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