Federal Information Commissioner John Reid is expected to issue a damning indictment of the Conservative government's new accountability legislation today, describing it as a recipe for secrecy that will only help to shield government from public scrutiny.
And the kicker:
During the recent election campaign, for instance, Harper promised a Conservative government would "require the prompt public disclosure of information revealed by whistleblowers ..." The pledge came in the wake of legislation passed earlier under the Liberals that said all documents related to a whistleblower's complaint could be kept secret for five years.
Instead, the Harper government is now proposing to give government the power to keep documents secret forever.
Reid notes in his report that if the provision had been law at the time of Adscam, the revelations of corruption and mismanagement likely never would have come to light.
It is simply amazing that the Tory plan would actually weaken the opportunity for disclosure. Instead of adding light to the process, Harper's plan adds another layer of secrecy. The opposition needs to jump all over this report because the whole election campaign was weaved from this simple premise of accountability.
The Liberals stern opposition now finds solid backing in the release of this report because they obviously lacked credibility on their own. Hopefully, Layton and Duceppe join with the Liberals to present a united front and expose this accountability shell game that Harper is playing.