Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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OPEN GOVERNMENT
Harper’s Cabinet need not have any background facts, reinforces greater Cabinet secrecy

By eliminating the background analysis component of MCs, what the current PM has ensured, with mandarin support, is that Cabinet records themselves have now become more sanitized, compromised, and even more brazenly secret.


  
PCO’s new gig, as a central social media agency

PCO is using all kinds of newer platforms: from Twitter, blogs, a YouTube channel, podcasts, to photo galleries.


  
PM prerogative, public’s knowledge of his office and fleeting glimpses

It’s time for the Prime Minister’s Office to be covered by the Access to Information Act.


  
It’s open season on transparency in Ottawa

From deleted ministerial staff emails, to emasculating a proposed private member’s federal sunshine salary bill, authorities want to continue excluding a wide swath of government records from public access.


  
Six Tory Cabinet ministers take to road to showcase Harper government’s communications style

A quick look at how Tory Cabinet ministers last June communicated a Canadian Border Services Agency announcement of increases to the personal travel exemption limit of goods that could be brought back into Canada.


  
Privacy breaches underline weak, secretive federal data protection laws

Human Resources Canada’s loss of a hard drive with personal information of some 583,000 also raises questions about how much do we really know about the vast amount of personal information that the Canadian government or other governments hold.


  
Rubin: Idle No More takes on Harper’s dismantling of First Nations’ home base

A new kind of social media-savvy, youthful native rank-and-file leadership is emerging and it feels duped by Harper’s approach with his government’s fast-tracked legislative enactments and the government’s coordinated drive to resurface the look of reserves.


  
Feds won’t help Truth and Reconciliation Commission gather millions of government records for Research Centre, so it’s going to court

It’s important that a country be able to keep records of its past publicly accessible.


  
Supreme Court poised to hear key access-to-information legal challenge

It’s a key case expected to be held next year as the outcome of how broad policy advice secrecy claims will affect how much public access there is to government records in all Canadian jurisdictions.


  
Tories targeting First Nations and unions for fuller public disclosure

There is no comparable requirement for posting the exact salaries and benefits of government employees or the details of all transactions occurring between Ottawa’s legion of lobbyists and politicians and officials.


  
Canada’s Access to Information Act turns 30, but who’s looking or caring

Parliament has done nothing for the Access to Information Act which can be a legal weapon that sheds light into corrupt practices, government waste, unhealthy consumer and environmental situations, and government privacy intrusions.


  
Is a massive destruction of records on the way?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s rush to downgrade federal information holdings and services raises that concern.


  
Canada’s Health Infoway is too secretive

We desperately need to change the way our federal, provincial, and territorial laws readily exclude and exempt basic financial and consumer data, avoiding public and Parliamentary scrutiny.


  
Supreme Court ruling more often in favour of greater secrecy

In a February judgment, the Supreme Court essentially broadened and strengthened the third-party notification privileges corporations have that delay release and second lowered the evidentiary standards that the government needs to follow to show that records should remain secret. This will result in much more government data being kept secret under access legislation.


  
The parallel worlds of what’s public and private

Throwing the public the equivalent of two cute pandas or X-number of new data sets now and then, or undercutting Parliamentary committees’ work is not the equivalent of an open government partnership with the public.


  
Feds enter Twitter/YouTube era: one more Harper government messaging tool

The Privy Council Office approves several departments’ plans to create their own YouTube/Twitter sites.


  
Ottawa’s love of envelopes: from Brian Mulroney to the CBC

  
Occupy Ottawa: against records destruction

No doubt the government of the day has the right to legislate and to remake policy, but eroding Ottawa’s shaky information management practices further for political reasons is not without penalties and does have some far-reaching negative consequences.


  
Harper legacy? It ain’t transparency

The International Conference of Information Commissioners held in Ottawa last week helped illustrate just how far behind Canada has fallen in progressive access to information circles. It’s not good.


  

Parliamentary Calendar
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
U.S. Ambassador Bruce Heyman's Fourth of July shindig July 14, 2014

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

U.S. Ambassador Bruce Heyman, right, and his wife, Vicki, were all smiles at hosting their first Fourth of July bash in Ottawa. Some 3,000 guest attended. The mood was good and there was a lot of dancing, eating, and chatting.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Vicki and Bruce Heyman.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Vicki and Bruce Heyman.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Vicki and Bruce Heyman. The dress code was summer whites. The atmosphere was light and lovely.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Ken Taylor, former Canadian ambassador to Iran.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Bluesky's Susan Smith, Ottawa University's Robert Asselin, and Bluesky's Tim Barber.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Former CTV Hill reporter Roger Smith.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Former Bloc MP Claude Bachand and Danielle Leclerc.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

House of Commons protocol's Elizabeth Rody and Jane Kennedy.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

McLoughlin Media's Barry McLoughlin and Laura Peck.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Canadian Chamber of Commerce President Perrin Beatty, wearing a nice summer hat.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

The National Arts Centre's Peter Herndorff and Rosemary Thompson.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Sisters, Maggie Creskey, left, and Hill Times publisher Anne Marie Creskey.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Former Progressive Conservative prime minister Joe Clark.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Chad Schella, Maureen McTeer, and CPAC's Catherine Clark.

The Hill Times photograph Jake Wright

The guests on the front lawn of the U.S. ambassador's official residence in Ottawa's swishy Rockcliffe neighbourhood, high up above the Ottawa River.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

The cheesecakes were brought in from Chicago. Yum!

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Maclean's magazine's Paul Wells.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Shaw's Alayne Crawford and Gary Clement, senior manager of GR at TD Bank (Toronto). 

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

CCCE's Ailish Campbell, Ekos' Frank Graves, Amgen's Kim Furlong, and H&K's Jackie King.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Environics' Greg MacEachern, CPAC's Natalie LeMay-Calcutt, and Shaw's Jim Patrick.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

CommuniquéDirect's Nick Masciantonio and MDA's Leslie Swartman.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

That's a lot of cheese, Martha.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Postmedia News columnist Andrew Coyne and Global TV News reporter Laura Stone.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Former Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay, right, and a friend.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

The lineup.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

The scene.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Postmedia News national affairs columnist Andrew Coyne.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

CTV cameraman Dave Ellis, centre. 

MICHAEL DE ADDER'S TAKE