Presentation on theme: "Transparency Talk Presented by: Canadian Association of Journalists Canadian Taxpayers Federation Consumers Association of Canada (Manitoba) Manitoba Association."— Presentation transcript:
Transparency Talk Presented by: Canadian Association of Journalists Canadian Taxpayers Federation Consumers Association of Canada (Manitoba) Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties Provincial Council of Women of Manitoba July 26, 2010 Meeting with Premier Selinger
Introduction While in opposition, the NDP were very critical of the province’s FIPPA legislation: "When you examine this legislation on the simple criteria of whether this legislation meets the test of power to the people for information or power being grabbed to the government to keep information secret, this bill fails, and that is why it has been described as the worst legislation in North America." - Gary Doer, Opposition Leader, Hansard June 27 1997 However, since 1999, the FIPPA was extended to many more public bodies and little progress has been made to open up government. A “changing of the guard” presents an opportunity for a new era of openness.
Recommendations from 2000 Our organizations met with Minister McGifford in 2000 and recommended the following changes: Section 13 - Repetitive or abusive requests (repeal of entire section) Section 18 - Business interests of third parties (a general public interest override) Section 19 - Cabinet confidences (release with Cabinet consent or more that 10 years old) Section 22 - Local public body confidences (disclose in 10 years) Section 23 - Advice to a public body (limit scope of the exemption and disclose in 10 years) Section 34.1 - Public interest paramount (information must be disclosed if it is in the public interest) Sections 49.1 to 49.7 - Information and Privacy Commissioner Unfortunately, they have yet to be implemented.
1999 Election Promises In the 1999 election, the NDP committed to the following initiatives, but they have yet to be implemented: – Create an information commissioner with order power – Reduce cabinet doc. secrecy period from 30 to 15 years – Disclose more details of government contracts – Release information if it is in the public interest – Relax “advice to government” clause
Two Thumbs Up Documents posted online: – Public accounts, budget information, reports, Orders in Council – Cabinet Minister’s travel expenses – Weekly freedom of information requests – Some board & commission membership lists
Two Thumbs Down Compensation Disclosure Reports - Manitoba Hydro, MPI, Manitoba Lotteries and other bodies should place them online Harmful to a Third Party Clause - Government bodies using this too often Cabinet Doc Secrecy – reduction to 20 years positive, but NDP promised 15 year wait; which is still longer than Nova Scotia (10 years) Adjudicator vs. Commissioner – Commissioner would have more power to liberate information
Moving Forward Support transparency around P3’s, but government needs to lead by example (eg. MTS Centre contract, Hydro dam negotiation costs, WRHA purchasing partnership) Low Hanging Fruit Ideas -Bring independent offices under FIPPA (eg. Elections Manitoba, Legislative Assembly, etc.) -Post bid results for government contracts online like the City and Feds -Scan and post MLA expenses online like Toronto -Place question period video archive online like Steinbach -Eliminate Aboriginal confidentiality clause -Leadership on the public’s right to know from top to bottom