"Taxpayer," is Susan Delacourt's most hated word.
"I just think that reduces the sum total of people's relationship with government down to this idea that it's something they pay for," explained the Toronto Star senior writer and author of Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them. "This idea that government doesn't belong to people anymore -- that it belongs to service providers -- is a really, really reductionist way of looking at the world."
The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association has put out this awesome guide on filing an access to information request to the Canadian Federal Government. Some federal government bodies that might have information about you are the RCMP, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the Canada Border Services Agency, the Correctional Service of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and so other federal organizations.
Why file an access to information request?
The Dogs are Eating them Now
Canada will officially end its military engagement in Afghanistan in March 2014 after losing 158 Canadian Forces personnel and spending billions of dollars on the war effort. So, was it worth it?
You won't find the answer in Graeme Smith's award-winning retrospective The Dogs Are Eating Them Now on his time as a foreign correspondent for the Globe and Mail. In fact, you'll only find more questions that beg for answers -- and our collective attention.
Anytime a government wants to hide its errors and illegality, it pulls down the shades of national security confidentiality and refuses to disclose any information. Time and again, the Canadian government's own cries for secrecy have been found to be without substance. Federal court decisions, judicial inquiries into complicity in torture, and various freedom of access to information requests have revealed the extent to which secrecy becomes the convenient way out from having to explain and be held accountable for lousy policy, inhumane actions and sheer incompetence.
The White Paper
Published in 1969, The White Paper was the Trudeau Government’s clumsy attempt to address the systemic inequalities between Indigenous people (referred to as Indians) and Settlers (referred to as Canadians). The proposed plan of action was intended to replace The Indian Act. Instead of actually dealing with problems of entrenched institutionalized racism The White Paper proposed that the government should eliminate the category of “Indian” over a five-year period.
What it meant