FOI In The News (May 8, 2019)

hash brown blurry

Globe & Mail: Canada’s information czar says lack of stable funding ties her hands

Jim Bronskill, May 1, 2019

Federal information commissioner Caroline Maynard warns that financial uncertainty is making it impossible for her office to set goals and maintain momentum.  The Office of the Information Commissioner of Canada handles complaints from Canadians who have difficulty obtaining federal government records due to delays or refusals to release files.  It is currently facing about 3,000 complaints, each of which can take months or years to settle.  The government has earmarked $3 million in the current year to deal with the backlog, but has made no long-term commitments.

The Logic: Letter from the editor: Access to [REDACTED] Information

David Skok, May 4, 2019

Canada ranks 57th in the Global Right to Information Rating of access to information laws, behind countries such as Brazil, Liberia and Uganda.  The Global Right to Information Rating considers only legislation, not implementation, but according to David Skok, Editor-in-Chief of The Logic, Canada performs poorly at implementation as well.

Mobile Syrup: Man wins legal battle to prove his McDonald’s hash brown wasn’t a smartphone

Patrick O’Rourke, April 29, 2019

From the lighter side of FOI In The News…  Connecticut man Jason Stiber made a practical use of FOI laws to dispute his distracted driving ticket.  An FOI request revealed that the police officer who wrote the ticket was on the 15th hour of a 16-hour double-shift, which Stiber argued may have resulted in impaired judgment, causing the officer to mistake the McDonald’s hash brown that Stiber was holding for a cell phone.

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Related Articles:

FOI In The News (April 23, 2019)

A response to The Toronto Star (and to “FOI reform” articles in general)

Published by Justin Petrillo

I have created the FOI Assist™ software to help Ontario’s provincial and municipal government institutions of all sizes track and respond to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests. For most of my career I have been a lawyer, advising clients on commercial, intellectual property and FOI/privacy issues. From 2013 to 2015, I managed the FOI program for the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee while serving as Legal Counsel to the Games. Prior to becoming a lawyer, I obtained a computer science degree and worked as a software developer at several well-known technology companies.

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