06 October 2017 0 Comments Posted By : Kirk LaPointe

Canada suffering from chronic access-to-information obfuscation

The Washington Post’s recently minted slogan, “Democracy Dies In Darkness,” arises from a long-ago U.S. court ruling on free-speech rights.

But we in Canada can heed its message, too. In an important but little noticed way, we are in that same darkness.

Our rights to know about our government’s activities are thwarted.

This is not a matter of partisan politics or ideology: no matter the political stripe, no matter the jurisdiction, our governments in this country restrict and redact information and divulge it only grudgingly, cloaked by the narcissism of power.

Worst yet, we do not know what we do not know. We never find out what was written, discussed, or recorded if governments choose not to provide it. There is no law that can defeat a government’s decision to withhold.

In recent weeks, the Justin Trudeau government made clear it will fail – as had its predecessors – to address our right to information freedom. Its most recent legislative proposal rescinded the many campaign commitments of Trudeau, whose father was the federal law’s first father more than three decades ago.

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