Canada ranked last for freedom of information laws

British study criticizes antiquated rules and lack of political support

A study by two British researchers claims Canada has the least effective freedom-of-information laws of the five major parliamentary democracies in the Anglosphere. The study by Robert Hazell and Ben Worthy of University College in London compared the openness of governments in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Canada based official statistics on appeals, court decisions, delays and other factors affecting the release of government information to public requesters. New Zealand finished first while Canada took the bottom spot. “Canada comes last,” Hazell and Worthy wrote, “as it has continually suffered from a combination of low use, low political support and a weak Information Commissioner since its inception.” Among the most glaring weaknesses of the Canadian system are its inability to accept electronic requests and the requirement to send in a paper cheque to cover fees.

Toronto Star

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