Will An­der­son stand up for trans­parency and ac­count­abil­ity?

The Southwest Booster - - NEWS -

Ed­i­tor: Lo­cal Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment David An­der­son couldn’t have been clearer when he said that “we be­lieve that demo­cratic val­ues go hand in hand with open­ness and trans­parency.” (Hansard, De­cem­ber 7, 2012)

Soon he will have a chance to show how he is putting that sen­ti­ment into prac­tice as your rep­re­sen­ta­tive when he votes on the Trans­parency Act.

This bill was in­tro­duced by Lib­eral Leader Justin Trudeau to raise the bar on open­ness and ac­count­abil­ity by mak­ing gov­ern­ment in­for­ma­tion open by de­fault. It is a good faith ef­fort to work across the aisle and achieve re­sults for Cana­di­ans.

The Trans­parency Act would mod­ern­ize our Ac­cess to In­for­ma­tion sys­tem, which is stuck in the 1980s. It would make all gov­ern­ment data pub­lic by de­fault and avail­able in mod­ern for­mats. It would em­power an in­de­pen­dent of­fice to or­der that in­forma- tion to be dis­closed. It would elim­i­nate ex­tra fees for in­for­ma­tion re­quests.

The Act would also make the meet­ings of the gov­ern­ing board of the House of Com­mons open by de­fault, al­low­ing Cana­di­ans to see how MPs make de­ci­sions on their own spend­ing.

Th­ese changes would go a long way to ad­dress­ing crit­i­cisms by the press, re­searchers, in­de­pen­dent ex­perts and oth­ers, and en­sure that cit­i­zens have a real right to know what their gov­ern­ment does.

Mr. Trudeau has been clear that he wants to work with all MPs, and is open to amend­ments, sug­ges­tions and im­prove­ments. He be­lieves that to­gether we can help re­store a sense of trust in our democ­racy.

Pri­vate Mem­bers Bills like this are nor­mally “free votes”, which al­low MPs to vote with their conscience in­stead of their party. We sin­cerely hope that Mr. An­der­son will vote in favour of the Trans­parency Act.

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