With Parliamentarians set to vote on a bill to strengthen Canada’s Access to Information Act, NDP MP Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre) is urging Conservatives to remember the commitments to openness and transparency they made to Canadians when they first formed government.
“This bill was drafted based on specific platform promises the Conservatives made in the 2006 election,” said Martin, who is sponsoring the bill. “To vote against it would test the limits of their hypocrisy.”
The Information Commissioner needs the power to ensure Access to Information is as fair, transparent and as open as possible. Martin’s bill changes the existing Act to ensure the Commissioner can compel public officials to document their actions and decisions. Bill C-567 will put public interest before the secrecy of the government.
“Freedom of information is a cornerstone of government accountability – but our system is in crisis,” said Martin. “The Conservatives’ failure to act has undermined the public’s access to information – surely the least they can do is support their own recommendations in order to begin fixing the process.”