Tuesday, Oct. 21, 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
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
Earnscliffe's 25th anniversary shindig in Ottawa: Oct. 15, 2014 Oct. 20, 2014

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
The crowd at Earnscliffe's 25th anniversary party on Oct. 15 at its Chambers Building office in Ottawa. About 250 people came out to the party.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Labour Minister Kellie Leitch and CTV's Power Play host Don Martin.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Dan Rogers and Craig Robinson.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Jim Patrick and Bernard Lord.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Hugh Winsor and CTV's Power Play host Don Martin.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
William Stairs.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Former prime minister Joe Clark.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Hugh Segal, Harry Near, and Michael Robinson.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Hugh Segal and Harry Near regaled the crowd with some colourful speeches.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
The crowd.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Bloomberg's Theo Argitis and Earnscliffe's Robin Sears chat inside Mr. Sears' office.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
It was a standing-room-only kind of an affair, with some guests standing in the stairway to hear the speeches upstairs.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Pollster Bruce Anderson who used to work at Earnscliffe at one time.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Earnscliffe's Peter Harris, left, Hill & Knowlton's Elizabeth Roscoe, centre.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Bruce Young, head of Earnscliffe's B.C. office, talks about how the West Coast office of the firm came to be.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Kaveri Braid leads the Saskatchewan office.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Earnscliffe's principal in Ottawa, Daniel Bernier.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Bill Fox, one of the founders of Earnscliffe along with Harry Near and Hugh Segal, chats up the crowd.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
The Wall Street Journal's Paul Vieira.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
CIBC's director of government relations Michel Liboiron.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
NDP national director Anne McGrath.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Earnscliffe's Michael Robinson and his children, Katie Robinson and Craig Robinson.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Tom Clark, host of Global TV's The West Block.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Earnscliffe principal Velma McColl shares memories from her more than 10 years with Earnscliffe.

MICHAEL DE ADDER'S TAKE