By Aaron Wherry - Friday, April 13, 2012 - 0 Comments
David Eaves reviews the government’s open data plans.
For many, I think this may be the biggest disappointment is that the government has chosen not to try to update the Access to Information Act. It is true that this is what the Access to Information Commissioners from across the country recommended they do in an open letter (recommendation #2 in their letter). Opening up the act likely has a number of political risks – particularly for a government that has not always been forthcoming documents (the Afghan detainee issue and F-35 contract both come to mind) – however, I again propose that it may be possible to achieve some of the objectives around improved access through the Open Government Directive.
Access to information was the focus of a submission made by the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association during the consultation process. Democracy Watch is unimpressed. Andrea Di Maio is unsatisfied.
Another correspondent points me to the demise of the Community Access Program, which could exclude some from taking part in whatever bounty of data is to come.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 6:11 PM - 22 Comments
The Scene. On Monday, a minister of state in Stephen Harper’s government addressed the House of Commons and stated for the record that a member of Parliament’s ability to send paper flyers into another member of Parliament’s riding was a matter of free speech. This, he said, was about the “rights of Canadians for a public discourse.” The Liberal party, he suggested, in wanting to ban these mailouts, was threatening to “censor” what Canadians were allowed to see. These mailouts, he asserted, did no less than “improve our democracy.” “The Conservative Party,” he concluded, “is the party that will ensure that Canada remains glorious and free.”
Two days later, Stephen Harper’s spokesman stated that the government would support a ban on these out-of-riding flyers. And so it was this afternoon that the Prime Minister stood in the House, pronounced his government “delighted” to do away with these mailings and then challenged the leader of the NDP, a party that had voted in favour of the Liberal-proposed ban, to follow the Conservative side and do likewise.
So much for our glorious freedom. Continue…