Canada ranked last for freedom of information laws - Macleans.ca
 

Canada ranked last for freedom of information laws

British study criticizes antiquated rules and lack of political support


 

A study by two British researchers claims Canada has the least effective freedom-of-information laws of the five major parliamentary democracies in the Anglosphere. The study by Robert Hazell and Ben Worthy of University College in London compared the openness of governments in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Canada based official statistics on appeals, court decisions, delays and other factors affecting the release of government information to public requesters. New Zealand finished first while Canada took the bottom spot. “Canada comes last,” Hazell and Worthy wrote, “as it has continually suffered from a combination of low use, low political support and a weak Information Commissioner since its inception.” Among the most glaring weaknesses of the Canadian system are its inability to accept electronic requests and the requirement to send in a paper cheque to cover fees.

Toronto Star


 
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Canada ranked last for freedom of information laws

  1. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/brit

    A look at this will AGAIN show you that the 3rd World phony bilingual country in lacking in a LOT of things. But not first class coward Pr—-ks.

  2. I agree that our Freedom of Information laws are not as well developed as I would like them and that needs to change. But this really isn't a good assessment when it's only 5 countries. I'd rather see how we rank on a world scale or at least of the industrial nations or even in comparison to Europe, anything to give a better subject pool.

  3. A pity that the author of the article didn't look closely at the research. The prime purpose was to assess the first few years of the operation of the UK act. To aid that process the statistics used relate to the first three years of the operation of the FOI act in each country in the study. So much of this is dated-although little may have changed in Canada in the interim. See this comment published in Australia last October. http://foi-privacy.blogspot.com/2010/10/kiwis-tru

  4. When you look at five high-performers, I'm not sure ranking "last" is very meaningful. By this logic:
    -the US ranks last in per capita GDP
    -Tampa bay ranks last in the NHL
    -Stanford University ranks last among US universities
    … and so on

  5. I am always a little perplexed when people from other countries analysed any part of our systems and produce something like this. Is that a set-up or is it real? Was it helped by other Canadians with an agenda? How many Canadians are doing research on other countries government systems and producing reports?

    There is not a week that goes without us reading a story at the national level starting with ''From documents we obtained under the FOI act''. The system is working, lots of stuff comes out, you can see what a minister had for lunch the previous week. Their point is that out of 5 countries, it is the worst rated. Pretty hard to agree or disagree unless one has extensive knowledge about all 5 countries and I don't. And I am not convinced that many other people do. And you have to have balls to say that another country has a weak Information Commissioner.

    I will say this though. In most cases the FOI is working without extra staff. And I have heard of very inquisitive reporters who have no story at all but will make requests about one person that will keep 2 staff busy for weeks or months like: all the e-mails, briefing noted, meeting agendas for the last 6 months for this person….that kind of stuff.

    There is always room for improvement and no government will move backward on this.

  6. OH KKKanada!