September 22, 2017 4:34 pm

Liberal transparency bill isn’t as transparent as promised: opposition

The Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference in Ottawa.

Sean Kilpatrick/CP

OTTAWA — The Conservatives and NDP are coming out against the Trudeau government’s new access to information bill, saying it falls short of Liberal promises to increase transparency.

Opposition MPs are assailing the Liberals for backpedalling on a campaign promise to fully apply the Access to Information Act to ministerial offices.

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They also say the bill – introduced in June and debated today in the House of Commons – fails to narrow the many exemptions in the law that allow federal agencies to keep files under wraps.

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The access act, which took effect in 1983, allows people who pay $5 to ask for everything from internal federal audits and meeting minutes to correspondence and studies.

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The law is often criticized as slow, ineffective and out of date.

Treasury Board President Scott Brison touts the government bill as the first substantial revision of the act.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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