Conservatives Turn Ottawa Into black Hole” For Information: right To Know Week” Shows Canada In Free Fall On Access

Access to information is one of the fundamental markers of an accountable government and yet under the Harper Conservatives, Canada has become a “black hole.” As the world marks “Right to Know” week, Canada finds it itself falling from a world leader to a world laggard in ensuring citizens information on the workings of government. According to the Centre for Law and Democracy, Canada has fallen to 51st in the world – behind Angola and Niger on access to information. 

NDP Ethics Critic Charlie Angus says the Harper Conservatives are undermining the basic principles of democratic accountability. 

A fundamental principle of democracy is protecting the privacy of the individual while ensuring the transparency of the state. Unfortunately, this government has turned this principle upside down. The question that needs to be asked is ‘what is this government afraid of’?” 

Angus points out that Stephen Harper ran on a promise of making government more accountable to Canadians. And yet, under the Harper government, government Ministers have made it more and more difficult for Canadians to access information about the inner workings of government. 

“The government promised accountability to Canadians. They broke that promise. Under their watch, Conservative ministers and staffers interfere with basic right of Canadians to hold their government to account.”