Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Extreme Risk in High Places

Mr. Robinson; July 19, 2005.
Thank you for your e-mail. You have asked about Bill C-11 and I note from reading your blog site that you attribute importance to this piece of legislation. I also note that you raised the issue of Information Commissioner John Reid. Here is some information released today by the Conservative Party Parliament Hill researchers concerning Mr. Reid:

ISSUE: According to media reports, Information Commissioner John Reid has launched the latest round in his lawsuit to try and force the Prime Minister's Office to release Jean Chretien's agenda books, accusing the Liberal government of refusing to comply with Canada's information law, with Paul Martin named as a party in the suit (Ottawa Citizen, July 19, 2005). Reid continues his efforts to try and force the Liberal government to comply with the Access to Information Act. Perhaps this explains why Paul Martin and the Liberals have decided to ignore Parliament and refused to extend Reid's appointment for a year. Perhaps Martin and the Liberals are hoping to get rid of Reid and appoint a new Information Commissioner who won't be so keen to enforce Canadians' right to information, and who may be willing to abandon this lawsuit.

Points to consider:
* On June 15, 2005, the House of Commons voted 277 to 2, to concur in a report of its Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics that, "The appointment of John Reid, the Information Commissioner of Canada be extended by an additional term of one year, effective July 1, 2005. This recommendation would not preclude Parliament from further extending the appointment after the one year extension." Martin choose to ignore Parliament and provided only a three month extension for Reid.
* All ministers present (33) voted for the motion to extend Mr. Reid's term not by three months, but for a year. The ministers voting to extend Reid's term by a year included Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, Reg Alcock, Mauril Belanger, Carolyn Bennett, Ethel Blondin-Andrew, Claudette Bradshaw, Scott Brison, Aileen Carroll, Raymond Chan, Joe Comuzzi (since left cabinet), Irwin Cotler, Stephane Dion, Ujjal Dosanjh, Ken Dryden, John Efford, David Emerson, Joe Fontana, Liza Frulla, John Godfrey, Ralph Goodale, Bill Graham, Albina Guarnieri, Jean Lapierre, John McCallum, Joe McGuire, Andy Mitchell, Stephen Owen, Pierre Pettigrew, Geoff Regan, Lucienne Robillard, Belinda Stronach, Tony Valeri and Joe Volpe
* This is just the latest example of Martin ignoring the will of Parliament
* Three months means that Reid may not be around to oversee the planned overhaul of the Access to Information Act. Nor will he be able to pursue this case

I have forwarded your e-mail to one of my colleagues in Ottawa and if there is anything more we can do to keep you apprised of the situation, we will do so.
Paul Galinski, Constituency Representative

John Duncan, M.P.
Vancouver Island North

Tony - thanks for the heads up! I am going to post your site at my blog so my peeps can target their MP's.
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