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157. Access to Information

WHEREAS healthy democracy depends upon an informed and engaged electorate;

WHEREAS access to government information is critical to ensuring citizens are well-informed, and have the data on which to form opinions and positions based on full knowledge of the issues;

WHEREAS in 2006, the Conservatives put forward a more retrograde and dangerous set of proposals to restrict Canadian citizen’s access to information than any previous government since the Access to Information Act came into force.[1], [2]

WHEREAS in 2012–2013 the Office of the Information Commissioner received 42 percent more complaints about administrative delays, time extensions, fees and other such matters, than it had the year before;

BE IT RESOLVED that a Liberal Government will fully comply with the Access to Information Act;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a Liberal Government will consult with the Information Commissioner and Canadians to devise and implement legislation to support broad access to information, based on the principles and best practices of transparency and accountability, and that such changes will be supported by increased funding and resources to handle access requests.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a Liberal Government will also evaluate the possibility of extending the Act to cover Parliamentarians.

Liberal Party of Canada (Quebec)
Liberal Party of Canada (Nova Scotia)

[1] Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada: Response to the Government.s Action Plan for Reform of the Access to Information Act  (Including the reform elements contained in the proposed Federal Accountability Act and in the Discussion Paper of April 11, 2006:”Strengthening the Access to Information Act“) http://www.humanrightsinitiative.org/programs/ai/rti/international/laws_papers/canada/info_comm_response_to_reform_plans_canada.pdf

[2]  “Significant Deterioration in the Federal Access to Information Systemhttp://www.oic-ci.gc.ca/eng/media-room-salle-media_news-releases-communiques-de-presse_2013_7.aspx