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Communications and special events
In 2008–2009, we continued to increase the quantity and quality of information about our work that we publish on our website.11 We have also started to redesign our website, to ensure it better meets the needs of our users and the general public, and to accommodate greater proactive disclosure. We developed a new brochure on the Office of the Information Commissioner and made considerable efforts to raise awareness about our agenda and activities. The wide interest that our reports to Parliament and news releases generated this year demonstrates our success in this area.
Canada’s Right to Know Week—which coincides with International Right to Know Day—celebrates the fundamental human right of access to information, and provides an opportunity for citizens to campaign for open, democratic government. In 2008–2009, we collaborated with the provinces and territories to create a dedicated website that features all the activities taking place across the country during the Right to Know Week.12 This communication and learning tool also provides background information on freedom of information worldwide and in Canada.
As part of last year’s celebrations, we organized a number of events, including a national seminar and a panel discussion on the various meanings of “right to know.” The discussion served to remind participants that even today access to information is often a matter of life or death in many corners of the world. Our assistant commissioners visited various regions of the country to share perspectives and ideas about how to raise awareness of access to information.
In 2008–2009, Rick Snell, a law professor from the University of Tasmania, gave an excellent presentation on Australia’s and New Zealand’s efforts to create a next-generation access to information law.
11 See http://www.oic-ci.gc.ca/
12 See http://www.oic-ci.gc.ca/rtk-dai-eng/