Friday, September 27, 2013

Harper: Bringing New Levels Of Accountable Government To You

It comes as no surprise that The Harper Government has spent a great deal of time and energy doing its level best to be as unaccountable as possible to voters.  So it comes as little surprise that Suzanne Legault, The Information Commissioner of Canada is less than impressed with the games now being played to suppress public access to information.
"I am seeing signs of a system in crisis, where departments are unable to fulfil even their most basic obligations under the act," Legault told the group. 
As an example, she cited a directive in April this year from the Treasury Board warning bureaucrats to steer clear of ministers' offices when looking for documents to respond to an access-to-information request. 
The Supreme Court of Canada issued a ruling in May 2011 largely protecting documents in a minister's office, but Legault says the new directive goes much further. 
"This new component is not found in the Supreme Court of Canada's decision," she said. "In my view, it is potentially damaging to requesters' rights."
 Make no mistake about it, this is a direct consequence of how the Harperites have been driving things.  As soon as Harper came into office, the response times on Access to Information requests went up substantially, and the level of redaction in documents increased as well.

Remember, in 2006, Harper came to power promising Canadians greater transparency and accountability.  Instead what he has delivered is a government that is more cloaked in secrecy than ever before.

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