A teachable moment


Asked about the matter in Question Period this afternoon, Diane Finley explains her office’s commitment to transparency and clarity in all things.

Mr. Speaker, the reporter was provided with the information that he requested once the campaign was complete and all the costs were in and accurate. We do strive always to be open and transparent, and we certainly are doing our processes to ensure that Canadians do receive the information they ask for in a timely way and that that information is both accurate and complete. We will be taking a look at this example and taking it into consideration to see how we can improve our processes in the future.


A teachable moment

  1. Perhaps we all should have attended the "Thinker's" conference this past weekend. or at least the ones who had attended it should have paid closer attention.

    • Relevance to political interference regarding access to information requests?

      • Oh, I would say relevance to all sorts of things!

        • Of course you would. Which says more about you than the actual issue at hand here.

          • My! SamDavies, I'm losing points. That cannot be a good thing.

            To answer your question, and to score some points of course, I would say that indeed everything seems to be relevant by the looks of the Minister's remarks. Transparent, accountable, I like that sort of stuff. Do you?

          • In the thread that Wherry links, "Lord Kitchener's Own" sums it up:

            "That the government does not answer questions put to them in Question Period is a routine of our democracy, and not worthy of much comment. That the government now appears to want to extend their non-answering of questions beyond Question Period to as far as placing roadblocks in the way of Canadians' access to information they should be entitled to, or out and out lying to journalists who are trying to track down the truth, is very worrying."

            I wouldn't worry about the points. I'd worry about making sense.
            If you have something to say – say it.
            Otherwise, I see little correlation with this ATI request incident and the conference that took place last week-end.

            And in answer to your question – I obviously hate the troops.

          • Of course, ATI requests shouldn't be as complicated as the government makes it out to be. Far from it, I think journalists or other interested parties have full rights to information that is standard government operations in the making.

            However, I do think the Conservative party is correct in not releasing particular information regarding the war in Afghanistan. War is a complicated setting and I really do trust Harper and his government with doing the best they can do under the circumstances within that ongoing war. I agree that the judge should evaluate the entire file, so that there is continuity within the scrutiny. That is not the job for several people (like members of parliament) but for one individual to oversee completely before potential full and open access to the files has been sorted out.

          • That is not the job for several people (like members of parliament) but for one individual to oversee completely before potential full and open access to the files has been sorted out.

            I like to think that it's up to Parliament to determine the role of Parliamentarians in holding the government to account. It's called representative democracy. It's why we bother electing them. Letting the government decide what Parliament should and should not be able to do turns our entire system of governance on it's head.

            Parliament's at the TOP of the org chart labelled "Governance in Canada", ABOVE the government, not below, and I wish people would start acting as though rearranging that org chart was a big deal.

          • Then let us consider exhibit Lee.

            MP Derek Lee shares your opinion on this, that Parliament should decide. He is convinced that when it comes to our foreign policy (regarding transfers of detainee under the Geneva Convention) Parliament is above the Government.

            However, when another foreign policy is being voted upon within the House (namely the inclusion of contraceptives when doling out aid to developing worlds under the (I think) UN standards), Mr.Lee does the exact opposite and stands OUT OF THE HOUSE. He did not vote on the motion to let Parliament have its say.

            What is your opinion of MP Derek Lee in this regard? When is he right: the first time or the second time, and why so?

          • It is not up to the Conservative party to decide what information Parliament may or may not see.

          • What I've found interesting (elsewhere) is that several Conservative supporters take the stance that this is just the opposition "fishing for the little stuff". They view things via a context of a battle for power. This is not how I am looking at things – my motivation in discussing this issue is unrelated to the effects it might have on the Conservative party.

            ATI is there so that we can keep our eyes on the government. I do not want anyone from any party subverting this process, because it is a slippery slope. Civil servants should be allowed to do their jobs without interference. In this case, Sparrow should have been consulted only to make sure there was no mistake with the numbers, and to offer explanation why the numbers were as they were, and how they might change once things were finalized. That is ALL.

            And while it is nice that you trust that good old Stevie is doing the right thing, I believe that is naive. This is nothing personal – it's just that in his position (as both PM of our country, and leader of his party), he has various conflicting interests in play. Considering that I have seen him launch attack ads outside of an election writ period, he has given great reason for people to suspect his motivations.

  2. Asked about the matter in Question Period this afternoon, Diane Finley explains her office's "commitment" to "transparency" and "clarity" in "all things."

    I like my version better. For once, scare quotes increase the accuracy of a statement.

  3. Where did Sandra Buckler end up? Back working for these jokers. Not much appetite for their approach to "communication" in the real world. Good thing Sparrow is rumored to have a rich daddy who just happens to be a Conservative contributor.

  4. Is this the same bird who leaked to the press that the father of a fallen Canadian soldier was a Liberal supporter? The mastermind behind the secret briefing of selected media, caught escaping a hotel through the back stairwell? I thought he'd flown the coop.

  5. Diane Findlay's reassurance of transparency and accountability comes with a 30/30 guarantee:
    30 seconds or 30 feet – now get walking.
    Thank you.
    Come again

  6. Another lie by Finley.

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