to
tinker with the controversial provision.
bill puts privacy [and access] at risk [Editorial]
Toronto Star 10/26/01
There is no need to give
the justice minister such sweeping powers. There are better ways to satisfy
Canada's allies that information provided to Ottawa will not be divulged.
Province can't block Ipperwash affidavits
Toronto Star 10/26/01
The provincial government has lost its fight to block the release of affidavits
from 40 government and police officials — including one from Premier Mike
Harris — about a top-level government-police meeting the day native activist
Anthony (Dudley) George was shot dead at Ipperwash Provincial Park.
bill called information 'clampdown'
Southam News 10/23/01
The federal information
watchdog has assailed proposed measures to restrict the public's right to know
following last month's terrorist attacks, saying none of Canada's key allies
plans to do the same. "For the Americans, it's business as usual," he
limit essential on government secrecy [Editorial]
Vancouver Sun 10/22/01
Years from now, we'll want to look back on how we responded to
this international crisis and reflect on the choices we made as a
nation. However, in a little-noticed section of the federal government's
mammoth new anti-terrorism bill, it will make intelligent reflection
much more difficult.
on Terror (Part III) [Editorial]
Ottawa Citizen 10/19/01
It's well-known that Prime Minister Jean Chrétien doesn't like
Canada's access-to-information laws. But that doesn't make it right
for the prime minister to use the new Anti-Terrorism Act as a means of
further restricting what Canadians may know about their government.
powers urged bill's secrecy clause
National Post 10/18/01
Anne McLellan, the Justice Minister, said yesterday pressure from
foreign governments led her to include in the anti-terrorism bill a
controversial clause that allows the government to keep secret indefinitely
information relating to international relations, national defence and
department of secrets [Op/Ed]
Ottawa Citizen 10/18/01
The anti-terrorism bill
introduced in Parliament on Monday contained something that the Minister of
Justice described as "a consequential amendment" to federal law -- a
minor piece of housekeeping, a little fillip in the larger project of combatting
terrorism. The amendment gives the Minister of Justice the untrammelled
discretion to suspend rights granted by the Access to Information Act.
(Eggs) Eggleton making noise about red tape
Esprit de Corps 10/16/01
Despite repeated expressions of support by the current minister, many senior
Canadian Armed Forces officers oppose ATI. It appears ATI is more of a threat to
Canada's military than was Germany in two world wars.
Toronto Star 8/29/01
It was a sad little display of defiance. Yesterday on Parliament Hill, a handful
of MPs led by Liberal backbencher John Bryden began public hearings on the
government's Access to Information law.
pooh-poohs MP's review of access act
Southam News 8/28/01
Prime Minister Jean Chretien dismissed Tuesday the efforts of backbench
MPs reviewing the Access to Information Act. Chretien said the ad hoc committee set up by Liberal MP John Bryden was not
an official parliamentary committee and that members would have a chance for
input before legislation is passed, after the official government task force
info watchdog more bite, expert argues
Southam News 8/27/01
The federal information watchdog should be given the power to order the release
of records under the Access to Information Act, says a leading scholar on the
fear secrecy-loving feds planning to tighten federal access law
Canadian Press 8/25/01
It's supposed to be a window for citizens to peer into the
shadowy inner workings of government. But critics fear a planned overhaul of
the federal Access to Information Act, ostensibly designed to nudge the window
wider, will instead be used by Prime Minister Jean Chretien and his cabinet to
slam it shut.
to irony [Editorial]
National Post 8/23/01
No Canadian statute carries a more ironic title than the Access to Information
Act, a law that reduces the amount of government information available and is
debated by federal mandarins in well protected secrecy.
mentality' impedes access
Ottawa Citizen 8/21/01
The government has developed a "culture of
secrecy" or "siege mentality" over the
Access to Information Act, says a new report prepared for
a task force reviewing the federal law.
cabinet live in blinkered world, says crusader for open government
Canadian Press 8/20/01
Prime Minister Jean
Chretien and other career politicians are in danger of succumbing to an elitist,
"blinkered mentality" that undermines the public's right to know what
government is up to, says Liberal MP John Bryden in a letter last week to Don
Boudria, the government House leader in the Commons.
from tops stalls hearing
National Post 8/20/01
An effort to open the country's access to information law to
scrutiny is in peril after witnesses from the private sector and Crown
agencies cancelled appearances before an all-party committee of MPs. The pullback follows a decision by Don Boudria, the government House
leader, to prevent civil servants from going before the committee to answer
leader wants to muzzle committee reviewing Access to Information Act.
Kingston Whig-Standard 8/11/01
Government House Leader Don Boudria has warned fellow Liberal MP John Bryden on
Friday that any review of the Access to Information Act undertaken by Bryden's
ad hoc committee would be "incomplete and unsatisfactory."
Toronto Star 8/9/01
When it comes to access to information, Jean Chrétien's government wants to
keep even its own backbench MPs in the dark. It's forbidding government
bureaucrats to talk to a group of MPs holding committee hearings on problems
with the Access to Information Act.
need open government [Editorial]
Ottawa Citizen 8/09/01
A vigorous House of Commons and an open government are essential to a healthy
democracy, so it's disturbing that the prime minister is taking such an unopen
approach to parliamentary efforts to make the Access to Information Act more
Environmentalist says people deserve to know about tests
CBC PEI News 7/27/01
Sharon Labchuck says
Islanders deserve to know where genetically modified crops are planted. Labchuck
heads an organization called Earth Action.
surrounds GM wheat trials in PEI
CBC PEI News 7/27/01
The location of test
plots for genetically modified wheat on Prince Edward Island has been kept so
secret that even the provincial agriculture minister has been kept in the dark.
"I absolutely think the province has a right to know," said P.E.I.
Agriculture Minister Mitch Murphy.
laws 'threaten democracy'
Ottawa Citizen 7/26/01
Canada's access to
information rules encourage elected officials and public servants to hide behind
a wall of secrecy, Open Government Canada charged yesterday, as they released a
report containing 47 recommendations to improve openness and public trust in