Commissioner expresses disappointment in the Government's response to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics’ (ETHI) report
Gatineau, October 18, 2023 – Following the tabling of the Government's response to the report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics (ETHI) in Parliament today, the Information Commissioner has released the following statement:
"I am disappointed in the Government’s tepid response to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics’ (ETHI) report aimed at fixing the Access to Information system. It would appear that the committee’s recommendations to the Government have fallen on deaf ears.
Together with others, I have repeatedly counselled: the Access to Information Act is outdated and no longer meets the expectations or the needs of Canadians. Yet, the response from the Government is clear. There is no legislative change on the horizon. Frankly, Canadians deserve much better. Canadians must have access to information, their information, if they are to make informed choices. Transparency is a pillar of democracy that must be continuously defended and reinforced.
While we await the next legislative review in 2025, Canadians must depend on assurances that government institutions will tackle the most urgent operational and administrative challenges of our access to information system.
For my part, I will continue to promote the changes that are essential to improving the system. That being said, through my investigations and litigation, I will focus my efforts and resources on ensuring that the current Access to Information Act, with all of its shortcomings, is respected."