OTTAWA – Canada’s outgoing information watchdog is threatening to seize documents after complaints that the bureaucratic wing of the Prime Minister’s Office is stonewalling some access-to-information requests.
The information commissioner served formal notice on the Privy Council Office this week, warning that commission staff would use their legal powers to seize the documents themselves if the paperwork wasn’t provided by today.
“I’m about to walk into PCO next week … for files they didn’t give us. We’re going to take them and they can’t stop us,” Robert Marleau told the Toronto Star. “I cannot be denied access. I can walk into any federal government premise without notice and take what I need.”
Marleau, who attracted some criticism for not being more forceful in defending access to information rights, could end his tenure as commissioner with an extraordinary move on the highest bureaucratic office in the federal government.