'Basically, government tells us what they want us to know' - Macleans.ca

‘Basically, government tells us what they want us to know’


Our Jonathon Gatehouse reviews the present state of our access to information laws in the latest issue of the magazine. Over the weekend, the Citizen’s David Pugliese did likewise at some length. So dire is our present situation, apparently, that government staffers struggle to speak publicly in complete sentences, and only then with a government lawyer at their side.

Sebastien Togneri had previously told a House of Commons committee that he made a “mistake” in ordering that a 137-page document — already cleared by non-partisan civil servants and government lawyers — be “unreleased.” Under further questioning before the committee on Tuesday, the senior aide to Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis repeatedly consulted his lawyer when asked how frequently this type of practice occurred.

“Uh, in my, my . . . yes it’s the only time I, uh . . . This was, you know, a mistake I made,” Togneri said.


‘Basically, government tells us what they want us to know’

  1. Togneri's testimony under oath came to a mercifully premature end when the fire alarm went off in the Parliament buildings. That prompted Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre — the parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper — to throw up his hands and joke: "I was here the whole time!"

    Saved by the bell.

  2. "Without adequate access to key information about government policies and programs, citizens and parliamentarians cannot make informed decisions, and incompetent or corrupt governance can be hidden under a cloak of secrecy."

    David Pugliese just doesn't realize that when Harper wrote that he was actually outlining his election platform.

    Promise kept!

    • Genius at work.

  3. You mean the fixed election date law isn't the only piece of his own legislation that Harper has been pleased to completely ignore. Who'd a thunk it, eh?