The Office of the Information Commissioner, tasked with intervening in delayed, challenged and ignored requests for document disclosures, has had to increase spending on lawyers within the department.
As first detailed by Blacklock's Reporter, during her recent testimony before the Commons ethics committee, Commissioner Caroline Maynard said that “Some government institutions now routinely violate this law on a daily basis,” and that “Canadians don’t trust governments."
Maynard told MPs that in 2022, she issued 157 binding orders to compel the release of documents being withheld by federal agencies in contravention of Canada's information laws. Of those 157 orders, the feds challenged nine and completely ignored a tenth.
According to Maynard, the worst offenders were the Privy Council Office, RCMP, Department of Immigration, Department of National Defence and Library and Archives Canada.
Rebel News recently received an access return, 7.5 years overdue, on a March 2016 access filing with the Department of National Defence about a mosque being built at CFB Meaford for Syrian refugees. The department took a 60-day delay in May 2016 and dropped the file until October 2023.
It took six years and an appeal to the Information Commissioner to get the Privy Council Office to turn over documents relating to the carbon tax and the competitive disadvantage it would put the Canadian economy in without similar action being taken in the United States.
It took five years and a complaint to the commissioners' office to get the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to access documents relating to "product of Israel" labels on imported wines changed after an anti-Israel activist complained about the labelling.
The 2017 request was finally returned in December 2022.
Prime Minister Trudeau in 2015 promised a "more open and transparent" government through changes to access to information laws, opening up cabinet ministers' offices to more inquiries without the protections of cabinet confidentiality.
Trudeau reneged on that promise in 2016.
To support Rebel News' oft-delayed access to information filings, subsequent appeals and research costs, visit www.RebelInvestigates.com.
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