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Access to information is the right of the public to obtain information held by public bodies as well as an obligation for governments to ensure records are created, maintained, and made readily available. Access to information is essential for informed public discourse on which democracy depends. It not only facilitates developing effective solutions to societal problems but also empowers communities that have historically been marginalized and silenced.

News February 16, 2021

Quebec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks wins the provincial 2020 Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy

Quebec's Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks has been named as the recipient of the 2020 Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy in the provincial category.  The provincial ministry is being recognized for its unwillingness to share lab data with scientists at Environment Canada related to four mysterious fish kills that took place during the summer of 2019. At the time, dead fish showed up in the Ottawa River, with the source believed to be the Lièvre River, east of Ottawa and Gatineau. 
News February 9, 2021

Federal Cabinet wins the federal 2020 Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy. Dishonourable mentions go to Treasury Board and to National Defence

The Federal Cabinet is the 2020 recipient of the Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy in the federal category. The Cabinet is recognized for suppressing public access to details about very large loans—at times amounting to billions of dollars—given to corporations out of the public purse.
Blog November 12, 2020

Freedom of Information, Universities & Transparency: Lessons from Emily Eaton and the University of Regina

Access to information (ATI) is animated by a simple principle: the public ought to know. Despite governments unfortunately tending towards secrecy and risk-aversion, a free flow of information is absolutely vital for democracy. ATI, then, is an important democratic safeguard, to mitigate the negative predilections of government and ensure a robust state of public discourse. ATI legislation first emerged in Sweden in 1766, but it wasn’t until the postwar era that it began to flourish in a number of other liberal democracies.
News October 23, 2020

Extended deadline for Nominations - Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy 2020

In light of challenges during the pandemic, the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Centre for Free Expression, News Media Canada and the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression are extending the deadline for nominations for the 2020 Code of Silence awards for outstanding achievement in government secrecy to Monday, November 16, 2020.  The awards are given annually in each of four categories -- federal, provincial, municipal, and police services.
News October 15, 2020

Zoom and YouTube Threaten Academic Freedom

The Centre for Free Expression, along with its co-signers BCCLA, CAUT, CCLA, and PEN Canada, have written today to the CEOs of Zoom and YouTube to express deep concern with the companies’ censorship of an academic roundtable at an American university. This action points to the new threat to academic freedom when, because of the coronavirus, most classes and other educational activities of universities and colleges are only possible through platforms such as Zoom and YouTube.