Failing transparency before Parliament

The people’s elected representatives in Parliament have a right to the information they need to do their job as members of the opposition, and in parliamentary committees. The current government has failed in its responsibilities to be open and transparent before the Canadian Parliament.

For instance:

  • Information for the proper functioning of parliamentary committees are given out in random drop-sized blips, in order to avoid public scrutiny. This was most notable in the Afghan Torture Scandal, which the Government has as yet to answer for.
  • Twice during his time in office, including once during the Afghan Torture Scandal, in an egregious act of anti-democratic bad faith, Mr. Harper prorogued Parliament. This was a total failure of the government’s responsibility to operate in the public eye, and give members of the opposition the opportunity to scrutinize government decisions.
  • In May 2010, the government published a new directive preventing personnel from various ministries from appearing before parliamentary committees; from now on only the ministers themselves would appear. This prevents parliamentary committees from getting much of the information they need to function effectively. And just prior to this announcement Dimitri Soudas, the PM’s press attaché, refused to present himself before the Committee for Access to Information and Ethics.