14

Harper government given failing grade for openness

Study finds federal institutions routinely flout access to information laws


 

A report by the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression has given Stephen Harper’s government a grade of F-minus grade for its openness for the second straight year. “More than half of the federal institutions surveyed for their performance on access to information ranked below average and five failed outright,” the report states. “The governing party was ruled in contempt of Parliament for failing to produce information about major spending programs.” According to the report, 44 per cent of access to information requests aren’t met within legally prescribed deadlines and it take more than a year to resolve an ATI complaint.

Toronto Star


 
Filed under:

Harper government given failing grade for openness

  1. In related news, the Pope is catholic.

    • Didn’t you see the cover of the issue a week or two ago? Apparently, this is being called into question… Better stick with a bear in the woods.

  2. In their 2006 election platform, the Harper Conservatives promised to change the federal Access to Information Act (ATI Act) to require all government and government-funded institutions to create records detailing all their actions and decisions, and to give the Information Commissioner the power to order the disclosure of any record if it is in the public interest and would not cause any actual harm to anyone or any organization.

    The Conservatives broke all of those promises.

    In their 2011 platform, the Harper Conservatives promised to continue their new Open Government Initiative which they claim is part of their self-proclaimed “ongoing efforts to foster greater openness and accountability.” The OGI, they claim, is “designed to achieve”: centralized access to data in more useful formats; proactive release of government information; administrative changes to improve the access system, and; innovative online tools for two-way engagement. The Conservatives promise they will take further action to implement the OGI, and establish “an Open Government Working Group to coordinate all government actions.

    So the Conservatives have dropped the promise to strengthen the ATI Act, and essentially are now just promising to change how information is stored and made public, and to set up some online public input tools which already exist — see for example:
    http://canada.gc.ca/forms-formulaires/transac-eng.html
    AND
    http://www.consultingcanadians.gc.ca/cpcPubHome.jsp?lang=en

    If they keep their promises it will mean steps forward, but actual open government will not happen until the ATI Act is strengthened, and the Information Commissioner empowered.

    Hope this helps,
    Duff Conacher, Coordinator
    Democracy Watch
    http://www.goodgovernment.ca

  3. surprise of surprises – reporters don’t like the Harper gov’t.

    This counts as news?

    It’s almost like saying ‘all of the opposition MP’s oppose the Harper gov’t’. lol

  4. The beltway media in this country is so damn left that any P.M. who does not butt kiss is their nemisis.The Jane Tabers,The Craig Olivers,The Peter Mansbridge ,Terry Mileweskis.etc

    • Mike Duffys. Pamela Wallinses.

    • Apart from Milewski, the rest of your list could just as easily be accused of being Harper suck-ups.

      • Yeah and Terry doesn’t suck up to anyone; he just tries to do his job as a journalist.

  5. Democracy is a full time job.Keep Harper’s ideology in check.Harper and his evangelical friends look for ways to shut down Vancouver’s safe injection site.The safe site reduces HIV and related infections, reduces crime the sane way no new jails required, and rebuilds lives previously thought lost.And yet Harper and his evangelical friends want the safe sane way shut down.

    http://leadnow.ca/majority

  6. Anyone who has ever tried to access their own information from a provincial government agency knows that it is not only the feds who have perfected the process of stonewalling. Meanwhile, there is very little in our lives that our govt. considers private and therefore protected from the public domain. If you want to see some redacted documents, just order up your medical records from a hospital stay….of course, don’t expect them in any thing resembling a timely manner (in Alberta the wait is about 8 months and you pay for the photocopying). Now, if on the other hand you want the full documents within a day or so – for free, get any medical receptionist to call and and have them faxed to him/her.

  7. Democracy is a full time job.Keep Harper’s ideology in check.Harper and
    his evangelical friends look for ways to shut down Vancouver’s safe
    injection site.The safe site reduces HIV and related infections, reduces
    crime the sane way no new jails required, and rebuilds lives previously
    thought lost.And yet Harper and his evangelical friends want the safe
    sane way shut down.

    http://www.cacyscn.com

  8. Nice grammar, time
    to hire some writers and editors
    . ”
    a grade of F-minus grade” or ”
    and it take more than a year”

  9. Who or what is CJFE? One suspects one should shun them or it.

  10. Mr Bush is a class act and aways was.

Sign in to comment.