FIPA submission to Access to Information consultation now available

Since September, Canada’s Information Commissioner Suzanne Legaut has been running a broad public consultation, seeking out suggestions for how to modernize our woefully out-of-date Access to Information Act (ATIA).

Any individual or organization can participate in this critically important process. But your chance to speak up ends soon. Submissions to the consultation process close on Friday, December. 21.

Participating is simple: just visit the consultation website, fill out the form provided, and submit it before the deadline. You can complete as many or as few of the questions as you like, and once you hit “submit,” your thoughts on how the Access to Information Act can better serve Canadians will go directly to the Commissioner’s office.

FIPA has put together a fairly extensive submission that outlines both long-standing and emerging problems with Canada’s federal access regime. We invite you to take a look at what we’ve contributed and to send in a submission of your own (feel free to draw on our answers).

This is a tremendous opportunity for Canadians to get involved in an urgent information rights issue. The annual transparency rankings put out by the Centre for Law and Democracy in Halifax, after all, show a consistent decline in Canada’s access to information performance. We now sit in 55th place on a list of 93 countries – tied with Malta but behind Mongolia and Montenegro.

It’s going to take broad citizen participation to reverse this troubling slide. Contribute to the consultation before December 21st and make your voice heard.