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

Commentary

Honey, the Pandemic shrunk transparency

November 9, 2020 - It's time for the government to take off the mask that disguises and robs us of our public right to know. Trustworthy and revitalized government requires effective access and more public scrutiny.

Commentary

Review won't fix Canada's Access to Information law significantly, Ken Rubin Ottawa Citizen August 10, 2020 A9

By Ken Rubin

There's no real desire to remedy shortcomings. It is no longer good enough to continue holding Canadians hostage to incomplete data

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.

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.

Commentary

COVID-19 Invades and Compromises Our Privacy

By Ken Rubin

April 20, 2020 - COVID-19 puts privacy rights under attack. Zoom-bomers, COVID-19 scammers, and cellphone trackers are gaining ground as Canadians self-isolate.