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John Reid

Freedom of Information Commissioner in the Canadian federal government, former Liberal MP


[Recommending improvements to, and compliance by the government with, the federal Access to Information Act] It is past due for parliamentarians and Canadians to insist that a strong right to know be part of our collective survival kit for the new millennium.

Jul. 21, 1999 - from his annual report to Parliament
When the [Federal Information] Commissioner's subpoenas, searches and questions come too insistently or too close to the top, the mandarins circle the wagons. The future careers in the public service of the commissioner's staff have, in not so subtle terms, been threatened. ... There is a full-scale counter-attack in progress against the office of the information commissioner. ... [There is] palpable animosity towards the right of access.

Oct. 16, 2000 - from his annual report to Parliament
[Federal government observance of the law in the Access to Information Act] No minister of justice has shown leadership in transforming the culture of secrecy which pervades the public service. No minister of justice has issued a reminder to officials that the response times are mandatory and that consistent failure to comply constitutes lawbreaking which will not be tolerated. Rather, [the Ministry of] Justice has fought efforts by the [freedom of information] commissioner to enforce response times and [the Ministry of] Justice has argued before the courts that there should be no legal consequences for government institutions when response deadlines are ignored.

Jul. 21, 1999 - from his annual report to Parliament