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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.

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.
Page October 15, 2018

Brison's Ingenious Selling of Bill C-58 to the Senate

By Ken Rubin October 15, 2018 - Treasury Board President Scott Brison was hard at it on October 3 selling Bill C-58 as a great transparency advance, which it is not.  Kicking off Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee deliberations on Bill C-58, Brison boasted that Canada is rated number 1 by fellow governments for its open data portal. But that's despite Canada's Access to Information Act being moved down to 55th  on the Global Right to Information index scale that compares over 120 country's FOI legislation.