Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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OPEN GOVERNMENT
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.'


  
How come Canada's information commissioner Marleau operates mostly behind closed doors?

Information Commissioner Robert Marleau and his officials have been holding secret meetings with the Department of Justice and Treasury Board to 'work together' to come to an agreement on how they can 'improve' certain features of the access process with


  

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