Be it resolved

30 Dec

From the Office of the Right Honourable Stephen Joseph Harper

As is well known, The Harper Government has long been committed fully to the important principle of informational transparency. You may recall we first espoused this refreshing perspective on political accountability in 2006, when it seemed the only way to seize power.

Since then my Government has adhered religiously to the tenets of this doctrine of truthfulness. Minor deviations from the doctrine, such as my tax on Income Trusts, our handling of the Afghan detainee question or the true costs of the F-35 fighter plane, became necessary only when it was clear that the very continuation of our great nation was being threatened by an unholy Coalition of Socialists and Separatists.

Today, I am pleased to announce that, starting on New Year’s Day, your national government (The Harper Government) will further extend the reach of its public transparency by providing open and unfettered access to many new types of information in government files.

Our decision to take this bold step comes on the heels of a very successful pilot project launched in mid-November. That project saw your Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development release the Social Insurance Numbers and related data on 5,000 Canadians into the public domain.

Now, I recognize that some outlier agencies, such as the Privacy Commissioner’s Office, mistakenly reported the data as “lost” and “gone missing”. That was clearly not the case. On the contrary, the data were (and remain) in the hands of all Canadians, the very people who paid to collect that vital information in the first place. If that isn’t accountability to the electorate, I don’t know what is.

In future, with the minor exception of all data related to the Conservative Party of Canada and its trusted representatives, no information about Canadians shall be withheld from public scrutiny.

In deciding upon this universal approach to data care, we have sought counsel from perhaps the world’s largest guardian of information: Facebook. As many of you have shown through your day-to-day actions, you wholeheartedly endorse their approach to privacy. We in The Harper Government feel the same way.

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