Response from the Minister of Justice to the letter from December 23, 2013
February 24, 2014
Ms. Suzanne Legault
Information Commissioner of Canada
112 Kent Street
Ottawa ON K1A 1H3
Dear Commissioner Legault:
Thank you for your correspondence of December 23, 2013, in which you request that the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada be consulted in the drafting of proposed government legislation that amends or impacts the Access to Information Act (ATIA).
I would like to assure you of my complete collaboration and support in the important work that you and your officials perform for the benefit of Canadians. You play a crucial oversight role with respect to decisions made by federal government institutions when applying the ATIA.
As the role of the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada requires that it act independently from the Government in its investigation and review of the application of the ATIA, it has, to my knowledge, never been treated like a department or agency with respect to consultations on proposed government amendments to legislation. While I appreciate your request, I am confident that this approach is sound and should not be modified. However, in appropriate circumstances, I am prepared to seek the approval of Cabinet to consult with your office on legislative initiatives.
Please be assured that officials of the Department of Justice Canada remain available to discuss various initiatives with you and your office, to the extent possible, on an informal basis.
Thank you again for writing.
The Honourable Peter MacKay
c.c.: The Honourable Peter Van Loan, P.C., M.P.
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Mr. William F. Pentney
Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General of Canada