Accessing Information and Government Transparency
Updated: Aug 11, 2020
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have avoided accountability at all cost. My Conservative colleagues and I have demanded Parliament start up again, it is unfortunate however that over the course of the pandemic, left leaning political parties in Canada have mostly resisted these calls.
While Justin Trudeau carries on with his tightly choreographed press conferences outside of his cottage, I have been searching for answers for my constituents. I have heard from many of you regarding the poor rollout of the COVID-19 supports and concerning lack of accountability. Further the Government has moved forward on policy initiatives, like their gun grab, without democratic scrutiny.
The antics of the Liberal Government prompted me to look for answers through other measures. This is why I started filing Access to Information Requests (ATIPS). ATIPS can help any member of the public access information from within a department that would otherwise be obscure or hard to find. This is an important tool that allows Canadians to see what is happening within government departments and agencies. I have used this process to find out information about the Liberal agenda.
Recently, I attempted to file an ATIP on how the Liberals decided to ban more than 1,500 types of firearms and to find out who was involved in the consultations. In yet another round of incompetence and with a complete lack of transparency, the ATIPS system is not working. Less than 5% of all federal departments are accepting ATIPS. This excludes, at the time of this column, the Department of Justice and the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness – two departments that have a lot to answer for with rural crime sweeping small towns and the undemocratic gun grab.
Shortly after I attempted to file these ATIPS, I had a chance to question Liberal MP and President of the Treasury Board Jean-Yves Duclos about the faulty ATIPS system. He stated that they are “essential” and are “absolutely key,” especially now with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Minister’s words are hollow when considering the utter lack of transparency that his government has displayed. Rather than taking responsibility for the problem, the Liberal Government simply gave another non-answer.
In the near future, I will begin to post the ATIPS that I have filed on social media to keep the good folks of my constituency informed and to let you know that I am working for you. Democracy cannot take a back seat because there is a pandemic. Further, I will continue to use my role as a member of the Ethics Committee to demand accountability and transparency.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has proven time and time again that he will not work for Canadians when it is not in his personal or political best interest. The Official Opposition will continue stand up to the Liberal Government and their lack of transparency. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about Access to Information Requests, please do not hesitate to contact my office. My staff and I are here to help and will gladly do so.