Legislative activity affecting access to information, 2012–2013

Amendments to the Access to Information Act (ATIA) and its schedules, and to the Heads of Government Institutions Designation Order

Statute or Order in Council

Bill

Citation

Received Royal Assent

Amendments

Coming into force of amendments

An Act to enact the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act and to amend the State Immunity Act, the Criminal Code, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and other Acts (Safe Streets and Communities Act)

C-10

Statutes of Canada, 2012, c. 1

March 13, 2012

Section 160 replaces “National Parole Board” with “Parole Board of Canada” in Schedule I of the ATIA.

February 28, 2013

An Act to reorganize the Canadian Wheat Board and to make consequential and related amendments to certain Acts (Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act)

C-18

Statutes of Canada, 2011, c. 25

December 15, 2011

Section 58 strikes out the Canadian Wheat Board from Schedule I of the ATIA.

Not in force

An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures (Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act)

C-38

Statutes of Canada, 2012, c. 19

June 29, 2012

The Act strikes out the following institutions from Schedule I of the ATIA:

  • Inspector General of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service
  • Public Appointments Commission Secretariat
  • International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development

June 29, 2012

The Act strikes out the reference to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and adds subsections 45(4) and (5) of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 in Schedule II of the ATIA.

July 6, 2012

The Act strikes out the Assisted Human Reproduction Agency of Canada from Schedule I of the ATIA.

The Act strikes out the reference to the Assisted Human Reproduction Act in Schedule II of the ATIA.

September 30, 2012

The Act strikes out the following institutions from Schedule I of the Access to Information Act:

  • Pension Appeals Board (to be abolished April 1, 2014)
  • Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal
  • National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy
  • First Nations Statistical Institute

The Act strikes out references to the following statutes in Schedule II of the ATIA:

  • Canada Pension Plan
  • Old Age Security Act
  • First Nations Fiscal and Statistical Management Act

Not in force

An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code and the Employment Insurance Act and to make consequential amendments to the Income Tax Act and the Income Tax Regulations (Helping Families in Need Act)

C-44

Statutes of Canada, 2012, c. 27

December 14, 2012

This Act amends section 241 of the Income Tax Act, which is listed in Schedule II of the ATIA.

December 14, 2012

A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and other measures (Jobs and Growth Act, 2012)

C-45

Statutes of Canada, 2012, c. 31

December 14, 2012

This Act amends section 241 of the Income Tax Act, which is listed in Schedule II of the ATIA.

December 14, 2012

The Act strikes out the following institutions from Schedule I of the Access to Information Act:

  • Merchant Seamen Compensation Board
  • Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission

The Act also abolishes the Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board (Crown corporation subject to the Act).

Not in force

An Act respecting food commodities, including their inspection, their safety, their labelling and advertising, their import, export and interprovincial trade, the establishment of standards for them, the registration or licensing of persons who perform certain activities related to them, the establishment of standards governing establishments where those activities are performed and the registration of establishments where those activities are performed (Safe Food for Canadians Act)

S-11

Statutes of Canada, 2012, c. 24

November 22, 2012

This Act amends section 107 of the Customs Act, which is listed in Schedule II of the ATIA.

Not in force

Order in Council TR/2012-52

Amends the Designation Order; strikes out the following sections:

  • section 75.1: Office of the Inspector General of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service
  • section 84.01: Public Appointments Commission Secretariat

July 18, 2012

Order in Council TR/2012-62

Amends the Designation Order; strikes out section 49.1: International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development.

August 1, 2012

Proposed amendments to the Access to Information Act

Proposed legislation

Bill

Last stage completed as of March 31, 2013

Proposed amendments

An Act to amend the National Defence Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (Strengthening Military Justice in the Defence of Canada Act)

C-15

Standing Committee on National Defence Report presented in the House of Commons, March 7, 2013

Section 115 proposes to strike out the Canadian Forces Grievance Board from Schedule I of the ATIAand add the Military Grievances External Review Committee.

An Act to enact the Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act and to amend the Criminal Code and other Acts (Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act)

C-30

First Reading in the House of Commons, February 14, 2012

The Bill proposes an amendment to section 487.3 of the Criminal Code, which is listed in Schedule II of the ATIA.

An Act to amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act)

C-42

First Reading in the Senate, March 7, 2013

Section 15 proposes to strike out the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Public Complaints Commission from Schedule I of the ATIAand to add the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The Bill also proposes to add a reference to subsection 45.47(1) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act to Schedule II of the ATIA.

An Act to Enact the Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act and the Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts (Northern Jobs and Growth Act)

C-47

First Reading in the Senate, March 5, 2013

The Bill proposes to add two institutions to Schedule I of the ATIA: Nunavut Impact Review Board and Nunavut Planning Commission.

An Act to amend the Income Tax Act, the Excise Tax Act, the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act, the First Nations Goods and Services Tax Act and related legislation (Technical Tax Amendments Act, 2012)

C-48

Standing Committee on Finance Report presented in the House of Commons, March 27, 2013

The Bill proposes an amendment to section 241 of the Income Tax Act, which is listed in Schedule II of the ATIA.

An Act to amend the Museums Act in order to establish the Canadian Museum of History and to make consequential amendments to other Acts (Canadian Museum of History Act)

C-49

First Reading in the House of Commons, November 27, 2012

The Bill proposes to replace “Canadian Museum of Civilization” with “Canadian Museum of History” in section 68 of the ATIA.

An Act to amend the Witness Protection Program Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act (Safer Witnesses Act)

C-51

Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security Committee Report presented in the House of Commons, March 26, 2013

The Bill proposes to add a reference to section 11 of the Witness Protection Program Act to Schedule II of the ATIA.

An Act to amend the Access to Information Act (response time)  

C-253

First Reading in the House of Commons, June 23, 2011

The Bill proposes to add to section 9 of the ATIAa procedure to be followed when a request for access to a record is still outstanding 100 days after it is received.

An Act to establish and maintain a national Breast Implant Registry 

C-255

First Reading in the House of Commons, June 23, 2011

The Bill proposes to add the Registrar of the Breast Implant Registry to Schedule I of the ATIA.

The Bill proposes to add a reference to section 11 of the Breast Implant Registry Act to Schedule II of the ATIA.

An Act to Amend the Statistics Act (mandatory long-form census questionnaire)

C-260

First Reading in the House of Commons, June 23, 2011

The Bill proposes to amend the Statistics Act to provide that the census of population taken under section 19 of that Act must include the use of a long-form census questionnaire.

An Act to establish the office of the Veterans’ Ombudsman 

C-283

First Reading in the House of Commons, September 23, 2011

The Bill proposes that the Ombudsman must comply with the relevant provisions in the ATIAwith respect to the inclusion of any personal information in a report.

An Act to amend the Access to Information Act (open government) 

C-301

First Reading in the House of Commons, September 29, 2011

The Bill proposes a number of amendments to the ATIAfor the purpose of implementing the amendments proposed in 2005 by John Reid, former Information Commissioner of Canada.

An Act to amend the Investment Canada Act (enhanced ministerial oversight)

C-334

First Reading in the House of Commons, October 21, 2011

The Bill proposes repealing section 36 of the Investment Canada Act, which is listed in Schedule II of the ATIA.

An Act to establish the Office of the Commissioner for Children and Young Persons in Canada

C-420

Defeated at Second Reading in the House of Commons, December 5, 2012

The Bill proposes to amend subsection 16.1(1) of the ATIAto add the Commissioner for Children and Young Persons in Canada. Schedule I would also be amended to add the Office of the Commissioner for Children and Young Persons in Canada.

An Act to amend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act (disclosure of information) (CBC and Public Service Disclosure and Transparency Act)

C-461

Passed at Second Reading in the House of Commons and referred to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, March 27, 2013

The Bill proposes to repeal the exclusion in section 68.1 of the ATIAand to add the following exemption:

18.2 The head of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act if the disclosure could reasonably be expected to prejudice the Corporation’s journalistic, creative or programming independence.

The Bill also proposes some amendments to the definition of “personal information” in subparagraph 3(j)(iii) of the Privacy Act.

An Act to establish and maintain a national registry of medical devices (Medical Devices Registry Act) 

S-202

Second Reading in the Senate, November 2, 2011

The Bill proposes to add a reference to section 11 of the Medical Devices Registry Act to Schedule II of the Access to Information Act.

An Act providing for the recognition of self-governing First Nations of Canada (First Nations Self-Government Recognition Act)

S-212

Second Reading in the Senate, March 31, 2010

The Bill proposes to amend subsection 13(3) of the ATIA by adding the following:

h) the governing body of a recognized First Nation, within the meaning of the First Nations Self-Government Recognition Act.

Other parliamentary activity of interest

House of Commons Motion
September 17, 2012

By unanimous consent, it was ordered, — That, having considered the nature of a request made of the Auditor General under the Access to Information Act, the House of Commons waives its privileges relating to all emails pertaining to the Auditor General appearing before a parliamentary committee from January 17 to April 17, 2012; and that the Speaker be authorized to communicate to the Auditor General this resolution.

On the same day, the Speaker made a statement on the situation at the centre of the motion:

The House has now made its decision on this matter. We are all aware that this decision applies only to this case at hand and it is not precedent setting. The House’s rights and privileges have not been jeopardized by the House’s resolution, nor has the House ceded any of its traditional rights or privileges, particularly as they relate to parliamentary committees.

However, it is likely that today's issue will not be the last of its kind. The Chair would therefore welcome a prompt and thorough review of the question by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, as House committees and their officials will most likely continue to be confronted with more requests of a similar nature.

The 2012–2013 annual report contains information about the Commissioner’s contribution to this review.

Senate Motion
May 1, 2012

That the Standing Committee on Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament be authorized to examine and report on the powers and responsibilities of the officers of parliament, and their reporting relationships to the two houses; and That the committee present its final report no later than March 31, 2014.

House of Commons Order Paper Questions

Q-1099 — December 5, 2012 — Mr. Trudeau (Papineau) — With regard to access to information requests, broken down by each department or agency of government subject to the Access to Information Act: (a) what is the practice to release records in digital form pursuant to a request made under the Act and in what electronic format are such records released to a requester; (b) following an access to information request, are records released in the original format in which they were created and if another format is used, what is it; (c) if records are released in digital format, why, and if not, why not; (d) in what policy, circular, notice, memorandum, directive, or other document is the department or agency's policy concerning release or non-release of electronic records contained?

The government tabled its response on January 28, 2013.

Q-1153 — January 28, 2013 —(Ms. Duncan, Edmonton-Strathcona) — With respect to the government’s answering of access to information requests: (a) how many times last year did the government fail to answer an access to information request within (i) 45 days, (ii) 90 days, (iii) 135 days, (iv) 180 days, (v) 225 days, (vi) 270-plus days; and (b) for each question which took over 180 days to answer as identified in (a)(iv), (a)(v) and (a)(vi), (i) what was the question, (ii) how much time did it take to provide an answer?

The government tabled its response on March 18, 2013.