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Thread: Tories flip-flop on release of PM's agendas

  1. #1
    Gold Member ohmygoodness's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada.

    Default Tories flip-flop on release of PM's agendas


    Canadian Press

    Ottawa — The Conservative government is moving to ban the release of prime ministerial agendas, a surprising change of heart after fighting the Liberals for the documents for years.

    Government lawyers told Information Commissioner John Reid's office Friday that they intended to proceed with a Federal Court case over the prime minister's agendas, as well as those of other cabinet ministers.

    “The new government has confirmed their instructions and they're moving ahead,” said Daniel Brunet, a lawyer with the commissioner's office.

    The case was born in 1999, when then Reform Party researcher Laurie Throness made six requests for then-prime minister Jean Chrétien's agendas, detailing his daily appointments.

    The Privy Council Office refused, Mr. Throness filed a complaint with the information commissioner, and the issue landed in Federal Court.

    Now Mr. Throness is chief of staff to Agriculture Minister Chuck Strahl, and in the strange position of having his name in court affidavits taken on behalf of the information commissioner.

    Perhaps even stranger, the Harper government is effectively preventing Chrétien's agendas from ever seeing the light of day.

    Other requests for agendas of the transport and defence ministers, as well as RCMP records of the prime minister's agendas, have also landed in Federal Court.

    The case has moved sluggishly, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees on both sides, and will likely take years to resolve. Former prime minister Paul Martin's office last summer had also indicated its intention to fight the release.

    A spokesperson from the Justice Department said the government “is seeking Parliament's views on this issue,” but wouldn't elaborate how.

    New Democrat MP Pat Martin, who follows access-to-information issues, called the government decision “a stunning about-face.”

    “The fundamental basis is you have a right to know what the government is doing with your money, and that includes the movements of the prime minister,” Mr. Martin said.

    Since Mr. Harper was sworn in earlier this year, he has moved to curtail the flow of information about his office.

    Visits of international dignitaries to Ottawa are not publicized, Mr. Harper's travel plans are only made public shortly before he arrives in a location, and reporters have been barred from the area directly outside cabinet meetings.

    “It was the culture of secrecy that was allowed to flourish under the Liberals, and that seems to be the single identifiable motif of the Harper era so far, and that's almost compulsive secrecy,” said Mr. Martin.

    The Conservative government has recently come up against the information commissioner over proposed reforms to access laws.
    This is related to Grimm's earlier post, but I think it's different enough to warrant its own thread.

    I remember talking with an old friend who I had just met again in a poli sci class last semester, and she told me that (and this was just before the election) when people told her they were voting conservative, it made her like them less. I think I have to agree with her.

  2. #2
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    In WhoreLand fucking your MOM

    Default Re: Tories flip-flop on release of PM's agendas

    God, it's like i have a crystal ball in my brain AND CAN PREDICT THE FUTURE.

    Anybody who voted conservative is a fucking retard, because they honestly believed this secretive shit wouldn't happen.


    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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