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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.

News May 1, 2019

CFE Senior Fellow Ken Rubin wins the Spencer Moore Award for Lifetime Contributions to press freedom and freedom of information.

The Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom has named Ken Rubin, Senior Fellow at the Centre for Free Expression, as its 2018-19 recipient of the Spencer Moore Award for Lifetime Contributions in pursuit of press freedom and freedom of information.  In its announcement, the CCWPF recognized Rubin as “a tireless advocate for freedom of expression. He has helped promote improvements in freedom of information and privacy protection legislation in Canada, including amending the federal access act to penalize officials for record alteration violations.”
Page April 29, 2019

The Judges Win, Bill C-58 Gets to the Top of The Senate List for Quick Passage

Entering the Secrecy Club: Judges, the PM  and PMO Head the List in Bill C-58    By Ken Rubin April 29, 2019 - Judging from the Senators' orchestrated recent cave-in removing the public from getting individual judges expenses, Canada's access to information act is well on its way to being made irrelevant.  What the judges' lobby organizations succeeded in doing, without having to go in-camera to twist arms, was to remove from Bill C-58 any traceable idea of what individual judges spend. 
Page April 1, 2019

Massive Secrecy Inroads and Barriers to Access Near Approval in the Senate

By Ken Rubin   April 1, 2019 - The Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee is winding its way, clause by clause through Bill C-58. But they have already approved the most divisive change to the Access to Information Act.  That's by their agreeing to divide the Access to Information Act into two parts – one for accessible operational records (part 1) and one outside the Access Act's reach only for government promoted records (part 2).
Page January 28, 2019

Another year, more government secrecy

By Ken Rubin January 28, 2019 - The new year brings with it at least four basic problems that put transparency under threat.  Problem one: “pro-active” sanitized data and propaganda dominates Bill C-58 Canadian government officials and politicians like to spin their messages and manipulate records.No better example of this is found in Bill C-58 where the government gives itself license to post at itsr own pace, and then unilaterally destroy when convenient,government “free” sanitized or selected summary information.
Blog November 22, 2018

When is a Mayor Not a Mayor? Public vs. Private in Twitter Blocking

There’s been a ceasefire in the “legal Twitter war” between Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and three people who sued him for blocking them from his Twitter account.  The three plaintiffs argued that in blocking them, Mayor Watson was violating their constitutional right to free expression.   Eventually Watson and the plaintiffs reached a legal settlement.  But initially the Mayor’s position was that he would fight the suit on the grounds that the Twitter account in question was held in his personal and not mayoral capacity and therefore, constitutional rights weren’t applicable.  
News November 19, 2018

Ambulance New Brunswick is Canada’s most secretive government agency in 2018

Nov. 19, 2018 — Ambulance New Brunswick is the 2018 recipient of the Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy in the provincial category. The award is given annually by The Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ), Centre for Free Expression at Ryerson University (CFE), News Media Canada and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) to call public attention to government departments and agencies that put extra effort into denying public access to government information to which the public has a right under access to information legislation.