Reform of access to information: nothing is sure before the end of the session

Réforme de l’accès à l’information: rien de sûr avant la fin de la session

The government Couillard does not ensure that reform of the access to information will be adopted by the end of the parliamentary session.

“Me, my will is to submit a project of law”, has hammered the minister Kathleen Weil, Wednesday. The responsible for the Reform of democratic institutions ensures that a bill will be presented “very, very, very soon”.

However, it belongs “to the Parliament” to decide the fate that will be made to the project of reform, a time that one will be filed, she argued. It fails to say if his government will do all in its power to adopt the legislative time.

“This end-there does not belong to me”, she responded to journalists who asked him if the time could miss him.

If Kathleen Weil casts doubt on the possibility of the adoption of the draft law, The Sun reported it nearly a week about the prime minister, which had however maintained that even if a bill was deposited, it would not be adopted in time. The consulting work will continue to the next legislature, he said.

The minister was reacting to the letter, co-signed by the directors of the major media in Quebec, as well as the Federation of professional journalists (FPJQ) and the press Council (CPQ), which criticise the lack of transparency of the government Couillard and the obstacles encountered in the process of requests for access to information.

“The act 164 enacted this winter is coming to further restrict access to certain documents of the executive Council, which would have deserved a public access. The balance sheet drawn up by several media outlets over the last few days shows how dramatic the declines suffered since your election. We are sorry. This situation moves us away even more of your commitment,” write the patterns of release in this missive addressed to the prime minister.

They require a single voice in the adoption by the national Assembly a reform of the access to information.

Delays

According to Ms. Weil, media bosses “do not understand” the magnitude of the task. His ministry is working on a reform project for a long time, and its coming to office last fall to explain some of the delays, she argues.

For the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ), this letter will be published in several media outlets is “irrefutable proof that Mr. Couillard has failed to create a transparent government. If the directors of the information write this open letter, it is because Mr. Couillard seems to prevent people access to the truth,” said mp Jean-François Roberge.

On the occasion of the study credits, Wednesday, the minister reiterated that his government was “transparency”, and that the piece of legislation that will be filed will go in this direction. She praised the actions taken in the past few years, including making public the agenda of the ministers.

The opposition parties are questioning the “transparency” of the government. The Parti québécois (PQ) and the CAQ have denounced “political interference” from the cabinet of the minister in the work of the Commission of access to information (CAI). The PQ claims that employees of the cabinet of Mrs Weil have exchanged emails with members of the Commission.

“There is no interference with the work of the CAI”, said the minister Weil, as well as the president of the CAI, Jean Chartier. “The seal has always been respected”, he added.

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