Our experience at The Rebel in filing access to information requests puts the lie to the Liberal’s oft-repeated mantra of being the most transparent government Canada has ever seen.
That doesn’t stop us from filing access to information requests though because it’s these requests that allow us to show you how secretive and opaque the Liberals are being.
In a recent request, we asked the government to "Provide copies of all expenses, including supporting documents such as receipts, submitted by or for Gerald Butts, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, since November 4, 2015"
"It has been determined that the information you requested may not be disclosed. The information has been withheld pursuant to section 19(1) personal information of the ATIA"
Watch as I show you why it looks like Gerald Butts is getting special treatment but also how this contrasts to his past statements as a harsh critic of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives not only in media appearances but on social media, particularly Twitter.
What is most puzzling and seems rather elitist of Gerald Butts is that other Liberal staff, even high level staff, are declaring their expenses.
So, what is he hiding?
It must be embarrassing for the PMO, and perhaps Butts himself, to have to go out of their way to obstruct a routine access to information request, especially when it has the appearance of a double standard reserved for the Prime Minister's best friend.
I've reached out to Gerald Butts by emailing him directly and also left a voicemail with the PMO asking why exactly his expenses are being withheld unlike other senior staffers.
I’ll keep you updated if he responds and as our appeal with the information commissioner plays out.