Let's hope that the upcoming October 2019 election may help shape a better and less deceptive deal for consumers in terms of the public's right to really know what's going on and who's feeding who the outcomes.
Brison's crowning sales pitch was reserved for Bill C-58's proposal to legalize a new release system that sets some records aside that government would selectively disclose, like minister's mandate letters and expenses.
Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault, a major critic of the bill, had her term extended for two months and will be around to testify in front of a Senate committee studying the changes to the access to information regime.
Scott Brison tried to spin how great it would be that some mundane briefing lists, mandate letters, and ministers' expenses would become legally available as part of a take-it-or-leave-it government publication scheme.
Seven senior federal officials, including the deputy ministers at Finance, Global Affairs, and Infrastructure, and the deputy PCO clerk, met with a 'stakeholder' corporation for a three-hour dinner discussion on how to get investment funding so the then-proposed new Canada Infrastructure Bank could work. But the government won't say who the private stakeholder was.
It would be in the public interest if compensation and benefits became disclosable by law for all officials, including politicians, political aides, and political appointments. Such data should no longer be treated as personal information.
In order to have a greatly-strengthened data protection act, separate from access legislation, the House Privacy Committee must consider bold changes to the Privacy Act in conjunction with improving the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
Refusing to make fully public a 2015 Saudi Arabia human rights report puts a dent in his promise of ‘information by default.’ South of the border in the United States, the government annually release reports on other countries’ human rights records.
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