Saturday, January 15, 2011

Harper's Secret Government

Harper likes to keep things secret. Although campaigning on freedom of information was one of the things that brought him to power, he has not kept his promise. In fact, he has made it even worse than it was before. Now, information is not disclosed in a full state, some requests are denied outright and even if the request for information was accepted, the Tories do not report back on time as stated in Canadian law. Now, Canada ranks last in access to information when compared to Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

I would like to see something like the Liberal Party's "Open Government Initiative." It includes setting up websites to make it easier to submit and track requests for information. Another feature would include uploading government data. This would increase government transparency while making the system simpler.
The law that determines what secrets Canadians can pry out of their government hasn’t been substantially overhauled since Pierre Trudeau introduced it in 1983, an era when Ronald Reagan was U.S. president and the Internet connected fewer than 600 computers.
As it nears its 30th anniversary, the Access to Information regime that was designed to furnish Canadians with government records on everything from the military to health has grown sluggish, unresponsive and obstructionist.
Read more at the Globe and Mail.

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