Columbia Cafe: Canada Infrastructure Bank & The Public's Right to Know
On September 26th, Columbia Institute released a new report, Canada Infrastructure Bank and the Publics Right to Know, that examines the proposed Bank, and government legislation that restricts public access to information. The report highlights concerns expressed by information commissioners and includes examples of how the Canadian government can do better.
The federal government is ready to invest $35 billion in public funding to create a new Infrastructure Bank intended to attract private investors for public projects. At the same time, in June, government passed legislation that would reduce the publics access to information about the Bank.
The report found that in recent years, a number of Canadas Information Commissioners have been raising concerns about transparency particularly when public services and infrastructure projects are delivered by private corporations.
As governments increasingly turn to public-private partnerships for the delivery of services, proprietary information, trade secrets, and competition are cited as rationales for secrecy with these private contractors.
Freedom of Information requests to government are often denied, delayed or redacted. This erodes the transparency and accountability needed for the functioning of a healthy democracy.
The report also identifies three recommendations to government that would improve transparency in the private delivery of public services.
Join report author, Keith Reynolds and Columbia Institute staff at this one-hour Columbia Cafe to learn more about this important issue.
For more information contact:
Helesia Luke at Columbia Institute
Read the report here:
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