'A free society requires access to the facts' - Macleans.ca

‘A free society requires access to the facts’

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In response to an attempt by a government official to save the Canadian Press a few dollars on reprinting costs, Jack Layton attempts to explain the riddle that is access to information.

Meanwhile, NDP Leader Jack Layton highlighted the problems within the federal Access to Information regime by releasing two copies a memo from diplomat Richard Colvin on the subject of Afghan detainees. Only a few words were redacted in the memo as it was publicly released by the Attorney-General to the Military Police Complaints Commission. But, when released by the Department of National Defence under Access to Information legislation, it was redacted almost in its entirety…

“A free society requires access to the facts. That’s fundamental. And the government can’t simply say we are going to protect ourselves by building walls around the truth. That’s not right. And [Prime Minister Stephen] Harper used to say that but then again he used to say a lot of things.”

That memo in its dueling forms can be viewed here and here.