Commentary

Three Trudeau ministers among those stalling access to information requests


June 17, 2019 - The ministers overseeing Health, Justice and Innovation departments must do a better job of living up to the prime minister's promises of transparency.


See More

Why the secrecy on this "expert" centre?


June 13, 2019 - Public Safety has quietly set up a centre for expertise to assist security and intelligence departments in the responsible use of the Security of Canada Information Disclosure Act, known as SCIDA. Yet vitually no one knows about the centre, or what it is doing. This is worrisome.


See More

The Judges Win, Bill C-58 Gets to the Top of The Senate List for Quick Passage


By Ken Rubin

April 29, 2019 - Judging from the Senators' orchestrated recent cave-in removing the public from getting individual judges expenses, Canada's access to information act is well on its way to being made irrelevant. 


See More

Massive Secrecy Inroads and Barriers to Access Near Approval in the Senate


By Ken Rubin  

April 1, 2019 - The Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee is winding its way, clause by clause through Bill C-58. But they have already approved the most divisive change to the Access to Information Act. 


See More

At the intersection of democracy, transit and Sidewalk Toronto


By Milan Gokhale - March 4, 2019 - To solve Toronto transit cuts, we urgently require more democracy. Sidewalk Toronto is taking us in the opposite direction.


See More

Another year, more government secrecy


By Ken Rubin

January 28, 2019 - The new year brings with it at least four basic problems that put transparency under threat. 

Problem one: “pro-active” sanitized data and propaganda dominates Bill C-58


See More

We’re not done talking about Privacy in the Smart City


By Brenda McPhail and Nabeel Ahmed - January 24, 2019 - Since Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto announced their agreement to develop a plan for a Quayside smart city project, privacy concerns have been a big part of the conversation.


See More

The waterfront toronto crisis: what are the options?


By Nabeel Ahmed and Mariana Valverde - December 7, 2018 - On Wednesday, Ontario’s Auditor General (AG) released her annual report in which she highlighted a series of serious internal governance issues facing Waterfront Toronto (WT). Most crucially for the future of the Quayside smart city development, the report concluded that WT entered into an agreement with Sidewalk Labs “without sufficient due diligence and provincial involvement”.


See More

Questions to Consider Heading Into Sidewalk Toronto’s Fourth Public Meeting Tomorrow


By Bianca Wylie and Melissa Goldstein - December 7, 2018 - Since the start of the Sidewalk Toronto project, community members have been creating a running list of questions for the Sidewalk Toronto project team.  Many of them remain unanswered. 


See More

Untangling Quayside & Sidewalk Toronto – Updates and Narratives


By Nabeel Ahmed - December 3, 2018 - As 2018 comes to a close, there has been a tremendous amount of activity in Toronto on the smart city front. This post provides a recap of some of this activity (including updates to the timing and process), identifies four narratives about the smart city that need to be examined closely, and looks ahead to what is coming up and how Torontonians are talking about alternative urban futures.


See More

In Libraries We Trust


By Milan Gokhale - November 20, 2018 - To be a world-class digital city, Toronto must make the public library — not Google — its core institution of trust.


See More

Brison's Ingenious Selling of Bill C-58 to the Senate


By Ken Rubin

October 15, 2018 - Treasury Board President Scott Brison was hard at it on October 3 selling Bill C-58 as a great transparency advance, which it is not. 


See More

Towards a more equitable Sidewalk Toronto


By Milan Gokhale - October 27, 2018 - Sidewalk Labs says they will not get preferential access to data collected. Why should they get access to any data at all?


See More

The Digital Strategy Advisory Panel stands up


By Nabeel Ahmed - October 20, 2018 - Five months and four meetings after it was first constituted, the Waterfront Toronto Digital Strategy Advisory Panel finally kicked into gear. In keeping with how the Sidewalk Toronto project has proceeded, it was a bit of stop-start ride.


See More

The Transparency Rot Runs Deep


By Ken Rubin

July 23, 2018 - Canada's broken access to information system has increasingly become entrenched, complete with backlog specialists and a new Information Commissioner facing her office's own backlog.


See More

Feds Want a More Restrictive Transparency Regime


By Ken Rubin

October 9, 2017 - Successive bureaucrats have wanted to put dampers on the public use of access to information legislation. Now they have found hope in Bill C-58 and a willing dupe in Treasury Board President Scott Brison.


See More

The Need for Greater Corporate Transparency


By Ken Rubin

Corporate transparency should be a priority. In this two-part series, Ken Rubin describes his fight to get car insurance lobby records from the Ontario Finance Ministry that reveal  their close ties and how the Finance Ministry spent millions on consultants whose reports were designed to help advance the car insurance industry agenda and profits.


See More

The perils and paradoxes of FOI in Canada


By Ken Rubin

March 3, 2015 - Ken Rubin is an investigative public interest researcher, author and Senior Fellow at the Centre for Free Expression


See More