Canada Dashboard Digest

Court: Public Gets Limited Access to Gov't Documents

INFORMATION ACCESS

May 20, 2011

The Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously upheld a Federal Court of Appeal decision restricting the public's right to access documents in the offices of the prime minister and cabinet ministers, the CBC reports. The court reasoned that ministers are "beyond the reach of the law" because they are "essentially separate" from the departments they head, but the ruling also states that some records can be accessed in certain cases. Suzanne Legault, Canada's information commissioner, said Canadians "should be concerned. If they don't know what is occurring in some very important meetings, then they have no idea of the basis of the decision government is making on their behalf."
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