Thursday, Nov. 27, 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
Thursday, November 27, 2014
HILL LIFE & PEOPLE SLIDESHOWS
Shootings at the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill, Oct. 22, 2014: in photographs Oct. 27, 2014

The Hill Times photograph by Mark Burgess

At 9:52 a.m., the first calls came in of shots fired at the National War Memorial. Five people tried to save Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's life who was standing guard at the National War Memorial. He later died of gunshot wounds.

The Hill Times photograph by Mark Burgess

The people who tried save Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's life were later identified as Margaret Lerhe, a nurse on her way to work at the Elizabeth Bruyere Hospital; another corporal, a soldier, National Defence employee and former Naval officer Martin Magnan; and lawyer Barbara Winters who told Cpl. Cirillo that his family loved him while he lay dying.

The Hill Times photograph by Kate Malloy

People running from Parliament Hill shortly after the gunfight in Centre Block where gunman Michael Zihaf-Bibeau was shot dead by House Sgt.-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, House security officers, and the RCMP.

The Hill Times photograph by Chris Plecash

The Parliament Buildings from Metcalfe Street.

The Hill Times photograph by Mark Burgess

Police pictured at the corner of Metcalfe and Slater streets in Ottawa later in the day on Oct. 22.

The Hill Times photograph by Denis Drever

Liberal Sen. Jim Munson in a lockdown in Room 257 East Block doing a media interview.

The Hill Times photograph by Denis Drever

NDP MPs, staffers, and others locked down in Room 257 East Block, watching the events unfold on one small laptop.

The Hill Times photograph by Kate Malloy

NDP MP Wayne Marston, pictured shortly after running from Parliament Hill.

The Hill Times photograph by Chris Plecash

More police officers on Metcalfe Street, just down the street from Parliament Hill.

The Hill Times photograph by Kate Malloy

Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott does a media interview on Metcalfe Street.

The Hill Times photograph by Mark Burgess

A tourist who witnessed the shooting talks to police shortly after Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was shot.

The Hill Times photograph by Mark Burgess

More police officers on Metcalfe Street.

The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey

Police on Sparks Street outside The Hill Times' office.

The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey

Police on the Hill shortly after the shooting.

The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey

NDP MPs Rosane Doré Lefebvre, far left, Hélène Laverdiere, and NDP MP Charlie Angus, pictured shortly after the shooting on the Hill and the National War Memorial.

The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey

Journalists and others leaving Parliament Hill, shortly after the shooting.

The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey

Reporters on Sparks and Metcalfe streets.

The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey

The media on Sparks at Metcalfe streets.

The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey

CTV Hill reporter Richard Madan and CBC Radio reporter Susan Lunn.

The Hill Times photograph by Anne Marie Creskey

NDP MP Charlie Angus does an interview on Metcalfe Street later in the afternoon.

The Hill Times photograph by Kate Malloy

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, pictured that evening, addressing the nation about the shocking killing of a soldier killed at the National War Memorial and later the killing of the man in a gunfight in Centre Block.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

The next day in the Hot Room, the Parliamentary Press Gallery. Gallery clerks Collin Lafrance and Normand Gagnon.

The Hill Times photograph by Mark Burgess

Flowers the next morning, Oct. 23, at the National War Memorial.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

People bring flowers to the War Memorial the day after, Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

A woman bringing flowers is escorted by police to the National War Memorial on Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

People pay their respects at the National War Memorial on Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Conservative MPs Mark Warawa and Scott Reid return to the Hill the day after the shootings.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Conservative MP James Bezan, parliamentary secretary to the minister of national defence, is interviewed the following day, Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

An RCMP officer stands guard on Parliament Hill on Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Police pictured outside the Chateau Laurier Hotel the following day, Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Justice Minister Peter MacKay, pictured in the Commons foyer on Oct. 23, taking questions from reporters.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Minister of State for Small Business Maxime Bernier, being scrummed on Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Parliamentary Press Gallery clerk Normand Gagnon, pictured on Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

House Sgt.-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, pictured on Oct. 23 in the Speaker's Parade. Mr. Vickers is being credited as the one whose bullets killed gunman Michael Zihaf-Bibeau who stormed the Centre Block with a hunting rifle.

The Hill Times photograph by Mark Burgess

NDP MP Paul Dewar, pictured, and many other MPs, visited the National War Memorial the following day, Oct. 23.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Just outside the Library of Parliament, where Michael Zihaf-Bibeau was finally shot and killed after a gunfight in Centre Block.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Broken glass inside the Centre Block after the gunfight.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

More broken glass in the Centre Block after the gunfight.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Former Reform Party leader Preston Manning was on Parliament Hill on Oct. 23, the day after the shooting.

The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

The Wire Report reporter Peter Henderson, pictured on Oct. 23, doing an interview with CNN. He had been locking up his bike on Sparks Street on the morning of the shooting at the National War Memorial and was one of the first reporters on the scene.

The Hill Times photograph by Chris Plecash

An Ottawa Police officer gives the thumb's up standing near the National War Memorial, the day after the shootings on Oct. 23.

MICHAEL DE ADDER'S TAKE