I would like to note that I capitalized the word 'Citizen' in the title of this post. I did not capitalize the word 'government'.
Every once in a while (or much more frequently in fact), I believe it is important to realize who is really important in our democracy. That is why I am pleased as punch to see 45 newspapers all across Canada work together to conduct what the Canadian Newspaper Association is claiming is the first national audit of freedom of information laws in our country.
There study produced troubling results. The newspaper association's press release reads thusly:
"Government officials granted the information requested in just 32 per cent of in-person visits. Even when reporters paid fees for formal access requests, the information was fully or partially released in only 62 per cent of cases"
The media obviously undertakes a lot of freedom of information requests. But, members of the general public do as well. A Vancouver Sun reporter went to the Vancouver School Board to ask for bulling statistics in one local school. At first, he did not identify himself as a reporter and they were very hesitant to give him any information. He went back an hour later and showed his credentials as a reporter and they were much more comfortable talking with him.
Thats a bit baas ackwards, if you ask me.