When Justin Trudeau was elected as prime minister, it was in part on a pledge to “make government information more accessible.”
Trudeau committed to reforming access to information legislation—essential for Canadians to access documents related to how we’re being governed and how our money is being spent.
It appears as though that memo hasn’t made it to the bureaucrats, however.
Indigenous Affairs bureaucrats are deliberately flouting ATIP requests by not putting information in email. We know this because they said it themselves—in emails.
In documents obtained exclusively by The Rebel on an investigation into the audit of the Nunavut Planning Commission, there were a number of examples of staffers citing ATIP laws as reasons not to do or say certain things.
One senior director wanted to have a “sense of any possible related sensitivities”, citing that the audit and related emails “can and may be ATIP’ed.”
That same director also expressed concern later on that “some of the findings could be fairly sensitive if made public.”
Another high-ranking official wanted to dilute the media lines so that no one in the press would know there was something to ATIP.
All of them seem to be missing the point that they work for the taxpayers. And the audit of Nunavut Planning Commission was about how taxpayer money was being spent.
And Access to Information might be an annoyance, but it’s an essential component of a democratic society.