Sunday, September 12, 2010

CBC fights to hide its info

The cbc wants to hidehow much its journalists spend on hospitality and other expenses. Indeed they won't even let the information commissioner see the files to determine if they are exempt. It is the arrogance I expect from the publicity wing of the grits.They receive their funding from the state. If they want to hide that info, let them be sold off to the private sector.

CBC fights for information, refuses to share
By BRIAN LILLEY, PARLIAMENTARY BUREAU, QMI AGENCY
Last Updated: September 11, 2010 3:46pm

OTTAWA — CBC has been on the front lines of many battles to try and pry information from the federal government, but on Monday morning, lawyers for the public broadcaster will stand in a Montreal court and argue that they should not have to be put under the same scrutiny.

On the other side of the court will stand an independent officer of Parliament, the Office of the Information Commissioner.

Canada’s state broadcaster came under the Access to Information Act in 2007 along with several other crown corporations. Since that time, the CBC has been the subject of almost 900 complaints, more than seven times the number of complaints filed against Canada Post, the crown corporation with the second worst record.

The CBC claims the information requested is related to its “journalistic, creative or programming activities” and is therefore exempt from the act.

After complaints, including several from Sun Media and its lawyers, the information commissioner, who is charged by Parliament with enforcing the Access to Information Act, subpoenaed a number of files from CBC for examination. The broadcaster refused to comply.

Among the records sought were the amount CBC paid in fees for their own access to information requests to government departments, the amount of money spent on restaurants and hospitality in Montreal and files on the contest to find a new theme song for Hockey Night in Canada.

In each case, the CBC claimed the information was exempt from the Access to Information Act. Court documents submitted by the broadcaster also claim providing the files subpoenaed by the Information Commissioner would create a “chilling effect” on journalists.

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