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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A darker shade of transparency

It seems that just as I find someone within the Conservatives that I respect, they let me down. Pamela Wallin, an extremely likable and knowledgable Senator quietly paid back the money she bilked from taxpayers.

Yes fellow Canadians, when caught with her hand in your wallet Pamela Wallin not only returned an unknown amount of your tax dollars but she failed to apologize to the people she took advantage of.... the Canadian taxpayer.

I would still respect her had she made a public announcement with some form of explanation, not a Duffy style apology, but one with some sincerity. The only thing one can assume is that she knew she was wrong and the only thing she was sorry for was the fact she got caught with her hand in our wallets.

Mike Duffy, on the other hand, in typical Conservative style decided to taunt and ridicule the media. Then he tried to say he stayed in another home in town in PEI, then paid back the money insisting he didn't feel he should have to. A backhanded slap at taxpayers.

And here I was under the impression that since Stephen Harper ran on a platform of transparency that things in Canada would improve. Silly me, Canada is ranked 55th in the World in a study of Canada's Access to Information Act,

The Centre for Law and Democracy used a 61-point tool to measure Canada's legislation against that of other countries, in co-operation with Madrid-based Access Info Europe.

Canada's standing in September 2011 was 40th of 89 countries, fell to 51st in June last year, then to 55th of 93 countries last September, behind Mongolia and Colombia.

"While standards around the world have advanced, Canada's access laws have stagnated and sometimes even regressed," the centre concluded, noting Canada was a world leader in 1983 when its federal information law came into force.

The research won praise from Canada's information commissioner, Suzanne Legault, who said "the analysis that this group has done is going to be a really useful tool" in her own investigation into freedom-of-information issues.

Canadian apathy has given our politicians permission to abuse the people and to conceal their actions. Shame on us.

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