Sunday, June 9, 2013

Updating Ontario Government Info Laws and IT for Transparency

The most important article Ontarians will have read in quite some time

Creating Gas Busters was my attempt to defeat that strategy by converting the scanned documents into a searchable database. Since completing that work, the scope of work presented on Gas Busters has extended into other areas including Freedom of Information investigations and reporting on the on-going public hearings.
As events have developed, it has become clear that the government’s intent to conceal the truth is not just an administrative exercise. The Information and Privacy Commissioner’s report this week identifies deliberate law breaking at the highest level of the Liberal government. The full scope of that law breaking has yet to be uncovered but the evidence available so far suggests a widespread and planned effort at the highest levels to destroy information and to block information from being created. We are going to learn a lot more as the Information and Privacy Commissioner pursues the FOI adjudications she refers to in her report, one of which has been documented in recent postings on Gas Busters.
The emerging picture is that key officials at the very top of Ontario’s Liberal government were operating like an organized crime group. They weren’t just destroying documents. Cabinet ministers were arranging business deals worth many hundreds of millions of dollars in gangster style meetings with no minutes.
The basic plot line about gas plant scandal — powerful political figures wasting vast public resources for personal political gain and then covering up the facts — has an eternal character about it. Arrogant, power hungry governments abusing the public trust are one of the constants of history. Finding effective means of dealing with this reality is one of humanity’s great projects.
McGuinty and Wynne are sticking to their feeble talking point that the solution for the illegality revealed by the Information and Privacy Commission is better training of underlings. This statement is a nothing more than a denial of accountability.
Replacing the Ontario Liberals is a necessary but insufficient remedy.
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