Thursday, Oct. 2, 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, December 31, 1969
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
Chantal Hébert's Morning After book launch at Métropolitain Brasserie in Ottawa: Sept. 24 Sept. 30, 2014

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser, a former Toronto Star Hill journalist, and Jim Armour, vice-president at Summa Strategies, a former Conservative and Reform Party staffer.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Chantal Hébert, national affairs columnist for The Toronto Star and author of The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum and The Day That Almost Was. Ms. Hébert launched her book on Sept. 24 in Ottawa at the Métropolitain Brasserie where plenty of political players turned up from the Hill.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Jean-Pierre Kingsley, Canada's former chief electoral officer, and Quebec Liberal Senator Dennis Dawson.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Bruce Anderson, a partner at i2 Ideas & Issues Advertising, who hosted the book launch. Mr. Anderson is a panellist on CBC's At Issue along with Ms. Hébert and Andrew Coyne.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Kate Purchase, communications director for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Quebec Liberal Sen. Dennis Dawson, Jim Patrick of Shaw Communications, and Global TV's Tom Clark.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser and Bruce Anderson of i2 Ideas & Issues Advertising.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Patrick Kennedy, director of government relations for CF Industries, flips through a copy of Chantal Hébert's book, The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum and The Day That Almost Was.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Jim Armour, vice-president at Summa Strategies, is the happy new owner of The Morning After.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Chantal Hébert and former Conservative MP Ted Menzies.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Journalist Daniel L'Heureux, Mylène Dupere, communications director for Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, and Jean Lapierre, who helped Ms. Hébert write the book. Mr. Lapierre is also a former Bloc Québécois MP who later joined Paul Martin's Liberals and was a federal Cabinet minister. Today, he's a pundit.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Leslie Swartman, director of public affairs at MDA Information Systems, and former Liberal Cabinet minister Jean Lapierre. Ms. Swartman used to work for Mr. Lapierre when he was in the Paul Martin Cabinet.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Anne Marie Creskey, publisher of The Hill Times, and Hill Times reporter Rachel Aiello.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Former Conservative MP Ted Menzies and Global TV's Tom Clark.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Bruce Anderson and Chantal Hébert.
The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
Michel Liboiron, director of government relations at CIBC, and Postmedia News reporter and columnist Stephen Maher.

MICHAEL DE ADDER'S TAKE