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C. Legislative Changes

Changes affecting the Access to Information Act

The definition of "aboriginal government" in subsection 13(3) of the Act has been modified to add two additional aboriginal governments. The Government public Bill C-14 (38th Parliament, 1st Session), entitled An Act to give effect to a land claims self-government agreement among the Tlicho, the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada, to make related amendments to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act and to make amendments to other Acts, received royal assent on February 15, 2004, and came into force on August 4, 2005 [SI/2005-0054]; and the Government public Bill C-56 (38th Parliament, 1st Session), entitled An Act to give effect to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement and the Labrador Inuit Tax Treatment Agreement, received royal assent on June 23, 2005, and came into force on December 1, 2005 [SI/2005-0117].

As a result subsection 13(3) of the Act reads as follows:

Definition of "aboriginal government"

13.(3) The expression "aboriginal government" in paragraph (1)(e) means

  1. Nisga’a Government, as defined in the Nisga’a Final Agreement given effect by the Nisga’a Final Agreement Act;
  2. the council, as defined in the Westbank First Nation Self-Government Agreement given effect by the Westbank First Nation Self-Government Act;
  3. the Tlicho Government, as defined in section 2 of the Tlicho Land Claims and Self-Government Act (Section 107); or
  4. the Nunatsiavut Government, as defined in section 2 of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act.

The Government public Bill C-11 (38th Parliament, 1st Session) entitled An Act to establish a procedure for the disclosure of wrongdoings in the public sector, including the protection of persons who disclose the wrongdoings, received royal assent on November 25, 2005 [Statutes of Canada, 2005, c. 46] and will come into force on proclamation. This Bill will amend section 16 of the Act by adding the following after subsection (1):

  1. If the record came into existence less than five years before the request, the head of a government institution may refuse to disclose any record requested under this Act that contains information

a. in relation to or as a result of a disclosure or an investigation under the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act; or

b. obtained by a supervisor or a senior officer designated under subsection 10(2) of that Act, or by the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner, in relation to or as a result of a disclosure or an investigation under that Act, if the information identifies, or could reasonably be expected to lead to the identification of, a public servant who made a disclosure under that Act or who cooperated in an investigation under that Act.

The Government public Bill C-25 (37th Parliament, 2nd Session), entitled An Act to Modernize Employment and Labour Relations in the Public Sector and to Amend the Financial Administration Act and the Canadian Centre for Management Development Act and to Make Consequential Amendments to Other Acts, received royal assent on November 10, 2003 and sections 224 and 225 came into force on April 1, 2005 [SI/2005-0024]. This Bill amends:

  • Subsections 55(4) and 57(4) of the Act by replacing the expression "Public Service of Canada" by "federal public administration", wherever it occurs in the English version. (Section 224)
  • Subsection 55(3) of the Act by replacing the expression "Public Service" by the expression "public service" wherever it occurs in the English version, other than in the expressions "Public Service corporation", "Public Service Employment Act", "Public Service Pension Fund" and "Public Service Superannuation Act". (Section 225)

Proposed Changes to the Access to Information Act

The Government public Bill C-78 (38th Parliament, 1st Session) entitled An Act respecting the establishment of the Public Health Agency of Canada and amending certain acts proposes to amend subsection 20(1) of the Act by adding the following after paragraph (b):

(b.1)information supplied to a government institution by a third party for the preparation, maintenance, testing or implementation by the government institution of emergency management plans within the meaning of section 2 of the Emergency Management Act and that is about the vulnerability of the third party’s buildings or other structures, its networks or systems, including its computer or communications networks or systems, or the methods used to protect any of those buildings, structures, networks or systems".

The Bill also contemplates a change to the public interest override clause in subsection 20(6), as follows:

20(6) The head of a government institution may disclose all or part of any record requested under this Act that contains information described in any of paragraphs (1)(b) to (d) if

(a) that disclosure would be in the public interest as it relates to public health, public safety or protection of the environment; and

(b) the public interest in disclosure clearly outweighs in importance any financial loss or gain to a third party, any prejudice to the security of its structures, networks or systems, any prejudice to its competitive position or any interference with its contractual or other negotiations.

(2005, Bill C-78, Section 8; received First Reading on November 17, 2005)

Amendments to Schedules I and II

During the 2005-2006 fiscal year, new government institutions became subject to the Access to Information Act while others, which have been abolished, were struck out. More statutory prohibitions against disclosure were added to the list of provisions set out in Schedule II. The following amendments were made to Schedules I and II of the Act.

By Order in Council pursuant to subsection 77(2) of the Access to Information Act (Canada Gazette, Part II, SI/2005-75, in force September 21, 2005, Order 2005-1489), Schedule I was amended and the following government institutions were added in alphabetical order under the heading "Other Government Institutions":

Canada Development Investment Corporation

Canadian Race Relations Foundation

Cape Breton Development Corporation

Cape Breton Growth Fund Corporation

Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation

Marine Atlantic Inc.

Old Port of Montreal Corporation Inc

Parc Downsview Park Inc.

Queens Quay West Land Corporation

Ridley Terminals Inc.

This order was accompanied by the following Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement:

The President of the Treasury Board has requested that the following ten Crown corporations be added to Schedule I of the Access to Information Act and to the Schedule of the Privacy Act: Canada Development Investment Corporation, Canadian Race Relations Foundation, Cape Breton Development Corporation, Cape Breton Growth Fund Corporation, Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation, Marine Atlantic Inc., Old Port of Montreal Corporation Inc., Parc Downsview Park Inc., Queens Quay West Land Corporation and Ridley Terminals Inc.

On February 17, 2005, the President of the Treasury Board, Reg Alcock, tabled in the House of Commons a report on Crown corporation governance entitled Meeting the Expectations of Canadians — Review of the Framework for Canada's Crown Corporations. The report contains 31 measures designed to significantly strengthen the governance and accountability regime for Canada's Crown corporations. One of the measures calls for the Access to Information Act (and by implication, the Privacy Act) to be extended to the ten aforementioned Crown corporations through an Order in Council.

The Government public Bill C-9(38th Parliament, 1st Session) entitledAn Act to establish the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, received Royal Assent on June 23, 2005, and came in force on October 5, 2005 [SI/2005-101]. Section 18(7) is a reference to the former agency in any of the following is deemed to be a reference to the new agency: No change to Schedule I is required, as the name of the Agency is already stated under the heading "Other Government Institutions".

The Government public Bill C-22 (38th Parliament, 1st Session) entitled An Act to establish the Department of Social Development and to amend and repeal certain related Acts, received royal assent July 20, 2005, and came in force on October 5, 2005 [SI/2005-97]. Section 42 of this Bill amends Schedule I by adding, under the heading "Departments and Ministries of State", the "Department of Social Development / Ministère du Développement social". Sections 43 and 44 respectively amend Schedule II by replacing the reference to section 104, opposite the Canada Pension Plan, with a reference to subsection 104.01(1), and the reference to section 33 opposite the Old Age Security Act with a reference to subsection 33.01(1).

The Government public Bill C-23 (38th Parliament, 1st Session) entitled An Act to establish the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development and to amend and repeal certain related Acts, received the royal assent on July 20, 2005, and came into force on October 5, 2005 [SI/2005-99]. Section 58 amends Schedule I by striking out the following under the heading "Departments and Ministries of State": "Department of Human Resources Development/Ministère du Développement des resources humaines". Section 59 amends Schedule I by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "Departments and Ministries of State": "Department of Human Resources and Skills Development/Ministère des Ressources humaines et du Développement des compétences". Section 60 amends Schedule I by striking out the following under the heading "Other Government Institutions" "Department of Human Resources and Skills Development/Ministère des Ressources humaines et du Développement des compétences". Further, section 61 amends Schedule II by striking out the reference to "Department of Human Resources Development Act/Loi sur le Ministère du Développement des resources humaines" and the corresponding reference to section 33.5.

The Government public C-26 (38th Parliament, 1st Session), An Act to establish the Canada Border Services Agency, received royal assent on November, 2, 2005. Sections 16 and 19(1) came into force on December 12, 2005. No change is required to Schedule I as "former agency" (Canada Border Services Agency) is already stated in Schedule I. A reference to the former agency is deemed to be a reference to the new agency and any order of the Governor in Council made under paragraph (b) of the definition "head" in section 3 of the Access to Information Act.

The Government public Bill C-43 (38th Parliament, 1st Session)entitled An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament received royal assent and came into force on June 29, 2005 [Statutes of Canada, 2005, c. 30]. Section 88 amends Schedule I by adding the following under the heading "Other Government Institutions": Canada Emission Reductions Incentives Agency/Agence canadienne pour l’incitation à la réduction des émissions.

The Government public Bill C-6(37th Parliament, 3rd Session) entitled An Act respecting assisted human reproduction and related research, received royal assent on March 29, 2004. Section 72 of the Bill came into force on January 12, 2006 [SI/2004-49]. Section 72 of the Bill amends Schedule I to the Access to Information Act by adding the following in alphabetical order under the heading "Other Government Institutions": Assisted Human Reproduction Agency of Canada/Agence canadienne de contrôle de la procréation assistée.

The Government public Bill C-25 (37th Parliament, 2nd Session), entitled An Act to Modernize Employment and Labour Relations in the Public Sector and to Amend the Financial Administration Act and the Canadian Centre for Management Development Act and to Make Consequential Amendments to Other Acts, received royal assent on November 10, 2003. Section 88 came into force on April 1, 2005 [SI/2005-0024]. This section amends Schedule I to the Act by replacing the reference to "Public Service Staff Relations Board" under the heading "Other Government Institutions" to the Access to Information Act by a reference to "Public Service Labour Relations Board".

The Government public Bill C-6 (37th Parliament, 2nd Session), An Act to establish the Canadian Centre for the Independent Resolution of First Nations Specific Claims to provide for filing, negotiation and resolution of specific claims and to make related amendments to other Acts, received royal assent on November 7, 2003. Sections 78 and 79, once proclaimed (not in force as of March 31, 2006), will amend Schedule I by adding under the heading "Other Government Institutions" the "Canadian Centre for the Independent Resolution of First Nations Specific Claims/Centre canadien du règlement indépendant des revendications particulières des premières nations", and Schedule II by adding a reference to the "Specific Claims Resolution Act/Loi sur le règlement des revendications particulières" and a corresponding reference to section 38 and subsections 62(2) and 75(2) of that Act.

By Order in Council, P.C. 2006-44, February 6, 2006, Schedule I of the Access to Information Act under the heading "Other Government Institutions" is amended by striking out the Department of International Trade.

Proposed Changes to Schedules I and II

During the 38th Parliament, a number of legislative proposals were introduced to amend Schedules I and II of the Access to Information Act. No progress were recorded during fiscal year 2005-2006 with respect to Government public Bill C-31 (38th Parliament, 1st Session), An Act to establish the Department of International Trade and to make related amendments to certain Acts and Government public Bill C-32(38th Parliament, 1st Session), An Act to amend the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and to make consequential amendments to other Acts. (See 2004-2005 Annual Report, p. 72for more details.)

The Government public Bill C-62 (38th Parliament, 1st Session), An act to amend the Aeronautics Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, proposes to amend Schedule II to the Access to Information Act by replacing the reference to "subsections 4.79(1) and 6.5(5)" opposite the reference to the "Aeronautics Act" with a host of added prohibitions to disclose information and listed as follows: "subsection 4.79(1), sections 5.392 and 5.393, subsections 5.394(2), 5.397(2), 6.5(5), 22(2) and 24.1(4) and section 24.7". (Bill received First Reading on September 28, 2005.)

Amendments to Heads of Government Institutions Designation Order

The Schedule to the Access to Information ActHeads of Government Institutions Designation Orderis amended by adding the following in numerical order (Canada Gazette Part II, SI/2005-75 in force September 21, 2005, Order 2005-1491):



Item

Column I

Government Institution

Column II

Position

12.1

Canada Development Investment Corporation
Corporation de développement des investissements du Canada

Chairman

Président

28.2

Canadian Race Relations Foundation
Fondation canadienne des relations raciales

Executive Director
Directeur général

32.

Cape Breton Development Corporation
Société de développement du
Cap-Breton

President and Chief Executive Officer
Président et premier dirigeant

32.1

Cape Breton Growth Fund Corporation
Corporation Fonds d'investissement du Cap-Breton

Chief Executive Officer

Premier dirigeant

38.1

Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation
Société d'expansion du Cap-Breton

Vice-President
Vice-président

52.1

Marine Atlantic Inc.

Marine Atlantique S.C.C.

President and Chief Executive Officer
Président et premier dirigeant

75.4

Old Port of Montreal Corporation Inc.

Société du Vieux-Port de Montréal Inc.

President and Chief Executive Officer
Président et premier dirigeant

76.001

Parc Downsview Park Inc.

Parc Downsview Park Inc.

President and Chief Executive Officer
Président et premier dirigeant

87.2

Queens Quay West Land Corporation
Queens Quay West Land Corporation

Senior Vice-President
Vice-président principal

89.

Ridley Terminals Inc.
Ridley Terminals Inc.

President
Président



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