Despite outcry, committee makes few changes to Access to Information bill

A Liberal−dominated committee is sending the government’s Access to Information bill back to the House of Commons with few changes, despite concerns from transparency advocates and opposition MPs.


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OTTAWA — A Liberal−dominated committee is sending the government’s Access to Information bill back to the House of Commons with few changes, despite concerns from transparency advocates and opposition MPs.

Committee members rejected most of the amendments put forward today, including some from Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine−Smith.

The Access to Information Act allows applicants who pay $5 to ask for federal documents ranging from expense reports to briefing papers, but it has been widely denounced as slow and antiquated.

The Trudeau government says the bill, introduced last June, represents the first real modernization of the law since it took effect in 1983.

But many who testified at the committee, including information commissioner Suzanne Legault, dismissed the legislation as a step backward.

New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen says the bill is fatally flawed and will make Canadian democracy weaker.

— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

The Canadian Press


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