Conservatives’ open government plan silent on updating Access to Information Act

The Conservatives’ new draft plan on open government makes no mention of reforming the Access to Information Act, despite widespread calls to revise the 32-year-old law.

OTTAWA — The Conservatives’ new draft plan on open government makes no mention of reforming the Access to Information Act, despite widespread calls to revise the 32-year-old law.

The draft plan would see the government make information and data — including scientific research, federal contract details and archival records — more readily available by default.

But it proposes no legislative changes to the 1982 access law, which allows people who pay $5 to request government records ranging from correspondence and briefing notes to cabinet ministers’ hospitality expenses.

Reform of the law was suggested during federal online consultations for the plan and during meetings in Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa and St. Catharines, Ont.

The federal information watchdog, opposition parties and pro-democracy groups have also pushed for modernization, saying the law allows agencies to withhold too much information.

The government is accepting feedback on the draft plan through noon ET Mon., Oct. 20.

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