Skip to main content

Access to information is the right of the public to obtain information held by public bodies as well as an obligation for governments to ensure records are created, maintained, and made readily available. Access to information is essential for informed public discourse on which democracy depends. It not only facilitates developing effective solutions to societal problems but also empowers communities that have historically been marginalized and silenced.

Blog November 12, 2020

Freedom of Information, Universities & Transparency: Lessons from Emily Eaton and the University of Regina

Access to information (ATI) is animated by a simple principle: the public ought to know. Despite governments unfortunately tending towards secrecy and risk-aversion, a free flow of information is absolutely vital for democracy. ATI, then, is an important democratic safeguard, to mitigate the negative predilections of government and ensure a robust state of public discourse. ATI legislation first emerged in Sweden in 1766, but it wasn’t until the postwar era that it began to flourish in a number of other liberal democracies.
Page November 9, 2020

Honey, the Pandemic shrunk transparency

By Ken Rubin It's time for the government to take off the mask that disguises and robs us of our public right to know. Trustworthy and revitalized government requires effective access and more public scrutiny. November 9, 2020 - In these pandemic months, no one, not the public or Parliament, is getting greater transparency.
News October 23, 2020

Extended deadline for Nominations - Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy 2020

In light of challenges during the pandemic, the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Centre for Free Expression, News Media Canada and the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression are extending the deadline for nominations for the 2020 Code of Silence awards for outstanding achievement in government secrecy to Monday, November 16, 2020.  The awards are given annually in each of four categories -- federal, provincial, municipal, and police services.
News October 15, 2020

Zoom and YouTube Threaten Academic Freedom

The Centre for Free Expression, along with its co-signers BCCLA, CAUT, CCLA, and PEN Canada, have written today to the CEOs of Zoom and YouTube to express deep concern with the companies’ censorship of an academic roundtable at an American university. This action points to the new threat to academic freedom when, because of the coronavirus, most classes and other educational activities of universities and colleges are only possible through platforms such as Zoom and YouTube. 
Page June 22, 2020

Troubled Times for Transparency Call for Change

By Ken Rubin Shocking revelations and events can stir the public. But that does not mean officials want to give up systemic secrecy practices and bring in wholesale corrective changes. So it was refreshing then for a change to see the Canadian military's medical team under Operation Laser acting as whistle blowers raising public attention about the dismal conditions and the on-going plight they found in long-term care homes. The data they provided about these homes would normally have been withheld.