Difficult-to-Access-Information on Rights and Democracy - Macleans.ca

Difficult-to-Access-Information on Rights and Democracy

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There’s little I can add to colleague Paul Wells’ reporting on the mess at Rights and Democracy. He has almost single-handedly driven this story and though mentally exhausted by his efforts should be proud of them.

My own involvement in the story started last year when I got word that trouble was brewing at the organization. No one was willing to go on the record at the time, so I filed several access-to-information requests to the government, including one to the Privy Council Office asking for a copy of a performance evaluation report on the now deceased president of Rights and Democracy, Rémy Beauregard.

On November 18, Ann Wesch, director of access to information and privacy at the Privy Council Office, responded to my request: “A thorough search of the records under the control of the Privy Council Office was carried out on your behalf; however, no records relevant to your request were found,” she said.

But this report does exist. Rémy Beauregard, before his death, obtained a copy. David Matas, a member of the Rights and Democracy Board, confirms its existence and its release to Beauregard by the PCO.

I contacted Wesch today and was informed that my original request might not have been “tasked out” properly. They are going to look again.

I’ll update with new information as I receive it.