Government & Corporate Transparency

The Issue

Canadians’ right of access to information held by governments and public agencies is embarrassingly inadequate. Internationally, the quality of our access to information law ranks 59th out of 102 countries. The implementation of the law makes matters even worse – often imposing excessive delays, high costs, and significant censorship.  Even more limited is the public’s right of access to information about the decisions and practices of the corporate sector that increasingly shape every aspect of our lives.

Why It Matters

Healthy democracy depends on an informed public with ready access to the information it needs to engage in effective political decision-making.

Our Work

The Centre for Free Expression works to promote greater government and corporate transparency through public education and advocacy for better right to know laws and practices. 

Resources

Podcast

CFE Virtual Forum Series: Platforms of Distortion – Can They Be Fixed?

Digital platforms are perfect delivery systems for gossip and entertainment. Unfortunately they now distribute most of our news.

Commentary

Troubled Times for Transparency Call for Change

By Ken Rubin

Shocking revelations and events can stir the public. But that does not mean officials want to give up systemic secrecy practices and bring in wholesale corrective changes.

Podcast

CFE Virtual Forum Series: Pandemics and Civil Liberties

The coronavirus poses a threat to our individual and collective future. As governments attempt to deal with the pandemic, they face apparent trade-offs between collective wellbeing and individual human rights and civil liberties.

News

Environment and Climate Change Canada named most secretive federal government department

Environment and Climate Change Canada has been named today as the 2019 recipient of the Code of Silence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy in the federal category.

April 30, 2020

Commentary

During COVID-19, government transparency takes a beating

By Ken Rubin

April 25, 2020 - Secrecy and autocratic, erratic government should not become the new normal during or after the COVID-19 crisis. Rather, as former health minister Jane Philpott (currently working at COVID-19 intake centre) has said, what is needed is “radical transparency” to keep Canadians abreast of developments.