Politics and its Discontents: Justin’s Secrecy

There will always be those unable to see beyond the obvious when it comes to Justin Trudeau. His sunny smile, his platitudinous assurances that we can have our pipelines and climate change remediation simultaneously, and his opaque insistence upon the necessity of an Infrastructure Bank seem to carry the day for some, apparently happy to ...

Politics and its Discontents: Measuring Democracy

One of the concerns that has motivated me throughout the years I have written this blog is public accountability. Far too often, whether examining politics at the federal, provincial or local level, it is evident that public accountability, when it occurs, is often an afterthought, not a prime mover of our overlords. It is safe ...

Politics and its Discontents: Government Secrecy Returns

Having lived for almost 10 years under a cone of silence and secrecy, Canadians can be forgiven for expecting more openness from the Trudeau government. That expectation appears to be a forlorn hope, at least if this is any indication: The Liberal government is refusing to make public a recently completed assessment of the state ...

Politics and its Discontents: Is Secrecy The New Canadian Norm?

The Harper regime is notorious for its virtual embargo on information. Muzzling of scientists, heavily-redacted Freedom of Information documents, regular obstruction of Parliamentary officers have become the norm. In light of these profoundly anti-democratic traits, one has to ask whether the paranoid control that obsesses the regime has filtered down to other levels of government ...

Northern Reflections: Democracy? What Democracy?

                                                http://gagordernetwork.com/ Last week the Harper government awarded a ship building contract to the Irving family. Like the F-35 contract, it was awarded — by a “bureaucrat” — without a competition. Michael ...

drive-by planet: US journalists critical of Obama admin secrecy – ‘setting standards for secrecy that are spreading nationwide’

Barack Obama came into office promising the most open and transparent government ever. In the light of the Obama administration’s obsessive concerns with secrecy and information control the claim seems badly out of sync with current realities. People close to the action are best placed to judge when it comes to issues of access and ...

Politics and its Discontents: Privacy Concerns Or Just Plain Secrecy?

I started working on a post the other day about government and institutions’ penchant for claiming ‘privacy concerns’ as an excuse for withholding the kind of information that true democracies are entitled to. However, I haven’t had a lot of energy the past few days, so I think I will let Ontario Information and Privacy ...

Politics Canada: Northern Gateway pipeline gets the advanced green light

Natural Resources minister Joe Oliver announced the ‘streamlining’ of the federal environmental assessment process.  What was not mentioned in the press release or by the minister was that final approval can now be given by the federal cabinet i.e. Harper himself even if it the board deems a project too damaging to the environment to ...