Premier Doug Ford is fighting to keep his ministers' mandate letters secret. information from Ontario that the province should make public the number of hours spent by its lawyers fighting to keep the warrant letters secret.
Since his election in 2018, Prime Minister Doug Ford has never wanted to reveal the contents of his mandate letters, which are usually guidelines given to his ministers.
CBC has been trying for four years to obtain copies under the Access to Information Act.
Many other prime ministers across the country, including Justin Trudeau, have disclosed them in the past.
The Supreme Court agreed last spring to consider the matter, but no hearing date has yet been set.
Meanwhile, the Ford government refuses to reveal the number of hours devoted to its defense from July 2018 to July 2021. Rather than comply with the instructions of the Office of the Information Commissioner, who had ruled in favor of CBC, the government appealed to the Divisional Court last Friday.
According to the appeal of lawyers from the Ministry of the Attorney General, CBC could make inferences and obtain confidential information as to the strategy, for example, of the government in the file from the total number of hours.
James Turk, director of the Center for Free Speech at Metropolitan University of Toronto, calls the current situation “outrageous”.
The public has a right to know how much the government has invested in its fight to keep the public from knowing these things, he laments.
For him, this is another example of the government's efforts to restrict access to information, which constitutes an “attack”, he says.
Mr. Turk also rejects the government's argument that mandate letters are protected by cabinet confidentiality. The [provincial] conception of Cabinet confidentiality amounts to a giant black hole that sucks in anything that comes near Cabinet, he says.
With information from CBC