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Study Ranks Canada Last on Access to Information

A new study comparing five parliamentary democracies ranks Canada last on the effectiveness of its access to information legislation.

6 Comments

  1. Bill MacEachern says:

    Don’t worry…
    Harper will have one of his serfs issue a press release saying that report is nonsense and his gov’t is one of the bestest, most openest ever. Or whatever the Americans want him to say, whichever is more convenient for the AMericans.


  2. Time for Canadian WikiLeaks!


  3. Shocker!!!

  4. Headlines aside, I suspect that in order to gauge the state of affairs one needs to know more than just the number of access requests. 35,000 sound like a small number, but if the requests are quite directed (by this I mean that it can be serviced by a single department and generally refers to only a half dozen documents) what is the response time? Compare the response times to the number of pages in the response and the number of departments involved, across the various countries in the study. While I suspect that Canada would still show up as lower in the ratings, it would be interesting to see, for instance, the types of requests that aren’t being resolved in time.

    The article is correct, section 7 of the act calls for a 30 day turnaround on the response and the provision of the records. However it fails to mention the provisions of section 9 for time limit extensions. Being able to see a better breakdown of the requests and the amount of time to service them would at least give some indication of actual performance against the law; for instance, a request that generates 25,000 pages of response would, I suspect, be eligible for a time limit extension.

    It would also be useful to see where the requests are being held up… For instance, how long does it take for the requested department(s) to generate its (their) response(s); how long does this sit in front of someone at PMO?

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  6. I find it very interesting that Canada ranks last on the effectiveness of its access to information legislation. I am not surprised however, we are incredibly limited in that category.
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