Interventions in the House of Commons
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View Daniel Blaikie Profile
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
2019-06-17 21:22 [p.29239]
Mr. Speaker, I am going by memory here, but when the access to information, privacy and ethics committee undertook a review of the legislation at the beginning of this Parliament, there was some fanfare about the fact that we were, after somewhere between seven and 12 years, getting to the mandatory five-year statutory review. There have been mandatory statutory reviews of the access to information regime in the past. My understanding is that this is not new, but if there are no sanctions for not conducting those reviews, we get into a situation where committees have other priorities, particularly if they are led by a government that may not have a serious interest in substantially changing the access to information law.
My understanding, when we undertook our review at the beginning of this Parliament, was that we were actually, finally, conducting a mandatory five-year review and that it had been much longer than five years. It is not that I do not think it serves a purpose, but it made me a lot more skeptical about the force of a mandatory review. I do not think it is a bad thing, but there is the question of how we actually make sure that a mandatory review takes place and whether there is any consequence if it does not.
As we talk about other mandatory reviews, my understanding is that we are not talking about any kind of enforcement regime that would ensure that those reviews were undertaken. The member knows well that committees are masters of their own domain, short of an order from the House requiring them to do this, which apparently the legislation did not do, or we would have been doing a lot more mandatory statutory reviews around here than we have.
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