November 18th, 2013

Defending Canadians’ right to know

Canadians’ right to know about what their government is doing has been systematically attacked by Stephen Harper's Conservatives.

After committing to reform freedom of information laws while in opposition, Harper's Conservative government has become one of the most secretive governments in Canadian history.

“Conservatives have undermined Access to Information, the most important tool citizens have to expose government corruption and waste,” said NDP deputy Ethics critic Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie). “Fortunately, the NDP has practical ideas to strengthen Access laws and defend citizens’ right to know.”

The NDP is proposing urgent reforms, including:

• Extending Access to Information laws to cover the House of Commons and Senate administration.

• Giving the Information Commissioner order-making powers.

• Empowering the Information Commissioner to examine cabinet documents.

“Successive Conservative and Liberal ministers have pledged to improve Access to Information – and then broke that promise,” said NDP Public Works and Government Services critic Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre). “Freedom of information is a cornerstone of accountable government – but our system is in crisis. Conservatives must honour their promises and work with us to fix Canada’s broken Access to Information laws.”