The following is a joint statement sent to Canada’s major federal parties, and signed by FIPA alongside a number of other organizations interested in improving Canada’s access to information system. Read on to learn more, or read the press release at cjfe.org.
The deficit of trust between Canada’s voters and its elected officials has never been higher, largely due to a breakdown in the system of accountability. Key to this is the fact that, after years of neglect, Canada’s access to information system is in crisis. The undersigned organisations are calling on the main political parties in Canada to make concrete commitments to reform Canada’s access to information system.
A strong access to information system is vital to maintaining a healthy democracy. Elections depend on the ability of individuals to understand how government has performed and the background to policy decisions. Journalists and civil society rely on requests for information to monitor public bodies and to uncover malfeasance. Vital oversight functions are curtailed in the absence of an effective right to information system. The current system is failing Canadians.
Our country deserves an open and accountable government. We call on all political parties to make a clear electoral promise to undertake a comprehensive process of consultation leading to reform of the Access to Information Act and to express specific support for the rapid adoption of the following four reforms after the election:
Canadians of all political stripes want honest and transparent government, and have spent decades waiting for a government willing to deliver it. We urge all parties to endorse these four reform commitments, and to support a comprehensive review of the Access to Information Act in the aftermath of the election.
l’Association des journalistes indépendants du Québec (AJIQ)
BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA)
BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA)
Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ)
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE)
Canadian Media Guild (CMG)
Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF)
Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD)
Centre for Social Justice
Evidence for Democracy
Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec (FPJQ)
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
Our Right to Know
Our Right to Know
Politics of Evidence Working Group
Right to Know Coalition of Nova Scotia
World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC)
How has Canada’s access to information system fallen by the wayside?
This letter of concern was sent to:
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
The Honourable Thomas Mulcair, leader of the Official Opposition
Mr. Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Ms. Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada