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The New Grace-Pépin Access to Information Award
Ottawa, September 29, 2010 — Information Commissioner of Canada, Suzanne Legault, in collaboration with her provincial and territorial counterparts, announced today the creation of the Grace-Pépin Access to Information Award as part of Right to Know Week events, of which this year’s theme is “Openness in the Public Interest.”.
The award was named in honour of John Grace, former Information Commissioner of Canada, and Marcel Pépin, president and founder of the Commission d'accès à l'information du Québec. It will recognize the efforts of an individual, group or organization that contributes in a significant way to promoting and supporting the principles of transparency, accountability and the public’s right to access information held by public institutions. The award will be presented for the first time in 2011 during national Right to Know Week, following a candidate assessment conducted by a selection committee comprising federal, provincial and territorial experts.
For more information about the Grace-Pépin Access to Information Award or the events taking place in the various regions during Right to Know Week, visit the official Right to Know Web site at www.righttoknow.ca.
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Director of Communications
Grace-Pépin Access to Information Award
Recognizing those who contribute to the promotion of access to information principles
Introduced by the Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada in collaboration with the its provincial and territorial counterparts, the Grace-Pépin Access to Information Award is presented in memory of John Grace (1927-2009) and Marcel Pépin (1942-1999), two public figures who contributed significantly to the development and promotion of access to information principles in Canada.
A former Information Commissioner of Canada, Mr. Grace was a journalist, chief editor and vice‑president of the Ottawa Journal. When the newspaper closed, he was appointed as the Commissioner of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission. He served as the Privacy Commissioner of Canada before being named the Information Commissioner of Canada. Independent minded and full of integrity, Mr. Grace always stood up for his beliefs in matters concerning privacy and government transparency and accountability.
President and founder of the Commission d'accès à l'information du Québec, Mr. Pépin also started out as a journalist at Le Droit (Gatineau-Ottawa), La Presse (Montreal) and Le Soleil (Québec). He was part of the Paré Commission, which prompted the National Assembly to adopt the Act respecting Access to documents held by public bodies and the Protection of personal information. Mr. Pépin subsequently helped create the Commission d'accès à l'information du Québec, of which he became president. After his first term, he returned to journalism, taking over radio information services and becoming vice-president of the French Network and then director of the CBC French Network. A passionate policy maker, he was a strong advocate of freedom of information as the foundation of democracy.
Award recipients should demonstrate an exceptional contribution to the promotion and support of the principles of transparency, accountability and the public’s right to access information held by public institutions. In this way, the Grace-Pépin Access to Information Award will continue the efforts of these two great men to promote the right to know.