So Sun Media claims that Paradis’ actions amount to “Blocking the public a major foul”?
Paradis leaned his tricks about non-disclosure from Jim Flaherty and yet we didn't see the Sun's Editorial Board calling for Flaherty's dismissal. Why is that? Do we have two standards at play here?
Flaherty told Canadians (after promising the opposite) that he would have to start taxing income trusts (actually double taxing income trusts) because he claimed they caused tax leakage. Flaherty's only proof of tax leakage made available to Canadians under the AFI was 18 pages of blacked out documents. This after Canadians lost $35 billion of their retirement savings! Some proof! Meanwhile why did Flaherty demand these documents issued under the ATI be returned? What was he hiding, in both th first instance and the SECOND instance? Where was Sun Media?
Blocking the public a major foul
Last Updated: October 5, 2010 2:00am
It was well and good for Government House Leader John Baird to rise in question period Monday and tell the Liberals he needed "no lecture" on the ethics of subverting our federal access to information laws.
The Liberals wrote the book on it.
This is not to say, however, that Baird does not need to be lectured. Because he does.
And, just as Baird needs to be lectured, Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis needs to either resign -- to fall on his sword like his senior aide did when caught subverting the ATI laws -- or tell Canadians that his Conservative government couldn't care less about our legal right to know.
Otherwise, one's no better than the other.
Documents obtained by Sun Media prove at least one department under former Liberal PM Paul Martin interfered with the release of politically-toxic documents -- all which was laid out in a briefing book left behind by international trade minister Jim Peterson's office, which showed a system had been developed to ensure prior approval by political staff.
But the Conservatives are just as bad. And the sole resignation of one of Paradis' political aides doesn't quite cut it when the issue is the right of Canadians, including the media, to get legally-entitled information that ensures Big Brother isn't running amok.
The CBC, which takes a billion dollars a year from taxpayers, and is therefore accountable to them, has been dodging that accountability for more than three years now by fighting ATI requests regarding its operation.
Our ATI laws are a mess, but their value is undeniable.
One has to look no further than the case of retired military intelligence officer Sean Bruyea who, once he got his file, discovered thousands of pages of his personal and medical history were being passed around in one of the grossest invasions of privacy imaginable.
Having any politician slough off our ATI laws as minor inconveniences that can be blocked at the first whiff of trouble is nothing short of contempt.
Just because the Liberals are hypocrites for calling for Paradis' head when their own ethics record stinks, doesn't give Paradis any right to continue with the subversion.
His resignation must be tabled.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Posted by Brent Fullard at 12:16 PM