Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Poilievre wants to reform access to information

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Pierre Poilievre, the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (Photo d 'archives)

The Canadian Press

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre pledges to repair the federal access to information system to speed up response times and release more information.

He made the commitment at a news conference in Vancouver on Thursday, where the Opposition Leader announced a new revenue plan for First Nations alongside regional leaders.

Successive reviews have concluded that the access system is flawed and plagued by delays, with Canada's Information Commissioner expressing concerns that it is outdated and ineffective. there is no rush to fix it.

Canadians can use the Access to Information Act #x27;information to request a range of government documents, for a five dollar processing fee. The legislation itself has not been updated in decades.

This is an important turning point for a leader who played a leading role in Stephen Harper's Conservative government, which did not x27;did not keep its promise to make more documents accessible through the law.

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Now, Mr. Poilievre says a future Conservative government would reform the system and would ensure that information reaches citizens more quickly.

We will speed up response times, he said. We will post more information. We will give the commissioner more power to bypass gatekeepers in government and prioritize transparency over secrecy.

Pierre Poilievre also said that x27;he believed the House of Commons should automatically release more information, describing the federal access to information system as being plagued by bureaucracy.

[W]hat we need to do is more proactive publication of parliamentary spending and decisions, so that you have them by default.

When he was first elected, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to introduce more transparency in the regime, presenting openness as one of the hallmarks of his new government.

Years later, experts and users say that the changes made so far fall far short of expectations and that Existing long processing times and delays have only gotten worse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Information Commissioner Caroline Maynard said in a speech last November that she believed the law needed to be updated and that investment was needed to strengthen existing resources to ensure that the law was not implemented. administering the system in a timely manner.

A culture change is also necessary, she added.

Mr. Poilievre's speech on Thursday marked the fourth consecutive day that the Conservative leader appeared before journalists, and the third political speech he made this week.< /p>

It comes as Conservatives turn their attention to the next general election, due to take place by the end of 2025, and as Liberals and other critics accuse Mr. Poilievre of speaking in slogans and social media videos rather than proposing policy solutions to Canadians.

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