Transparency at DFAIT and the Privy Council Office


This morning I sent Suzanne Legault, Canada’s information commissioner, the following letter. Updates will be posted here as warranted.


Dear Madam Legault:

I am writing to file a formal complaint about an access-to-information request I filed with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade on August 23, 2012. The file number is […]

On September 25, 2012, DFAIT sent me a letter indicating that it would not be able to meet the statutory limit of 30 days and granted itself a 150-day extension. I was disappointed but took DFAIT at its word that his deadline would be met, which is why I didn’t file a formal complaint within sixty days of receiving the extension notice.

DFAIT, however, has not met its self-imposed deadline. […] at DFAIT has informed me that a partial release was been mailed today. The balance of the disclosure is being held up by the Privy Council Office. Ms. […] says she does not know when the PCO will release this material. Ms. […] also informs me that the material the PCO is holding up consists of four pages.

I cannot believe there is a legitimate and legislatively permitted reason why it should take seven months to examine four pieces of paper. I would appreciate a prompt investigation into and resolution of this matter.

I can be reached anytime at: michael.petrou@macleans.rogers.com or at 613 231 8401.

Sincerely yours,


Michael Petrou

Senior Writer



Transparency at DFAIT and the Privy Council Office

  1. I am not sure that the word “legislatively” is natural in this context. “Statutorily” may be better. Moreover, if there is a reason why it should be permitted to take seven months to look at four pieces of paper, it is unlikely to be found on the statute book but more probably in case law.

  2. With Stephen Harper having committed to governing in a transparent and accountable manner, I would like to bring to your attention his failure to respond to repeated correspondence on the subject of ecocide, the proposed fifth crime against peace under the mandate of the International Criminal Court. Ecocide is the large scale long term damage or destruction of our environment and the proposal has been made to the UN by Polly Higgins a UK lawyer, author and lead campaigner at Eradicating Ecocide. We are no on a sustainable path as again reported by the UNEP. http://www.unep.org/newscentre/Default.aspx?DocumentID=2688&ArticleID=9158&l=en
    Prosecuting ecocide was debated three times at international legal forums in 2012. Is this what willful blindness by Stephen Harper and others who have aspired to positions of leadership looks like?
    Was the plundering of the cod and now Blue fin tuna,sharks, whale’s ecocide?
    Is failing to adequately monitor and regulate the human,
    ecological and carbon footprint of the corporations in the tar sands and other
    mega carbon projects ecocide?
    Is the destruction of the Aral Sea ecocide?
    Is mountain ecosystem destruction ecocide?
    Are the dead zones in our ocean ecocide?
    We are not on a sustainable path in response the leadership of American automobile corporations build fleets of Hummer, SUV and less fuel efficient vehicles. They also sabotaged the development of the electric vehicle.
    Is mountain ecosystem destruction due to coal mining ecocide?
    Is failing to protect endangered species and their habitat ecocide?
    Is the toxic legacy of criminal corporation’s ecocide?
    The super fund has to spend billions to clean up their mass. What happened to
    the profits? Were they permitted to wreck the environment and run with the
    None of our dreams are going to happen if those who are
    destroying the web of life continue to profit from their criminal conduct
    Plundering of fish, forests and terrestrial species threaten
    food, economic and national security of struggling nations. It did not benefit
    the people of Newfoundland and Labrador neither. This is about global justice.
    Apparently Stephen Harper despite claiming to be tough on crime is not
    interested in big big crimes.

    Global climate destabilisation will wreck the global economy like the failure
    of politicians to regulate ruthless, greedy bank and financial institutions. It
    will also wreck ecosystems through ocean acidification and subsequently your
    savings and pension plan.

    To find out more about this campaign visit

    If you support this campaign:

    Join Eradicating Ecocide;

    Share it on your networks;

    Sign the petition; and

    Write your political reps, leader and the media who are also being silent on this threat, demanding they take action to protect the nation state and its citizens from those who are threatening our future by committing what must cont to be viewed as ecocide. That they take action to support the proposal to the UN to have ecocide recognized as the fifth crime against peace.

    Gordon Chamberlain
    Eradicating Ecocide Canada

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