Tuesday, March 31, 2015
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OPEN GOVERNMENT
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.


  
Transparency suffers supremely, Supreme Court labelling PMO/minister offices' records 'political' a secrecy bonanza

The time to push for transparency is in the first year of a new government's mandate.


  
Shining a light on PM aides: before and after Bruce Carson

The 2006 background checking guidelines, obtained from PCO under the Access to Information Act, do apply to advisers to the PCO as well as Cabinet ministers, Supreme Court justices and very senior officials. And they do include checking criminal and polic


  
Temporary secrecy outrage hits Ottawa, but it becomes a key factor in defeat of Harper government, feds' weak offerings

Outrage over excessive secrecy and what to do about it has become pure theatre in Ottawa, especially in a super-charged election atmosphere. Don't expect now that any of the parties intend to do much to change excessive secrecy in Ottawa.


  
The myth of access to information

There is no doubt that Canada's ranking would be near the bottom. But this begs the question: did Canada ever rank near the top or really have progressive access legislation?


  
It's time for a more open government and an 'opendata.gc.ca'

Making as much government data available to the public as possible through a searchable online free of charge site at 'opendata.gc.ca' seems to be the current hip flavour for making transparent government happen.


  
PM Harper shouldn't have appointed Ouimet in first place

And as harsh as Auditor General Sheila Fraser's report was on Christiane Ouimet, it took too long to come to this conclusion.


  
Retreat behind the wire: only insiders need know

Expect more team-player replacements and less critical analyses of how Ottawa operates.


  
Long and short end: restoring faith, and ending interference and documentation letdowns

The Harper government has been engaged in aggressively fighting to cut back on mandatory record collection and record keeping.


  
Our right to know hits rock bottom

Canada is now consistently nearer the bottom on international openness ratings.


  
Getting at Ottawa's expenses in Transport Canada

This warrants a House of Commons Public Accounts Committee inquiry and an auditor general report.


  
House Access to Information Committee opts to play it safe

The real shame is that the House Access Committee has side-stepped and steered away from its earlier intent for a comprehensive review for 'stronger and more modern' access legislation.


  
Don't expect real changes in Ottawa's secretive ways

Talk of 'modernizing' Access to Information Act will not necessarily mean a huge increase in disclosure.


  
Transparency bar in troubled times: U.S. wants to open up, Canada wants delays

There's little thought to boosting the level of accountability and transparency needed in global economic crisis.


  
A crisis in information: there is still-secret hidden agendas and limited public access

Does the 'no-surprise' prospective coalition accord clause mean they agreed to even greater secrecy surrounding government operations? That's not entirely clear.


  
Say, whatever happened to Harper's promise to help public access government records?

His government inserted an upbeat clause about the duty to assist. But then it promptly looked the other way as access service deteriorated.


  
Dawning of the age of more secrecy in government

  
Canada's food regulatory system gets more secretive

  
On Olympic branding, it's much better to stick to the image of Canada in winter, and hockey players

A February 2007 memo calls for Ottawa 'to ensure that the event reflects the priorities of the government and helps to achieve its domestic and international branding goals.'


  

Parliamentary Calendar
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
A preview of Parliamentary precinct renos March 30, 2015

Photograph courtesy of Public Works
An artist's rendering of what the outside of the Sir John A. Macdonald building will look like when construction is complete. A new addition has been built, connected to the main heritage space by a glass atrium. Public Works says work wraps up this month, aside from a few finishing touches.
Photograph courtesy of Public Works
A cut-away view at the glass-walled atrium that will connect the historic Sir John A. Macdonald building space, formerly the Old Bank of Montreal building, to its annex addition.
Photograph courtesy of Public Works
An artist's rendering of the interior of the Sir John A. Macdonald building's historic space, which used to house bank tellers and will soon host special Parliamentary events.
Photograph courtesy of Public Works
A look at the multi-purpose room space that will be located in the new addition to the Sir John A. Macdonald building.
Photograph courtesy of Public Works
A digital overhead shot of the West Block as it will look after construction. The building’s courtyard is topped by a glass-domed roof.
Photograph courtesy of Public Works
The temporary House Chamber will be in an infill inside West Block’s courtyard, but MPs will be able to access the space without stepping outside, as the entire courtyard will be topped with a glass-domed roof.
Photograph courtesy of Public Works
An artist’s rendering of the inside of the temporary House Chamber to be located in West Block’s courtyard.
Photograph courtesy of Public Works
A rendering of a lobby area to be located near the West Block’s temporary House Chamber.
Photograph courtesy of Public Works
The House of Commons is set to add 30 new MPs after this year's election, meaning 30 new seats are needed in the Chamber. Pictured is a prototype of the new seating arrangement, which will be installed in the current Chamber after this year's election. West Block's temporary House Chamber will accommodate all 338 MPs.
Photograph by Public Works
A prototype of the new seating arrangement was set up in the House Chamber last year for some MPs to test out. Having theatre-style seats in the back two rows of the Chamber will allow 30 more MPs to sit in the current House Chamber.
Photograph courtesy of Public Works
A blueprint of plans for the West Block, including the temporary House Chamber, which will be converted to committee space when renovations to Centre Block are complete. Workers have to dig down about two storeys to build up a foundation to support this new addition.
Photograph courtesy of Public Works
West Block will have fully renovated committee rooms once complete, similar in appearance to this rendering.
Photograph courtesy of Public Works
A view of part of the Wellington Building’s lobby, set to include a green wall.
Photograph courtesy of Public Works
An artist’s drawing of a common space to be located in the Wellington Building.
Photograph courtesy of Public Works
An example of what the Wellington Building’s committee rooms will look like, of which there will be 10 total.

MICHAEL DE ADDER'S TAKE