Group calls on House Committee to recommend key open government changes most stakeholders have wanted for years
Other key open government changes also needed to end secret lobbying, end secret investments by politicians, their staff and Cabinet appointees, and strengthen whistleblower protection
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, October 26, 2022
OTTAWA - In its testimony this afternoon, Democracy Watch will call on the House of Commons Ethics Committee reviewing the federal Access to Information Act (ATIA) to recommend 18 key changes that have been called for by most stakeholders for years to make the ATIA an actual open government law, and to make enforcement more independent, fully resourced, timely and effective, including by penalizing violations with high fines.
“Citizen groups and experts have loudly and clearly called for decades for key changes to close loopholes in the federal access to information law, and strengthen enforcement,” said Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch. “The House Committee must call on the Trudeau Liberals, and all federal party leaders, to stop their spin, lame excuses and unjustifiable delays and introduce a bill as soon as possible to make the key changes that voters want to ensure all federal government and government-funded institutions are transparent and accountable.”
“The federal access to information law is so full of loopholes that it really is just a guide to keeping information secret that the public has a right to know, and the key changes that stakeholders are calling for will, if the Trudeau government implements them, make the law more effective at ensuring transparency,” said Conacher.
“The Trudeau Liberals broke most of their promises to close loopholes in Canada’s open government law, and strengthen transparency rules for government spending, and they have done nothing to strengthen protections for whistleblowers who report government wrongdoing nor to close loopholes that allow secret lobbying and secret investments by politicians, staff and Cabinet appointees,” said Conacher.
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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Duff Conacher, Co-founder of Democracy Watch Tel: (613) 241-5179 Cell: 416-546-3443 Email: [email protected]