Thursday, April 24, 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
Thursday, April 24, 2014
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
Former Liberal deputy prime minister Herb Gray dies at age 82: some photos from his life on the Hill April 22, 2014

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Herb Gray, the former Liberal MP, Cabinet minister, and deputy prime minister, pictured here with his daughter Elizabeth Gray-Smith, died on Monday, April 21 at the age of 82. He served in Parliament of 39 years and was one of Canada's longest-serving MPs.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Herb Gray and his former assistant Eugene Lang, pictured at a Hill reception.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Herb Gray, pictured on his way to a U.S. Embassy's Fourth of July party in Ottawa. Mr. Gray may have not been in the House in his later years, but he regularly attended Hill-related receptions.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Herb Gray at a menorah-lighting ceremony on the Hill.
The Hill Times photograph by Terry McDonald
Herb Gray, pictured back in his Centre Block office when he was in government.
The Hill Times photograph by Terry McDonald
Herb Gray, pictured in his Centre Block office, being interviewed by Bill Curry, who was a reporter for The Hill Times.
The Hill Times photograph by Terry McDonald
Herb Gray, pictured in his Centre Block office back when he was in government.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray, pictured on the Hill posing for The Hill Times.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray, pictured on the Hill back when he was a Cabinet minister.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray, pictured on Parliament Hill.
The Hill Times photograph by Terry McDonald
Herb Gray pictured with his wife, Sharon Sholzberg, on the Hill.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray, pictured in a Hill scrum.
The Hill Times file photograph
Jim Peterson and Herb Gray, pictured on a rainy day on the Hill.
The Hill Times file photograph
Jim Peterson and Herb Gray.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray, centre, pictured with the late Liberal MP Shaughnessy Cohen, and Windsor Star Hill reporter Paul McKeague, during a Hill fire drill.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray, who went esophagus cancer in 1996 and beat it, is pictured here in a Hill scrum.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray, pictured at a Parliamentary Press Gallery Dinner on the Hill.
The Hill Times file photograph by Terry McDonald
Herb Gray, pictured at the Lester B. Pearson Building in Ottawa on his way into a special Cabinet minister back when he was a Cabinet minister.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray, pictured in a Hill scrum. Allan Thompson, left, was a reporter with The Toronto Star, and Paul McKeague, pictured right behind Mr. Gray, was never far behind the MP from Windsor.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray in another Hill scrum.
The Hill Times file photograph
Herb Gray in his Centre Block office back when he was a Cabinet minister. He collected, framed, and hung up most of the editorial cartoons of himself in his Centre Block office.
The Hill Times file photo
Herb Gray and his many framed cartoons.
The Hill Times photograph by Kate Malloy
Herb Gray and his editorial cartoons, pictured in his Centre Block office.

MICHAEL DE ADDER'S TAKE