Letter to Treasury Board President on institutions being abolished or amalgamated

Hon. Tony Clement, P.C. M.P.
President
Treasury Board
L’Esplanade Laurier, East Tower
140 O’Connor Street, 8th Floor
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0R5

Dear President Clement,

I am writing to you as the designated Minister under section 70 of the Access to Information Act (“Act”) responsible for “caus[ing] to be kept under review the manner in which records under the control of government institutions are maintained and managed to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Act”Footnote 1 regarding legislation that eliminates or amalgamates federal institutions that are subject to the Act.

It has recently come to my attention that, in some instances where a federal institution has been eliminated or amalgamated, there is an absence of measures, legislative or otherwise, to ensure the orderly transition of records and the integrity of existing access requests and complaints.

The absence of clear transitional measures has, in at least one instance, negatively impacted on the rights of requesters under the Act, including my ability to effectively investigate complaints.

It is imperative that measures are put in place to protect the rights of requesters under the Act and to preserve the integrity of the access to information system when federal institutions, that are subject to the Act, are eliminated or amalgamated with other institutions. For your review, I have attached a list of institutions that were affected by the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act and other pieces of legislation (Appendix A).  I will be carefully reviewing Budget 2013 and subsequent related legislation to determine the impact it may have on other institutions.

If you or your officials have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 613-995-9976.

Sincerely,

Original signed by

Suzanne Legault
Information Commissioner of Canada

cc. Yaprak Baltacioglu
Secretary
Treasury Board Secretariat

Encl. Appendix A

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Access to Information Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. A-1 s. 70(1) (the Act)

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Appendix A

Institutions that have been abolished

  • Office of the Inspector General of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service
  • Public Appointments Commission Secretariat
  • International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development
  • Assisted Human Reproduction Agency of Canada
  • First Nations Statistical Institute (liquidated, March 2013)
  • Pensions Appeal Board (replaced by a new institution, April 1, 2013)
  • National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (liquidated, March 29, 2013)

Institutions that have been amalgamated

  • Old Port of Montreal Corporation Inc (amalgamated with its parent Crown Corporation, Canada Lands Company Ltd, in March 2013)
  • Parc Downsview Park Inc. (amalgamated with its parent Crown Corporation, Canada Lands Company Ltd, in March 2013)
  • Canada Lands Company CLC Limited (amalgamated with its parent Crown Corporation, Canada Lands Company Ltd, in March 2013)

Other institutions which will be abolished or amalgamated

  • Canadian Wheat Board (will be privatized)
  • Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal (will be abolished)
  • Merchant Seamen Compensation Board (will be abolished)
  • Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission (will be abolished)
  • Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board (institution is currently suspended, will be closed)
  • Canadian International Development Agency (will be amalgamated with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade)