Canada Transparency

6 Things Joe Oliver Can Do to Leave a Positive Legacy

Mark Milke | Posted 06.03.2014 | Canada Politics
Mark Milke

Every politician wants to leave a positive legacy, so here are some possibilities for the new federal Conservative finance minister, Joe Oliver. First, do no harm. This is not as easy as it sounds...

Moving Toward Our Goal of Zero Deforestation

Ian Lifshitz | Posted 04.29.2014 | Canada
Ian Lifshitz

One year ago Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) announced its Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), immediately halting all natural forest clearance across its entire supply chain. Specifically, we outlined four key priorities for 2014 to engage our broader industry and other sectors to help accelerate the realization of zero deforestation.

Why Rex Murphy's Relationship With Oil Matters

DeSmog Canada | Posted 04.20.2014 | Canada Politics
DeSmog Canada

There is a brewing controversy swirling around longtime CBC commentator Rex Murphy and his relationship with Canada's oil industry. The CBC expects Murphy's commentary to be "rooted in fact" and in turn the public has the same expectation. If it is the case that Murphy is being paid money by the same industry he publicly comments on, then this must be disclosed to the public.

What Politicians Should Focus on During Electionmania

Justin Beach | Posted 03.05.2014 | Canada Politics
Justin Beach

It is a good time to be a political junkie. I'm a dual (US/Canadian) citizen and the next three years will feature almost constant elections. The year 2014 will bring local elections here in Oshawa, Ontario as well as Congressional elections in the US. It is not likely that much will change in terms of personnel, incumbents tend to win and that rule is pretty universal. Elections though do provide an opportunity to raise issues and there is a long list of issues that require attention. Here are the most important issues I'd like to see addressed.

Creating a Global Platform for Sustainability

Ian Lifshitz | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Impact
Ian Lifshitz

Earlier this fall I participated in a panel at the Toronto Board of Trade about "Achieving a sustainable and responsible global sourcing policy." Given their supply chain power, companies must continually advance more sustainable practices and must be reinforced by benchmarking transparency standards. In practice, what does this mean?

Feeling Generous? An Apologia for Donor Accountability

Natasha MacDonald-Dupuis | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Impact
Natasha MacDonald-Dupuis

Ultimately, Canadians really haven't been giving much thought to the importance of charity transparency. There is a commonly-held belief that all Canadian charities are poor and desperately need money. In fact, some of them are surprising wealthy.

Bring the People of Canada Into the Constitutional Reform Process

Deborah Coyne | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Deborah Coyne

Constitutional reform is entirely legitimate in the life of a vibrant democracy. The Canadian Senate either needs serious reform or it should be abolished, and this requires changes to our Constitution. In refusing to engage the people in constitutional reform, our leaders forget that the Constitution belongs to the people of Canada, not to the federal and provincial governments.

How To Ensure the Senate Scandal Mess Doesn't Happen Again

Duff Conacher | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Duff Conacher

A fair compromise concerning pay for suspended senators and other politicians would be to establish a rule that if a politician is found guilty of the alleged violation, they would be required to return any pay received after the allegation was first made.

Suppressing Our Right to Know

Carol Linnitt | Posted 11.27.2013 | Canada Politics
Carol Linnitt

Suzanne Legault, Canada's Information Commissioner, says federal officials are suppressing freedom of information in Canada. According to her notes, complaints to the Information Officer in the first five months of the 2013-2014 year are up by 35 per cent.

Here's What I'm Doing to Make Canada's Government More Open -- It's No Secret

Tony Clement | Posted 11.13.2013 | Canada Politics
Tony Clement

If the federal government doesn't want to hear from people about open government, why did we conduct a series of roundtables in five Canadian cities this spring to get feedback on our new open data portal? I even participated in the first Google Hangout by a federal minister to discuss the potential of open data.

Stephen Harper's Secret Open Data Survey

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 11.05.2013 | Canada Politics
Vincent Gogolek

Shhhhh. Don't tell anybody, but the Harper™ government is 'consulting' Canadians on Open Government. Well, sort of. There has been no press release about the consultation program. No ad campaign, either. And the program was quietly started in the middle of summer, while everyone was on vacation. It's almost as if Harper doesn't want anyone to know about it. Crazy talk, right?

The Government Is Spending How Much on Corporate Welfare?

Mark Milke | Posted 08.26.2013 | Canada Politics
Mark Milke

Canadians who don't regularly track how governments spend money might be surprised to find how myths crop up about government expenditures. Exhibit A is a new report that claims Canada needs even more "industrial policy," more colloquially known as corporate welfare. Governments are less eager to be frank about the cost of corporate welfare, including chronic government failure on collecting on past loans.

It's Time for Stephen Harper to Get Tough on Tax Havens

Paul Dewar | Posted 08.17.2013 | Canada Politics
Paul Dewar

Stephen Harper's decision to protect those who use international tax havens to evade paying their taxes is inexplicable and unacceptable. Canadian companies should be good global citizens paying their fair share of taxes in countries where they operate, not hiding behind tax shelters and shell companies. After all, tax evasion is hurting the Canadian economy as well -- one estimate puts the cost at $7.8 billion per year, or slightly more than the amount the government will spend on infrastructure in First Nations communities over the next decade. Yet the government will not even provide the Parliamentary Budget Officer with the data necessary to calculate an official figure.

Trudeau Raises the Bar for Democracy and Transparency

Ralph Goodale | Posted 08.17.2013 | Canada Politics
Ralph Goodale

From the beginning of his leadership campaign, that has been Justin Trudeau's strength -- giving Canadians good reasons to vote FOR him, not just AGAINST the other guy. In that constructive spirit, he has also developed an aggressive agenda for Parliamentary, electoral and political reform to strengthen Canadian democracy and improve financial transparency.

Transparency? Not On Harper's Watch

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 08.09.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

Over the last several months, the federal government has repeatedly thrown up the claim that theirs is "the most transparent government in Canadian history," even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it is categorically untrue. Even the practice of stomping on backbenchers who push for more transparency is nothing new for this government.

Stop The Ministerial Spin Cycle for a Better B.C. Government

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 07.20.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

Since 2009, the Liberals have shuffled ministers in and out of the Ministers of Citizens' Services and Open Government role so quickly that there's hardly been a chance to make any meaningful progress.

The Home Builder Video Controversy Reminds Us of Democratic Values

Kelly Ernst | Posted 07.03.2013 | Canada Alberta
Kelly Ernst

There is nothing wrong with encouraging your fellow citizens to be involved in the political process by supporting candidates, voting, making donations, or even by trying to persuade them to vote for candidates more in line with your (and, hopefully, their) interests. All of these behaviours are part of a healthy democracy. Given the low voter turnout in many elections, more rather than less such engagement is required.

BC Election 2013: Put Information Rights Front And Centre

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 06.12.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

A few short days from now, the writ will drop on the 2013 provincial election, kicking off twenty-eight days of heated campaigning. And while there's no shortage of issues for voters to consider, recent controversies around government secrecy and attempts to undermine Freedom of Information make it clear that information policy should be a top priority for voters.

B.C. Election 2013: Transparency Is The Basis For Trust

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 06.09.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

Would you trust a leader who won't make concrete commitments to openness and transparency? Many British Columbians will be asking themselves that very question over the next six weeks.

When Transparency Can Hurt Democracy

Samuel Mosonyi | Posted 04.30.2013 | Canada Politics
Samuel Mosonyi

A Department of Justice lawyer, Edgar Schmidt, recently challenged his employer in court, alleging that the process that the Department uses to analyz...

Poor Freedom Of Information Ranking? Harper Government Isn't Buying It

CP | Dean Beeby, The Canadian Press | Posted 04.26.2013 | Canada Politics

OTTAWA - The Harper government is dismissing a report that ranks it 55th in the world for upholding freedom of information, saying it has a sterling r...

Citizen Collaboration

Paul Hughes | Posted 04.16.2013 | Canada Alberta
Paul Hughes

Our towns and cities do not function in isolation. They do not exist in a vacuum. Municipalities can learn from one another's experiences. More importantly, citizens can too.

'Canadians Should Be Angry'

CBC | Posted 04.11.2013 | Canada Politics

Canada's Information Commissioner, Suzanne Legault, says the current federal government is "not the most transparent" and that response to requests fo...

Behind the Headlines: Should Armstrong's Charity Suffer For His Sins?

Craig and Marc Kielburger | Posted 03.18.2013 | Canada Impact
Craig and Marc Kielburger

The trouble with Lance Armstrong's fall from grace is that he wasn't just a sports hero; he was a self-styled symbol of hope. Which is why we're all left wondering: does his doping confession negate his charitable work? Candidly, we're conflicted. Some of the onus for Armstrong's fall lies on our cultural tendency to elevate celebrities and sports idols to too-good-to-be-true status, then crucify them in the court of public opinion at their every transgression.

2012 Tough Year For B.C. Information Rights

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 02.26.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

In B.C. and across Canada, the past 12 months have seen information rights make headlines on a regular basis. And usually not in a good way. At the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, much of our year was spent (once again) in sparring matches with the provincial government over access, transparency, and privacy issues.