Thursday, May 3, 2012

Freedom of Information: Turkey, Mexico and India, Yes - Canada, Not So Much

The Harper obsession with secrecy and control is well-known and the source of much international attention. However, it seems we now have new reason to be both embarrassed and outraged. According to the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), our country also lags behind other less developed nations in meeting freedom of information requests:

The Associated Press ... filed requests for information on terrorism charges and convictions in 105 countries that have freedom of information laws. Turkey supplied the information in a week, India in a month, Mexico in two months. Canada asked for a 200-day extension.

Canada was also ranked 40th out of 89 countries in world’s first Global Right to Information Rating, published last year by Access Info Europe and the Halifax-based Centre for Law and Democracy.

One cannot help but wonder what further enhancements to democracy Harper Inc. has planned for the coming years.

POSTSCRIPT: It took a freedom of information request by Canada's real 'newspaper of record', the Toronto Star, to uncover this inconvenient truth about how the public responded to Harper's decision to raise the age of entitlement for Old Age Security benefits. One imagines the bureaucratic that opened the lid has been severely disciplined by his/her political master.

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