Harper government “most transparent” in history. NOT!

- December 22nd, 2012

“Our Government is the most transparent government in Canadian history. There has never been a time when Canadians have had as much access to government information.”

- Treasury Board President Tony Clement, Dec. 19, 2012

 While I have personally encouraged Minister Clement about Open Government/Open Data initiatives (and found him to be personally receptive to doing what he can to implement those initiatives), it is demonstrably false for him that he is part of the most transparent government in Canada history. 

In support of my claim, I would cite:

There’s four — but I (and I’m sure dozens of others) could go on and on and on and on …

[That said: Which government would be the "most transparent' in history? How do you measure that? Personally, I think all governments of all political stripes are as opaque as they can get away with  ...]

[UPDATE: On Twitter, Clement has this response:

 

Categories: Journalism, Politics

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19 comments

  1. Mark says:

    I would like to point out that the minister did not deny smoking crack.

  2. Sean Fordyce says:

    Eric Arthur Blair would have been so proud.

  3. Jerry Booth says:

    I agree with Clement. Just because they don’t have a 100% “success” rate (according to a journalist with a vested interest), doesn’t mean they haven’t been the “most” transparent in history. It’s like saying Hugh Duffy doesn’t hold the single season MLB batting average title, just because he didn’t hit 1.000.

  4. motor says:

    If you didn’t know that these conservatives are delusional pathological liars by now….clement’s statement alone should wake you up……………..

  5. J says:

    Drinking some red coolaid again, eh David? Regarding your four bullet points “in support of (your) claim”:

    bullet#1 was political smoke and mirrors by the opposition parties to pull the government down on the budget without getting tagged for causing a snap election (you know that);

    bullet#2 was some political staffer going off the rails on their own course, hardly an example of the actual government itself;

    bullet#3 is…well…looks like some filler point by some Quebec academic harping on the conservatives (surprise, surprise: the conservatives aren’t far-left enough for Quebec)

    bullet#4 is an example of some water-cooler reaction from a few DFAIT public servants who have pushed some paper around and claimed a hard day’s labour (hardly a surprise again). But note: this is from public servants, and not the elected government again.

    If you don’t think that the actual elected government isn’t fighting all of these people groups (the opposition, unbridled staffers, off-quilter left-wing academics, and public servants) on a daily basis, than you are either off your rocker or don’t know how the sausage gets made.

    Get some real facts before posting such junk pieces/headlines.

  6. Gord Tulk says:

    By insisting that the current conservative government is “NOT” the most transparent mr. Akin begs – and apparently ignores – the question: which previous government was more transparent?”

  7. fmpsportsguy says:

    When the conservatives lie in the house of commons every day, when ministers won’t answer questions every day, when Pierre Poilievere gets busted for being the mastermind behind the robo call scandal, when the conservatives get investigated by CRA/RCMP/ Elections Canada and charged with election fraud charges on so many levels.. all crooks all the time.. just tell me what it takes to slander one of you cons, so I can tear your party apart in a court of law..

  8. Michel Boucher says:

    “Our Government is the most transparent government in Canadian history. There has never been a time when Canadians have had as much access to government information.” – Treasury Board President Tony Clement, Dec. 19, 2012

    Newspeak doubleplusgood, eh Tony? War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and most importantly, Ignorance is Strength, correct?

  9. blennie says:

    Wasn’t it Peter Van Loan who said lying is protected speech in Canada.

  10. denis p says:

    Akin is true to his Liberal values, which is deflect, deflect, deflect. David, please tell us how the Liberal governments of Jean Chretien, or your hero P. Trudeau, were more transparent than the current Conservative government. Can’t?? Thought so.

  11. Dean McEachen says:

    All you naysayers should take a look around the world. Canada is in the best shape of any government as per IMF ratings. Harper is a true Canadian, he does not sell out(Mulroney) scam (Chretien) or succumb(Trudeau). He’s a smart economist who speaks frankly to to the citizens of Canada. He looks for opportunities to enhance all Canadian’s lifestyle. Many are jealous because they do not have his qualities.
    Oh and BTW I voted for the above in the past so I’m not partisan.

  12. Joel Parkes says:

    As usual the defenders of the most anti-democratic, nation-destroying administration in Canadian history stand by their ad hominem speaking points (ie: Chretien, Liberals did it, too, etc.) instead of actually articulating a defence. Let me ask the ‘bright’ neo-cons this one, simple question. If you have witnessed a bank robbery does that mean that bank robbery is acceptable?

  13. Pappy says:

    Harper has given us a stable government through some tough times. We fared far better than most other countries during the economic downturn.
    All I remember of the Chretien government is him and his business buddies travelling a few times to the far east selling off Canadian jobs in exchange China and India bought our natural resources at rock bottom prices.
    The main job of 13 years of Liberal government was covering their ass from one scandal to the next

  14. Gabby in QC says:

    Joel Parkes @ December 24, 2012 at 9:41 am:
    “As usual the defenders of the most anti-democratic, nation-destroying administration in Canadian history stand by their ad hominem speaking points …”

    Other than overblown rhetoric, what concrete proof can you give that the current government is “anti-democratic”?
    Has anyone prevented you from expressing your opinion or going about your business like you did under previous governments?
    I suppose you’ll recite the usual crap about the two omnibus bills and other parliamentary procedures — all of which were somehow acceptable under other governments but have now become “anti-democratic” in the eyes of those who hate the current resident of 24 Sussex.
    Yes, of course, let’s have more talk, let’s create another committee, let’s consult ad infinitum … and never get anything done. Perhaps that’s the route the Conservative House leader should have taken to stop the tongue-waggers and the finger-pointers.

    As for “nation-destroying” — the only people I’ve seen or heard about bad-mouthing our country both domestically and internationally are, again, the haters of our government, who simply cannot accept the fact that the PM’s chair is currently occupied by someone whose POV … and yes, dare I say ideology — doesn’t coincide with their own.

    Suck it up, buttercup. The Conservatives are in power now. Your party’s turn will eventually come. That’s the way democracy works. Get used to it.

  15. Gabby in QC says:

    As for the transparency of this government compared to previous ones, Mr. Akin … as you yourself said in your Feb 2012 article titled “Common sense? From bureaucrats?
    … It is yet another example of this government, like governments before it, doing all it can to prevent Canadians from reviewing information we have every right to review. …”

    First of all, thank you for admitting that previous governments used some of the same tactics, with the same results.

    However, I question the use of the general term Canadians in your article. Perhaps journalists mining for juicy material to write about or people who are in the business of turning up every single rug to see what lies beneath it want to “review information” — but I doubt the average Canadian wants to know about the minutiae of every government decision or undertaking.

    I mean … didn’t the Canadian Press and the QMI Agency tell us that the average Canadian wants to read primarily about the lurid details of vermin like this year’s Newsmaker? So, where’s the beef?

  16. Ragged Joe says:

    Harper _may_ have given us a stable government, but at a large cost. He’s pursued multilateral and bilateral trade treaties aggressively – with nations we already are partners with – that require big concessions (limit generics, longer patents, taxpayers sued for lost profits…) for no new benefits. He’s also bent over to USA, stalled on Khadr, imported broken laws, and wasted money in big ways (Fighter jets much?)

    Akin never claimed that a previous government was the most transparent – he merely PROVED that Harper’s government hasn’t been the most transparent.

    As a small-c conservative, I’m disgusted by your lack of perception. You (dare I say it?) trolls can’t argue with the evidence, so you decide to shift the question. Kinda ironic for people who blame Liberals for smoke-and-mirrors.

  17. Jim Powell says:

    The Harper government is less than transparent because even the 40% of Canadians who voted for them wouldn’t agree with some of their right wing pro business policies like gutting environmental laws, opening up previously protected wilderness areas to mining, defunding any organization that dares differ with their world view, making OAS less accessible, etc. — so they try to minimize exposure, direct attention to past governments, accuse any who disagree with blunders like the F35 of being against our troops, etc. etc.

    Incidentally, the success of Canada in weathering the recent economic storms is largely due to the effects of policies implemented by Jean Chretien and Paul Martin, and the fact that the Cons didn’t have time to screw up the situation before the storms hit.

  18. Jen says:

    Way to go Gabby in QC.

  19. David McArthur says:

    The Conservative Gov. in Ottawa is about as transparent as a pane of glass completely smeared with Fecal Matter.

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