Tony Clement hatches open government plan: Goar | Toronto Star

Evidence vs. rhetoric, or Government irony at play:

Here is the oddest part: this is the second phase of Clement’s open government project. Phase 1 ended in 2012. According to Clement it succeeded in enhancing accessibility and transparency. The evidence suggests otherwise:

Complaints to Canada’s information commissioner were up 30 per cent last year. Suzanne Legault warned parliamentarians that the public’s right to know is worryingly fragile.

Parliamentary committees attempting to scrutinize government spending were denied access to essential facts and figures. When MPs persisted in delving into federal expenditures, the Tories adjourned the hearings.

The parliamentary budget officer was also stymied. Ministers withheld departmental documents and bureaucrats ignored his requests. At wits’ end, Kevin Page threatened to take the government to court.

Members of the media, who act as the public’s eyes and ears in Ottawa, were barred from speaking to cabinet ministers. They had to settle for anodyne statements approved by the Prime Minister’s Office PMO tweeted or emailed by Tory aides.

In Clement’s defence, he did download 172,000 government documents on a new Open Data Portal . An additional 100,000 have been now been posted.

Tony Clement hatches open government plan: Goar | Toronto Star.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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