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Results: 1 - 19 of 19
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2014-12-04 16:11
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Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Madame Legault, for being here.
I would tend to agree. I think Canadians would find it pretty bizarre that something that they're supporting with their taxes, something that is theirs, which is public information, needs to be wrestled out of the government with high fees or fees that may be unreasonable.
Not too long ago, the Conservative government did announce that it might consider or would consider making cabinet confidence subject to review of the Information Commissioner. Has that happened?
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View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2014-12-04 16:11
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On the cabinet confidence redacting, are you even allowed to study the issue?
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Suzanne Legault
View Suzanne Legault Profile
Suzanne Legault
2014-12-04 16:12
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Yes. People can complain to our office. With cabinet confidences, the only thing we see is a schedule, a description of the records. We don't have the ability to review the records.
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View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2014-12-04 16:12
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Is it possible to determine if those cabinet confidence redactions have increased in number in the last couple of years?
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Suzanne Legault
View Suzanne Legault Profile
Suzanne Legault
2014-12-04 16:12
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I would have to get back to you on the number of complaints for cabinet confidences. I can give you statistics on that. The government has changed its process in the summer of 2013 in terms of how it's processing the requests for the identified cabinet confidences. This is something we're following very closely, but we don't have enough data yet to see any trends.
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View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2014-12-04 16:13
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Well, I would definitely be interested to know. I'd also be interested to know how much the $1,300 per request is actually due to cabinet confidence redaction, in some of the costs. But I understand you probably can't answer that question right now.
Another thing that they promised was to ensure that all exemptions from the disclosure of government information are justified only on the basis of the harm or injury that would result from disclosure, not blanket exemption rules. Has that also happened?
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Suzanne Legault
View Suzanne Legault Profile
Suzanne Legault
2014-12-04 16:13
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In most instances, that test is certainly what's considered to be the best in terms of international norms. There are certain circumstances where that's not appropriate, but they're much more limited than what we have now.
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View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ted Hsu Profile
2014-12-04 17:14
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Okay, thank you.
I understand that your office is not allowed to review any access to information complaints regarding redactions that are deemed to be cabinet confidences. Is that a hindrance to you in terms of fulfilling your mandate?
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Suzanne Legault
View Suzanne Legault Profile
Suzanne Legault
2014-12-04 17:14
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That answer is, it's correct. I cannot review cabinet confidences. Do I believe that it's a hindrance to independent oversight of government decisions on disclosure of information? Yes.
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View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ted Hsu Profile
2014-12-04 17:14
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Thank you.
Are there any other methods that your office would like to implement that Parliament could assist you with to reduce delays in reviewing redactions?
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Suzanne Legault
View Suzanne Legault Profile
Suzanne Legault
2014-12-04 17:14
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Well, we are in the process of finalizing our recommendations that we will table in Parliament, which will be extremely comprehensive because we have done a very extensive review of international jurisdictions and national norms. We will table that in January when the House resumes, and it will be very comprehensive.
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View Ted Hsu Profile
Lib. (ON)
View Ted Hsu Profile
2014-12-04 17:15
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Perhaps I can ask the question in a different way.
If your budget were not increased—and we've heard about the pressures on your budget—what might you have to cut in terms of services to Canadians?
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Suzanne Legault
View Suzanne Legault Profile
Suzanne Legault
2014-12-04 17:15
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I provide one service. I do investigations on complaints from people who are not satisfied with the government decisions on disclosure. What will happen is this. I now have a delay of about six to seven months, and that delay, before I can assign a file to an investigator, will increase because the number of investigators will decrease.
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View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2012-05-15 9:13
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I am going to move on to another question.
A letter signed on February 24, 2012, by Mr. Fonberg, Deputy Minister of National Defence, and Mr. Guimond, Deputy Minister of PWGSC, states that "some components of this risk analysis may not have been made available to the OAG for reasons of Cabinet confidence".
Is it common practice for ministers not to provide you with information and to claim reasons of cabinet confidence?
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Michael Ferguson
View Michael Ferguson Profile
Michael Ferguson
2012-05-15 9:14
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Certainly we don't have access to.... We will get access, for example, to memorandums to cabinet, but we have an agreement about what we do and do not disclose when we're looking at that type of information.
We felt we had access to enough information in this report that we could still draw our conclusions. In fact our legislation requires us to bring it to the attention of Parliament if we feel in any instance that we do not receive information we need to receive.
We felt we received all of the information we needed. Some of it would have been in memorandums to cabinet. We have to be very careful about how we refer to that type of information
The other point I want to make in terms of your question is that the types of analysis and things we were looking for were analysis we felt should have existed in departmental documents. They're not analysis you would wait until you're preparing a memorandum to cabinet to actually prepare. We would have expected to see those types of analysis in a format that was not cabinet confidential.
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View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
NDP (QC)
View Mathieu Ravignat Profile
2012-05-15 9:15
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Just to be clear, there was certain information that was withheld by the cabinet that should have been in the different ministries and accessible to you?
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Results: 1 - 19 of 19

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