Trudeau must do more to promote openness information czar says

first_imgOTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is failing to deliver on his promise of a government that’s open by default, the federal information czar says.The law that’s intended to give Canadians access to government files is being used instead as a shield against transparency, information commissioner Suzanne Legault said in her annual report tabled Thursday.Legault said her investigations reveal the Access to Information Act is failing to foster accountability and trust.The act allows people who pay $5 to ask for everything from expense reports and audits to correspondence and briefing notes. Requests are supposed to be answered within 30 days and agencies must have legitimate reasons for taking longer.However, the system has been widely criticized as slow, antiquated and riddled with loopholes that allow agencies to withhold information rather than release it.A number of key institutions that possess valuable information for Canadians showed declines in performance, said Legault, an ombudsman for users of the law.In terms of timeliness, the RCMP, the Canada Revenue Agency, the Correctional Service and Global Affairs received F grades, while National Defence and Health Canada were branded with the even more serious Red Alert status.Legault’s report says she referred one case to the attorney general last month after uncovering apparent improper deletion of emails by an employee of Shared Services Canada.The latest federal budget contained no funding for transparency measures and there has been no direction from the head of the public service on increasing transparency, Legault said.Trudeau’s promises of making the government more open and accountable must be accompanied by action, she told a news conference. “I think he needs to do more. And I think he needs to make sure that the bureaucracy does more. It’s not enough to say it.”The Liberal government recently acknowledged it is delaying planned reforms to the 34-year-old law due to the complexities of the task — changes Legault maintains are essential and long overdue.The promised amendments include giving the information commissioner the power to order release of government records and ensuring the access law applies to the offices of the prime minister, cabinet members and administrative institutions that support Parliament and the courts.Treasury Board President Scott Brison said Thursday that reforms are coming, though he did not say exactly when. “We agree, actually, with the commissioner about the need to modernize the act.”New Democrat MP Daniel Blaikie, who sat on a Commons committee that recommended a sweeping overhaul of the law, said Thursday it’s clear what needs to be done. “It’s just a real disappointment for people who took the government at its word in terms of openness and transparency and all the rest.”Brison did take a first step last year, issuing a ministerial directive to enshrine the principle that federal agencies should be “open by default.”Legault said the move, on its own, is not sufficient.“If you want to truly change a whole culture in a very large bureaucracy, you’re going to have to make a concerted effort. There are going to have to be clear messages from the prime minister, the responsible ministers, the clerk of the Privy Council,” she said.“Sadly, champions for transparency are absent.”— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitterlast_img read more

Police sends assurances about Kevino Smith Investigation

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Minister of Works puts government buildings reconstruction post hurricanes at $8.6m Bahamas Political leader to be replaced Related Items:dna, grand turk, investigaTION, kevino smith, police Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 25 Jun 2015 – Despite the Governor’s announcement and condolences on the death of Kevino Smith; Police maintain that they are awaiting forensic proof in the case of missing remains found just over two months ago in a shallow grave in Grand Turk. Today in a media release, Police said this, “Up to the time of this release, police continue to await the results of the DNA. DNA analysis can be a long and difficult task, however, it is an essential part of our investigation.”In a first statement since the April press conference following the discovery of those remains, Police also aimed to reassure residents that investigations are ongoing which includes determining how the person found actually died.“The forensic focus of the investigation has two main objectives. The first is to identify the remains and the second is to establish the cause and manner of death.”A plea for information in the disappearance of Kevino Smith was included in that late day statement, “No matter how insignificant you may think your information is, please come forward and let us know.” Update: Women robbed while exercising (21 year old Arrested)last_img read more

4 Things To Know About Trick Or Treating In Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are four things every Wilmington trick-or-treater should know!#1) No Set TimeWilmington has no “official” trick or treating hours.“We tell families that trick or treating starts when it gets dark, with the expectation that most families with young children will conclude that a couple of hours is enough time to be out gathering treats,” said Town Manager Jeff Hull. “To my knowledge, we have not had a problem with unofficial approach.”On Halloween, the sun is scheduled to set in Wilmington at 5:38pm.#2) Forecast Looks GoodAccording to the National Weather Service, Halloween will be mostly cloudy with a low around 47. Patchy fog is expected after 10pm. There’s a 30% chance of rain, but not until after 2am.#3) Best NeighborhoodsTwo areas in town — the Pouliot Place/Shawsheen Commons/Mink Run Road area and the Hathaway Acres area, off of Salem Street — are known as particularly popular places for trick or treaters.#4) Keep SafeBelow are safety tips from the Massachusetts State Fire Marshal:More children are hit by cars on Halloween than any other single day, so it’s important for children to be visible and to practice pedestrian safety.Children should carry a flashlight or glow sticks and costumes should be bright-colored or have reflective tape to highlight them.Drivers should use extra caution: drive more slowly and watch for children who may forget to cross at corners and use crosswalks.Keep decorations like cornstalks and leaves away from heat sources and lit candles. Switch to battery operated candles.Be sure all parts of costumes are labeled flame retardant.Costumes should not have trailing materials or tails long enough to cause falls.If a child is wearing a mask instead of make-up, make sure the eye holes are large enough to see through clearly.Make sure your home is well-lit inside and out and that there is a clear path to your door.Children under 12 should always be with an adult. It’s best to take little ones out early. If older children are going out without you, go over the ground rules first and set a curfew. Have them travel in a group and with a cell phone and flashlight.Remind youngsters to cross at crosswalks or corners and not to dart out between parked cars.Fireworks are dangerous and illegal in Massachusetts. The ban includes firecrackers, cherry bombs and party poppers.For more information on Halloween Safety, contact your local fire department or look at the Department of Fire Services website at http://www.mass.gov/dfs, type Halloween Safety in the search bar, or call the Public Fire Safety Education Hotline at 1-877-9-NO-FIRE.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLETTER TO THE EDITOR: Selectman McCoy Says 4 Town Meeting Articles Are ILLEGAL, Including Sciarappa Farm RezoningIn “Letter To The Editor”SELECTMEN NEWS: Town May Unknowingly Own 4.5 Acres Of Land Off Route 125, Could Be Spot For SubstationIn “Government”SELECTMEN NEWS: Town To Announce Plan To Increase Number Of Accepted RoadsIn “Government”last_img read more