FIPA representatives testified on May 30 before the Parliamentary Committee to Consider Bill C-2, the Federal Accountability Act. FIPA president Richard Rosenberg and research director Stanley Tromp asked the committee to fulfill all the seven promises to reform the Access to Information Act made in the Conservative election platform of 2005. They urged the committee to amend the Accountability Act to include these reforms and remove several sections that will actually impair public access to information.
FIPA asked to testify before the committee because we are concerned that the opportunity for reform may be slipping away. Contrary to their election pledge, the Conservatives have deferred all significant reforms of the ATI Act to the fall.
The new Conservative administration has a unique opportunity to deliver a new era of open and transparent government, because there is unanimous agreement among all parties that this reform is a necessary step toward restoring trust between Canadian citizens and their government.
When the tenure of former Prime Minister Paul Martin began in December 2003, he promised to improve the quality of Canada’s democracy, including the transparency of its federal institutions, to repair a “democratic deficit.” It was a great disappointment to FIPA that the Liberal government, even in extremis, failed to fulfill its promises to reform the Access to Information Act.
So it was with high hopes and enthusiasm that FIPA greeted the Conservative Party’s election promises to strengthen transparency and public access to information. Delay can only weaken our momentum toward this historic reform.
Read FIPA’s submission, “A Chance for Transparency“