Post Tagged with: "open government"

free consultation by russell davies (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/4jxLPq

Too Much of a Good Thing: What Lies Behind Canada’s Emerging Consultation Crisis

After years of often feeling excluded from the policy making and legislative process, many civil society groups were excited by the prospect of a new government committed to public consultations and feedback. The Liberal government moved quickly to consult on all manner of issues, providing hope that an emphasis on participatory democracy would lead to better policies and an opportunity to incorporate a broader range of perspectives.

My op-ed in today’s Hill Times notes that two years into the Liberal mandate, the consultative process is now a well-established part of how policy is developed. It is nice to be asked for your opinion, but Canada is increasingly facing a consultation crisis as the sheer volume of hearings, notices, and consultations can be overwhelming.

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October 25, 2017 4 comments Columns
Secret by Nathan Rupert (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dcmDEG

Why the Government’s ATI Reform Bill is a Promise Broken: Proactive Disclosure ≠ Access to Information

When political parties find themselves in opposition, promising to fix the access to information system invariably seems like a good idea. The public is often skeptical about whether the government is transparent and when combined with a woefully outdated Access to Information Act, reform provides a ripe target. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives promised a long list of access to information reforms before taking power, most of which were never acted upon. Justin Trudeau’s Liberals made similar promises when in opposition, unveiling a 32-point plan in June 2015 that pledged a fair and open government backed by access to information reform.

The government introduced Bill C-58 yesterday, the bill promoted as fulfilling its commitment on access to information reform. Discouragingly, it fails to do so. The bill does include some notable improvements, including implementing order making power for the Information Commissioner and establishing a requirement to justify, with written reasons, why information is redacted. However, the bill does not live up to the campaign promise nor does it fully address longstanding concerns with the law.

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June 20, 2017 2 comments News
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) Regional Meeting for Europe 2014 by Open Government Partnership (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/nwzXXy

Why the Government’s Commitment to “Open by Default” Must Be Bigger Than Open Data

This week, I was pleased to participate in a joint initiative between the University of Ottawa’s Public Law Group and iPolitics to examine the government’s Speech from the Throne from many policy perspectives. This includes contributions from Professors Mendes, Morales, Oliver, Pal, Dodek, Forcese, Chalifour, and Cairns Way. My piece (iPolitics version, homepage version) focuses on the government’s commitment to “open by default”, which appears in all ministerial mandate letters. I note that the emphasis on open and transparent government in the Speech from the Throne was both welcome and unsurprising. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned on openness and transparency with impressive commitments to transform how Canadians access government information.

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December 9, 2015 26 comments Columns
Justin Trudeau at Canada 2020 by Canada 2020 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/uRp6SC

C-51 Reform, TPP Top the List of “Real Change” Tech Policy Priorities

Digital policies may not have played a significant role in the just-concluded national election, but the arrival of a majority Liberal government will leave many expecting “real change” on the digital front in the years ahead. My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau is likely to focus on key economic promises from his platform once Parliament resumes. However, there will be several digital issues that should command attention during his first 12 months in office.

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October 28, 2015 1 comment Columns
push to reset by voodooangel (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/4oPLvE

New Year Offers Chance to Hit Reset Button on Digital Policies

A new year is traditionally the time to refresh and renew personal goals. The same is true in the digital policy realm, where despite the conclusion of lawful access, anti-counterfeiting, and anti-spam rules in 2014, many other issues in Canada remain unresolved, unaddressed, or stalled in the middle of development.

With a new year – one that will feature a federal election in which all parties will be asked to articulate their vision of Canada’s digital future – there is a chance to hit the policy reset button on issues that have lagged or veered off course.

There is no shortage of possibilities, but my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes the following four concerns should be top of mind for policy makers and politicians:

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January 5, 2015 5 comments Columns