Monday, Oct. 20, 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
Monday, October 20, 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